Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ode to All Gay Poets

Whitman’s shopping lists, Lorca’s night blossoms,
Dennis Cooper’s tender wolves, Thom Gunn’s night sweats,
long lines of calico princes in neon clubs dancing to diva songs,
Ginsberg’s personal ads for sex, Paul Goodman’s daily orgasms,
O’Hara’s interrupted lunches, Hemphill’s dead brothers—
the apple carts of San Francisco, relics of old Boston, freed slaves’
children blaring blues and disco in Chicago and Detroit—
somewhere there’s a gay poet who has just begun to be gay, and a poet.
Lightning presentiments from his elder, someday mentors encountered as
runes carved on black glass cliffs in Yellowstone and Blue Ridge,
shaping lust, memory, love, fear, passion, and promise
into tangoing fires of poems hung pulsing in air. Scanning every line:

roadtrips across the desert at 109 F driving naked sweating;
taking years to write his longest epic erotic poem,
because every several lines of stanzas he must break off writing
to jerk off, but that’s what happens when you write naked;
a thousand lovers queued into rhymes by city poets,
all dead, one way or another, all gone, emptied by time;
memories from boyhood summers of fumbling experiments
with neighbor boys, now consecrated and divinely glowing
because time can’t change them in memory anymore;
Black poets from Brooklyn and Jamaica whose
tropical mango and dirt fragrances died with AIDS;
Latino poets who only come out officially after mama dies;
Filipino man you sucked off in the truck’s front seat
one rainy California night in the supermarket parking lot
who wanted to come in your mouth—
some reverse-colonial psychological dominance maneuver
you kept encountering with Filipino men—
only you wouldn’t let him, a stranger after all, who
walked away in the rain, never seen again, then
you went in and bought your week’s groceries;
and all the litany of the dead, Assotto Saint,
sainted Hart Crane, sanctified Derek Jarman, and those still
living with their slow dying, fragmentary selves bound together
by meds, duct tape, and love; poems that come to you suddenly
an hour before sundown, never tame or avoidable;
poems coming suddenly over you like the bisexual nudist
you spent a day with, who when you were leaving told you
he liked to be tied up, maybe next time, who told you about
his first sexual night with a man in a car as you stood together
in the backyard pool, only half swimming,
then you went inside, he introduced his pet boa constrictor,
pulled you by hand to the living room couch for sweaty love,
him covering you with copious semen like poems, you cumming
on your own belly, him braced above you as you lay sweat-soaked,
covered in cum, you mixed fluids, rubbed them into your skin,
sacrament, lotion, cream of life, emollient;
young photography student who tried to flirt with the admired poet,
yet too shy to ask to photograph him nude, with books, with pen;
this same poet once had a lover who liked to stand naked and read
by the bookcase, loudly declaiming love poetry to each other
till both got hard and fucked, turned on by sensual language;

and poetry anthologies full of eros of all types, sensual gods,
Dionysus, Pythagoras, Hermes, restrained comments of Cavafy,
passions of Sappho and the anonymous ancient Greek Anthology,
humorous metaphors of Tokugawa samurai comrade lovers,
the Gulistan, Rumi and Shams, Wilde, Antler,
another endless list read and re-read till the clothes
come off, one hand propping the book open
while the other roams flesh, skin, nipple, thigh, heat of groin, cock,
suggestions and encomiums of poets, a thousand names known
and unknown, a thousand years, word-hoards only bards embrace,
orgasms of light inscribed as dark ink on yellow silk paper skin.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

National Coming Out Day 2013

I came out to my parents in my early 30s, although I had known I was different when I was very young. As early as age 4 or 5 I knew I liked looking at boys more than at most girls. And I knew when I was 6 years old that I was different for other reasons: because my father was a doctor with the Lutheran mission in India, I grew up in tropical country with a very foreign culture where most of the people did not look like me or my family. I grew up as a minority on multiple levels. When we came back to the US from India, I was thrown into elementary school, where I had literally nothing in common with any of my age-mates. Not one thing. Not even popular music, as I had never listened to American radio before, and had never even seen a television set.

I was bullied continuously from that time until 10th grade, when suddenly some of the popular kids in high school took a liking to me, and the bullying stopped. Maybe the word got around that some of the football jocks were now my friends. But I have no real idea why. I was bullied throughout school for being soft and quiet, yes, because I was painfully shy. So of course I was a sissy, though I was not effeminate. But I was equally bullied for being obviously smarter than most of the other kids, and thus for being a teacher's pet. It took me a lot longer to get over being bullied than most folks ever realize. I can still be crippled by shyness. It took me a lot longer to come out as smart than it did to come out as gay.

I knew by the time I was 14 that I preferred to look at naked boys over naked girls. Actually, it was more like 11, but I was 10 years old when the Stonewall riots happened, not they were made the news in Michigan, and I basically grew up in a cultural suburb of Lake Wobegon, so there was no context or support available as there is to young gay kids have now. I've had a couple of good relationships with women, although I am 95 percent gay.

