i knew the rainbow

im not ready to write that poem about pride i want to hold on to the last withering rainbow tufts of our youth
even as society judged you even as i relied on you as your own life hung over the cliff you gave me love
im not ever going to write about the goddamned rainbow and flags and house music and all of what you were pigeon holed into
i ache for you when i see a live pulse in the inside of my scared split wrist
i feel burning shame as if i could only gut myself out the several times you bought my junk when you needed life extending medicine
no i cant write about the marches and those vigils and political farces when i miss you so much
you were my mother my father my sister my brother my protector my guide you were my life choice accountant my guardian my saint
remember the time i was raped and you found them out and morphed into holy rage for a moment hell closed up while your fists rained down fury upon them we both wept
remember the morning when i knocked on your door and your mother answered with a face wet with Mary’s eye dew
from behind your favorite Japanese screen you called to me wondering if i brought you Thai iced tea
i navigated my shock to see your skin and bones when two weeks ago you wine and dined with joy at the Tenderloin
you said come kiss the queen and as i neared the top of your hand lowering my lips to your cool forehead
i melted next to your neck and received the final tear from your left eye and i knew the rainbow wouldn’t ever light my path again

*for Asa, i miss you so much friend say hello to Freddie for me

the birds would sound

Baker Beach fog cold wet knees

sand deep cut wrists

knuckles bleed

cold sea wind seeps

into the cracks of the spirit

was around the time

we broke our peace

seagulls screeched wildly

above our coal black energy

you the pulling south

i the fleeting north

umbilical cord

severed forever

Artemis took this orphan in

taught me how to hunt

other creatures

such as i

for crazy cannibalistic 32182314155 rites

and wandering in every downtown desert

dawns spent in tunnels bent

from the neck down

every now and again

the birds would sound

toasting to paired up

cooing doves

that have flown away from me

north beach

i dreaming on the couch
will meet you at Jack’s alley
doo wop were the days
when you let the voices out of their cage a movement of freedom
within the confines of infinite youth
all are welcome and there you go
climbing up the stair to heaven
on steps of words one atop another
city light bay we the beat and stray
hipster pharaoh usher to the generation drunk in experimental experience at night morning sober in stark madness
busses flowers LSD plus the three
i’ll wait in tenderloin scribbling
hieroglyphs on chewing gum wrappers catching whispers in the wind with flowers in my hair
paper cuts betwixt the webs of my hands
snap the jazz between the streets
my shoe untied my notebook knowing
that smile i do when missing you

RIP Lawrence Ferlinghetti

ma’ woman lef’ me too blues

My wife was fast, manipulative, expensive and mean, but when she was in my bed she had an addicting sweetness, filling the worm holes in my soul with the light of the stars under God’s feet. I simply believed then that I loved her more than anything, ever. The continents could fall below me, Satan himself could drag me into the molten pits of Hell by my guts; I didn’t care as long as she was there with me, on my arm or at least have her close enough where I could sniff her tarty scent.

An amber bronzed Persian princess, Schiva curled my toes with delight. Schiva licked and suckled universes in and out of my body and mind I never knew existed. Schiva’s almost vapory fingers massaged me, penetrated me in luscious blinding ecstasy, swirling my very breath in orgasmic space travel past the Nebulae that are yet to come.

The Schiva Nirvana ended one October. More or less a month prior I ran out of disposable income. Schiva did not understand that I was a working stiff with debts. “I do not give one damn about your problem Grady! You want me, you pay!”I thought I heard her say as I squirmed on a midnight blue suede couch. She left out my mind’s door and slammed it behind her.

I’d been crying all day. The madness that comes with convulsive laughter possessed me. The memory of a 30 year old, ex-orphan, trust funder named Jeff who introduced me to her at his King Edward Hotel suite came to mind. Jeff of rotund body and broken heart was the vehicle that would take me into what I perceived to be something better, anything was better than how I felt then.

