I met Justin Chin's poetry the first time I went into an adult bookstore by myself. I figured loitering around the poetry section for a bit would make my barely legal ass look less conspicuous before I started flipping through the Bel-Ami DVDs.
I bought neither his book, Bite Hard nor An American In Prague because the guy behind the counter looked too much like one of my old bosses.
A few years later, I was more confident in buying both poetry and pornography and went back to the store. I didn't find anything there that I was actually looking for, but I did see Justin Chin's new collection, Mostly Harmless and bought it from the same boss-looking beardo that worked in that store until it closed down.
I debated doing an exercise based on his Surrealist Bookmark, but after the third reread of "Mistranslations", I knew what I had to do.
Mistranslations In The Grindr To English Phrasebook
How's it going?
I am so horny right now. Can we meet at your place and fuck?
Fuck off old man.
Good. How are you?
I am so bored right now.
Summer is a ferry. I am on the dock with a ticket now voided by season. I think I could swim to the ferry. It's not that far. But when I was young I dreamed of an ocean that riptided me from my home. I'm terrified of autumn. How it looms a new education. Strangers scheduled into tribes by ancient academics. I think I can swim my way into eternal summer or at least swim far enough to catch that ferry south. Join me?
I'm married. And my picture is from 1993.
Bounty lumberjack seeks LL Bean model for outdoor encounter while wife is at work.
Twenty-seven year old twink here.
I keep salting my garden hoping nothing will grow. I don't hunger for what I'm given. I would rather look like a promise than keep one. You look like you're afraid of yourself. I keep my body barren because I know how badly you want to be responsible for a kid that you can guiltlessly abandon. Don't I look guiltless? I'm thirty-nine. Everyone tells me I look so young for my age.
Our conversations will be games of Hide-And-Seek where I will find everything funny, and hide my confusion in your mouth.
Want to meet at the gym?
I am masculine. So masculine. Look at my abs. If you covered the floor with dough and fucked me flat on it, I could make pizza. I mean I'm so hot, it would cook under me. And, also, if you spin me around while you fuck me, my hard nipples will slice it into a geometric masterpiece, which is, coincidentally, how everyone refers to my ass.
Can you host?
1.) I live with strangers and you are a stranger and I keep most of my friends and all of my family strangers to me and each other. I didn't give a quote in my yearbook. I don't go drinking with my coworkers. I go drinking a lot. I am alone in a crowd. You could be a crowd. You could crowd me. What's your address? Where do you work? Tell me something about yourself that will make me forget myself.
2.) I squeal like a dolphin repeatedly dipping its tail in a tub of progressively hotter water. My roommates have asked me not to fuck while they're home.
Are you masc?
Bro, though. For real. I don't want anyone to see me. I don't want anyone to see me as not normal. Are you beer foam goatee? Do you football? When you use the word fantasy you're talking about a sports league and not sex, right? A sex league would be cool, though. I would only draft defensive players. I'm not going to make innuendo, bro. I'm better than that. Are you better than that?
I need something to post on Tumblr and think about while I have disappointing sex with a woman who is figuring out how the kindest way to phrase I'm leaving you.
What are you into?
You look like tap water in a plastic cup. I have more hangups than a telemarketer. Confess something blueberry waffle so I don't feel as peanut butter and bear trap sandwich when I tell you what it takes to get me hard.
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.