What can I say about coming out to my parents? I did it in a very clumsy way, at a time when I was angry at them, and angry at the world, so I sort of threw it in their faces during a conversation in the kitchen that was already difficult. My mother didn't know what to say to me for six weeks, after which she made it clear that she still loved me, and always would, and nothing would ever change that, although she had hoped for grandchildren. But she didn't really want to talk about it, and avoided the topic in later years. My father, who before I came out had been sitting down with me to watch news programs on AIDS and other things, was always a very liberal thinker, which is why he became a doctor, to be of service. In India, as a boy I had no idea that missionary work was ever about anything other than what my father did: run a hospital, do surgery, teach medicine, teach doctors and nurses, teach and practice surgery and pathology and public health, and so on. We were liberal educated Lutherans, very rational, the polar opposite of religious fundamentalists. So when I came out I thought my Dad had already figured out I was gay, but he told me years later that he actually hadn’t known in advance. Nonetheless, he was always incredibly supportive and caring, wondered how I was doing, and even though we fought about some other things in life, my being gay wasn't one of them. Dad gave money to charities every year, but he quit supporting charities such as the Salvation Army, because he refused to support homophobic institutions. He did that for my sake. It was from my father that I learned that actions speak louder than words.

Still, after I came out, I never felt like it was okay to bring home a "friend" for dinner, or to meet the parents, even though it wasn't really talked about either way. I never talked to my parents about my love life, pathetic as it was, except to occasionally mention that I'd made a new friend. My parents only ever met one of my occasional lovers, and we were still so discrete that he was just a "friend" who was visiting to help me with a project.

Frankly, all this furtiveness messed me up for awhile. When something is never spoken about, it’s hard to defuse feelings of guilt and shame. My parents had been very good at using silent disappointment to discipline their toddlers, so I always wondered if they were disapoointed and unhappy with me as an adult, but I rarely knew for sure. Yes, I didn't come out to them in a very good way, but then it wasn't really ever talked about much again. Dad was more overtly accepting than Mom, but again Mom’s disappointment was partly about the lack of grandkids. I was supposed to pass on me genes, I guessed, like somme eugenics experiment. I never felt totally accepted, and not only for this, so there were years when it messed up my self-esteem and ruined my self-confidence for dating, among other aspects of life.

That's never been fully resolved. I still have basically zero self-confidence about dating. My self-esteem is very healthy in almost every area of my life, thank you very much, except for this one. It got better while I lived in San Francisco, and I even had a regular boyfriend who i fell in love with, but then my father got colon cancer and my mother had Alzheimer's, so I had to move back in with my parents to be their full-time live-in caregiver till they died. I was basically forced into a particularly frustrating celibacy, after the freedom of San Francisco. Then I was myself diagnosed with a chronic illness, and the end result of that is that I have been rejected so many times since then that I've basically given up even trying to date. Gay men can be so fucking shallow.

Being a live-in caregiver forced me to go partway back into the closet for awhile; then I became disabled, and have been rejected continuously ever since. It's frustrating. No one wants to date the guy who almost died from a long-term chronic illness, and who is now disabled.

I own that I don't always make that easy. I have always had some rough edges. I’m fiercely passionate about what I care deeply about, and easy-going about most everything else. I can be intense. And almost dying from a chronic illness sorted out some priorities for me, and left me with an increased lust for life, but also with an impatient intolerance of personal drama, even my own. I can't always help myself, I can't always just flip a switch and turn my own anxieties off, but I don't like it, and I know exactly what's going on when I'm trapped in it, and I stop it just as soon as I can. Life is too short to waste it on unimportant things. Who you love is important. Wearing the perfect clothes is not. So, I own that I can be a rough ride, if you're the sort of person who doesn't want to meet the other halfway and inhabit the common ground. I own that I have little patience, after almost dying, for people who CHOOSE to be self-destructive. I have friends with genuinely scary medical and PTSD drama, who have every right to bitch about it; but that's REAL, not "drama queen" drama.

Coming out spiritually was even harder than coming out as gay. Coming out AS spiritual. Not as religious, because in no way am I even remotely conventionally religious, nor do I belong to any church or denomination, and for the most part I find religious rhetoric to be at best ignorant and at worst hateful. But I have always been an intensely spiritual person, with a very powerful inner life, even though it's nothing like anything everyone assumes it to be.

You see, there are a LOT of gay men who have been vilified, persecuted, rejected, bullied, harassed, and condemned by friends, family, school authorities, religious authorities, and loud-mouthed asshole right wing politicians. We have been subjected all of our lives to the hateful rhetoric of the religious right. As a gay man, therefore, you are almost EXPECTED to be anti-religion, anti-religious, and even atheistic. They rejected you, you're supposed to reject them back. Your community damned you, and you're supposed to return the favor.

I've always found that to be simplistic. Hating back takes the low road. It increases the entropy of the universe by creating a sucking black hole vortex of negativity. People never seem to understand that hatred is not the proper response to hatred. Hating back is the low road. And even though I frequently fail at it, all of my life I've always known that we are supposed to take the high road.

Nonetheless, being openly spiritual is somehow suspect in many LGBT communities. It’s almost a given that we’ve all suffered some form of religious abuse, so naturally we all must be anti-religious, or atheists, or bitter and wounded no matter our calendar age.

How do you come out as a spiritual gay person when none of that applies to you?

