Around Here

I laughed
when they said
it was because
I drank too much

like I’m not this
sharp tongued
and loud when
I am sober.

When I asked what
her problem was
with me not having
any problems she
said “because of
your past…”

Sad, really.

That you will
always be considered
what you were
when you were
at your worst
around here.
~10/20/14
_____
I wake up well rested and happy, and I feel like I’ve moved to another country instead of a different zip code, and you know what? Sometimes that just pisses people off. Maybe I’ve had so much trouble finding contentment because jealousy and some sick sense of entitlement of others has kept me from it all this time. Eff that noise.

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Jon

I cried.

Because I thought,
maybe this would
be the last time.

But I smiled, too.

Because I thought,
how lucky you are
to have known him.

And I sang along.

Because I thought,
he would appreciate it
if he saw me back here:

Smiling,
tears falling into
my open mouth
raised in song.
~10/16/14
_____
I have some very talented friends. And I’m blessed to have a Best who is not only one of them, but appreciates the others. So we had an early birthday date to listen to Matt and Atla perform, and Jon Hendricks was there, of course. 93 years old. Still sparkling. What a treasure he is to the jazz world and I am so, so grateful that I have known him.

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Office Door

I may not have one
but I know I deserve one
and that is the kind of thing
no one can unmake in me.
~10/14/14
_____
I don’t even need the corner office. Just one with a door would suffice. I’ve earned it.

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National Coming Out Day

It’s lunchtime on Friday, and I’m writing my NCOD post a little early because tomorrow I’ll be running around Pennsylvania with my cousins having a gay old time, no pun intended.

Here’s the thing, internet. Here’s my current reality. I said to a friend just yesterday how much I am looking forward to spending the weekend with my cousins because I have been suffocated by the sheer number of gay people I’ve been surrounded by the past few weeks.

My best friend is super gay. Like – astronauts, small dogs, blind people, know he’s gay. My little sister and I moved in together this month, and she works for an LGBT lobbying group. I know many people have differing opinions on this, but my reality sits here: I would rather be the cute little (head pat) bisexual oddity in a crowd than be the only bisexual in a group of gay people. It is HARD.

Personifying the B in the LGBT is a complicated existence. And last night, when one of my sister’s friends and I were putting together the pieces of where my last girlfriend fits into the larger pool, I thought yeah… we broke in 2002. And I haven’t seriously dated another woman since. Does that mean I’m not attracted to women? ABSOLUTELY NOT. To be honest with you, the main reason is because most women in this town are either already in relationships, married, 12, or 60.

And that’s ok. Because as is evidenced by my life, I could just as easily fall in love with a man tomorrow. And it has taken so, so, sooooo long, but I’m finally ok with that. I don’t make excuses, I don’t need to justify my feelings, I’m not sure why we’re even talking about it at all, most of the time.

Except for the fact that it’s National Coming Out Day. And coming out still matters. So this is me. Coming out. Again.

I will see you next year.

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Ripples

People die.
And then
hearts break.

But as the
years pass
I find myself
remembering
foremost
where I was
when I learned
that my lions
had gone to
their rest.

Whose arms
I ran to
for comfort.

It has been
ten years since
the day he
left us behind,
and all I remember

is that I was in
the bathroom,
cleaning off
the vanity.

Because my
mother was
coming over
and your
bachelor pad
embarrassed me.

The phone rang
and once my
best friend had
told me the news,
I looked up at you
through my tear-
stained lashes
and you said,

“Come here.

I’ll take care
of that.

I’ll take care
of you.”
~10/7/14

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The Minstrel and The Bard

She stood
in the front
of the room
spinning tales

with her whole body.

The tips of her fingers
started the story and
it wend its way down
to the tips of her toes.

I watched her
every move with
bated breath
but wanted
to whisper,

“Oh, my lady,
you are so lovely,
come home with me
and tell me stories.

You will never
find a more
attentive audience
no matter how many
courts you visit.

Come with me
and I will sing
you a song.”
~10/6/14

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Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action) ~ Buddy Wakefield

If we were created in God’s image
then when God was a child
he smushed fire ants with his fingertips
and avoided tough questions.
There are ways around being the go-to person
even for ourselves
even when the answer is clear
like the holy water Gentiles drank
before they realized Forgiveness
is the release of all hope for a better past.

I thought those were chime shells in your pocket
so I chucked a quarter at it
hoping to hear some part of you
respond on a high note.
You acted like I was hurling crowbirds at mockingbars
and abandoned me for not making sense.
Evidently, I don’t experience things as rationally as you do.

For example, I know mercy
when I have enough money to change the jukebox at a gay bar
(somebody’s gotta change that shit).
You understand the power of God’s mercy
whenever someone shoves a stick of morphine
straight up into your heart.
It felt amazing
the days you were happy to see me

so I smashed a beehive against the ocean
to try and make our splash last longer.
Remember all the honey
had me lookin’ like a jellyfish ape
but you walked off the water in a porcupine of light
strands of gold
drizzling out to the tips of your wasps.
This is an apology letter to the both of us
for how long it took me to let things go.

It was not my intention to make such a
production of the emptiness between us
playing tuba on the tombstone of a soprano
to try and keep some dead singer’s perspective alive.
It’s just that I coulda swore you had sung me a love song back there
and that you meant it
but I guess sometimes people just chew with their mouth open

so I ate ear plugs alive with my throat
hoping they’d get lodged deep enough inside the empty spots
that I wouldn’t have to hear you leaving
so I wouldn’t have to listen to my heart keep saying
all my eggs were in a basket of red flags
all my eyes to a bucket of blindfolds
in the cupboard with the muzzles and the gauze
ya know I didn’t mean to speed so far out and off
trying to drive all your nickels to the well
when you were happy to let them wishes drop

but I still show up for gentleman practice
in the company of lead dancers
hoping their grace will get stuck in my shoes.
Is that a handsome shadow on my breath, sweet woman
or is it a cattle call
in a school of fish? Still dance with me
less like a waltz for panic
more for the way we’d hoped to swing
the night we took off everything
and we were swingin’ for the fences

don’t hold it against
my love
you know I wanna breath deeper than this
you know I didn’t mean to look so serious
didn’t mean to act like a filthy floor
didn’t mean to turn us both into a cutting board
but there were knives s-stuck
in the words where I came from
too much time in the back of my words.
I pulled knives from my back and my words.
I cut trombones from the moment you slipped away

and I know it left me lookin’ like a knife fight, lady
yeah you know it left me feelin’ like a shotgun shell
you know I know I mighta gone and lost my breath
but I wanna show ya how I found my breath
to death
it was buried under all the wind instruments
hidden in your castanets
goddamn
if ya ever wanna know how it felt when ya left
yeah if you ever wanna come inside

just knock on the spot

where I finally pressed STOP

playing musical chairs with exit signs.

I’m gonna cause you a miracle
when you see the way I kept God’s image alive.

Forgiveness
is for anybody
who needs a safe passage through my mind.

If I was really created in God’s image
then when God was a boy
he wanted to grow up to be a man
a good man
and when God was a man
a good man
He started telling the truth in order to get honest responses.
He’d say,
“I know.
I really shoulda wore my cross
again
but I don’t wanna scare the gentiles off.”

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