kevin mclellan :: [box] :: $12


Approximately when does the human male reach [their] sexual prime? Research indicates around 18 years of age, at least physiologically. So for those born [say] in 1966, peaked in 1984 and 1984 was the year that Robert Gallo discovered the probable cause of AIDS [a retrovirus]. It would be eight [more] years before the first combination drug therapies for HIV/AIDS were introduced. What psychological and socio-sexual impacts did this essentially untreatable disease have for [not only] homosexual men of this generation, on their collective unconscious?

The questioning speaker in this poem is a gay man from this pervasive afr-AIDS generation, a speaker who reflects back upon his own guilt. “[box]” is printed on seven transparencies, fragments that contribute to a more comprehensive narrative, yet as these transparent pages turn, the poem becomes an erasure, thus enacting the very nature of this disease.


Kevin McLellan was born in Conway, New Hampshire, where he was mostly protected by the White Mountains—that is, until college. He attended New England College—one semester in Henniker, NH, and subsequent ones in Arundel, West Sussex. Here, and throughout parts of Europe, he began the process of learning how to be the adult he needed to become. After a few semesters and 1000s in debt, he dropped out and returned to his hometown for a spell. A spontaneous cross-country drive would follow and Kevin fell in love with love for a San Francisco minute and he discovered poetry, or perhaps it him, and then he got dumped. This prompted another brief residence in his hometown before settling in Portland, Maine. Here he would meet his best friend and resume studies at the University of Southern Maine until the year abroad at the University of Central Lancashire where he fell in love. The return to Maine alone was difficult, yet poetry would continue at Vermont College. Soon after [completion], Kevin recognized a grave need to redefine his relationship with poetry and consequently himself in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. This prompted relocation across the Charles River to Cambridge where [t]his creative work—Tributary, Round Trip, [box], the forthcoming Shoes on a wire, other unpublished projects, and works in progress—has been ongoing, yet Kevin has realized that there’s other important work, and he must become this person too.