Friday, September 19, 2008

Poetry Friday - A Poem for the Person That This Person Is For


I always hoped that I could seduce you by singing a love song,
opening myself up so wide that you would fall into my heart,
focusing on my delivery so tightly
that you would be waiting for me after my set
with readiness in your eyes.
And here you are indeed,
but only to ask for my autograph.

--April 27, 1971

Doing well in a writing contest boosted my confidence, and I continued playing around with form and voice. (I almost said "experimenting with", but that sounds more pretentious than even I am ready to be.) In the spring of 1971 I fell into another unrequited crush on a kid in the folkie circle I'd been hanging out with, and out of sheer frustration began coming out. I'd already been writing coded gay poems, and now I began getting a little bolder, not only in the page but in songs and performing. By the time I wrote this one, I'd already told most of my straight friends (I didn't know any gay people at the time), helped by the knowledge that I was leaving town for Bloomington in the fall. Whether it's any good I have no idea, having less confidence in my judgment of poetry as I get older, but thirty-seven years later I can still feel what it says.