Resisting the gravitational tide of black hole negativity can be hard work, yes, but it’s necessary if you want to have a fulfilling life that you enjoy. Bitterness is a waste of energy, although many do rehearse their wounds again and again in some form of lifelong performance of suffering. What good does it do to never allow your wounds to heal? You cannot be free otherwise.

I remember having a conversation with my father late in his life. He came to my bedroom one afternoon to ask me about my faith. He was very concerned that I didn't have one, or the support of a faith community. I told him not to worry about it, that even though I belonged to no faith community anymore, and likely never would again, I had (and have) an active inner spiritual life, and a daily practice. My father did not judge me for no longer thinking myself to be in any way Christian, and no longer following any dogma, he just wanted reassurance that I was okay. So I reassured him. And I meant it. I felt so much in that moment like the adult reassuring the child, that it was seared into my memory.

Like many other young gay men, I had left the church I grew up in because I didn't feel welcomed as a gay man. Even though my particular church didn't hate or vilify homosexuals, they also didn't openly speak out in support of LGBT persons. (Not till much later. Then they did.) Like many other gay men raised in a Christian church, I did feel rejected. But it wasn't very fierce or dramatic. It was more of a feeling that my path lay elsewhere.

But I had also grown up in India, in a region that was dominantly Hindu and Buddhist. So I can honestly say that I began studying comparative religion before I even knew what that term meant. I was socialized mostly with adults, as there were no other children my age to play with for most of my childhood. My father was a scientist. I learned critical thinking at a very young age. I learned to be skeptical of received wisdom very young, and this was only reinforced when we came back to the States and I entered public school. Being bullied for years, while the school authorities did nothing to stop it, or seemed helpless to, taught me at an early age to be skeptical, even suspicious, of figures of authority and what they might tell you about life. I learned to do my own research, and make up my own mind. Being a voracious and fast reader fed that process. Having a very good memory helped. At an early age I learned to trust my own experience, and research, about what was true over anything that anyone ever said to me was true, especially figures in authority. And this was reinforced by being bullied, because bullying is ALL about trying to get others to shut up, be silent, and above all stop thinking for themselves and do what YOU tell them to do. To this day I despise coercion, I mistrust authority figures who haven't earned my trust, and I talk back. I will always talk back. I will always speak out. I will never be silenced by anyone, even any of my friends who might feel embarassed, if I feel the need to speak out about a perceived injustice. Although I am capable of being discrete and tactful, I use discretion and tact by conscious choice rather than because of tribal cultural indoctrination. So much for Lake Wobegon.

When I was 11, I discovered in the school library some books on Navajo culture and cosmology, and I was fascinated. It instantly made sense to me, what I could understand of it. What I was reading seemed to be naturally very similar to what I had already been feeling in myself about spirituality, but had not yet put into words.

I must at this point come out as a natural researcher: I'm very good at it, and finding out things comes as a natural discipline to me. I went out and found several adult books on the Dineh, and had no problem reading even the more academic tomes. I was already reading at college level by age 10 or so. Things I didn't understand I asked about. It was a family tradition at our house to look up things we didn't know about, even bringing the dictionary and encyclopedia volumes to the dinner table. We were a family of readers. By age 13 I had already been reading extensively in comparative religion, and related fields. By age 16 I was reading depth psychology and theories of the archetypes (Carl Jung), mythology (Joseph Campbell and others), anthropology and folklore (various), and so on. By age 21 I had read my way through The Collected Works of Carl Jung for the first time. I had also read all of James Joyce by then, including "Finnegan's Wake." That's just the highlights. As I said, I read fast, and permanently retain most of what I read.

This is a story I have told many of my friends, although I rarely get any sense that they believe me. As I said, coming out as smart was a lot harder than coming out as gay; and it remains an unfinished process. When I was in high school, the Armed Forces badly wanted to recruit me, and I had no problem getting into the college of my choice, because I consistently tested in the top 1 percent of my class, with a genius level IQ. That didn't change my life though, or give me huge self-confidence. Why not? Remember that I said I had become suspicious of figures in authority, after being bullied for many years. So when adults in authority told me things about myself like this, I never fully believed it. I also did not WANT to be singled out as special or different, because that was WHY I got beat up all the time: for being different.

Yet by age 13 I had privately formulated for myself that what I was looking for was what I called the Original Religion: the oldest human forms of religion, spiritual practice, ritual, belief. I wanted something more authentic, more core, more central, than the rational dogma received from the liberal Lutherans. Nothing of what I had found in organized religion was satisfying to me. You can say the words, and even believe them, and they remain just words.

How were you supposed to connect and activate the power in the words? What caused the words to come into being? What was the original impulse that led to the founding and creation of what eventually became established religions? Where does it start? How old is it? What is left when you strip away all the accrued layers of received interpretations? What was the source and core of all this?

In later years I found books written by people who were asking these same questions, and also looking into the human experience of what we call the sacred, to discover its origins. I continue to discover new answers to these perennial questions. Divergent theories have been proposed, some of them much more convincing than others. The questions have been asked by many different seekers in many difference disciplines. They continue to be, and probably always will be. The asking sometimes is the more important thing.

