‘Pride Goeth Before’ is basically an altar boy memoir, as much as that’s possible—the performative nature of the role being one that lends itself better to fiction. The narrator’s rival/inspiration is an off-Broadway belter gigging as cantor whose carefully crafted femininity perturbs the congregation. An earlier version of the piece appeared in the debut issue of Mixed Fruit (check it out on page 11), and it continues to evolve. In the very first drafts of the story, the cantor’s owlness was much more explicit—she actually shape-shifted and flew around the rafters.
Serving as an altar boy was such a formative experience, it continues to be a theme I can’t escape. I’m currently making an artist’s book called Catholics, where my bizarre altar boyhood is a major theme. Catholics won’t be done until Spring 2015, though, so meanwhile get your dose by pre-ordering The Story of How All Animals Are Equal & Other Tales HERE.