Monday, May 5, 2008

Poetry is Not Your Cup of Tea, you Say? Then imbibe some Moonshine!

It always surprises me how author's can attract readership with novels and non-fiction, and chase that readership away with poetry. Yet, at the core of every good writer, stands The Poet. Now, I don't want to flatter myself by saying that my core is poetic and, ergo I am a good writer. That is a task for others. What I do have, like every author, is one or two volumes of poetry that flicker beneath a bushel, yearning to burn through.

In my case, I have seven such volumes, collected into The Clandestine Closet: a queer steps out; a gay man's rutter to strive in this world of differences. This collection is now available for consumption (desert or side-dish - your choice), as fickle verses and lyric pieces that have always hounded my heels like a fox in autumn; the little niptails. As for being tea - I don't think so. Strong coffee mayhap, or a blend of sasparilla and moonshine. Some of these little pepperills are a roustabout lot, with bold statements and a call to arms, Hallelujah. Others are reflections or sensual flesh portraits, hot sizzle and ou la la. In any case, not one of them portends to the Darjeeling.

Here's a sample from Volume Seven: Songs - Not Just Survival:


Cultural Warriors

We are culture’s warriors,
Raising our voices through the land;
Teaching with our measures,
And our hearts tied to songs;
Hymns that wrap the people
In heaven’s coverlet.
We are the beacons for the century,
To the youth and fiery angels,
Leading our pavilions
Into the world’s pavilions.
We follow the drum bangers,
The locust-eaters and prophets;
Beyond the tabernacles,
Into the hearth places,
The fountain places
Where the sanctuary stones weep
To understand our strains.

The frost heart melts.
The statue head quivers.
The ignorant understand
As we, the cultural warriors
Bring the beacons of truth to the night’s cold misery
Leaving in our wake
A clear and starry dawn.


There's 180 more like that, if your soul can sustain them. Still, it never ceases to puzzle me why prose writers are ashamed to display their marrow . . . every once in a while. Naked I will stand, if your soul can sustain it.

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