Seeing Nothing

Endlessly. I see

He has not had sex.

See the way he walks in.

The certain crack in his voice spilling, filling the room

With empty lonely sounds. It has been years since

He bedded someone down. Man? Woman? Clearly, I project

He hasn’t had man-sex for a long forgotten time.

Women never entered his mind.

His air stagnates and a crust grows along his seeping aura

Of a slow motionless shameful demeanor.

He has not been touched, caressed=

By the space

Created for sex.

Space that shapes and defines

The inner edges of the frail lace of life.

He is sixty, sixty-five, seventy – years hardened,

Like accidental brittle steel.

May I say it is over?  Pray it’s over?

Pointless to write it down.  Even to comment.

I’ve come this far, but I’ll call it

Nothing and walk the other way or

Stare in another direction. 

Dismiss him.

Like so many, previous men.

Dangerous. Contagious.


Yes. Endlessly.

His mouth, lips, moist tongue

Echo naked silence.

To this, oh, I’m obsessed to

Whisper under my own breath,

My own dry




Waiting. Waiting to pick up a friend,
In baggage claim,
At Columbus
Southwest Air,
In from Chicago Midway.
I’m early.
A dark curly haired fellow.
Seems early too.

The first flight is from Or-land-o.

I fall in love with a trim soul,
With a deep red goatee.
He’s proudly the first one in baggage claim.
He claims he got ahead of the “handicaps.”
Not my PC brand. So, I drop him,
For a bigger man,
Full and flesh of fresh meat, Grrrr.
Six four, maybe more.
In a gray shirt, shaved head. Aviator Ray-Bans,
Framing his full forehead
And great white Jockey smile.
I over hear him proudly say,
He’s gotta wife and a two and half-year old son.

Nuts. Not my style.

Then I get lost when
He’s introduced to my red goatee guy,
Who is being met by the curly haired fellow,
Who happens to know my meat man.
I’ll call Stan-o
In from Orlando.
He’s “so sorry to hear” about something,
It feels like death,
When his friend introduces them.

I have to stop writing now,
Catch my breath.
So, I can
Fall in love
All over again

With the men in
from Bal-ti-more.

Bigger nuts.
No one from

I’m not as
I fantasize.

Now! now? Nash-a-ville.

No. Double nuts.
No one from Nash-a-ville.

Ah, but wait,
A blur.
My throat tightens with
A quick gash as he passes,
A young buck modeling a big black Stetson
And an intoxicating jaw line.


Waiting. Waiting
Quietly again for my
Friend from Midway.

“Attention passengers do not leave your baggage
Baggage will be confiscated.”

Oh, I wish
My baggage,
Could be so easily

Source: Confiscated


Is my heart so frail That I’ll let you Break it after only One afternoon? Sheets still warm, Still the taste of you. Waiting for your text To bing from you. My frail heart Is so shaken alive,…

Source: Bing

Beige Wallpaper

I’ve worked hard
Very, very hard
To ignore these thoughts.
I always show up knowing
Everyone in the room
Hates me.
Today, I’m at a place
I call gay camp.
I think of it as a
Safe haven.
Where men come together
With a few of those
Artificial social layers
Peeled away. Like an onion
Cleaned and ready
To be diced and stir fried.
Tasty. No tears.

I’d been here before,
So, I sorta know what to
Friendly men. Average 45-65ish.
All trying to get in touch
With some
Missing part
Of their lives.
Generic gay guys.
Kaki pants, jeans,
Plaid shirts.
Warm worn fleece.
Slightly tired
L.L. Beans.
O, Baby.

The first thing we do
For the start of the weekend
Is walk outside
In single file,
Join hands
Making a large circle.
Maybe twenty,
Twenty five men,
Standing in the fading light
Of this glorious spring
Orange pink silky sunset,
As it slips behind the
Graceful Adirondack’s.
Not a word spoken.

We stand in silence.
In anticipation.
An odd noise,
A foreign sound?
Frogs from the pond?
This guy,
This gay fellow camper,
Across from me
Is making,
This strange noise.
What is it? Muffling?
From his throat?
Is he…
Oh, my god. No.
Oh, my god. Yes.
I take a deep breath.

Okay, Baby,
Hold it together.
But no, he cries and cries.
Getting bigger.
More painful.
More attention.
An assistant
Is given a signal,
And comforts him.
I just watch.
The man to my right
Drops my hand.
The one on my left, his
Hand grows gooey wet
Like Elmer’s glue.
But I hang on.
That’s why I’m here
To hang on
To my life!
A few other men break rank
To comfort Crying Man.
I stand stoic.
This crying man
Outwardly reminds
Me a little
Of myself. Fuck me! Baby.
Probably paranoid
Like me.
Wears exotic glasses and
His red hair
Is close to the shade
Mine used to be.

A sexy looking blonde guy
Also starts to sniffle.
Oh, please. No more.
Actually, as I look around the circle,
He is easily the most handsome man
Of our entire group.
I think I’m the only one who notices
This buff blonde softly crying.
The other man, the cry baby,
Has taken the easy joy out of the sunset and Taken the breath out of our circle.
My sensitivity wants
Us to finish
So we can cut to dinner.
Give me food!
People are able to help
Crying Man stop crying.

Pull it together
and once Again
we join hands,
Beginning the opening ritual circle.
The thing that’s bothering me is,
I wonder if all of this is the
Pattern for the weekend.
A way for this man to get attention.
And we campers are his victims.
His enablers.
Of course nothing else is said.
These are not exactly generous thoughts Coming from me. The anti-enabler.
The non-team player.
How does this darkness bode?
O, Baby
My bad Karma coming back
to get me?

Back to normal procedure,
We thank the shivering wind and stars.
The East and West of life.
North and South of the ages.
And the higher power who and where ever She may be. For me, this finally means
Dinner time.
My spiritual-being starts
With a happy meal.
Healthy good food here.
Gay Camp puts my
Digestion in a better place.
After dinner we join in the Great Room. Another circle, sitting on the floor
And introducing ourselves.
I get lost in my head, playing Goldilocks
With each man. This ones too tall, This ones
Too short, some are just too too. The reality
Is they are just fine and I have an instant Crush on all of them, except Cry Baby.
Then, Oh my god, Its my turn to introduce Myself.
I have no idea what to say, since I wasn’t
Paying any attention. I just mumble,
“I’m from repressed Ohio and that explains it all of me.”

The leader, Steven gives details of what to Expect over the next three days.
All warm, safe and fuzzy.
He’s well trained.
He even shares he was a doctor,
Married to a beautiful wife. But slowly
It dawned on him, that these little escapades He was having with men, were not a phase He was going through. That he might be gay And becoming addicted to these furtive Encounters.
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day,
So he warns,
Getting an early sleep would not be a bad idea.
I toss all night in the double bunks room.
My music ear plugs playing Enya.
Trying to drown the other men’s snoring
And my own.
Early the next morning,
After breakfast we once again join in the Great room.
Steven holds up about
A dozen colored long strings
Over his head. Everyone’s asked to pick
And hold the end of a random string.
Thus you find your partner,
By the man who is holding the other end
Of the string.

“The strings never lie,”
Is Steven’s mantra.
“The strings never lie,” he repeats.
I happily agree.
Holding the other end of my red string
Is my prince charming.
My life partner. My new husband.
Yes, the buff blonde guy.
I dismiss any caution about
His previous behavior.
His handsomeness covers all his sins.

We are directed to find a space
And sit on the wooden floor
Opposite each other.
Many pillows are available,
To make this somewhat comfortable.
My floor sitting days are pretty much over.
It is going to be a simple but intense exercise.
Non verbal.
We are invited to merely look into our Partner’s eyes. Time is not stated.
How fabulous to stare into the eyes of this
Most sexy guy. Where but a gay camp
Can such permission be given.
And taken. I can not be happier.
Too bad we haven’t
Gotten to the best part
Where we part
With our clothes.

Then I begin to melt
As these nice ice blue eyes
Stare into the windows
Of my soul.
Does he see the sign
in my window that says,
I’m desperate to be open and loved?
This reminds me of theater exercises
I did back in my college days.
When we were all young and beautiful.

Up to this point I have been able to stay in The present. But then I begin to drift back Into my own gray clouds of paranoia.
As a gay sissy boy,
Growing up in Appalachia,
Life is like a foreign planet.
No one speaks my language.
I dress differently.
Wearing summer shorts for comfort,
Like a girl.
“Boys wear long pants.”
Comfort and masculinity
Are not Compatible.
I was bullied.
Not liked.
Feeling I’m the last person anyone
Wants to see.
The last on the team.
No ones type.
Oh, baby. Red hair.
They call me Rooster
They hate the sight
Of me. I am constantly
Under surveillance for my social
At the same time,
A paradox.
I am completely ignored.
Beige wallpaper.

Now as an adult.
I acknowledge how irrational
These thoughts are
Ignoring the the little rain
Showers that echo,
Everyone in the room
Hates me.

It begins easy. We even
Exchange half smiles.
His eyes are an intense
Shade of ice blue. Photoshopped
To perfection, with brown
Specks. A pleasant and open face.
Bold shoulders and enticing neck.
Love is so easy. So kind.
In this artificial morning situation.
I’m wondering
What he’s observing in
My face and demeanor.
Perhaps wishing he had
Gotten a different partner.
A different string.
Love is so impossible for me.
Now, as I force focus
Into the present,
I notice a dab of moisture
Gathering in his right eye.
Then slowly it coagulates
Into a clear drop and rolls
Down the back edge of his
Slightly pink cheek.
I’m shaken from my love trance.
I pray this is not an omen
Of what’s to come.
But Oh, baby,baby
My prayers are too late.
As more tears collect in
Those blue fountains. Then
He sends a chill through
Both our bodies
Releasing a low thunderous

But,I’ve never met this man.
We started this exercise without words. Silence. Strangers.
I don’t even know his name.
He’s lost his damn name tag.
I should have
Paid attention last night
At the introductory circle.
Stupid me was concentrating
On my spiritual food digestion. And
Making up stories about
Who all these men are
In my head.
I remind myself that what
He has brought to this
Session has nothing to do
With me.
I certainly didn’t bring anything.
Just stay focused. Present.
It will all be over shortly.
Just a quick passing storm. Yet,
Yet, am I being optimistic?
It continues. And now he is
In full stage red alert. Tears
Are flying across our
Little buffer zone landing
On my cheek. My inner denial
Of not being guilty
By association
Is washing away. What the hell is going on here? Do I remind him of someone?
Our coloring is similar.
Do I remind him of his, his…
No. I won’t go there.
Do I remind him of his fucking father? Oh, my God is that it? I’m stuck. No hiding. I
Could be wrong. Please make me wrong.
But his tears, those god damn tears
Are swelling as my acknowledgement slips into some dark lonely
Space between us.
At last Steven comes
To the rescue.
They whisper
Back and forth to each other.
With an occasional furtive
Glance in my direction.
Then Steven goes off
Leaving us in an awkward
New crashing Silence.
He returns, having retrieved a large sponge cushion. About the size of a small card table.
Indeed it is established
That sitting across from
Me has brought up all these
Anger issues Buffy has been
Harboring about his fucking father.
Steven asks, if I will
Help Buffy in this next stage
Of the exercise?
I’m to stand
Opposite Buffy with
The foam table between us.
Simple. Again
Like theater stuff I’ve done
Before. Harmless.
Sure, I will be glad to help.
Until, until
Steven hands Buffy
A tennis racquet.
He asks him to step up to
The foam table and hit it
With the racquet. With the
Force that matches his anger
Towards his father.
“But my dad is dead.”
No matter.
This anger is alive inside you.

Charlie and I will help
You get it out
Into the daylight.
Bring your shame
Out of the darkness.
Hit the pillow with that force.

Buffy hesitates. Then pulls
Himself up and slams
Down the racquet with such
Power I lose my balance,
And have to step back
To regain myself from the Whoosh!
I’m stunned. The whole room is stunned.
All twenty five men, Steven and his two assistants. Then Buffy pulls himself up
Again and ram slams the pillow.
With a greater force. Powerful.
Thunderous. Like a hurricane released.
And again and again.
Steven yells to him to
Vocalize his heat and rage.
He whispers, “I hate you.”
“I hate you.”
Buffy grows in intensity.
Filling the room with his
Racquet whooshes.
Then Steven encourages him
To yell those words towards me,
As he slams the racquet.
“I hate you. I hate you.”
“I want to kill you.”
Your dead.
I’m alive.
“I’m glad you’re dead.”
“I hate you.”

I’m trying to remain cool.
This has nothing to do
With me. I’m not Buffy’s
Fucking father. Although I expect
I’m old enough. I could be.
“I hate you.
I hate you.”
Good. More.
Get it all out.

My skin starts to thin
As the power of the whooshes and force
Of the yelling
Starts to permeate.
Then Steven asks the rest
Of the room to come
And support Buffy.

They dutiful gather around
behind him and he swings
The racket pounding the hell
Out of the foam.
In unison, they join in.
Like a Greek Chorus.
“I hate you.I hate you. Die!”

A calm slips over me
In this flurry of anger.
I’m thinking, this
Is my life’s fantasy
Being fulfilled.
I’m in a room of
Handsome, unapproachable men,
All getting in touch
With how much they hate me. Letting me know I’m a piece of shit.
I laugh at the irony of
My situation. At the same
Time the emotions coming
From Buffy and now the whole room are overwhelming.
There are no accidents.
The strings tell no lies.

Yet deep down,
I hate the fucking
String and all their
The session ends.
Buffy is spent.
The room is spent.
Steven thanks Buffy
For giving. Being so free.
He thanks the other men
For their power and support.
“This has been a fulfilling
Experience,” he claims.
“It is going to be a
Great weekend. Cathartic.”

Then the room breaks
For the next wonderful
And I stand there
In my own puddle
Of silence,
Trying to process
What just stormed
Through me.
Was that a connection
To my paranoia
Or a disconnection
To my vulnerability?
Am I whole
Or full of holes.
If I say that wasn’t
Exactly my experience
They are so proud of,
Does my decimation
Count for nothing?
I certainly don’t want to be
The center of attention.
I can not give
Buffy’s performance.
So, I slide the pillows
Against the wall.
Turn and face
The other end of the room
Of happily chatting
Fulfilled men.
I’m beige wallpaper.


Your face
Pops into
My brain
Like a non sequitur

A stranger’s
Glance or gesture,
Reminds me of you,
Your absence.
Gone for years.
Yet your atoms,
In my brain are
Always firing,
Always ready
To collide
Exploding and
Me miss you.
Knowing I’m the
Last man on earth
That was alive
When we