For the record, many explanatory theories proposed by modern neuroscience, that all experiences that we can call religious in quality or paranormal in nature are caused by pathological imbalances in brain chemistry, are among the LEAST convincing theories offered. This is not because they offer no good ideas, but because many of them are based on a priori assumptions that in turn must not be questioned, which is not how science operates; and also because some theories are built on incomplete data sets that offer no definitive support for the suppositions made, even statistically. For all we know, there may be a lot of truth in these research studies, but what we don't know about the human brain remains staggeringly greater than what we do know. So they remain theories. Anyone who claims that science has managed to explain everything in final detail that there is to know about the universe, or ourselves, has failed to take in or comprehend relativity, theoretical physics, or the implications of string theory. Experiment is what science is about, not certainty. But I digress.

Meanwhile, at the age when I began looking for what I framed to myself as the Original Religion, I began to read everything I could find on the topic, and anything I thought might give a clue. I self-educated myself in cultural anthropology (we can if we wish think of my childhood in a very foreign culture as my earliest fieldwork), in comparative religious studies, in transpersonal psychology, folklore, myth studies, and much more. I eventually arrived at something I still view as probably the only candidate for what we could think of as the Original Religion.

Namely, those universal human experiences, found in every culture on the planet, in every era of recorded history, all the way back to the Paleolithic, and still available to anyone via the practice of spiritual technology. Something found everywhere, in every time. Techniques and tools of consciousness that date back 40,000 years, and are still practiced today. What anthropologist Mircea Eliade, in a huge cross-cultural analysis and history of this topic, called "archaic techniques of ecstasy." In a word: Shamanism. Practices of altered states of consciousness that are both Paleolithic in origin, and very contemporary. We see it in the ancient cave art found in southern Europe. We see it in Navajo healing ceremonies today.

Which is how I return to my process of coming out spiritually.

Thus, after having turned my back on all organized religions for many years, especially Christianity, I made my way back to an appreciation of what there is to be found there that is good. Notably, the thread of "green" Christianity that is life-affirming, earth-positive, and joyous. I found my way back to an appreciation of mysticism in Christianity, after rediscovering the later writings of modern mystic Thomas Merton. The writings of Matthew Fox added to that, in part by introducing me to the lineage of mysticism rooted in the teachings of Meister Eckhart and Hildegard of Bingen.

So I can no longer be a gay man embittered by rejection, rejecting in turn, for the simple reason that I am a mystic. I am a shaman. I follow no path of organized religious practice, or dogma, or articles of faith. I believe nothing but what I have experienced, and I have had mystical experiences for as long as I can remember. I have a vivid memory from age 5 of feeling exalted by the power of the sun. A dark page in my life, in my 20s, was turned around in an instant, when I was sitting on my bed, and I suddenly and for no reason fely my soul being lifted up into the Light. (I read St. Teresa of Avila years later, and recognize what I am reading.) My experience of sex has often felt like a sacrament, and has often been gifted with experiences of merging and unity felt by all involved. I may be shy about dating at times, but that's also because sex is a sacrament. It's difficult to impossible for me to be casual about it.

I have had visionary, mystical experiences my entire life. I have had déjà vu experiences that have been genuinely and verfiably prescient. I know now that my quest to find the Original Religion, begun at age 13, was a quest to understand what I had been experiencing, and continue to experience.

This requires no theology to explain, but it does support a cosmology that has been described again and again by many mystics, from every place and time in human history. If there is an origin to the institutions of organized religions, I believe that it lies in some person in a place who has a direct experience of the divine, a transpersonal peak experience, a vision, a mystical moment, then returns to his or her village to sing about it. What is our universal human birthright is this kind of direct experience. The organized religions grow out of the revelation, interpreted locally in the local language, through the worldview of that time and place. But at the core of every religion, no matter how far off course they have gone as they grew and changed, there was a vision. I know this to be true on a level that requires no faith. I believe in nothing that you, I see you sitting in the dark and doubting, would call “God.” None of that is necessary. And many of those other research sources I encountered in my years of reading back this up. The archetypes of the collective unconscious are manifest everywhere. People keep having the same kinds of visions everywhere, in every era. It keeps happening. If you have ears to hear, if you have eyes to see.

This doesn't require a divine explanation, it appears to just be a simple human birthright, accessible to all. Perhaps a bit more accessible to some than others. Nor can it be adequately explained away as neurological pathology, because its fruits are always, in the original tales of the original visions, life-affirming rather than denying. Light brings light into the world.

Of course, as Jung once said, the brighter the light the greater the shadow that is cast; and it is in the shadows that religious hatreds grow and fester. But it's easy to prove simply through textual study that those who preach hate are in doing so contradicting the teachings in their own holy books. What thrives in the shadows is fear, and the thrust for power.

But a great mystic once said: will you choose the love of power, or the power of love? If as a gay man who is a mystic I have any doctrine that I follow, that is it: the love of power, or the power of love?

Coming out as a gay man was tied up in all of this, as I am personally unable to separate the sacred from the sexual. But this inability to separate them is also found throughout the mystical literature of all times and places. It's in there, even if many would prefer to ignore it. Love and the sacrament of sex are so deeply intertwined at the roots of my being that coming out as gay required me to also come out spiritually as a practitioner of sacred technology. By whatever name we give it—magic, Eros, shamanism, mysticism, and many more that could be listed—it is a pragmatic philosophy, based on experience, but with many implications for every part of life that involves the transpersonal, the emotional, the relational, and the spiritual.

