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.

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.

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

reset

scraped knuckles, teeth clenched,
notes crinkled, piled up in the waste bin.
half-finished thoughts and ill-conceived poetry
lines circled then crossed out in runny ink,
a once gifted orator with mouth now devoid of the right words.
so easy to emanate kindness, yet so hard to reserve a little for yourself.
every day a battle, finding healthy outlets for anger and pain, healthy ways to feel good,
even if it’s only fleeting.
After all, if there’s one thing you’ll learn (again and again), it’s that nothing is permanent
except chasing light through the endless darkness,
shouting out after love and happiness.