Boy Kings Forever


Jonathan Leal riffs on abandoning Texas, Steve Reich, and Domingo Martinez’s new memoir for the LARB:

When I left the border for college some years ago, I dreamed of permanent escape; and, like Domingo Martinez, I turned to song to process my feelings. I spent hours listening to bands I’d never heard of — Sufjan Stevens, The Bad Plus, Explosions in the Sky — trying to match tunes to new experiences: Indian food, freezing weather, micro aggressions at the mall. I even recorded covers with a used cassette recorder and a busted, acoustic Fender I borrowed from a friend. Each song I sang helped me deal with a hard truth: the world north of the border was nothing like the utopia I’d imagined.

Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →