Cockloft: Scenes from a Gay Marriage
Kyle Thomas Smith, author
After the success of his first novel 85A, Kyle Thomas Smith found a new register in his literary voice while exploring and experimenting with dynamic innovations in short fiction, the personal essay, and the bourgeoning flash fiction genres. The resulting collection of vignettes, flash scenes and essays is Smith’s Cockloft: Scenes from a Gay Marriage [September 17, 2018; Gatekeeper Press]. Like the small attic it’s named after, Cockloft is full of surprises. Whether they’re fending off an invading squirrel, letting an errant call girl know they’re not her kind of johns, or enduring a #MeToo moment with a handsy waiter on their Roman honeymoon, Kyle and his husband Julius are just the kind of gay married couple who didn’t see the 2016 election coming. From sharp and nuanced observations about the social signals inherent in the relative prices of books in Brooklyn stoop sales – Ayn Rand at .25 cents was a morbid curiosity satisfied, but a $5 Ta-Nehisi Coates telegraphs a more liberal progressiveness – to slapstick pratfalls, Smith’s book is full of laugh-out-loud moments that simmer down to abstract truths. And these aren’t the only cultural touchstones that eviscerate and elevate in equal measure. With deft maneuvering, Smith bandies about pop-culture references from the obscure to the iconic with precise wit.