Wednesday, April 30, 2008
- for Peter Davison, 1928-2004
who was kind to me
though he did not have to be.
Who brought into the world a thousand books.
(Right there: a life well lived.)
Who wrote a dozen or so himself,
some prose about others,
some his own poems.
(Right there: a life well lived.)
Who corrected my spelling, gently, and
my history too, who once
or twice a year
would buy me lunch
and later let me leave his office
with shopping bags of books to read.
Who wore a bowtie sometimes,
and a vest, I think even a hanky
in his jacket pocket.
Who was generous to me,
the gentleman who spoke like music, who
was kind to me
though he did not have to be.
from Thomas Lux's God Particles
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Across the room, the young man,
son of our host, smokes and hums,
rocking in a chair to the slow
rise and fall of acoustic guitar,
his long hair pulled away from a face
both soft and strong. Almost man,
almost boy, he seems to balance there
to something we can’t see, a
nd from his mouth rise perfect rings,
one after another, through the open window.
We guests watch, talk quietly,
our glasses still half-full of champagne.
This is the moment before someone
rises to take a dish to the sink,
before the first moves to say goodnight.
It’s the moment you would like to keep
safe in a glass ball—the contented
faces blurred by sleep—to shake
and watch the silver bits of confetti
as they glitter dizzyingly down
published in Limp Wrist
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
by Laura Douglas-Brown
The best things in life may be free, but the same can’t be said for Atlanta’s best gay event. After more than three decades of presenting its full schedule at no cost to the public, the Atlanta Pride Committee said this week that there will be a “nominal charge” for a few indoor events at this year’s festival.
It’s another difference in a year already marked by change for the venerable event, so cue the gnashing of teeth from the bitchier queens (and kings) in our community. But the truth is that Pride has never been free. The Pride Committee just hasn’t required you to help pay.
The 2007 Pride Festival, held in Piedmont Park, had a budget of approximately $700,000. This year, organizers face much higher costs since the 2007 drought forced all major festivals out of the park. To keep the festival in Midtown, the Pride Committee chose the Atlanta Civic Center as the its new home, incurring much higher facility, security and other fees and requiring the festival to be moved to July 4-6 when the Civic Center was available.
They don’t deserve the complaints they have received from Pride attendees who want to festival to stay in the park and remain the last weekend in June. It’s not a change they wanted, and they deserve credit for trying to make the best of a bad situation.
THE SAME GOES for the decision to charge for some events at this year’s festival. The very people who routinely complain that “it’s too hot” when Pride is held outdoors will likely be the ones to gripe about paying to enter indoor, air-conditioned events, but the rest of us should drown them out.
Many also complain that Pride is “too commercial,” without acknowledging that corporate sponsors pay the vast majority of costs for the festival. Each year, a volunteer “bucket brigade” seeks donations during Pride. And each year, they manage to collect only around $30,000 — an embarrassing drop in the, well, bucket compared to the hundreds of thousands who attend the festival over its three-day run.
Certainly there are some LGBT people living in the throes of poverty, for whom the $25 Pride may charge for a big Friday night event really is a significant expense. The vast majority of Pride attendees, however, routinely pay that much and more for other entertainment like concerts and dance parties. And the $5 or less that Pride plans to charge for the Starlight Cabaret is so little that we should voluntarily contribute twice as much.
THERE’S NO doubt this year’s Pride festival will be different than any we have ever experienced. There’s no doubt that some changes will be successful, and others will leave us nostalgic for the times we picnicked on the grass in Piedmont Park while the rainbow of queer Atlanta swirled around us.
There’s also no doubt that the success of this year’s festival depends on all of us as much as the organizers, and there’s no doubt that if Pride 2008 falters, those organizers will not be the only ones to suffer.
Pride is more than an entertainment event. Just by its sheer numbers, it is also our community’s largest show of force, an annual reminder to businesses, politicians and the general public that we are still a major constituency in Atlanta. If this year’s Pride attendance drops, so will our clout.
We can’t let that happen over a mere $5 — or $25 — cover charge.
(taken from Sovo)
The cruelest thing I did to my younger sister
wasn’t shooting a homemade blowdart into her knee,
where it dangled for a breathless second
before dropping off, but telling her we had
another, older sister who’d gone away.
