Monday, July 18, 2016

Gazing

I'd say hi to you, if it wasn't a sin.

Natural blonde hair, pretty rare now days, especially with your mellow tan.  Not a tan you worked on in a booth; no one that came as a side effect of living.

Oh my. Those books you're reading. I've read them too.

Both of us, Alone on a Friday night in this cafe

Id say hi to you if the impulse wasn't born in sin.  

But oh my.  All black clothing.   Collared shirt. Just enough scruff. Almost enough to do it anyway.

What makes you a sin.

What makes this a sin

You don't look evil. But my nature makes you the same as stealing or idolatry.  

We are not promised to women but that doesn't matter.  It would be worse than cheating on a wife.

But then I see your smile,  it's not the smile of a heathen.  It's the smile of an angel.

 But if I say hi you will fall from heaven.

So if I stare at you Across the cafe, is that a sin?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I am a rope

I am a rope.

Pulled, constricted, ratcheted, fraying.

I am a rope.

Made taut by the warring sides of my world locked in a ne’er ending tug of war.

I am a rope.

The gay says to date men, to mine own self be true.  And they pull with a sincere fervor.

The Mormon says to stay true to God, their grip is strengthened by the all mighty

The gay says a true god would want my Joy.

They Mormon says, that is the path to misery, that homosexuals are a construct of this world, non-existent in the next.

I am a rope, my fibers are fraying, tugged and stretched, never a rest.  The pulling escalates, the words become tinged with venom

The Mormon says your family loves you, and I believe them.  The gay says they hate you, should I believe them?

The gay says I deserve to have love.  The Mormon says, it’s cheap sex, not love.

I am a rope, stretched across a gulf of hatred.

I just want to leave.  I want to be done of this contest.   But I cannot.   Over the months, seasons and years, I hear their words, their hatred of the other, I am in the middle.  They fight for me, or is it the fight over me.  I don’t care anymore.  I am a rope.   A mere tool in their war. And I want to be set down.  But they won’t set me down.  Neither side will give an inch, and I cannot dismiss either.  My soul cannot choose, it cannot become one.  I was born this way, Mormon, I was born this way, gay.  My DNA, the very fibers of my being are both.   They cannot be expunged.   I fill the shame when I look toward the gay, I feel anger when I look toward God.

I am a rope. I have no rest.  I have no peace, if one side would just let me go, then I could rest.  If one side would let go for just a minute I could regroup.

But they are always there, fighting pulling, stretching constricting, telling me my existence is a somewhere along this line.

There is but one option left.  I am a rope.  I make a loop, I circle the base thirteen times.  Hoping someone will see what is happening.

I am a noose.   But without the tension, I have no power.  Will someone please let go?

They each pull tighter.  No one has interest in the middle ground.

And as they pull, the noose grows tighter, until I am hanged.

I dangle.  I sway in the breeze.  The gay and the Mormon look at each other across the expanse of my life.
For a moment, they lock eyes with compassion, sorrow, and acceptance.  Then they see how far the gap is, fear grips them.  They have never traversed that terrain before.

Uncomfortable they leave the swaying body. Look, over there is a new rope.   The uncertainty breaks.   They know what to do.  Hands grip with renewed fervor, if only they had pulled harder they might have saved me.

Are you the new rope?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Sage Covered Chair

What do you hear old sage covered chair

What styes of the spirit have healed on you.

The forbidden passion

The anger at Father

The pain of stolen agency

The repentant thief

The sorrowful abuses

The sinner who perhaps you think out not to have his soul cleansed

They have all sat on you.   What have you seen.   What have you heard

Do you feel the weight lessen as they speak to the old man

do you hear his voice perform spiritual extraction

Does the weight on you shift, with each new confession

Does the silence scream to you as they try to blurt out the unspeakable acts they committed

Do you recognize their rump, as it rests on your cushions.

Do you miss them when they come no more.

Do you recognize the ones when they return once more, this time with profuse praises to above

Are there enough joyous times, old chair friend of mine?  Do you see enough souls mend their ways.

Do you see them progress, from the heap of a mess, to a man known and loved by his Pa.

When they come in to marry, does you thread bare seat, know the joy of the Union they'll form?

I guess the answer is no, for down here below, The Old man must hear tales alone

These walls, floor and chair, and the light fixture over there don't lend their strength more than their form.

And only to them can he tell, of his  battle with hell, to keep souls on our Dear Savior's side.

Oh God let him know, that down here below, his work helps lost ones come to you.

Keep your hand on his back, keep straight his bent neck, and whisper what you want him to do.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Forty-nine Smiles

Forty-nine smiles made straight on the dark night in Orlando.

Forty-nine smiles met hate on the gay family's dance floor

Forty-nine smiles frozen broken never speed joy again

Forty-nine smiles slaughtered by the monster they thought they left in that dark closet so long ago.

