Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pulling Up Trees by the Roots

I wrote Crossover in a heat, 5 days of sustained concentration, waking up in the morning to peck at keys, arranging and expanding the tropes on my lunch breaks at work, at night delaying sleep to smooth out the diction and reveal more meaning.

It’s odd to have a relationship with a poem. I recite it aloud to myself several times every day, exploring its resonance with me. At times it feels like an emotional touchstone when I feel churned up. Other times it feels like the memory of intense emotions. Reading it feels like a statement. I’ve said something meaningful. That’s what I ask most for from myself in my writing, that it be meaningful.

Now that I’m done with the first draft, I’m ready to read it aloud in public. Had 2 opportunities so far, but neither came to fruition. So far, only Michael Martin has heard the poem aloud. I’ve emailed it to several other friends, mostly in Seattle where the poem is set, but also to Victory, the older man who was very influential on the poem (and on me), and to Boychick, its catalyst.

The poem seems to communicate with gay men in particular, men my age. I’ve received a few email comments, especially calling out the phrase “desire pulling up coastal trees by the roots.” Must be a common enough experience.

I’m learning from this poem. About my ability to discern between desire and circumstances, about drifting versus conscious navigation through life, about my emotional maturity, and about my relationship to desire in the larger, existential sense, or Buddhist sense.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


This summer I turned 40. I returned to Seattle to celebrate. The imagery of this poem comes from that time and location.

by Frederick Mead

It takes a heretical, decisive step
to become a man, to crossover water
without caveats,
insecurities, failed courage,
our need
weighing heavily on the iron horizon,
or mad infatuations. Without
pulling up coastal pine
by the roots,
unquenchable desire
discarding trunks
like flotsam to the shore, constructing a barricade
of driftwood
, which only fog can wash over.

Yet through this dense fog, our ferryboat
bravely navigates the chain

of San Juan islands, green quartz
emerging then receding, jagged-edged
in the fog.
We can see no stars or sun
to guide us.
Is it heresy to trust
an unseen Captain?
Whose permission do we
to take command?

Breathless on the farther shore, surprised
by the brevity of the journey, we disembark safely
at the terminal.
We trace a finger over contours
of the relief map
, apprehending in retrospect
the winding,
circuitous path we have traveled.
What guidance do the stars and sun provide?
Stars are wishes and dreams achieved
through possibility. The sun? M
erely an egg yolk
melting through our fingers. Food for the next voyage.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Poem Coming On...

These are phrases and bits that may become a poem. Don't know how they fit together yet. Check back for progress...

original impulse
new text

It We It takes a decisive,
heretical step
to become a man
to cross water yes, with without caveats
insecuritiesy, failed courage fails
seeing only my our need on the iron horizon,
mad infatuations, desires forever

pulling up small coastal trees
by the roots, yet then dissatisfied but unsatisfied,
discards them the trunks like so much flotsam building
along constructing on to the shore,
constructing a driftwood barricade of driftwood
that only fog washes over

In a Through the this dense fog,
the our ferryboat navigating bravely navigates
the chain of San Juan islands in the fog, emeralds
emerging then receding, emerging then receding in the fog.
in the fog. We can see, no stars or sun to guide us.
Is it heresy to trust an unseen Captain?
in the fog. Who's permission do we need
to take command?

breathless on the farther shore, surprised,
when safely we safely arrive safely Upon safely arrival at the terminal,.
breathless, we see trace a our a finger over the relief map

and realize apprehend in retrospect realizing in retrospect
the winding,
circuitous path we have followed all along.

What guidance can do the stars and sun even give provide?
and that
stars are merely wishes
and dreams achieved manifested
the sun, melting like merely an egg yolk
melting through my our fingers,
food comfort for the next voyage

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stars are wishes...

Glad I talked to the older guy. We met for coffee this morning. I was nervous that I'd have to talk a lot about myself, about my feelings (bleh) but he did most of the talking. All I had to do was state the problem, and he went into a trance. Whether he's psychic or not, I felt a deep communication happening. It's amazing the way some people can really read another person.

He said exactly what I expected the hear, but hearing it makes the difference. Nothing was a surprise, except how clear he was, and how specific to my situation. Knowing me very little, except socially and on stage, he was astonishing at his knowledge of my inner workings. "You're not into seduction. You expect people to see you, understand how wonderful you are, and go for it. Well, that's just a fantasy." Ouch, but spot on. I've been sitting alone on bar stools for 20 years waiting to be approached, cursing my un-attractiveness.

He told me what to expect now that I'm entering my 40s. I have a future of mad infatuations with younger, brilliant guys ahead of me. And I'm entering a period of rich imagination, which I should enjoy. Be in the moment, accept what is, and create what you want. "Stars are wishes and dreams achieved through possibility." He told me to take command.

Then he got down to brass tacks and told me my approach was wrong. He outlined a new approach and gave specific examples. Hot! examples.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mona Rogers in Person

Last night was Opening Night for a performance-art play, Mona Rogers in Person, that we're mounting at a gallery in the Bywater. All the typical Opening Night things to report: small house, but on our side. They laughed, hung out after to greet us. Few minor line flubs, bunch of lighting gaffs. High energy from the cast. The usual.

Here's our first "review". It's located in the comment section below my announcement of the show.

I had a blast. So fun to be on stage again, to work with friends, and to learn from Agnes. And it was fun to become this character, Mona Rogers. My transformation is slowest of the 5 actors. I start as a businessman with briefcase, and gradually transform into blond bombshell. By the time I burst onstage in heels, wig and aqua eye shadow, I'm her.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Think I need the advice of a much older guy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Maybe this is not love?