Then Schiva whispered, Jeff whispered and the three of us shared penetration-less sweet love on his dirty blue sheets. Sheets stained with other sweats of other addicts who had too signed their life away to the Beautiful Golden Dragon.

Schiva and I started off by going out on dates with Jeff exclusively at least six or seven times a month. And as long as I had the money. The problem was that Schiva and I started dating at least twice a week behind Jeff’s back and he did not appreciate that. Jeff would become angry and jealous and would withhold her from me. He wanted to take Schiva first and leave me his sloppy seconds.

Being of a non-confrontational nature, I stopped hanging out with Jeff and Schiva off and on for about a year and a half. I had found other crutch mistresses to pass the time. At 17, things changed between Schiva and me; we got closer. I worked hard doing office work, recycling, driving trucks for my uncle all for my new bride Schiva. 

That October 10th I loathed myself, so I ran to Baker’s Beach in San Francisco for almost two days. I guess that about forty-four hours passed. I rolled around in the wet sand, vomited, cut my knuckles on the rocks, burned in fever, shook in the cold and cried; alone. Night turned to day back to night and then almost morning. The purge was good. The purge was the kindest thing I ever did for myself. I thought about dying to live, then all went blank.

But, in the midst of the spiritual hell of the very human junkie withdrawal, I had dark thoughts too. I would cut my arms in such a way that bleeding could not be stopped and before passing out, I would run into the water to make sure I drowned. But first, I would pan handle enough change to get a few bottles of Nyquil and vodka to make sure I was completely disabled in the cold bay water. I had all I needed, except the money. I giggled at the irony of being penniless now, when just a few measly weeks before I was burning through all the money I had to get high.

I hated myself. I judged myself to be selfish, weak, inconsiderate, cowardly and worthless. I tried convincing myself that no one could help my loneliness, my need of love and acceptance. I felt dirty because I had been repeatedly used and violated. I did not know how to express anything other than being good at being a fuck up. I did not know how to ask for help; I did not give anyone an opportunity to help. I wanted to run and disappear; I wanted something beyond mere death.

my way…

my wife was fast manipulative expensive and mean but when she was in my bed she had an addicting sweetness filling the worm holes in my soul with the light of the stars under God’s feet i simply believed then that i loved her more than anything ever the continents could fall below me Satan himself could drag me into the molten pits of Hell by my guts i didn’t care as long as she was there with me on my arm or at least have her close enough where i could sniff her tarty scent

an amber bronzed Persian princess Schiva curled my toes with delight Schiva licked and suckled universes in and out of my body and mind i never knew existed Schiva’s almost vapory fingers massaged me penetrated me in luscious blinding ecstasy swirling my very breath in orgasmic space travel past the Nebulae that are yet to come

the Schiva Nirvana ended one October more or less a month prior i ran out of disposable income Schiva did not understand that i was a working stiff with debts i do not give one damn about your problem Grady you want me you pay i thought i heard her say as i squirmed on a midnight blue suede couch she left out my mind’s door and slammed it behind her

i’d been crying all day the madness that comes with convulsive laughter possessed me the memory of a 30 year old ex orphan trust funder named Jeff who introduced me to her at his King Edward Hotel suite came to mind Jeff of rotund body and broken heart was the vehicle that would take me into what i perceived to be something better anything was better than how i felt then

then Schiva whispered Jeff whispered and the three of us shared penetration less sweet love on his dirty blue sheets sheets stained with other sweats of other addicts who had too signed their life away to the Beautiful Golden Dragon