I choose the power of love.

My spirituality is of the Light, and of Love.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Personal Ad


Ginger gay Irish-American poet-bard seeks blushing friends with literary benefits. Must appreciate the eroticism of paper, and be willing to engage in clothing-optional story-song contests in library and bedroom alike. A taste for Bushmill’s goes a long way towards achieving détente. Even better if like me you practice the art of the literary personal ad, with a habit of posting erotic ecstatic poems, pastiches of Borgesian ficciones, odes to Whitman or Lorca or other queer bards, or essays about the Sacred Heart and what it means to a tantric gay muse-follower with a loaded word-horde. Has been known to write erotic haibun celebrating the joys of ginger-on-tan sex. Replies to this ad in tanka or sestina form will go to the front of the line.

A new entry in the genre of "literary personal ads" that I occasionally like to write. It's a fun way to stretch the literary muscles while having a bit of fun as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Harvey Milk Day

Today marks the anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk. Please take some time to learn a bit about his life and what he did to make yours better. Here is a link to a now famous speech given by Milk: Harvey Milk speech.

I am thinking of Harvey today. To celebrate the man and his spirit, I wrote a piece of music using Harvey's words, based on parts of this speech and other speeches that Harvey gave. The piece is entitled "You Gotta Give 'Em Hope," and will be premiered next June in Madison, WI, by Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus.

This is icon painter Robert Lentz' beautiful icon of Harvey Milk of San Francisco.

Lentz writes in his luminous book, Christ in the Margins:

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to high public office in the United States. . . As supervisor he fought consistently for the rights of all of those without a voice. These people included blue-collar workers, the elderly, racial minorities, and gay men and women. . . .

The day of his election, Harvey tape recorded his last testament, in which he acknowledged that he would most probably die violently. The last words of that message were, "You gotta give them hope." On November 27, 1978, he was shot five times at close range by another politician who was infuriated by his defense of gay and lesbian people. That night 40,000 people, men and women, old and young, gay and straight, kept candlelight vigil outside City Hall.

In this icon he holds a candle, keeping vigil himself for the oppressed of the world. He wears a black armband with a pink triangle. This was a Nazi symbol for homosexuals, and it represents all those who have been tortured or killed because of cultural fears regarding human sexuality. Their number continues to grow with each passing year, and the compassionate Christ continues to say, "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did to me."

Blessings to all, from Harvey to everyone who is still fighting the same fights. Amen.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I have been saying this exact same thing for decades.

For the ninety percent of us who do not look like models, or TV and movie stars, or porn stars, this is an issue that affects self-esteem, self-confidence, and even suicide. It has a name, and that name is looksism. It's the same kind of judgment based on appearances that lies behind sissyphobia, which is hatred and fear of effeminacy in males, and ageism, which is the worship of youth and the dismissal of age and experience.

These are all rampant within the gay community. And for no good reason. It's all shallow and superficial.

And if you're worried about your looks, don't worry: I promise you, they won't last.

So maybe it's better to stop worrying about it entirely.

LGBT Politics

There is very little I have to say here about politics, elections, and voting. But this is a meme that has been going around, that says it better than I have ever been able to say it myself. It cuts to the bottom line, it asks a question I have yet to receive an answer for, from that group of people addressed here, many of whom I number among my friends and acquaintances. I still await an answer.

Again, this says it all. It goes to the bottom line, and it asks a question that is at its root also the key question underlying why people don't intervene when they see a gay kid being bullied. Or any kid, for that matter, just for being different.

I will have more to say about this later, when I have time to write down my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Your God Can't Feel My Pain

A band I turn to when I'm really pissed off, or frustrated, or upset. Their music helps me re-energize anger into action. Rick Boston, guitar and voices. The great Dave Allen on bass. Various drummers, the late Jeff Ward being the starting line-up drummer who kicked ass.

Low Pop Suicide, "Your God Can't Feel My Pain"

Which is what I want to say to every right-leaning fundamentalist fag-bashing bullying women-hating asshole splinter fringe Christian shithead on the religious right who is wholly owned by the ideologically-correct so-called Tea Party.

Your God can't feel my pain.

And as for you, my fellow LGBTQ folk, especially those who vote with the right against your own best interests, against your own civil rights: Their God can't feel YOUR pain, either.

Their God doesn't want to. Their God is a vengeful fucking desert-mountain jealous unevolved unloving angry God. They are angry fascist authoritarian shitheads with no compassion even for themselves, and they have remade God in their image, their angry judgmental jealous hateful image.

Their God can't feel your pain.

So why the fuck are you voting the way they tell you to?

Seriously. People seem to be so fucking stupid. They drink the koolaid and do what they're told. I guess it's easier than thinking for yourself, much less actually taking responsibility for your own life, rather than just giving it lip service. Lots of folks are full of talk, but few walk their talk.

Your God can't feel my pain.

