Old Poetry VII – Because I Do

Published October 4, 2021
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Back in the day, when I was about twenty-two and a bit later, ’til about twenty-six, I wrote poetry. I haven’t written a real poem in a very long time. I used to be so into poem writing that I would go to “open-mics” and read my poems with my friend and brief-boyfriend Calvin. Calvin was significantly older than me, and unfortunately, the relationship didn’t quite work out on my end.

Calvin and I would go to the Mercury Café in Denver and read poetry, and we’d also go to a place called the Kasbah. What’s interesting about that is that Calvin and I were two white gay guys, and the Kasbah (or Casbah) was a mainly African-American lounge that had a poetry night. So we’d show up and we’d be the only two gay white guys amidst a see of strong black poets. It was a little bit daunting.

Of course, I decided to try my hand at being a “spoken word” artist and composed a SUPER long poem. I tried to pull it off and I was clapped offstage (or played offstage) at both the Mercury and the Kasbah… very embarrassing. After that, and the fact there was a shooting at the Kasbah one night I didn’t go, and my interest in open-mic’ing kinda died out.

I used to host all my poetry, both good and bad, on my website, but it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I’ve decided to, after approximately fourteen years, reshare the poetry that I wrote as a teenager and young adult.

Some of it is cringe, and some of it’s not quite so bad. You be the judge.

Because I Do

Everyday I keep looking for love as if I haven't found it yet
Because I'm always reaching farther than anyone suspects
I hear how love is the pit-pit-pattering of rain down
Voluptuous curves like musical notes making music to a beat
It's morning found stains on stripped off evening gowns
Under eyes of scrutiny a warrior who doesn't know defeat

It's the same damn song I hear every day as I look around
You speak about those hips suggesting those jewels resting
I hear that they're twenty-five percent off
While supplies last at the Victoria Secret's Angel sale
When did this holy grail of frailty prevailed become
Something you could ship by express mail?

And now you realize that I might be looking for love
But not because I don't know what it is; because I do

I cry every fucking week while my love is away
Waiting, thinking, telling myself it's okay
To be strong, to just make it, just so I can say
Those two words, those two syllables,
Not because I don't know what it is; because I do

I'm a little boy watching the sesame street world special
A little Spanish boy in Ecuador amidst the smiling crowd
His eyes screaming loud, "¡Por favor excepto mí de dios!"
I, of America never thought, "Someday I'll fall in love with you."
Being white on a small town sheep ranch like a clipping of Americana
Always speaking English singing hymns like I'm a vox humana
We are so goddamn quick to line up like a congregation
Find our soul-mate, or whatever, to fuck out all of our frustrations
And call it love? Call the curves we lick, all our flirtations
Our physical annexations, our comfort station exploitations,
Our post-menstruation medication, our syndicated stimulations,
We dare to call these things romantic, and love.

Even though we are all born free, the world gives us limitations
We're all our own storytellers creating our own imitations
Love exists because even though we may be regarded with equalization
Everyone under the sun is different and together we create coagitation
That little boy in Ecuador taught himself English just to speak to you
Just to speak to me in the vain hopes that one of us somewhere
Could find him, listen to him, reach for him, understand him,
Hug him, kiss him, and eventually set him free.
Not because we don't know it; Because he believes we do.

Apparently I'm wrong, that's not love, we're two men!
That's perverse not strong, go back to Mexico where you belong!
But I knew better, in this free world, we still don't
We still hold on to every line, every letter, ever color, make them fetters
To ourselves, to our kids, in every chain to every debtor,
I'm from America but I live in a place where love
Is packaged and express mailed through us, you're just the wrapper
It's always on sale and there's no outlet stores
All you have to do to buy is to reach out and try
And anyone who knows this place will tell you it's not here

We are foreigners among you, strangers in a strange land
Shining amidst darkness, striving admist fear
Always reaching outside of ourselves, into no man's land
Crying, dying, trying to understand something beyond ourselves
And that's what I actually call love, those two syllables
Not because I don't know it; because I do.

Homosexuality wasn’t always as accepted as it is today in America. This was a poem about love, spoken-word style, and a particularly improbable love between two men. It’s a bit cringe though, in my opinion.

Stay tuned for Old Poetry VIII

Photo by Lerone Pieters on Unsplash

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