asl / Jay Morris



Hey, how are you?
I'm good how are you?
Fine, just chlling ASL?
19/m/usa
Cool I'm 18/m/usa
Nice are you white or black?
Black
-Logs off-
Hey, what's up?
Not much just hanging around.
Cool, ASL?
20/m/usa you?
18/m/usa. Gotta pic?
Yeah hold on. Sent. Do you?
Yeah, gimme a second. Sent.
I didn't know you were black.
Is that a problem?
-Logs off--
Hi.
Hey, ASL?
18/m/usa you?
22/m/usa what are you here for?
Whatever comes my way
Yeah?
Yeah.
Here's my pic.
Hot, here's mine.
-Logs off-
Logs back in
Looking for a masculine, young athletic preferablly white guy to talk to.
Message me...but please no dirty monkeys.

Are you starting to notice a trend?
That these seemingly isolated instances of events
Are nothing more than coincidences
Based on preferences bound up in different colors of skin
And as hard as it is not to sound like I'm complaining
And trying to wring some guilt out of the last vestiges of racism remaining
You can't help but notice a trend

AllAmericanBoy26's profile says I'm blocking more Asians than the Great Wall.
TanDream18 says if another one of those black gays comes up to me on the dance floor
I might just have to lock myself up in a bathroom stall
And puke because there is nothing more unattractive than a black gay dude.
JockBro26 says don't even get me started on those Hispanics.
Don't even get me started on how they make me sick.

Are you starting to notice a trend?
A preference.
An affinity whatever you wanna call it.
It's pervasive and no matter how many ways you wanna call it out
It shifts gears and reacclimatizes itself until it's as mundane as the weather and says I'm here to stay.
Just look at the It Gets Better campaign.
What faces do you see?
Because when I look I don't see many faces that look like me.
And you know it gets really scary when the subliminal message is
That it does indeed get better but only for a select few
Not for anyone who looks like you

43% of black gay youths have thought about committing suicide.
And how many have you actually heard about that did in this wide
Net of information that we call the media.
Because I could count for days the number of
Tyler Clementis, Jamie Hubleys, Ryan Halligans, Bobby Griffiths, and Jamey T. Rodemeyers
Who ended it because they felt mired in the unyielding hatred of a small number of small minds
But what about the Raymond S. Chases, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoovers, Jaheem Herreras, and Joseph Jeffersons
Whose stories were confined outside the limits of the mainstream
Who decided that their deaths weren't important enough to be screened.
Were they the same people who decided that my people's only role in their community
Was as a vector for HIV
For AIDS
Have you ever wanted to waive a birthright?
When those oh so subtle stares that
Say you don't belong here
Drive home the screws that reinfornces
The locks
You feel locked in your own body
Bound in your skin like a book
No one has the time to read like you
Were penned by an author on the side who lost the war
Like instead of Mary Magdelene you were just some common whore
That Jesus laid his hands one once or twice
In the testament and if you ever try to testify
They'll silence you and every practiced line
That's the cultural atmosphere
The social enviroment
Plants are at an advantage when it comes to growing because when they are raised
In an incompatible environment they just die
But people are not so lucky
They find any way to grow
Even if its crooked
Even if its with their heart growing inside out on their sleeve
I'm sorry
I can't be another Raymond Chase, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, JAheem Herrera, or Joseph Jefferson
I can't be part of that 43
I have to try
Anyway I can

Boulevard! / Charley Seagraves





Boulevard!
You broad-shouldered beauty—
You’re an avenue with a point-of-view,
And you’ve seen it all:
   The movers and the shakers,
   Catholics and Quakers,
   Matchmakers and heartbreakers,
All have lived here,
Now they’re gone with the wind;
   Yet, they always manage to reappear again.

Boulevard!
You broad-shouldered beauty—
You’re an avenue with a point-of-view,
And there’s nothing you can do
But suffer silently until winter’s foul ways
Slowly surrender to spring’s welcome breeze
As it sweeps through your tunnel of trees
Carrying the sweet aromas of honeysuckle and jasmine
Past dogwood blossoms suspended like
Swollen snowflakes patiently waiting to fall,
Past clusters of lavender wisteria
Clinging bravely to ancient garden walls.

Boulevard!
You broad-shouldered beauty—
You’re an avenue with a point-of-view,
And you’ve heard it all:
   The salesmen with all their gimmicks,
   The heretics with all their polemics,
   And a host of politicians and holy men and academics,
All have been here,
Now they’re gone with the wind;
   Yet, they always manage to reappear again.

Boulevard!
You broad-shouldered beauty—
You’re an avenue with a point-of-view,
And there’s nothing you can do
But suffer silently until the dog days of summer
Slowly surrender to autumn’s umbrageous surprise
As it paints its’ outrageous feast for the eyes
On hickory and ash and oak,
A raucous explosion of colors,
Of  yellows and golds and reds
That all too soon transform your well-worn sidewalks
Into multicolored feather beds.
Boulevard!
You broad-shouldered beauty—
You’re an avenue with a point-of-view.

