Christopher Michael, gay, gay poetry

from sorrow to serenity


I survived those 1960s high school gym-shower taunts
negative denigration at home—
little Michael wasn’t good enough
to follow any dream
like my father knew what his little faggot son wanted
because his little fag son was born to be an artist

I survived AIDS
being queer for decades
survived the clap
survived the other not-necessarily-gay STDs
survived insanity—
hospitals five or seven times
the pills
Thorazine shuffle til I learned to cheek them

I survived my time at the New Playwrights Theatre
the badly-kept-boy of Roy Schallert
some nights it was cribbage dinners of chili at café Figaro
some nights no dinner at all
all for the price of giving a dull, achingly dull blowjob
I survived
I kept the memory of Roy directing plays at the NPT
always subject to his whims and follies

I survived the story my addiction to pot
in a small house on Fairfax
circle of hippies smoking weed
around the circle
my obsession with sex
leading to arrests
destroyed a potential teaching career

I survived the story of Joey
the lovely man, factotum of that ballet dancer
who treated his minions like so much sewage
ballet classes with Joey
whom I adored and would not touch me
Joey who guided me through my first acid trip

I survived the years–an experienced little slut
standing in the right place on the Sunset Boulevard overpass
taking guy’s cocks up my ass in the stairwell below
navigating right paths through Griffith Park and Elysian Park
learning to spot the plainclothes cops

I survived addiction and being gay
drugs since I was 19
survived meth, then survived meth again
survived the clean time, the relapses
the joys, the humiliation of returning
broken, willing, a creative spirit not ready to die
I continue to survive


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