The voices that raked their eardrums as they sought protection in the hanging coats were suddenly made manifest in an inhuman human  who thought a human soul less valuable than a round of ammunition.

A family, a community, a nation and a world all paused.  Their brows furrowed.  What do we do when the monster of the closet becomes all to real.  Do we hide?  Do we retreat? Do we let his hatred burrow into our hearts and paralyze our smile?

No.  We send the monster back to the infernal depths from whence he came.   And we smile.   We smile to show him he may hurt us for a season but we will crush him.

From now until the end of time when hated of those different seeks to crush the smile we will fight back.  We will love.   And we will unite.

In the closet we were alone, with only the monster to keep our space,  in the world we are surrounded by brightness love and peac

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cast Out

I wish I could blame my deviances on some demon.  I wish the things I did could be passed off to some unseen force.

I wish, like in days of old, a warrior sage would cast out all unholy beings from the unseen world, that my soul could be free and not tied down.

But then I discovered a secret.  I discovered what I’ve always known.

If the demonic forces were taken away from this clay vessel, then it would go limp, with no vitality of its own.

I am the demon they wish to cast out.  I am the spirit unclean.

I am the force for destruction in the universe.  I have a serpents sheen

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A poem for Elsa

Do you want to build a snow man? Doesn't have to be a snowman It could a pretty lady for you We'll butch up you two and get some close cut haaaaaair We used to be heteronormal The prince and I But then came lgb-teee Do you want to have a boyfriend Doesn't have to be a boyfriend. You might be bi

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Contradance

Contradance

The man at the head of the hall speaks, in laid back unison the 3 lines of people act out the motions he proscribes. Smiles on faces, the group tries to figure out how this dancing puzzle will fit together, bringing them back to their partner in sixty-four beats

A spin with the girl across from you, eyes locked in flirtatious mad robin pose with your partner, as you circle the other couple. Your group of for forming the world for this repetition of the dance. 

There is another man here. Partnered with the other girl. The voice from the head of the hall tells you to "give weight" and alamand with him. You grasp right hands and lean back, both of you rotating relying on the other to lean with a effort matching your own. Too weak and the experience is like eating cold floppy pasta. Too strong and you struggle to keep your body from falling into the girls waiting for you to rejoin them. But this man--this lean young man with a buzz cut and worn boots, attacks this dance step as he has all others, with exuberant joy and precision. For 8 long counts, you spin, connected only by the hand grip. The caller ends the move. You must return to your partner. You draw the spin out for a half count longer, but react appropriately as you each give the other a push off, spinning back into a swing with your partner. 

For me, that is the highlight of the contradance. The brief physical interactions with some guy I've seen weaving in and out of the dance lines all night long. I enjoy the entire process. The live band, infectious beat, the happy faces, and even the proscribed flirtatious looks as I gypsy around my partner. But those all to short moments when I interact with another man, I see how the others live. I see what it's like to have the music move you in tandem with another you seek connection with. I see why dances are found in every society and time around the planet. The music feeds a connection.

It takes two to tango they say. Life, relationships are about give and take. Moving sometimes together, sometimes separate from your partner. I think Contradancing as a gay Mormon, is a pretty good shadow to romantic life.

I am expected to find a partner. While Contradance does allow you to dance whichever role you would like, the majority of couples are male-female. And that fear of asking a man to dance is present. Will he think I'm coming on to him? Will he turn me down? Will I commit some grave sin by doing so? 

So dance with the lady-folk. And its' fun. The dancing is fun regardless of whom it's with. Like in life, I usually let the ladies approach me. Why not? I don't do it out of nerves as much as lack of interest. I have fun, I do the moves with my partner, but my enjoyment isn't because of them. It's the interaction with the entire hall. Maybe I should feel bad. But contradancing isn't about them coupling anyway. It's about mixing with everyone. In a dance you repeat the same moves probably 15-20 times, each time moving with your partner to dance it with another couple. The ways the moves are strung together to accomplish that are masterful.

So I dance with this woman. Who is nice. We have fun. We make small talk, but there is no spark of attraction. No tension in that manner. I am more excited to see which men are coming down the line. Will I get to interact with one of the ones I think is attractive. Invariably I do. And that is the interaction that I find myself thinking back on as my mind drifts back to the memorable evening. That connection with men, so fleeting, so intense. And so foreign in my life. An individual dance will at most have 8 beats of the 64 that involve that direct connection. Kinda like my life. I move around men and women, do what I am instructed to do. It's not bad. But it' salsa not the spice. THe fire comes in that 1/8th of life. When I connect with a man. In a way yearn for. But alas...it isn't to be had for a gay Mormon.

As I leave the dance, the man with the buzz cut says, "hey, good dancing!" I reply "you too". And we go our ways. Until the next month, when the magic of contradance pulls us back to the out of the way gymnasium on a hill overlooking Salt Lake Valley. Each month, I wonder if I'll go back. I always do.