Posts Tagged ‘gay


two orchids (and songs from cabaret)

that’s what i was thinking about.


“und i’m zee only man, ja!”


“diddly deet dee dee! two orchids, diddly deet dee dee, two orchids! und i’m zee only man, ja!”

it’s possible that i know all of the words to all of the songs in “cabaret”, but i’ll spare you my singing them. you’re welcome.


begonia (be gone ye)

“do you think the world is spinning out of control?” asked the begonia.

“you know, what with the shootings in movie theaters, temples of worship, a street full of pedestrians, indelicate political discourse, wars, famine, pestilence, syria, pakistan, evangelicals (“our morals are better than yours”), the lack of compassion for our fellow flowers man — whether immigrant (like you’re not), gay, a person of color (you know, “driving while black”–but not just behind a wheel, it’s your entire life), a woman (don’t let men tell you what you can or cannot do, ladies, it is a historically indefensible position) — the list is too long, and were i to be completely honest with you, i do have my own agenda; my season is short and soon i must return to my dormant state, laying eyes closed with infrequent waterings, and wait, wait, wait for you people to come to your senses. but i fear that may be folly. <sigh>”


palms (3)

i know i shouldn’t assume, but…

there are times when i think my head will explode at the insensitivity of my fellow man.

this time it’s personal (isn’t it always?) you’ll forgive me, but i’m going to single out a group of humans — heterosexuals, let’s say, and not to generalize, i’ll select one in particular (i do worry about the rest of you, though.)

a woman that i know, close to my age, with one child and a husband, that i also know, came up to me the other evening before a committee meeting that we both serve on began and said, “i have to show you this,” and as she pulled out her phone she looked at me again and continued, “but you won’t care about this, what do you care about children?” and turned to another heterosexual standing close by and went on, “you’ll love this video of my twin nephews laughing, it’s so sweet and delightful.” she pressed the play button and i was excused.

i ignored the snub and looked anyway and said something complimentary about how cute they were; we had our meeting, we left, end of story. except it isn’t, because, for the life of me, i cannot get over how hurt i am by her assumption — gay men don’t like children — and by her insensitivity to my feelings. am i wrong to feel this way? do you heterosexuals just assume gay men/people don’t like children and don’t have any interest in the triumphs and antics of small children? don’t answer too quickly…dig deep down and examine your feelings on this topic. because, you know, you should.

the fact is i love children. children and i get along famously and always have. i’m delighted that there are people on this earth who are willing to give up so much to continue producing and raising children–many of them do this job well (and many don’t, but that’s a story for another time).

i can’t bring myself to say anything to her; usually i’m not that shy, but this time it’s really set me back. maybe one day i’ll get past it and chalk it up to the battle we are still fighting to be recognized as human beings just like you.


am i blue (or was i gay until today?)

it’s what i was thinking about.

and when you’re feeling camp, you should just roll with it.


a week of first paragraphs–thursday

“Ennis Del Mar wakes before five, wind rocking the trailer, hissing in around the aluminum door and window frames. The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft. He gets up, scratching the grey wedge of belly and pubic hair, shuffles to the gas burner, pours leftover coffee in a chipped enamel pan; the flame swathes in blue. He turns on the tap and urinates in the sink, pulls on his shirt and jeans, his worn boots, stamping the heels against the floor to get them full on. The wind booms down the curved length of the trailer and under its roaring passage he can hear the scratching of fine gravel and sand. It could be bad on the highway with the horse trailer. He has to be packed and away from the place that morning. Again the ranch is on the market and they’ve shipped out the last of the horses, paid everybody off the day before, the owner saying, “Give em to the real estate shark, I’m out a here,” dropping the keys in Ennis’s hand. He might have to stay with his married daughter until he picks up another job, yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.”  –Annie Proulx, “Brokeback Mountain” (from her collection of short stories, “Close Range, Wyoming Stories”)


thursday (a flower a day)

what conversation can be had about the 1970s without talking about sex?  on the nights that i walked up dearborn to my mentor’s apartment north of division (elaine with her tangled fall of golden curls and those fragile little sticks of arms, her legs stuck out from a cable knit sweater–i don’t even remember what we would talk about or how she helped me); the walk would take me past a little block square park with the newberry library to its north and the masonic lodge with its magic and secrets to the south, the fall of leaves, autumn in chicago.