So fuck you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Summer Before Spring

(a prose-poem regarding unseasonably warm weather, a complaint against superficiality, and a lengthy exegesis regarding self-pleasuring, with examples)

These strange hot days in March before equinox, the temps have been in the 80s during the day and the 60s at night.
The hot weather makes my own sap rise. I’m horny all the time.
I think about posting a personal ad, asking to meet men for naked sex outdoors in the sun and heat, or in the gentle warm rain, or on my back porch, but then I don’t bother. I know what the outcome will be.
Unfortunately, since the first surgery, I have this ostomy shitbag attached to my belly, and a big scar.
I’ve had nothing but rejection from fickle men since then.
No one wants to play with me. They can’t see past the bag to the sensual lover.
Because now I have this scar, this disability. For now, till the next surgery, I wear my shit on the outside.
They can’t see the person who can show them how to have more pleasure than they’ve ever had before.
I am an artist of touch. I have musician’s skilled hands for erotic massage.
Most men think only of their own needs, their own pleasures, their own narcissism, their own cock. I think of your cock with joy.
But rejection and dislike are all I receive anymore, which can make me frustrated and cynical.
Since the life-saving surgery, my strength and health both returning, my libido is stronger than it’s been in years.
I want be naked all the time. I want to be sexy all the time.
Sometimes I despair, sometimes I just get pissed off.
The only difference between you and me is that for now I’m open and honest about my shit, while you keep yours hidden.
Fortunately I know how to give myself intense pleasure.
I stay naked at home most of the time, until I have a reason to get dressed.
I sleep naked, cocooned in blankets, a pillow bolstered against my belly because of the bag.
In the morning, I stay naked, going out to sit on the back porch, reading, writing, sipping my orange juice.
In this hot weather, the windows are open, and the breeze tickles me all day.
I sit out on the porch naked in the morning light and cool breeze.
I’m a very sensual person, and I can pleasure myself for an hour before I finally give myself an orgasm.
In this summer-like heat, I’ve been pleasuring myself from one to three times a day.
Maybe later in the day I’ll come back out to the porch and pleasure myself in the afternoon sunlight.
Maybe at night, cool humid breeze brushing my skin, I’ll play with myself again before bedtime.
I never rush, I always take my time. I do that when I’m with another man as well.
I don’t rush to stroke my erection, first I tease it with two fingers, a feather touch.
Your whole naked skin is a sexual organ. Touch yourself everywhere, gently.
I touch my belly scar, and the region next to it that’s a little numb since the surgery.
To get ready for the reconstructive surgery, and to make the shitbag go away, I have to continue to lose weight. I’ve lost a lot already.
My fingers are skinny piano-playing fingers again, and my face is thinner.
My belly is looser, smaller. Of course as I lose more weight the belly will be the last to go.
I can button shirts I haven’t before. T-shirts are looser on me.
There’s a little bump where the ostomy bag is, though.
My pants are too loose now. I’ve had to punch new holes in my belt.
When I come home from being out, I go into my bedroom, undo my belt and let my pants fall to the floor.
When I pleasure myself, I take a long slow time to begin.
I might play with just my cock head a long time, before I stroke the length to its base.
I might cup my balls with my hand while I squeeze the base of my cock, turning it in circles.
I might stroke once, twice, squeezing hard, then let go as my cock twitches.
I might hold my cock with one hand while I rub my cock head in circles with the open palm of my other hand. That friction alone can send you over the edge.
One of the most erotic places is that spot underneath, just below the glans.
Rubbing just there sends waves of pleasure throughout my body.
When I play with the head of my cock, stroking just that spot underneath, and up the piss slit, precum starts to flow, making everything wet.
I lift my fingers and smell and taste my own precum.
Last night it was still warm at midnight. I threw on shorts and t-shirt and went for a late night walk around the neighborhood.
Wishing I could walk naked in the warm night. Once when I was a boy, I rode my bike naked in the night rain.
I used to climb out my bedroom window onto the garage roof and play with my cock while looking at the stars. The cool night air gave me tingly goosebumps.
When I was young, I spent one whole summer playing naked games with the neighbor boy.
We played in the fields behind our houses, at the edge of town. He was never soft.
The first time I ever ejaculated was between his thighs. He was lying on top of me, face up, we were looking at the stars.
Much later that night, back in my bedroom, I jerked off again to be sure it wasn’t a fluke.
Ropes of cum soaked my screen window, surprising me all over again.
These memories arouse me all the more this morning.
I tease my cock, touching lightly and slowly.
I brush it from base to tip with feather-light fingers. I play with my pubic hair.
The insides of my thighs are incredibly sensitive.
There’s a place on your ribs, under your arms, that when pressed can send you into ecstasy.
My cock is getting harder and longer now.
