CULLMAN HAS WRITTEN FOR THE PARIS REVIEW, ANTAEUS, CREEM, DETAILS, ROLLING STONE, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, THE VILLAGE VOICE, AND VOGUE, AMONG OTHERS.

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THE PARIS REVIEW

First Person
LOSING

April 26, 2017
by Brian Cullman

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They questioned some of the scholarship kids first, boys with cheap-cut shirts and shabby jackets—the ones who tied their neckties as if they meant it, not with the shrug of boys who’d been born with a tailor in the next room. This was at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, high on a hill overlooking a factory town where shoes were sold with metal tips, so if you dropped your hammer you wouldn’t break your toes.

Next they questioned the rougher kids, the ones who’d give the gym coach the finger while he was watching, ones who laughed in chapel and smirked during grace. 

There’d been a series of thefts. No one knew if it was while we were all in class or at meals or sports or when the hell it was. Someone had gone into the seniors’ rooms and one by one pilfered cartridges from turntables. They didn’t bother questioning the janitor or the groundkeepers. These were older, foreign men who listened to baseball on the radio or the Make Believe Ballroom. They weren’t likely to have stereos or Mitch Ryder records tucked away.

In the end, they found the loot stashed in the closet of the wealthiest boy in school, and it was a deeply embarrassing situation.  His father owned half of Cuba and the nicer parts of New Jersey, and his grandfather had donated the swimming pool and the library to the school.

It was kept very quiet; he was put on probation and had to put in six weeks community service before starting at Dartmouth in the fall.

They’d found the cartridges packed up tight in an old shoebox, ready to be shipped to someone who knew the owner of a stereo shop. Once caught, he was not only happy to explain the plan, he was proud of it. After paying for postage and giving his friend a commission, he was going to net more than three hundred and thirty dollars, he laughed, demonstrating a keenness for math that hadn’t previously been noted.

We’d all sit and talk about this after lights were out. Three hundred and thirty dollars was real money, but not for him. I’d seen him buy a seventy-five-cent hamburger with a fifty dollar bill. It was the first time I’d ever seen a fifty dollar bill. What was three hundred and thirty bucks when his uncle was in talks to buy the Mets?

“He doesn’t want more,” my friend Morgan said. “He simply wants everyone else to have less.”

It made perfect sense. His pockets were already full to bursting. There wasn’t a way he could have more. But the sweetness of his classmates having less, that was something he could taste, like honey on his tongue.


Valais, Switzerland, as depicted in the University of the New World’s Winter 1971-72 General Bulletin

Valais, Switzerland, as depicted in the University of the New World’s Winter 1971-72 General Bulletin

THE PARIS REVIEW

On Music
MR. BERRY AND MRS. BLAVATSKY

March 21, 2017
by Brian Cullman

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Valais, Switzerland, as depicted in the University of the New World’s Winter 1971-72 General Bulletin

Valais, Switzerland, as depicted in the University of the New World’s Winter 1971-72 General Bulletin

THE PARIS REVIEW

First Person
FLOWERS FOR HITLER

October 19, 2016
by Brian Cullman

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Giorgio Gomelsky.

Giorgio Gomelsky.

THE PARIS REVIEW

First Person
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS

January 14, 2016
by Brian Cullman

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George Martin, 1926–2016.

George Martin, 1926–2016.

THE PARIS REVIEW

In Memoriam
YOU CAN STILL HEAR IT

March 14, 2016
by Brian Cullman

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Willard Cummings, Barracks Concert (detail), ca. 1942.

Willard Cummings, Barracks Concert (detail), ca. 1942.

THE PARIS REVIEW

First Person
WHAT ARE SONGS FOR

March 20, 2015
by Brian Cullman

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From a fifties-era Pan Am ad.

From a fifties-era Pan Am ad.

 

THE PARIS REVIEW

First Person
THE GORDON

August 24, 2015
by Brian Cullman

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Photo: Morven, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Morven, via Wikimedia Commons

 

THE PARIS REVIEW

First Person
A NEW YEAR'S DRIVE

January 11, 2014
by Brian Cullman

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The Jaymetts Record

The Jaymetts Record


THE PARIS REVIEW

In Memoriam
SIT AND CRY WITH THE DOOR CLOSED

October 28, 2013
by Brian Cullman

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Tom Forcade, Mayer Vishner, Abbie Hoffman, 1971.

Tom Forcade, Mayer Vishner, Abbie Hoffman, 1971.

THE PARIS REVIEW

In Memoriam
FIFTH BUSINESS

September 11, 2013
by Brian Cullman

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THE PARIS REVIEW

On Music
THINGS BEHIND THE SUN

December 27, 2012
by Brian Cullman

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THE PARIS REVIEW

On Music
FREEDOM AND LIGHT

December 17, 2012
by Brian Cullman

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THE PARIS REVIEW

On Music
HELPLESS: ON THE POETRY OF NEIL YOUNG

October 23, 2012
by Brian Cullman

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ROOTSWORLD

HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

February, 2016
by Brian Cullman

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