Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Closet Angst, Gay Adolescence and Incarnation Prayer

Rummaging around old papers today, I found this, written just before I came to accept myself as a gay man:

1983
Don't get too close
I prefer to be alone
Masturbating in my room
Hating my very self
Remembering when I was demon-posessed by my own guilt
Alone and hiding in secret shame
And anguish
YOU were NOT there
To offer exorcism or forgiveness or understanding
TO HELL WITH ALL OF YOU
I am my own priest, healer,comforter, parent
I need no one else
It pleases you when I pretend that all is well
You see no further than my surface smile - or don't want to
Even when I cry and say nothing is wrong
I know you are relieved
I hurt, I bleed, I cry
I wipe my own tears, bind my wounds
And comfort myself with self-pity
LEAVE ME ALONE


And this, written in my gay adolescence; the song at the disco was "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle. You can listen to it in the playlist on the right side of the blog.

TO DENNIS C. June 1985

The one night you spent in my bed
is not worth crying over. And I think it
adolescent of me
to include you in my daydreams so often;
to drive down your street even when I know
you’re not there;
to pretend I need to be home at five-thirty
secretly hoping you’ll stop by
on your way home from work
You were compelling on first sight:
every other man at the bar suddenly uninteresting
like mere extras on a movie set
I wanted you – but pretended I only wanted
to dance
Your smile on the dance floor delighted me immensely
and made me glad for asking
That, and our talk on the patio were more than I expected –
until you kissed me
Did we but take advantage of one another –
sensing attraction and each other’s need?
You needed to tell your pain as much as to tell
your kisses
I needed to know about you as much as to know
your nakedness
Did we but take advantage of one another or did we
exchange gifts
when we made love?
I should make a list of reasons why it wouldn’t work:
One, I am self-conscious and analytical and
Two, have a fondness for Greek tragedies and sentimentalities
Three, you on the other hand are more spontaneous
Four, and act on impulse
Five, besides you drink too much and you would
Six, worry me forever with your self-destructiveness
Seven, and make life too much like tragic theater
Eight, not to mention that you have a lover
How could just one night with you cause me
to write a love poem?
What did your dark hair and deep brown eyes awaken in me?
How is it that your youth and beauty and innocence
have such power over me?
what is yours that I need so desperately?
How long will I crave your laughter and your caresses
and the pleasures of your flesh?
The one night you spent in my bed
is not worth crying over:
Je te veux bien.

Dennis C. - In Memorium



















And this a couple of years later:

Colors/Brattleboro, Vermont 28 February 1987
To Mark:

This is not a love poem
I can assure you
You are but another incarnation
of a kind of man
I am not accustomed to knowing:
who,
if it were not for sex
would probably never share with me
any moments of his life
You are another incarnation
of the kind of man
with whom I could lose all sense of myself
and wish to posess
to hold tightly and not let go…
and perhaps cry over
(Did I shed a tear
recalling how your body felt next to mine
when we slept together?)
Your kisses taste of beer and Marlboros
(like other incarnations)
and stir up vague and visceral memories
I touch almost with reverence
your muscled body –
firm and smooth and sweet
Your strong hands and man-touch excite me
like secrets shared by boys
in summer tree forts
For you life has few complexities
and there is no self-consciousness
in your love-making
I could easily become addicted
to the chemistry
of your gentleness and aggression
your innocence and your wisdom
I want to drink you in
absorb your incarnation to my very soul
You sleep the way you love –
with abandon
I lie awake
unable to abandon anything with ease my brain
stuck like a car horn making
incessant noise inside my head I am beside
myself as though not fully
carnate our differences too painfully obvious
again defined by this tragic flaw
When you embrace me
in the half-light of dawn
I feel sex pervade my body like a pulse
You surround my manhood
like a child at his mother’s breast
Your attentions
like those of a lord
lavished on a beloved servant
are your morning-gift
Our encounter ends abruptly
with the sounds of daybreak
I am never ready for such endings:
like scoops of ice cream dislodged from the cone
and falling to the sidewalk
at the first lick
You dress hurriedly a goodbye kiss a touch
incarnation fading…
we walk out to night-fallen snow to part
Et verbum caro factum est
et habitavit in nobis

1 comment:

Russ Manley said...

Oh Frank how beautifully you express dreams of the word made flesh.

So many things I could say here, that I relate to. But for now, all I can say is - meraviglioso! And grazie for sharing these.

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