My cock is fairly ordinary, just six inches, although it’s thick and has a flaring mushroom head. My pubic hair is still reddish.
Since I’m losing weight there’s a valley in my belly where the scar is. I can see my pubes.
Sometimes when I masturbate like this in the morning or afternoon sunlight I take photos of my erect cock.
I want to make a good image of a flattering erection, in good lighting.
I like the way the light and shadows from the window frame lie across naked skin.
Maybe I’ll use these masturbation photos for future personal ads, or for making art.
Maybe I’ll make them into a photo collage, a fine art print.
Maybe I’ll do a pastel drawing later of my erection.
I like to photograph men nude, out in nature, or by the sunlit windows, or in my basement studio.
I like to photograph men nude even if it’s not sexual, and even if we don’t play ever with each other.
One time I photographed a nude model at a nude beach by the ocean.
He was surprised when I took my pants off, too, as I was working with my camera.
It wasn’t sexual, I just wanted to be naked in the hot day next to the ocean.
I’m not into doing porn, but I like to make artistic erotica.
My camera loves the beauty of men.
I begin to stroke the length of cock, slowly at first.
I want to take my time, make the pleasure last.
One summer I lived in woods so remote I could stay naked all the time. I went for days without clothes.
One weekend, I had a visitor and he stayed naked all weekend too. It was all light and easy with him.
We moved smoothly and easily between making dinner and making love, for two days and a night.
The best most wonderful sex I’ve ever had has been outdoors, in the sunlight, the free open air, by the lake, in the woods, just beside a hiking trail.
Eventually I slide lower in my chair, raise my hips, and begin stroking in earnest.
I masturbate with my left hand, while my right hand roams everywhere on my naked skin.
My right hand makes love to my belly scar, where it curves around my belly button.
I press on my thigh, and play with my erect nipples.
I pause and run both hands again down from collarbone to shoulder over ribs to thighs.
My hands converge where the V of my hips and groin converge, till I am grasping my root in both hands.
I imagine my lover kneeling before my chair, sucking me off.
I can almost feel his lips on the head of my cock, his hands on my thighs.
I can almost smell his hair.
There is precum everywhere, wetting my cock, my fingers, my thigh.
I stroke the entire length of my cock now, from root to tip. My other hand cups my balls, roams up to my breast and lips.
From the tip of my cock, from the root of my groin, intense waves of electricity flow outwards in circles.
Waves of powerful energy like warm lightning ripple outwards in circles to the ends of my body.
Ripples of current roll towards the ends of my toes, the top of my head.
Once when in college I lived in a house that had a large private back yard surrounded by trees. No one could see in at night.
My bedroom was a basement entrance, with sliding glass patio doors.
I would go out naked into the yard at midnight, and pleasure myself under the stars.
One night I went out in the middle of a thunderstorm, instantly drenched with hard rain.
Lightning flashes strobed the trees. The air was full of electricity and light and roaring sound.
I lay in the soaked grass as the wind surged, covered with leaves and mud, like a caveman.
I felt primitive, atavistic, animal. I shouted with the thunder.
I had one of the most intense orgasms of my entire life.
Waves of electric pleasure are rolling out in circles from the root of my sex.
I stroke my lubricated cock intensely now. Precum flows like rain.
My other hand restlessly tries to touch every part of my body all at once.
My hips are bucking all by themselves. My right hand caresses my nipple.
I look down at my cock, which seems to be holding still while my hand blurs around it.
Finally I cum in my hands, a fountain of semen covering my cock, my balls, my pubes.
Sometimes when I intensely orgasm, a gob of semen lands on my breast, my collarbone, my hair, my belly.
After I cum, my cock is so sensitive it’s almost too much to bear to touch it.
I hold my cock gently as I rest after orgasm, till it softens. It twitches again if I move my hand.
One late night, after giving me a massage and making me cum, a boyfriend kept playing with my cock, till it almost drove me crazy.
I had to reach down and stop his hands.
He laughed, and stayed sitting between my legs, still holding my cock, but not just holding it. I never softened.
Later I gave him the same treatment, and he understood.
We were using cucumber-scented massage oil.
I rest for awhile, hands cupping my wet cock, till my heartbeat slows down.
Eventually I get up, clean myself off, and start my breakfast, start my day, although I stay naked as long as I can.
I stay naked all day, in this heat, if I can.
On these hot days, my strength returning, I might jerk off again in the afternoon, or at night.
I might touch myself from time to time, casually teasing my cock or my nipples or brushing my thighs and ribs.
Just idly giving myself sensual pleasure while I’m reading or working or cooking or making art. Roaming hands.
I wish I had someone I could share my sensual pleasure with.
Till you are naked with me, I pleasure myself.
Till you are here naked with me. Then.
Then we will pleasure each other all day and all night.
Maybe we’ll go for a hike and suck each other off in the woods, in the sunlight. Maybe we’ll stay on the porch and cuddle with roaming hands.
Till you are here with me. Till then.

