All of this talk about the new year & new things has me thinking about the past & old things. I remember an burnt orange polo shirt I bought at the Gap in Herald Square when I was 14. I wish I still had it. I remember locking myself in my bedroom, blasting Janet Jackson on my stereo and dancing for hours at a time. In regards to my life as a writer, I’ve been remembering – for reasons that are somewhat lost on me – the now defunct online literary journal Lodestar Quarterly.
Lodestar shut down in 2006, but not before exposing me to several queer writers whose work I continue to learn from. I happened across the journal via a random google search when I was studying at Western Kentucky University. I didn’t mind being in Kentucky. In fact, I decided to get serious about writing while I was there with the help of writers like Tom Hunley and Dale Rigby. Nonetheless, queer mentors were lacking & Lodestar, in its own way, helped bridge the gap between what I was learning & what I also needed to learn.
Even though Lodestar has shut down, its archives are still available for your perusal. I thought it’d be nice to highlight some of the work I read for the first time in this journal. For example, Lodestar introduced me to 13 Crimes Against Love, or the Crow’s Confession by Alexander Chee which is still one of my favorite queer short stories. I’m not ashamed to admit that I hadn’t even heard of Mark Doty until I read his essay Infernal Sympathies which appeared in Lodestar’s Winter 2004 issue.
And of course, here are just a few of the poems that I’m still in love with. Thanks, Lodestar. I miss you.
Four-Part Epithalamion by D. Antwan Stewart
Right Southern Gentleman by Paul G. McGurdy
For the Fathers on 24th St. by Paul Rueckhaus
What I Know About War by Elijah Oberman
Fetish by Randall Man