What my motives were I can’t recall: a whim,
or was it some need of mine to toy with loss,
to probe the ache of imaginary wounds?
But that first sentence was like a strand of DNA
that replicated itself in coiling lies
when my sister began asking her desperate questions.
I called our older sister Isabel
and gave her hazel eyes and long blonde hair.
I had her run away to California
where she took drugs and made hippie jewelry.
Before I knew it, she’d moved to Santa Fe
and opened a shop. She sent a postcard
every year or so, but she’d stopped calling.
I can still see my younger sister staring at me,
her eyes widening with desolationthen
filling with tears. I can still remember
how thrilled and horrified I wast
hat something I’d just made up
had that kind of power, and I can still feel
the blowdart of remorse stabbing me in the heart
as I rushed to tell her none of it was true.
But it was too late. Our other sister
had already taken shape, and we could no
tcall her back from her life far away
or tell her how badly we missed her.
From Feeding the Fire (Sarabande Books, 2001).
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The down side to using Biz Filings is the cost. I'll have to spend close to $700 to stay headache free, so I have decided to do a fundraiser. At work we've started the Biggest Loser competition. I I thought it'd be fun to ask friends and family to pledge $1 to $3 per pound lost during the competition. We started March 28, and I've lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks. Our last weigh day is June 30-- so that's a total of 12 weeks of losing!
Starting next week the competition organizer, Jan McAlister, the Nurse Practitioner who runs our Lipid Management Clinic (and is the smartest NP I've ever met), is going to write a note about how much weight I've lost. Then I'll post her note in the blog. Maybe we'll do some pictures too. (Even though I'm not a fan of chunky-Dustin pictures---see the launch party pictures below as evidence of chunky-Dustin.)
All money raised from the Biggest Loser Fundraiser will go to establish LW as a nonprofit organization. And if by some horrible chance I gain any weight throughout the competition, I'll make a YouTube video as my punishment. I'll do drag and let everyone vote on what song I should sing. If you're interest in the Biggest Loser Fundraiser, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Kelley and Dustin Brookshire striking a pose.
Genevieve Lyons read the work Denise Duhamel.
Lisa Allender read the work Beth Gylys.
Donna Narducci, Atl Pride ED & Dustin Brookshire
More pictures will be available by Friday on the LW Myspace page.
All of the fantastic pictures were taken
by the talented Greg Gimpelevich.
Visit Greg's Online Portfolio
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sex was as beautiful as flowers.
The orchid unfolding between his legs,
the baby's breath on his chest,
the blue bells under his arms.
Tea roses on your nightgown,
and, of course, you would have wanted him:
the only boy at camp who didn't vie to tie your underwear to a tree,
who instead folded it neatly and hid it
so you'd later find it under your pillow.
Although he could have, he didn't follow tradition
and read your letters -- he secured them,
along with your diary, between your mattress
and the cot springs. The only boy who gave you privacy.
So you gave him yourself. At sixteen,
you'd collected all the pamphlets. You knew
about the pill, nonoxynol-9 and condoms.
Still, sex was as delicate as flowers.
An infection, like the limp cactus
I watered too much in the glass terrarium
my first boyfriend gave me.
Maybe your sex could not take so much love.
Maybe your sex needed to be diluted
with sketchier pasts, a stronger fear of AIDS,
a few more seeds of mistrust. Or maybe,
more simply, it wasn't your fault. Chlamydia
is easily treated, the doctor assures you
although now your mother must know
and your father, too, with whom you haven't spoken
in months. I stood holding you once
when you were just a baby, your diaper
in the crook of my elbow, and I was counting
the days, longing to be a teenager.
I said I had the back of your head
with my other hand, no problem,
because I really thought I had -- and, besides,
anyone could take care of a little kid.
But when I took my hand away from your neck
just a second, you flipped backwards
like a blossoming bud a movie camera had captured
on high-speed film. Your mother caught you
and held you for the rest of the day.
The doctor says you are not pregnant,
the yellow pollens whirling
outside the girls' tent. The sleeping bags
stacked and rolled up tight
like the whorls of petals, rolled up unfairly tight
and meant only for one.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Anyone can Google DADT to find the history on the policy, so I'm not going to rave about the policy--- instead I am going to treat to you to the thoughts of two members of the Atlanta GLBT community.