Tongues / Patrick Conley



Shako loco
My de kay say
Ho ma day lo
 Shako loco
My de kay
Yay
Shako loco
My de kay say
Ho ma day lo
 Shako loco
My de kay
Yay

I Said Hay
Hay Hay
What did you say
Is it me that
You talking to

I Said Hay
Hay Hay
No No No
What did you say
Is it me that
You talking through

So City Lights
You know they shine so bright
Is there any soul within
Do you
Really
Want to love
Do you just pull
Me
In

I Said Hay
Hay Hay
What did you say
Is it me that
You talking to

I Said Hay
Hay Hay
No No No
What did you say
Is it me that
You talking through

SO

Shako loco
My de kay say
Ho ma day lo
 Shako loco
My de kay
Yay
Shako loco
My de kay say
Ho ma day lo
 Shako loco
My de kay
Yay

I Said Hay
Hay Hay
What did you say
Is it me that
You talking to

I Said Hay
Hay Hay
No No No
What did you say
Is it me that
You talking through

Is It Me That You Talkin To
Is It Me That You Talkin Through

When I Am Old / Grady Thrasher



When I am old, I will not be told
what to do,
nor will I do as I am told.
I will find pleasure in contumacy,
thereby enhancing my golden years
with a stubborn disregard
for authority.
It will give me motivation to live
far beyond my life expectancy
and make the encumbrance of old age
worth the trouble.
Oh, I shall be no threat
to the security of the state
or of civilization for that matter,
but I can count on me
not to be polite, prudent or politic
in response to
the boorish, the bumptious,
pretentious or prejudiced.
Nor will I suffer gladly any politician
or any pious person
of any stripe,
knowing that the former is
above all, a politician,
and the latter is afflicted with
the conceit of claiming knowledge
of the unknowable.
Instead, I shall seek to embrace
comrades in contumacy,
the brazenly optimistic,
the irrationally idealistic
and the hopelessly cheerful.
Considering my present age,
perhaps I should begin now,
so I won’t have to be told
when I am old.

Two poems by Steve Maurer

-->

What To Hold On To



What to hold on to
In one room.

This, a life:

Years and years of letters from another country,

A turtle shell,

An Australian flag,

A pocket knife,

An English penny gifted 40 years ago

By a sailor on an airplane

Who wished he too was starting off for college.

A stamp with a poet's image,

A denim shirt that crossed generations,

Two guitars,

And hats.

Oh, my hats ....




Ozone Park


The truth of it is,
I got into gardening because I like to argue.



Neighbors said they would clean up the lot

And put in a garden to show the neighborhood was "together."

I said, "Get together first,

Then make a garden."

But they went ahead and I got involved

Because they didn't know much about watering

And shade-loving or sun-tolerant

And native or perennial.



We started with an invasive rose 

already entrenched In the dry soil,

A dozen or so coreopsis, some daisies,

Marigolds, coleus.



And always there were people who would stop

To tell us there was a better way to do things.

Someone would say don't water in the morning,

Don't plant at night,

Not to use peat,

That our mix was off,

Or things were too close ...



A week after Thanksgiving

We put three trees in right next to the curb

Complete with poles to protect them.

We cracked the concrete, hauled it away

And then dug the holes

Because the contractor we had already paid to do the job

Had skipped. Then when we were done

This architect came by and said we'd planted

One tree too deep.

And that it wouldn't make it.

And that we should dig it up now.



I told him that it was an Ash,

That nothing could kill it. It would survive.



I was holding a crowbar and only meant to hand it to him.

"Here, you pry it," I said,

And must have looked upset because 

My neighbor stepped in and said to the architect

"Look, guy, just leave."



Twenty years later now that tree is still there.

It made it.



You know I could care less about slugs, grubs,

And Japanese beetles.

Worms I don't like much either.

They don't do anything for me like when I was a kid.

But you need them.

And there on the lot watching things happen

I found out I really liked bees

Because they are so organized.



That place we began with was mattresses,

 broken bottles, needles,

And all kinds of trash like you wouldn't believe.

After the first clean-up a sign showed up

That said "Ozone Park."

Then came "Walk on by but not on, PLEASE!"

In a word, everyone at last was for it.



It was the biggest mess you could put together.

We bought anything on sale.

It was a sight.



What made it was what stayed.

Then when the red flowers were stolen we put in yellow.

We put cayenne pepper around the edges

Just to let the dogs know we marked territory too.



And in the end

It was just three of us one evening

Hooking up a hose to a hydrant, 

Access approved by the fire department

With a wrench they made us swear we'd hide,

All the towers in the city in front of us 

And around us glowing,

And a laughing laughing moon.