by Antonio Addessi '20

Published by Queer Mojo, Rebel Satori Press (2022)

At any given moment in Sleeptalking, there are a number of sounds being heard: a cultural music, the vocalization of the nuclear family relation, of queer love and sexuality. We can sense, in a sense, that “someone next door is dancing,” always, where “next door” is a sort of unattainable knowledge—and “the music’s on loud.” Loud enough that it’s hard to think. So, instead of thinking, we abandon ourselves to the Addessi’s party, which is happening, at least in part, in the interpersonal music of our bodies. — An Duplan, Take This Stallion

I’m with you laying on our bed / telling each other the dreams / we’d freshly had / before they’re erased and gone,” writes Addessi about a quiet moment of shared intimacy. In many ways, this is the poetics of Sleeptalking: an inhabitation of transient, surreal images cascading across spatial and temporal lines transversing. To sleeptalk, Addessi teaches us, is to do this dreamwork of vulnerable imagination even as may involve confrontations with irrational, the queer, the painful. But it is also the work of soothsaying and witnessing–when the unconscious speaks in its own forms and when the propriety of speech gives way to poetry that demands our “thinking about it in public. — Travis Chi Wing Lau, Paring

As the book’s title suggests, we, as readers, converse with Addessi’s reveries: its dream geography; its telescoping in and out of small moments that simultaneously stamp their significance on the inside of our skulls and make us relitigate the meaning of memories—especially those of a bygone relationship; its specificity of details like cello-lined walls, a taxidermied artic fox, or scorched yams, which anchor us from traversing into the ethereal, or worse, the generic. And whether or not we are witnessing the unfurling of Addessi’s own past love(s), we are privy to an unflinching intimacy deftly rendered by his words. — Daniel W.K. Lee, Anatomy of Want