the stone facade somber,  draped in ivy’s deep mourning
iron-gated against the decades, windows flash and spark in the
headlights of circling cars.

it is not easy for me to pinpoint when i figured out what exactly was happening in the park; what journey its inhabitants were on–i didn’t even notice that cars would circle it repeatedly until later.  this was the time that i was finding what my sexuality was really about, who else may be like me (many more than i had thought)–i was only 20 and particularly naive, and particularly horny–just as a 20 year old should be.

darkness attracts these visitors,
it is their cloak of anonymity.
tending their casualness, they lounge
legs spread in invitation to passersby.

the next time, the next time i walked into the park on my way home, smoking a cigarette, a little nervous about what i didn’t know (before i’d graduated with some street smarts), but sure that i was on my way to knowing more.  i sat on a bench across from another man who was pointedly ignoring me, his eyes catching the street lights, the car lights, his legs spread, on the lookout.

a quick flame of anticipation, smoke then unfurls
in careful examination of opportunities.
an open car door beckons, an ash of interest
flicked their way,

i was fascinated and turned on, afraid too.  some secret signal reached him, he stood and shook a leg allowing his package to fall into place, packed tight against his thigh (delicious-looking, a drumstick, juicy) and walked to the curb where a man had opened a car door and my next lover (not true, but i had hoped) slipped into the dark leather seat waiting for him and the car took off.  instead of circling the park it turned away and was gone.

fumbling freedom, release, all promised,
the blood rushing in your ears, but discovery, disclosure, dissolution,
was the true tempo of this dance of metal and flesh.

was that it?  was that all there was?  i walked home quickly, pushing my jeans down around my ankles as soon as the door to my apartment had closed behind me, leaning against it, rubbing myself to orgasm through my jockeys in record time.  i went back to the park the next night, no pretense of going to elaine’s (i’d used that excuse once, what was the point, when my intention was to satisfy myself?)

fall’s leaves and car’s tires whisper, whimper,
skittering across the concrete, buried in the curb.
the sound of promises left untended by
these shepherds, forests, nights.

that night it was my turn to slip into a waiting car, confronting a panting older man, belly within inches of the steering wheel, too eager to grab my crotch, too quick too, pulling my hand and putting his own need ahead of mine.  “let’s drive,” he looked at me and i knew i should step out, get out, excuse myself, politely, suddenly, but, but my curiosity and my desire (not for him, but for the act) was too strong and by the time i was hiding my panic, lighting, smoking, trying to engage in small talk, it was too late, we were off on our way up the street, cutting loose from the other circling cars.

slowly past the stone wall, this side, and that,
and around again, patience and
desperation in equal parts;
youth spectral, shades silhouetted in moonlight.

he was surprisingly strong, surprisingly quick to come, surprisingly slipping twenty dollars in my hand at a corner, “get us a cup of coffee, will ya, kid?” and when i got back from the corner diner with the hot paper cups, steaming, he was gone, the taillights of other cars replacing his.  i thought for a just a moment that i might faint (embarrassment, fear).  that what had happened hadn’t, that i knew what corner i was standing on (i didn’t), late on a fall night in chicago, that wind off the lake winding around my neck, a noose tightening its grip on my life.

the truth is much different than the fantasy we concoct about sex, about love, about our life.  it’s always a little messier, a little more dirty, a little less proper, a little more like what we didn’t want, but accept anyway, always a little more hopeful than the truth would allow.


the other side of town


when do you admit that beauty is all around you?

that even in the most mundane juxtaposition of color and form there is beauty?

beauty is not always gay.

and the choices we make when we decide beauty is in front of us are often difficult.

acceptance is perhaps the most difficult when you are reminded that you are out of your comfort zone.

but then you see that others have decided that their mean life is beautiful and you succumb to their choices, their decisions.

even when you are constantly reminded of the differences that still exist between your world and theirs.

Follow me on Instagram

Chasing clouds. #palms #washingtoniarobusta

Extraneous Pages



Twitter Updates

Copyright notice

© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: