Driving, Not Washing
It’s a road movie,
a double-feature, two boys striking out across America, while desire,find a way to figure it out.
like a monster, crawls up out of the lake
with all of us watching, with all of us wondering if these two boys will
– Richard Siken, Crush
Richard Siken is a gay American poet, painter, and filmmaker. He is the author of two collections of poetry - Crush (Yale University Press, 2005), which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 2004 and War of the Foxes, which was released from Copper Canyon Press in 2015.
The book Crush is a series of poems described as "confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism", and in part influenced by the death of Siken's boyfriend in 1991. It came out around the time Supernatural started in 2005, and fans soon discovered many parallels between the poems and the show, particularly Sam and Dean's relationship as seen by Wincest shippers. Many fans purchased the book and it inspired many fanworks, and even fan tattoos.
You Are Jeff
You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won’t tell you that he loves you,
but he loves you.you don’t even have a name for.
And you feel like you’ve done something terrible, like robbed a liquor store,
or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself a grave in the dirt,
and you’re tired.
You’re in a car with a beautiful boy,
and you’re trying not to tell him that you love him, and you’re trying to
choke down the feeling, and you’re trembling,
but he reaches over and
he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist,
and you feel your heart taking root in your body,
like you’ve discovered something
– Richard Siken, Crush
Richard became aware of the popularity of his work in our fandom, and the speculation as to whether his work influenced Supernatural or vice versa.:
- There’s an unswayable belief that Crush is already and always has been Wincest. Nothing I say convinces people otherwise, even though Crush was accepted for publication before Supernatural aired. I see the overlap — cars, guns, violence, danger, chasing and escaping, a relationship that seems more than brotherly but not quite romantic — but I think Crush and Supernatural are products of a cultural moment, not products of each other. Source
Siken also said that " yes, the director of Supernatural read Crush and sent me fan mail", although its unclear if this is referring to Eric Kripke. Source
Richard was later active in Sherlock fandom, and shipping John Watson and Sherlock. He explained why he never felt able to write Wincest fanfic:
- I feel honored by the Wincest community but there’s no place for me there. The insistence that everything I’ve done so far is Wincest gives me no wiggle room. I take no offense, I’m proud they found the poems worthy enough to include, but still: no wiggle room. Source
- I can participate in the Sherlock fandom because there’s room for me. It’s impossible to confuse Sherlock and War of the Foxes. I can write Sherlock fanfic like any other fan and not have it confused with my poems. Source
- These, Our Bodies, Possessed By Light by secretlytodream A fan vid set to narration from Richard's poem's "Scheherezade" and "Road Music"
- Road Music by Catie
- The Golden Room by balinorsforest with words from Richard Siken's "Snow and Dirty Rain"
- Richard Siken website
- Richard Siken on Tumblr
- The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction by The Awl
- "The World Is No Longer Mysterious": Richard Siken, "Supernatural," And Why They Correlate by McKinley Catherine Keener
- The metaverse and the vacuum by Richard Siken
- A profile of Richard Siken by the poetry foundation
- Fight Club: Richard Siken by Legacy Russell