Pride is an Inferno

trace me,

follow the nicks and scars deep down to my roots.

tilled in poor soil with not nearly enough sunlight,

yet still I grew undeterred, unwavering.

branches outstretched far and wide like my mother arms,

there to either cradle or shade you (take your pick).

no tolerance left for inaction, 

devoid of patience for justice.

trace me,

the same fire raging you see before you has always burned hot beneath the surface,

always been a card carrying member of the “others” – the weirdos/punks/queers/misfits,

call us what you will, but we’re leading the charge now.

buying homes and settling in your quaint little areas of town,

and that raging fire is never going out.

Capitalism is Casual Cruelty

False promises wrapped in carefully crafted hashtags and campaign slogans (quelle surprise),
Bombs falling from the skies
like ashes off the end of a lit cigarette,
All the while we’re still busy
waltzing to the music in our heads.

Redux.

bare bones in the sunlight,
fear was our chariot,
now we’re dripping in hope.
break it down brick by brick,
tears of joy streaming down your face like fresh squeezed juice in the summertime.
bury me 10 feet deep, so I can finally get a good night’s rest when it all ends.
the crowd can carry on and play numb,
but there’s no respite when the morning comes
and morning’s come.

The Age of Dissonance

What does it mean to be?

Sick of the same sad flow, everyday another social media post accompanied by half-hearted captions,

painstaking math executed just to capture beauty, creativity, authenticity – when none of it is truly real.

news laden with celebrity worship – I say that as kneel at the altar of a few false idols myself and bring them burnt offerings of flesh and compliments.

It’s an accomplishment just to stay afloat through this pandemic, let alone in a state where Proud Boys have stormed the capitol six weekends in a row,

In protest of nothing, if they took the time to read through the evidence.

“Anti-fascist” is a simple enough concept yet it incites fear and anger in some – confusing, since wars were fought and won to ensure the world was free of fascism.

Peek through the shades, forced to wake up early on Sundays, Navy blue dress pants and scuffed shoes,

Cracks in the tile and chipping paint on the walls are all I could ever focus on from my seat in the pews.

The cracks, the chips, are all I can see now when I close my eyes.

I blink and relief washes over me like a tidal, all-consuming, cleansing.

Safe and sound for now, but still uncertain of what it means to be

successful as another cog in the wheel,

happy in a corrupt capitalist system,

awake through the chaotic, endless nightmare that is striving for the American dream.

Imperium

Have you found your power yet?

Spent years searching for mine in the heart of some rebellion or another. A declaration, a fix, a lover.

Spent this summer marching through the streets, screaming for every black life snuffed out too soon.

Police, the Guard, and their guns couldn’t frighten us.

Slept for days until that unrelenting hunger, the flicker of the flame that once burned bright deep in the pit of my unconscious re-ignited itself.

Cleansed my mind, my body, my home with frankincense and scalding water.

Past indiscretions played out in loops like graduation tapes, but that sick, sad, nostalgia for times filled with high anxiety and melodrama is long dead and buried.

No need to be the loudest voice in the room, when the room quiets for you when you speak.

This mind, this body is my empire,
it’s crossed rivers and mountains and learned to transcend the inconsequential.

I see now that the wisdom earned through tragedies, both great and small losses of the past IS my power,

And this is my finest hour, there can be no doubt about that now.

Clad in my only armor,
blood, sweat, and courage.

Lavender Menace

I remember catching glimpses of it growing up,
brazenly displayed on the shelves of little indie book shops –
Butt Magazine,
a title so queer and unapologetic my pulse raced.

the covers graced by models captured raw/hairy/nude and always smiling unabashed.
long before I knew I was their brethren,
they called out to me,
artists, poets, musicians, all queer men.

and now that I have grown
the time has arrived like a rite of passage,
a collection of their greatest hits living on the coffee table,
all my very own.