Case of the Uncut

I’ve been digging into my extensive backlog of writing. By backlog I mean looking at pieces I wrote as far back as 2007, where I did my mindless spew and then left to gather hard-drive dust. Frequently I do go back much sooner, even jumping on things I wrote in the morning to perform that very night.

salt of the earth

Backlog is one of the good results of writing nearly everyday. Making time to refine that ore/edit is another thing.‘Cow’ was one of those out of the dust pieces. ‘Uncut Ropes’ is another.

Uncut sort of harps on one of my favourite quibbles – the invisibility of ‘queer’ in my formative years. One of the great things I have from my pre-teens & teens  are many of the books I read – saved by my folks. A raft of Buddy, Tom Swift Jr., Hardy Bros., plus some British y.a. (Kemlo anyone?) – that by today’s standards are squeaky clean.

warm tree

Re-reading them as an adult allowed me to question the stereotypes they perpetuated. Other races were rarely present, if they were it was evil German saboteurs, Asian spies. Blacks were non-existent, Natives were wise – etc. Women where supportive moms, aunt or girlfriends who fretted and made sandwiches for picnics on the bluffs.

loose legs

In ‘Uncut’ I look at, in a way, my envy of their adventurous lives, their spunk, good-looks and the security in their sense of self. Never did they question their direction in life, their sense of purpose or their sexuality. Even when I was first reading the Hardys I poured over the illustrations & covers for any sense they had a clue for me in their pants. They didn’t.

samples

Case of the Uncut

in one of those boys books

Tom Swift   Hardy Brothers

there were mysterious lights up the cliff

or from a strange shape in the ocean

distant and diffuse  indistinct   threatening

tough guys skulk around the town

slouched around the ranch    the railway yards

up to do no good

with something in their sports coat pockets

that might be a gun

a magnetic radio pulsator

that would incapacitate

one or all of our heroes

who would come to somewhere tied up

and worry about missing a date

with their girl friend

they always had girl friends

women peripheral to the story but in place

so we young male readers

wouldn’t get a whiff of anything more unsavoury

than those unshaved goons

the spunky boys always had

the right female company

they were the ideal role models

ripe with heterosexual pubescent tension

that was pushing them to figure out

how to cut those ropes

how to make the sonar capacitator

turn the hydrogen to oxogen

so they could breathe again

float to the surface

drive off    fly off

with the adoring faces of their girls friends

soft and worshipful

red haired teens with freckle faces

none of them shaving yet

jumping into their roadsters

worrying about their kidnapped fathers

deciphering cryptograms

punching each other joyfully in the arm

as each hurdle was accomplished

as each bruise cleared up

always ready to face the next opportunity

never doubting what they could do

never questioning who they really where

what did this all mean

they never had to face peer pressure

boys who where boys becoming men

growing up slowly

testing the water

always gaining parental acceptance and approval

amazing their pals

yet not letting it go to their heads

square jawed rugged individualists

each chapter of their lives written for them

lives they never figured out

how to cut the ropes and escape

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