From the bush pilot duct-taping parts to keep his plane aloft to the pizza delivery driver who runs over his pizzas to the never-ending raffle at a leather bar, Nickerson uses his signature irreverence, honesty and wit to question what can be repaired, and what—inevitably—is lost to time.
Such humour contrasts the poignancy of Nickerson’s relationship with his father, celebrated in the long poem “Skies”, and his exploration of the continued scourge of death for queer men—first AIDS and now addiction, mental illness and fentanyl overdoses.
These poems reminisce about young love while exploring the complex, deep and often rending relationships between gay men, especially as they age. Nickerson shares heartbreaks (“You’ve covered me with tattoos / I can only see with my eyes closed, can only feel when I imagine your fingers”) and offers odes and elegies to past loves.
Duct-Taped Roses is Frank O’Hara meets Lorna Crozier; David Sedaris meets Eileen Myles. Elegiac yet sober, Nickerson’s work offers deep reflection on the poet’s community and life.