Andrew Durbin discusses what led up to his 'Boys Don't Cry' contribution

Poetry Society Of America /  Tag Christof

Poetry Society Of America / Tag Christof

Writer Andrew Durbin recently released his new book, MacArthur Park, and spoke to Pitchfork about it. During the interview, Durbin acknowledged how he came into contact with Frank Ocean, a meeting that would lead to his contribution of "You've Been Flirting Again" in issue 1 of Boys Don't Cry.

You and Tillmans seem to have a friend in common: Frank Ocean. I noticed your piece “You’ve Been Flirting Again” appeared in Frank’s zine Boys Don’t Cry. How did that piece come about?

It’s actually a short story—my first, so it’s marked by the fact that I had never done something like that before. But it came about because Frank called me one morning after a mutual friend passed along my number. I guess Frank had read my first book, Mature Themes, [a hybrid collection of poetry, memoir, and cultural criticism], and liked it. He was living in London at the time, so he left a message while I was asleep. When I woke up to the voicemail, I had thought it was a prank—a well-done prank since the voice sounded so much like him. I almost didn’t call back, but then another friend listened to it and said I had to call back. Frank answered, explained the project and the story idea he wanted me to write, so I wrote it. I’m like everyone—I love his music. My mom loves his music, too. My mom met him, actually—maybe the only celebrity she’s ever met, and I’ve never seen her happier. He has that power, both in person and in music, to really make people feel loved. That’s a rare thing.

"You've Been Flirting Again" is found in the back quarter of the magazine. Scans of the pages can be read below.