Schiva and i started off by going out on dates with Jeff exclusively at least six or seven times a month and as long as i had the money the problem was that Schiva and i started dating at least twice a week behind Jeff’s back and he did not appreciate that Jeff would become angry and jealous and would withhold her from me he wanted to take Schiva first and leave me his sloppy seconds

being of a non confrontational nature i stopped hanging out with Jeff and Schiva off and on for about a year and a half i had found other crutch mistresses to pass the time at 17 things changed between Schiva and me we got closer i worked hard doing office work recycling driving trucks for my uncle all for my new bride Schiva

that October 10th i loathed myself so i ran to Baker’s Beach in San Francisco for almost two days i guess that about forty four hours passed i rolled around in the wet sand vomited cut my knuckles on the rocks burned in fever shook in the cold and cried alone night turned to day back to night and then almost morning the purge was good the purge was the kindest thing i ever did for myself i thought about dying to live then all went blank

but in the midst of the spiritual hell of the very human junkie withdrawal i had dark thoughts too i would cut my arms in such a way that bleeding could not be stopped and before passing out i would run into the water to make sure i drowned but first i would pan handle enough change to get a few bottles of Nyquil and vodka to make sure i was completely disabled in the cold bay water i had all i needed except the money i giggled at the irony of being penniless now when just a few measly weeks before i was burning through all the money i had to get high

i hated myself i judged myself to be selfish weak inconsiderate cowardly and worthless i tried convincing myself that no one could help my loneliness my need of love and acceptance i felt dirty because i had been repeatedly used and violated i did not know how to express anything other than being good at being a fuck up i did not know how to ask for help i did not give anyone an opportunity to help i wanted to run and disappear i wanted something beyond mere death

magpie in the rain

i never saw a bird in microfiche before

and it crushed me

the sky outside has been clear for days

and i’m blind to it

the people above can see i’m trapped

and they tisk me

i never noticed me in the dispensary window before

and i despise me

the cathedral’s bell keeps clanging on

and it reminds me

the wings of life have withered off me

and i’m falling

my mind it soars just a magpie in the rain

evermore

on the last day of Hanukkah 2001 i was hung over from too many filterless Camels and clove cigarettes the night before i couldn’t sleep and i chain smoked i made my way to the cold bland bathroom to wash up the radio was on and i danced as i walked i moved like any skinny slinky Brit androgynous heart throb it boy from the 70’s i thought and felt kinda embarrassed after my ritual i went downstairs to chew the fat with Jonathon O’Mara from the coffee shop in the Tenderloin he wasn’t home so i went for a walk the sun was hot for a San Fran morning back then i was able to ride the bus for a quarter the drivers would mistake me for a high schooler it was easy i always wore boys clothes and black chucks my gay boyfriends always gushed over me as they tried to capture my femininity i loved having gay boyfriends we’d all have fun dance etc and i didn’t have to put out and if they needed an emergency fiancé to introduce to their waspy east coast family members they’d send out the beard signal and i was there we were all excellent fucking actors but behind the good times and the jokes we all lived our lives as prisoners in very painful cells some of the folks in our circle were even handed death sentences through illness or addiction as far as i went i had to fess up to my boys that men’s clothing might keep the rapists away and that when someone had the balls to tell me i was beautiful it would hurt very badly along with a litany of other issues most of my boys would gasp and then weep because they too had been deeply hurt continually for long periods of their life but we were a rowdy bunch we had survived our way and through those unfortunate passages we realized we were all connected and that race gender orientation and any other label didn’t really define us we were very strong and wise human beings with the capacity to love hard and relentlessly  as for Jonathon and i woe upon anyone who’d mess with his sweet pea for a portion of my life i was blessed enough to know such a human capacity existed and i can move forward with this evermore

sometime in an August

Asa who laid in the Panhandle with me you strung out on love i on wild chemistry from around the Tenderloin Asa who lent me his Walkman for Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters as i stared into the night sky higher than our hangout on Coit Tower Asa who was ecstatic when we shared stories about the boys we kissed at the Trocadero on Wednesday nights as i cried when you told me your fate Asa you with your toothy smile biting my cherry Danish as you took off the shirt from your back to cover all of my track marks when the workers came to take you away to your mother’s place in silence and all i could do for you Asa was stand as the ambulance pulled away