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.

A Lot Has Happened…

Photo of a protester carrying a flag upside down
“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.” -James Baldwin, No Name in the Street (1979)

since the last time I posted. Despite the fact that we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, many cities (including mine) have ended stay-at-home orders due to economic pressures. To add to that chaos, the death of another unarmed black man (George Floyd) at the hands of police recently circulated on the web, sparking public outrage and mass protests. If you comfortable taking to the streets with Covid-19 unabated, there are other ways to stand in solidarity with the cause (see infographic below on where to donate). Black lives matter.

Fortunately, I’ve been empowered with a new platform through which I plan to use to further the discussion about these and many other vital contemporary issues. As of last week, I’ve finalized a deal to publish my second novel, Wildflowers next year with NineStar Press. A book where the central character is unapologetically queer and black. As a QPOC, this project is extremely important to me. That said, I’m taking a little hiatus. I’ll be channeling all my energy into activism, promoting Wildflowers, and writing a new book.

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.

Almost 30

Let your mind roam

to all the places you were never meant to go

all the rules you’ve broken

Non, je ne regrette rien

not a single lover or friendship laid to rest –

not a breathless night lost in karaoke

cursing, crying, drowning pain in whiskey

dancing in the wilderness

wild child running through the city

For that’s the charm of growing up

there are no real mistakes

just research

as we descend (into madness)

read me, scrawled out like half-finished poetry living in the margins of your favorite book

leave me – tea stained, dog earred, worn and re-examined like its pages

take me, as once I was, am now, and will be
there is no in between, no settling
(recite it like an oath)

poison dripping from their tongues as they kiss our feet yet inside they’re all just dying to feel some semblance of complete

rapt from the moment you walked in
fear no man and no opinion

letting your love abound instead of waiting for the world to love you