Thursday, December 21, 2023

 

Solstice

I welcome the darkness
And embrace the night
That on the other side the light
Of the sun might rise
Sooner bright.
For now let the spirits ride
And mischief let the twilight hide
For longer days
Of the sun's full height
Will once again hem in the night.
When magic turns to summer's dreams
And leaves behind winter's schemes
And nature trades her evergreens
For fireflies and nodding stems
Her snowy mantle for flowered hems
Then I will feed the daylight's pride.
This night
Under sacred dark
We ride!

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

 

Guidance

Somewhere in the starlight
Between the black and bright
Twist blue and purple ribbons
Stringing constellations like kites
Lifting diamonds free of coal bins
Warped to weave a tapestry
To write dreams upon the cosmos
With naive artistry
To fasten tight remembering
On the fabric of the night
So though we fear the darkness
We let land slip from our sight

Sunday, October 01, 2023

 

Salem on October 1st

Here we sit

On the cusp of chaos.

The wind is lost

Sighing summer and singing fall,

Yet the people

In their numbers

Gather as if we all

Are here for their entertaiment,

Not just witnesses to it all.

The spiced and spooky

Pumpkin quest

Of eager minds,

Missing the point

Of a history,

Deeper than judgement

And sweeter

Than the Judas witness call.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

 

May I Return?

 

May I return one day?

Bent and old

To sweep the floors

Of the hallowed hall

And the sacred spaces of making

Redolent of sawdust and paint,

Makeup and sweat,

And dreams?

May I hand out programs

And strugglingly direct supplicants and hedonists

to lettered and numbered perches,

Pilgrim's pews or thrones?

May I return?

With middle class purses held up in offering?

Or offering the currency of time

No longer spent toiling for wages?

To give the slippery hours remaining

To the cause of the muses

And maybe

Just once

Step out onto those storied boards

And read a litany of largess

Or an admonishment of flash photography?

May I return?

One last time?

To feel my swelling heart expand

As if to fill the cathedral of dreams,

Thrumming once more

With the all-consuming magic

that is Theatre?


Friday, February 26, 2021

 

...in which a gay Gen X-er mansplains his gender journey

I have never spoken about this publicly, but beginning at the age of 17 and lingering into my early twenties I questioned my gender identity. We had fewer options back then, even the transgender narrative was binary, and eventually I realized I was (a little to my chagrin) hopelessly cisgender male. I am a fixer and a mansplainer and I try to be better every day. Mostly I fail.

When I was a freshman in college I wrote a poem about my fantasy alter-ego, the one who had helped me survive being a less than macho art-fag in a an early 80s small town blue collar high school. In love with boys I didn't realize I was in love with, crushing on girls who made me feel comfortable and safe.


My Name Is Rachel

My name is Rachel and I deal with feelings.
Though they may not separate us completely
From animals they do make us so uniquely
human.
And between the realms of euphoria and pain
they possess the power to split a mind and
shatter a soul,
unbridled, their passions corrupt and destroy.
I stand in their path and manipulate their
fury.
My name is Rachel.

I have a friend and he is in love,
he is in pain.
Summoned by the tempest which has engulfed him,
I have come to help.
They are close, he and teh other,
but never closer than the boundaries allow.
Their love can never be, for the other is
trapped by society's web,
he can never accept the love of a brother,
only the love of a she.
So for my friend I will love the other.
I will take my friend's passion and give it
as mine.
i will share my body as only I can,
as my friend wishes he only could.
And for that moment we will exist as one,
tandem souls sharing heart and flesh.
Then I will depart
My purpose fulfilled.
I am Rachel and I am one of many.

OK, I was also fascinated by multiple personality disorder, still am, but that isn't what this is about. 
 
What is Rachel saying? She is saying that her friend is a dude in love with another dude. Her friend is a gay boy in love with a straight boy, and wouldn't it just fix everything if that gay boy could be all the things that straight boy liked but also a girl? This is the logic of a 1980's adolescent closet case, who grew up idolizing Jodie Foster and Tatum O'Neal because tomboys were so much better at being boys than he was, and then got to doff their baseball caps and suddenly transform from objects of admiration into objects of desire. Thereby making all of the difficult conflicting feelings and urges her audience's problem. This is not a nuanced feminist perspective. It sees none of the struggle or danger inherent in being female in this society or any society. This is the magical thinking of a boy in love with boys who knows no other way for boys to love him. This is the magical thinking of a boy who saw tomboys in the media as more successfully tough and sporty, and therefore masculine, than he was. He also wanted to be pretty. And, so he dreamed.

I knew about transsexuals. I loved Phil Donahue, and as it turned out the first transsexual I met was in my great-grandmother's kitchen when her former minister came to visit on Thanksgiving. The dialogue back then was all about gender dysphoria. Were you in "the right body" or the "wrong body". I wasn't in the wrong body, I was pretty sure of that, I was in the wrong society.
 
The more I learned about feminism, sexism, homophobia and its roots in misogyny the more I realized that my personal crisis was about who I was expected to be. The more I learned about feminism, sexism, and internalized homophobia the more I realized this particular crisis (and oh I've had many) wasn't about who I was. We didn't have the word back then, but I was a cisgender male. Sometimes problematically so and for that I am not at all proud. But, just because that is where I landed that does not mean that there was not in my life a very real period of struggle and self-discovery. We are all on a journey. I don't know and it's not my business where any one person's road leads, but I hope we can all give each other the room to travel freely. Today is a future the 80s could not have imagined and there's still so much future yet to come, and that, my friends, is a wonderful and exciting thing.

Friday, February 05, 2021

 

(translated from the original Elvish)

 

Some say we are spun from starlight,

That is how they show us the way.

Where men stumble in shadow

We dance as if welcoming the day.

But, not all darkness is nightfall.

Not all brightenings invitations to foray.

Beware the deepest of places

Where your eyes may seem to be open,

But the stars have forsaken the way.

 

(anonymous)


Friday, January 29, 2021

 

So I was called upon to comment on something...

Look, Facebook is a place where people connect, where they reconnect.  People who have known each other since... I don't know... the eighties for example. And it was thus that on FB I was called upon to "narrate" a thing. What I put before you is my text inclusive of a link to the context. Please note that no disrespect to the undead nor to persons missing digits is intended, this is merely satire created at the behest of a friend of longstanding. And it's a pandemic, folks, people need to be heeded.

"Gilt stilts, waffletated body bags, and vampire-sized tea-cozies hand-wrought at a summer camp for the thumbless were only the beginning of what was to come as Valentino's parade of disaffected post post-apocalyptic refugees slunk down the catwalk debuting this "Eyes Wide Shut/Ass Wide Open" collection."



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