I don’t smell like soap. I smell like whore steam motel carpet beer, not imported, domestic, and stand a man to watch you walk in.
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Poetry not your thing? Try Stories.
Beginning Middle Man. Its poetry is surprisingly straightforward, honest and strong, adult without apology. All gay-eros, all the time, a way of remaining true to what I’ve known since I was 17: if we’re not talking about sex, then we’re not talking about ourselves.
These poems are like most men I know and love, rough around the edges and awkward in the extreme. But still beautiful.
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Library of Memory, finger on the spines that hold together me. Oh, I do not like this book! (Though I’ve read it a thousand times.) I was too young to understand. How was I to know? (I knew.) One night sags the shelf that ought to be in the Restricted Section (like the old days, when you had to ask for the books with drawings). These spines are warped. Horrible! I move on. My, this one is beautiful. Just look at its golden cover: “Full of greeting cards and fairy tales.” Here, I learn right from wrong and begin to build My Best Self. Things work out in this book (just like a Hollywood movie). Grandma really likes it. I really should read it someday. But they said I could take out only one. Maybe this one? Bright and Sunny Days? And there are other rooms, futures I’ve never visited, a place for faith. Philosophy. I really should… as I bow my head, reach for Mistakes and turn to you.
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“You should call security. These homeless people.” But there was something else, some bit of sadness — “...always think it’s tragic when I’m the one paying rent...” — behind still-hopeful eyes, as a silly heart-shaped balloon floated forward, started to sag. “in our building? Was he good looking?” What? His eyes shut mine against the breach. So much to give as you focus parts, abs and arms alone, always. But those weighted lips, like waves, carried dreams until they reached my shore..
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Where did this weight — solid rock crushing my chest into spine — come from? “You know very well. That fight? Fourth grade? Wyoming?” Yeah. So maybe it's time to build a house with that old stone and move.
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