Monday, December 5, 2011

Phoning It In (More Old Poetry): Shaken

Since I didn't get rotten tomatoes thrown at me last Friday for posting the poem I wrote for my brother, and I'm super busy these days, I'll share another old poem.


I cannot gauge the distance
Between St. Helens and Augusta
Not since the time
We were in both places at once
Kissing beneath her
Our every tremor seismic
And far-reaching
Where with god's sly eye she watched us
I can still feel the aftershocks
And you can hear my voice
You call me sweet love
You say you love to hear my voice
I tell you how to love me
How I love your hands
Moving over my body
Documenting the topography for past and future reference
Here and now we all wait
Everybody waits
I wait for you
I wait
Everybody waits

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Poem For My Brother

Poe's Raven by
Poe's Raven, a photo by on Flickr.
Okay, so I REALLY hate sharing my poetry because I always think it sucks, but I was inspired to share this when I read Michael Lassell's How To Watch Your Brother Die today. Here is something I wrote the morning my brother died.

"It's okay", I told him
"I want to be scared."
And I meant to hear him read aloud
Poe, you know? The Raven and Lenore
Not a 43-year-year-old never more
He held me
And he read to me
And he crashed the brown station wagon and fell down laughing
He disappeared under Daddy
And he just laid still
And he stayed on the floor long after Daddy had forgotten the morning
I sat there trembling
Afraid to touch him, afraid to leave him there
We rehearsed this scene so many times
Until we got it right, even Daddy
When he came home from work
At parties I shouldn't have gone to
And later, at the hospitals
The needles, his sleeves
His yellow, baron arms
You'd think they'd have carved something more interesting, more beautiful and true
Meaningful, but no, just yellow
He only a muppet
He loved me, secretly and away, but he loved me with all and then halted
I stayed
I stayed until I couldn't
I left
And he felt comfortable dying
He left
And I still needed him, who loved me most

So, I Have These Weird Dreams

The Ringmaster by Nevin
The Ringmaster, a photo by Nevin on Flickr.
And occasionally I write them down. I was just going through an old blog to find a poem I wrote about my brother (I will be posting that next) and I stumbled across a post about one of my weird dreams.

Here goes:

I was on an intercontinental flight with a hot guy who like-liked me, but was not my boyfriend. Even before the plane crashed, the dream was very sexy. The clouds took the shape of people having sex in unusual settings and when I got up close to the clouds, the figures turned into giant humans in the flesh...there was this one couple I distinctly remember--the guy was doing the chick from behind and she was pretty normal except for the strands of crystals hanging from her waist (like chandelier ornamentation), but as I passed the guy, I could see that he was wearing a bright yellow rubber ringmaster outfit with cut outs for, you know, and his penis turned into a giant red drinking straw and his movements were very stylized and exaggerated and all of this was going on IN THE SKY.

Then things started hitting the top of the plane and the plane was falling from the sky, but not super fast, more like a helium balloon losing air. Once we hit the ground, the plane became a futuristic office building and I was naked, draped in a cashmere blanket with hair wet from a shower, holding a toy airplane and talking to the captain of the plane who was now the CEO of the company.

I was being very flirty with him. He was not sexy to look at, but he was sexy to be around. He also resembled a ring master, but a classy, fully and regularly clothed ringmaster. Something about him made me want to have sex with him.

I had the blanket only around my waist at the time and he was totally staring at my uncovered breasts and trying not to get flustered as we talked, and I decided to press him a bit. I got up and pretended play with the airplane and 'accidentally' let the blanket drop to the floor, showing him all of my business and he got really uncomfortable.

He stuttered and said that he was married though and he reminded me of the hot-but-not-my-boyfriend guy that I had boarded the plane with and suggested maybe it was inappropriate for us to interact this way. I said something like, but we're in Europe now, can't we do anything we want?" and then my alarm went off.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day: No, I Will Not Shut Up About AIDS Today

World AIDS Day by U.S. Embassy New Delhi
World AIDS Day, a photo by U.S. Embassy New Delhi on Flickr.
In case anyone was wondering, no, I will not shut up about AIDS today. It's World AIDS Day. WORLD. AIDS. DAY. Get it? You can't find any place in this world that isn't affected by this disease. If you don't like pollution, noise and over-crowding, you can move to the mountains. If you hate cold weather, you can move to Florida. If you have allergies, you can move to the desert. If you want to get away from AIDS and the terrible things it does to people, families, cities, and economies, your nearest option is Earth's moon.

I'd like to keep this post positive, so I won't dwell on the fact that when gay men started becoming seriously ill and dying horrific deaths in the 80s, the same world that is having an AIDS day today did nothing to stop it. Instead, I'll focus on the fact that today, AIDS is something we talk about in public. Today, AIDS has its very own day.

I remember when the first AIDS cases started presenting. I was nine. I watched and read everything I could about AIDS. I wanted desperately for someone to find a cure for it. I couldn't bear the thought that such wonderful people were dying in such a brutal, merciless way. I was terrified and somehow sure that one day I would lose someone I loved to AIDS. 'One day' was March 18, 2006 and 'someone I loved' was my brother Andy. I still watch and read everything I can find about AIDS, and I'm still afraid of losing loved ones to AIDS.

Today I kept correcting myself when I wanted to say, "Happy World AIDS Day!" to folks. I'm not sure why. Though it doesn't appear to be a celebratory holiday (like Valentine's Day), I'm still happy for the advancements that have been made and grateful every day that my friends who have been diagnosed with HIV are still alive and kicking ass. I'm happy I am able to raise funds for charities that help people living with AIDS and fund research that will lead to a cure someday (that will be a much better 'someday' than March 18, 2006). I'm happy to have the good company of others who are working hard to help advance this cause too. I'm happy to know all of the beautiful and inspiring people I've met on my path to help find a cure. And one World AIDS Day, I'll be happy we found a cure. I'm sure of this too.

Happy World AIDS Day, everyone!

Oh--before I go, I want to share a link to a profoundly moving interactive project called A Day With HIV In America. It's a photo project created and shared by Positively Aware Magazine with the goal of ending the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS. Visit. Enjoy. Share.