The Highway Taken

People always seem shocked that, when they give me a "my way or the highway" ultimatum, I often quite calmly choose the highway. They shouldn't be shocked: there is almost always more than one solution to a problem, more than one path towards reaching a desired result.

It's usually only their egotism that makes them think that their way is the only correct way, and likewise that you'd better agree with them. I've had two or three friends in my life who were like this: sometimes it even descended to the absurd level of being about the Right Way to Load the Dishwasher. Granted, they were often correct about 75 percent of the time in life, because they were smart people; the problem arose during the other 25 percent of the time, when their solutions ran up against their inability to comprehend the phrase, "Well, that's one way to do it, but not the only way to do it." They often could not comprehend that their usual way to accomplish something wasn't the only possible way, or sometimes not even the most efficient way. Looking back, even though I don't harbor any grudges towards any of those people, none of them are friends with me any more. Either they pushed me away, or I chose the highway.

There's a great Romany saying I've always liked: "If the local gaje are giving you trouble, just pick up the caravan and go on down the road. There's always another town, always more gaje."

Another way of saying that is: It's a really big ocean, full of little fish. There are always new reefs to find and explore.

The choice being standing your ground and fighting for your position vs. picking up and moving along the highway isn't always an obvious one. I note that a lot of people choose exactly the wrong response whenever their ego and insecurities are on the line. They stand their ground when it would wiser to not pick a fight, and they flee when no man pursueth.

Genuine self-esteem doesn't require other people to agree with you. Forcing other people to agree with you, or demanding that they do even if you cloak it as a choice, is a rhetorical tactic no-one uses who is actually secure in themselves and their position. The loudest demanders are usually the least secure in their own prejudices: they know on some level that they're full of shit, and they use volume to try to convince themselves as much as you, and they try to run you over using sheer volume because on some level they know their arguments are full of holes. In other words, shouting is bullying. Period.

Insensitivity and intellectual arrogance (I'm right, you're not) are not at all the same thing as objectivity. Objectivity doesn't contain an emotional component—which of course is why it's so rarely encountered. Some of the most objective people I've ever met are those trained in Buddhist forms of meditation, because they're trained to be non-attached to outcomes. Even they get tripped up when it gets personal, sometimes: it's hard to be objective and clinical about a life-threatening illness when it's your own. On the flip side, I've encountered a lot of academic scholars and critics who think that intellectual superiority is a hallmark of objectivity, when in fact it's a hallmark of arrogance rather than objectivity. Arrogance is always rooted in insecurity, just as most anger is at root tangled up with fear.

One of the best lessons, on the level of mindset and attitude, from becoming an Adobe Photoshop expert was that there were almost always multiple ways to get the same end result. I enjoyed going to Photoshop training seminars not because I needed to learn more about how to do my graphic arts work but because I enjoyed seeing how the instructors achieved their results. Sometimes their route to the same end-result image was very different than mine. Sometimes their method was better than mine, sometimes not. I incorporated what was new to me into my own work flow, and often improved my efficiency. Towards the end of my graphics career, I was typically getting projects done in half the time allotted by management; which was great, as then I often had the rest of the day to "play" in Photoshop and do my own artwork.

Photoshop is a very rich environment, full of multiple paths to the same goal. It's practically endless in terms of what you can do with it. I am constantly learning new techniques and tools, even though I haven't upgraded in a few years due to lack of cash.

Photoshop is a lot like life that way: there are always more options and solutions and answers than you've thought of before. There are almost always third options to even the most dualistic and polarized viewpoints. There is almost always more than one way to reach a goal, and more than one way to do a given task, and more than one way to resolve a disagreement.

The people I started out talking about, those who give you the ultimatum to either agree with them or get out, are almost always limited by their own set-in-stone ways of doing things. The limit themselves by thinking their way is the only right way to do something—a viewpoint that remains consistent whether you're talking about loading the dishwasher or economic policy. They're convinced they're right, and you'd better agree with them. Some of them are polite enough to at least consider your differing viewpoint, but in the end they'll dismiss it all the same. The veneer of courtesy is the oil that greases the gears of social interaction—even when insincere, I would argue, because even when you know you haven't convinced them of your viewpoint, you can still have a discussion rather than be stuck with ultimatums.

Ultimatums don't work well with me. People who give them to me always seem surprised when I don't immediately back down and cave in to their viewpoint. They always seem surprised when I just exit rather than continue to let myself be hammered by their repetitive rhetoric. That's because my self-esteem doesn't require me to convince them they're wrong, especially when it's obvious that their self-esteem is so lacking that they'll fight to the death to be In The Right and suffer no contradictions. Neither does my self-esteem require me to force anyone to agree with me—quite the opposite. Genuine self-esteem means that you can be secure in your own convictions without having to force everyone else to share them.

Genuine self-esteem also means you don't feel required to comment on their character, or comment at all, when they don't agree with you. Always having to have the last word in an argument or discussion is just another method of trying to assert that you're right and they're wrong; what that indicates about your self-esteem should be obvious at this point.

Ultimatums are a bullying tactic. Refusing to play by the rules of bullying is what can shock the bullies to their cores, because you're not playing by their rules anymore—and that's when bullies start to portray themselves as the victim, the wounded party. They start complaining that you're not playing fair! Well, to a bully "fairness" only exists when they get to do whatever they want to do, and they will modify their own rules whenever they feel like it, because "fairness" to a bully means one thing and one thing only: "I win again!" Any situation in which the bully doesn't come out on top turns them into the "victim." This is as true in politics as it is in elementary school—but then, lots of people never did grow up anyway.

That's because a bully's ego is fragile. Bullies are emotional and psychological two-year-olds. They can't stand it when things don't go their way, and they throw tantrums and lash out till they get their way again. The psychology of bullying is the psychology of pre-school sandbox fights.

When a bully tells you that you're not playing fair because you refused to fight by their rules, all that means is that they don't like that you didn't submit to their will. That's why they're shocked when you choose the highway over their way. Bullies can't see the highway as an option because that can't see anything but their own way being The One Right Of Way.

Usually there's enough road on either side of a bully to just walk around them. Do that. It saves effort, avoids unnecessary drama, saves time, and allows you to see further down the highway than they ever will.