It is I, your favorite groomer, and Theodore “Big Pussy” Cavalieri DiMeow, here to share my latest publications!
My poems “Satisfaction” and “Reading ‘Sexuality Beyond Consent’ with My Cat” were published in Action, Spectacle (Winter 2023). I’m honored to share space in this issue with dozens of fine poets including Denise Duhamel, Koss, Rodrigo Toscano, and Eliot Khalil Wilson.
Reading “Sexuality Beyond Consent” with My Cat
the polymorphously perverse nips at my heels.
no, Theodore! in the fishbowl
of the office, the analyst dabbles
a claw in slippery waters. Dr. Saketopoulou:
affirmative consent assumes a rational subject
who doesn’t tear open
bags of raw chicken, who knows what’ll make him sick
of his childhood. Theodore: rrrrr
part-object, infantile desire attaches to feet
like the old ball-n-chain
they taught us was love and kittens.
it’s all over the skin like fur,
attachment’s barbed tongue
supposed to clean us
of saying Yes to No. Theodore,
down! is not a safeword
but a shot we both
didn’t see coming, the future’s needle
that’ll make you perfectly
compliant in my arms. more and more and more
says Dr. Saketopoulou. who wants to eat my eyeballs
when i die. who’s a good boy.
In other news, two poems from my Waste-Management Land series about “The Sopranos” appeared in Lammergeier, Issue 16 (Winter 2023): “Kill Your Darlings” (for Christopher Moltisanti) and “Commendatore” (for Tony Soprano). This issue’s theme was “Party at the End of the World,” because the magazine is going on hiatus. A lammergeier is a bird that eats bones–something that Tony and his crew could have used when disposing of bodies at Satriale’s Pork Shop! The magazine also ran an interview with me as their featured poet for this issue.
Jacqueline Boucher: Your poems are ekphrastic interactions with The Sopranos. How did you arrive at The Sopranos as source material? What drew you to this as a poetic project?
Jendi Reiter: Where else is a short, balding, oversexed trans man with a hot temper and mommy issues going to find himself represented on television? Every one of those New Jersey goombahs is a dad bod style icon…
…Mafia stories are a more colorful, but not really exceptional, illustration of the idolatry that permeates human society. Every institution, if we’re not careful, ends up perpetuating itself at the expense of its members’ souls and happiness. That institution could be religion, the family, the nation, the workplace — anything we mythologize in order to justify sacrificing people to it. I like to say that The Crown is just The Sopranos with posher accents.
Before I transitioned, I thought I would be a David Bowie gay or an Errol Flynn as Robin Hood gay. As testosterone did its work, I turned into George Costanza from Seinfeld instead. Is it terrible to say I learned how to perform masculinity from The Sopranos? Not the sexism or violence, but a certain aesthetic, flamboyant without being effete, not young or pretty but confident in my power. Walk like Tony, dress like Silvio, be as loyal a husband as Johnny Sack. And try not to get pushed overboard from a yacht.
Read the whole interview, and find out what my favorite bone is, here.