Tell us about Rose Parade. I was supposed to describe it accurately but the point of it wasn't to describe the Parade. It was supposed to be an allegory for any pompous parade or self-congratulatory venture, sort of like...
The Oscars. Yeah, for example.
It’s one of the happiest songs I’ve heard you sing. Guitar swoon and your voice as light as ever, yet full—not the breathy falsetto of your darker days,
but the same melody tripping downward, skipping down to that street in Pasadena where every year there’s a football parade on New Year’s Day. The least gay
a parade could get. And you’re the most gay a straight man could get, Elliott, the indie heartthrob of all the lonely boys. The least interested in this football charade,
asking—ironic? sarcastic?—if your lover will join you. Follow you to the floats and marching bands descending from the sky, God’s angels, the trumpet so fucking out
of tune, and you hate it, Elliott, you hate it, and in the crowd, standing behind the tall men, behind his father, there’s some 8-year-old boy, dreaming of a parade of men bedecked in roses,
petals cascading from their corsets like chords from your guitar.
Reuben Gelley Newman (he/him) is a writer and musician from New York City. His work is forthcoming in DIALOGIST and diode poetry journal. A recent graduate of Swarthmore College, he was a Fall 2020 intern at Copper Canyon Press and a participant in the 2016 Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program.