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The seven good reasons why The Boys In The Band could be a musical or, I am the dollar in the dolorosa

R.M. Vaughan
From:   Invisible To Predators. ECW Press, Fall 1999.


(to Cary Fagan)

because in the 4th grade my appendix flew open
   the meat inside, picked out with silver, read: he can only take so much
poison

because the boy whore (from Texas?)   the birthday gift (Act 3)   faced
six red-nosed queens who idled for his love but laughed at his eyes
- a class protected by tight sweaters and memorized cinema, drink mixes
named for riots -         laughed because he walked a fat denim knot
at any seated face     and no fag can face such before midnight

because I would be (from Texas?)     and show no care

no.      because at 16 Camp is impossible    at 16 you can be scared
or you can be laughing, not both    at sixteen a basement bedroom corned
with spunk is a fantasy of loneliness; of tuxedoed, lanky father figures in
late showings of milestone films who must crush you    crying because you
are transparent, and unlucky; of too-early peeks
at the shit of a clever life      at sixteen you will know panic
so like a bucking gorge, only hotter

because I admit I know nothing of Manhattan rooftops, silver glass
table lamps, Black men in turtlenecks too swishy for afros or civil rights,
tolerant urban summers cooled with highballs, with Tom Collins,
the suspicious canon of Stonewall, sunken livingrooms,
the way cum flakes on orange crushed velvet, like mucilage, generational
gossip about Steve Reeves or Lyle Waganer, somebody called Cowboy and
everyone laughing, this obsession with "passing"

I cannot be the revisionist bitch powered Marys kick down -
the ballroom stairs are closed, there's death in the family

a film ends in a church, and I will mistrust reluctance
in central characters to say I love you    I need better pain than bent
knees, rings of latin poetry, or eyes hot from wick smoke imply
to say     this is mine, I recognize, this is mine



R.M. Vaughan's works copyright © to the author.


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