Chuck Young Reads Poems from the Toilet




Chuck Young, king of The Newer York, has been doing this thing where he reads poems while sitting on the toilet. It is unclear whether he’s ‘going’ or not. I don’t think he is, though, although anything’s possible. He posts the videos of him reading these poems onto YouTube, and then you can watch them and hear him read.

It obviously feels very private and intimate, because you generally don’t enter a bathroom if someone else is already in there (unless, like, you’re with your best friend at a comedy club and are too afraid of how much the bathroom looks like The Shining to go in by yourself) but it’s not just about that. It’s intimate because these poems are intimate; they’re revealing, even in their obscurity, and raw and open. Also, it’s unusual to hear things read aloud without an audience. He’s reading into the abyss of YouTube. 

Young’s metaphors, or similes, or whatever, his “figurative language,” is fantastic. He compares his heart to coagulated purple drink on a tour bus, to a thong worn during a sex scene. He talks about sex, about people who think watching dragonflies fucking is beautiful, about RoboCop and DFW and chinchillas. 

My favorite video is the Valentine’s Day one. The video starts out, “I told her that, ‘no I didn’t love her anymore,’ and she acted surprised,” which I suppose is the title, but the look on Young’s face as he says that line burrowed inside me. He looks like he’s telling something true, confessing, explaining. He looks sorry. I think that might be my favorite video, just for that look on his face. The apology is not heavy and it’s not explicit, but it’s there.

My favorite title is “we are pallbearers in borrowed suits.” I really think that’s a title that doesn’t even need a poem, because it’s a story in and of itself. You can imagine so much just from that. You can think, “why did they borrow the suits?” You can think, “who died?”

I am not watching these videos on the toilet, because I’m a lady, so I’m watching them at my kitchen table. You could compromise and watch these in the bath. Put your phone in a plastic baggie and voila you can watch anything in the water.

Watch and listen here.

well this just tickled the shit out of me (figuratively).