The River’s Tongue

I am a Federico Lorca fan, even though I didn’t start to read him till the early 2000’s. I’ve read a collection of his ‘complete’ poetry more than a few times – each time it gets richer & speaks more directly to me & sometimes through me. The Tell-Tale Throat is clearly influenced by my reading of his work.

sweet avon
sweet avon

My poetic influences are all over the map mind you – John Barton to Wordsworth – some more directly obvious – Dylan Thomas; others less so: Ginsburg, TS Eliot, Muriel Rukeyser, Anne Sexton. Poets are always the sum of the voices they have heard, voices that meld and create the distinct voice of the individual poet.

muddy river
muddy river

I can’t say I have a favorite, or even favorite genre though I have paid some attention to gay poets of history: Cafavy, Sappho etc. Less and less does one have to read between the lines – even though the poets often had to hide their orientation between the lines.

dream boats
dream boats

There still seems to be odd tendency to minimize the connection of the sexuality of gay or bi poets to their creativity – while reveling in the connection to hetero sensuality when it is expressed. It’s like a knife to the throat cutting off what the poet wants to say.

my coming attractions
my coming attractions

August 21 – Wednesday – attending – Blithe Spirit


August 22-25 – attending – FanExpo 2013


September 3 – Tuesday – attending – School Night!


September 8 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

September 18 – Wednesday – attending – Guys and Dolls

inner space flight
inner space flight

September 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure


September 26 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and The Damned


October 11-13 – attending Gratitude Roundup


June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

writing sample
writing sample

The Tell-Tale Throat

I was dreaming of the river’s tongue

I woke with a dagger in my throat

I felt it sharp    deep

the morning sun reflected

from a ruby in the hilt

my impulse was to pull it out

but I was afraid

would my heart’s breath flood out

so I left it

in the mirror my face was pale

but not as ashen

as the skin around my wound

I showered careful

not to push the dagger deeper

dressed gingerly

let me tell you

it isn’t easy getting things

to slip over a dagger

but I wasn’t going to let

a pain slow me down

people avoided looking

directly at the dagger in my throat

they could tell it was there

my eyes were a dead give away

the pleading hope

that they wouldn’t touch the hilt

the prayer that one of them

might recognize the ruby

and have a way of releasing me

I knew in my heart

that they couldn’t accept what they saw

let alone be willing

to share the burden of this opportunity

sometime the wind wraps its hair

around the hilt of the dagger

to give it a playful tug

that would stop me in my tracks

gasping for air

clutching for something solid

I would hear the chuckle

of the breeze as it let go

whispering it would return

never did it have so much fun

I have to sleep on my back

no rolling over lest I plunge

the dagger right though my neck

the blood’s tear drop ooze

barely stains my sheets

barely discolors my shirt

I no longer dress in white

the contrast of those crimson drops

is too harsh

the only times it become unbearable

is when the playful wind comes along

and when the first shaft of morning sun

hits the ruby while I lie in bed

the rich red light stings my eyes

as I wake from my dream of the river’s tongue

Cape Breton
Cape Breton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.