E: DADT affected my daily life in the Air Force by providing a daily reminder of how my sexuality is unwelcome in the Armed Forces. The policy allowed me to serve; however, it forced something that is a small fraction of who I am as a person into a political closet. Regardless of the policy, I still felt threatened on a daily basis of exposure. Even though they couldn't ask and I didn't have to tell, I could always be inspected or investigated.
DB: What would you do if you were tipped off that you were about to be investigated because you were suspected to be a lesbian?
E: If I knew the Office of Special Investigation was going to investigate me, I would send everything in my dorm room that would be remotely misconstrued as being gay to my best friend’s house for safe keeping. I would delete email accounts and disconnect myself from anyone that could be confused as being gay and therefore would aid in the confirmation of my sexuality. However, you must understand that there must be witness to my committing or wanting to commit a homosexual act before they initiate the investigation. It is up to the Squadron Commander that I belong to, to initiate that investigation.
**Erica served in the U.S. Air Force for 6 years; she left service classified as a Personnel Journeyman.
JS: Before DADT, in my service time there was, I think it was called, The Code of Military Justice, and there was a provision therein called Section 8. That term, "Section 8" was as close as I can relate to DADT at the time. It was the provision under which sexual misconduct was used to discharge an individual. I never knew anyone who was prosecuted but I heard of some close calls. Perhaps due to the extreme situation (all or nothing War) not much attention was paid to looking for infractions of Section 8. I might add here that at the time of my going on active duty, and during our first medical examination, the following situation occurred:
Toward the end of the examination, we were all going thru the exam process naked. It was rather fast. We had all been told to "beware of the Psychiatrist, as he'll find out things about you and you'll get thrown out" - so we were all scared of this final exam. When my turn came I was lead into a simple room where the doctor sat behind a table. We were ordered to sit in a chair in front of the table. He looked at my papers and then at me and simply asked, "Do you like girl?" At 18 I was dating girls, primarily for dance partners, loved to dance all my life, so in all honesty all I could say was, "Yes Sir". He looked up at the door and said loudly, "NEXT.” That was the exam we were all so afraid to face. In those times when the country was facing the most dangerous times in it's history, the services needed all the help they could get. Every able bodied man up thru 44 years old was "in" as well as many women. (Women didn't have to do combat duty then.)
DB: What is your opinion of DADT?
JS: My opinion of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is that it's way out of line. The one example that sticks in my mind, of late, is reading about Arabic linguist personnel being discharged under DADT in large numbers. That is beyond my comprehension when such people are so desperately needed in the present war situation. It's obvious that the need for translators is of utmost important as lives can depend on such abilities with language. It makes me wonder if American lives were lost, or are being lost, in the war zone due to these people being removed from service when common sense says they are of the greatest need and importance.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
live @ midnight
Michelle A. Ladwig
Dustin Brookshire, Editor
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
On June 21, 2008, Atlanta Pride is joining forces with Limp Wrist to offer two FREE poetry workshops in honor of Pride month! Both workshops will be 3 hours long; however, one will be targeted to the intermediate/advanced poet while the other will be for the beginning poet.
Beth Gylys will lead the workshop for the intermediate/advanced poet from 10am to 1pm. Gylys is as an associate professor at Georgia State University. Her work has been published in numerous of journals, and she has published two award winning collections of poetry, BODIES THAT HUM and SPOT IN THE DARK.
Beth Gylys has fun with form--her comic postmodern villanelles wrap their
lines around the complexities of modern day relationships. Her poems are full of
sass and surprise. We can all learn a lesson from her--and her work. ~ Denise Duhamel
Dustin Brookshire will lead the workshop for the beginning poet from 2pm to 5pm. Brookshire has been featured at numerous events in the Atlanta area, won awards from two state poetry societies, and currently serves as the editor of Limp Wrist.
Dustin Brookshire is a tell-it-like-it-is poet whose direct, passionate
intensity both charms and captivates. He is a delight. ~ Beth Gylys
Send an email to email@example.com with two poems pasted in the email and a subject line of "Poetry Workshops." (No attachments will be opened! ) You must include your name, contact number, workshop preference, and a couple of sentences about your poetic "career." All entries must be received by Friday, May 10, 2008, and poets will be notified of a decision by May 31, 2008. Each workshop will be limited to twelve people.