Drip, fire emoji, drip, drip, BANG, and maybe a couple of aubergines? Probably not enough to describe the horn hangover after being inside Brontez Purnell's, 100 Boyfriends. You know that sort of groggy, shameful mess that lingers somewhere in the pit of your bits, but dissipates only to leave you wondering if the sweaty film covering your skin is from you or him. Queer entering and then leaving—loneliness abates so that nothingness relegates every other emotion to the edges. All the while you're left thinking, how many boyfriends is too many boyfriends?! Every hole's a goal and there is nothing but penetration to mention again and again, only that's not what this book is about, really. It's more than one sordid, cum-fest after another, at the core of Purnell's collection of charismatic characters are queer black men trying to escape lofty levels of nihilism. Only he seems to have gone about it in the only way those endowed with a thick prick and a willingness to sub know how; probing, urinating, and erupting all over white supremacy. Body dysphoria drip feeds narratives of never really enough and there is a violence toward the self that confirms everything your mum ever told you about excessive penetration and how it will probably leave you with an emptiness so cavernous all the drugs in the world will not fill it. Coming out, coming up, coming round, Brontez Purnell is coming again and it is ragingly sticky.



Morning glory? Head down. Doesn't explain desire; these streets, once mine, in terror in pain, in everything that reminds me not to feel so fucking vain. Only now I pound them thinking about pounding you. Again. Now I pound them thinking about fucking. Fucking about with that tab. That tab that's always open. The one that's not supposed to be. I woke up thinking around edges. I woke up thinking this beat butts against that beat butting against free fall flowing. She says something that makes me feel really fucking small. I cringe: shrinking. I can't explain what it was and that hurts, it hurts when she sees me. So I build a labyrinth and a tower. I am doing all I can to keep her trapped in desire. I am doing everything I can.

I don't know what to feel when I'm not around her.

I'm so glad I don't love you anymore.

I'm so glad I stopped loving you.

I'm so glad I don't love you.

I'm so glad.

I stopped.

How do I stop loving you?

Screaming, seams broken in the darkness, gory, glory, gory hole, come again and again allowing intoxicating tease of anal titillation, letting a fear of reaching...not worry. More vulnerable about all that penetration and what it might lead to.

Two wet buttocks.

Two tight buttocks.

Two pert buttocks.

Two tight buttocks.

Turn her over.

Sat on top of the refrigerator it contains what I want to see...packer tucked head high between thighs. Damp desire and that emoji fucks my pain away every time I see her face. Objective, subjective, popping, gooping, sucking, swirling, thirsting. Weakened hand cramping, nothing inside wants to stop work keeps me going, gives me intention, purpose. Climaxing her is an endurance test I haven't trained for. Lactic acid lurks in darkened crevices, I lessen, she lessens, I learn, she comes. In the nothing I see her and not me stained in my disdain. The silence contains all I need it to. I float away from this body. Head tucked, limbs numb, lips licked, stomach turned, head confirms: connection.

When I'm with you the noise of all that maybe, the what if, the could it be, goes. When I'm with you I understand intention. Intent, connection. That when I'm with you all I want is there to not be an end. When I'm with you I want and I want and I want. I wasn't sure if we could be friends.

Gory, glory, gory hole.

Gory, glory, gory hole.

Gory, glory, gory hole.

Gory, glory, gory hole.

Your miniskirt and laced bra line my door, boxers drawl among binders I muttered 'good luck' to your pull, and we laughed. And we laughed together as I turned out the light. Because we're here and I guess it feels like we weren't maybe going to be. But now we are I'm glad. I'm glad that I felt all that alone. So that when we fuck and it feels like...It feels like...I'll tell you later.

Gravely the thrum of that beat will pierce something deep, deeper within. Padding, pressing hard against steel grin. Magnetic din. Rust covered everything. The empty thrill, it seeks next to that other, the other one. You know the one who considers choice. Only it is. Theirs to choose. Today. Unlike any other.

You had a dream that felt more like a prophecy. A future you know but seem unable to speak.

The silent bump and the gentle gurn between this and that, entices, satisfies, navigates, disorients, magnifies alone. Bursting hard against roof of mouth. Inside of ear drum shreds making sense of just a tiny section of whatever this feeling is. When did it disappear? That shift? When did the idea we had of a world lived together, our idea, when did we really stop? Actually stop, in panic. I remember that ghostly night, we hadn't been getting on. I was tired. Tired of the ups and downs, endless in their making.

'I was seeing someone I wasn't in love with.'

Knowing full well.

I want to write an ode, I want to write an ode to, a lover. Or a poem about an affair. Oh broken thing...it will begin. Waxing lyrically about the distortion of time divided since we were coiled in one another's smoky arms. Blackened nostrils and tarred up breath. The night cloak a dagger in my back, whenever I think about all of that, all of that time I spent trying to find you. While you wanted nothing but something other. The pedestal well and truly tipped. Over. I will never be that.

I began to believe voices in my head

That I was a, a freak, that I am broken

That there is something wrong with me

That I will never be loveable (Burial)

We were going to, but I wasn't sure if you were ready. I wasn't sure if you were ready and I wasn't or if maybe within the push and pull I knew and you did too. So we'll be on the same page, or we leave the page and move on. When I come back to you, will that cigarette taste as delicious? Six bottles and I bought a seventh. If only for a moment. A moment to know I can achieve free with you inside me—mind altered everything.

Thoughts?—fuck off.

When I wander through your grooves what panic will come loose, will night tyres find those routes as easily as they used to? The crescendo of that bass as it ripples and raises me in the way it used to? And I'm scared, I am. Afraid to feel you. Afraid to feel your body against mine, the ghosts of all your anger, voices raised, intoxicating waves and all your pain, I would soak up anything to make you feel better again. Hoping to help but in hoping failing at everything. To be vulnerable with you, too unbearable a thought. And so I am here but not really. I am here but not really.

Apocalyptic this feeling of tension that drives its hard stone between us. I saw your Hinge profile.

And I wonder on repeat. Do I make you happy?

Sometimes I think you'll just stop texting me back and then I think, how will I feel about that? How will I feel without having to not be here or maybe not here, or maybe here, waiting? That I am doing things that catch me out. Maybe you will say the things you know or want to know to another but not to me.

Oh concrete jungle...it might start, or...high-rise fever! I cycle through these streets where I was once a believer. A belief in true love. Because I know. Or, I thought I knew how to hold you, I knew how to beat the rhythm of your indecision against mine. Thinking, hoping in vain that we could thrive together.