Sunday, October 12, 2014

More Poetry News and an Important Wedding

I forgot to mention in my last post that I was invited to read at the Mannyunk Roxborough Arts Center on Sunday September 14th, with fellow poets Lynn Levin and Ronald Fischman.  It was a fine afternoon of poetry at a fine venue, a little art gallery in the hills in the Mannyunk section of Philadelphia.  I think I've read there at least two or three times before. Thanks again to Peter Krok for his support of my work.  The other news is that I won the Poetic Asides Form Challenge again, this time for my "madrigal" poem entitled "Senior Discount".  The poem will appear in a future issue of Writer's Digest, in Robert Brewer's "Poetic Asides" column.

As I said in my previous post, I was unable to attend this year's Collingswood Book Festival (which was moved from outdoors to inside the local high school due to weather). Instead, my wife and I attended our first gay wedding yesterday (October 11th), and what a wonderful time it was. The wedding party was large, including siblings, young nieces and nephews, good friends of the two grooms, and their sisters who co-officiated the ceremony. It was outdoors at a friend's house, under a big tent, and the festivities were terrific: a pre- and post-ceremony cocktail hour, a big Italian family-style dinner, homemade desserts, and non-stop music from a super DJ. But the most important thing was the whole vibe of the affair: the warmth, the emphasis on family, and the sheer joy of it all. Congrats to the happy couple as you embark on your life together.

Several years ago, I wrote this poem on my feelings about the gay culture. They have evolved a bit since then:

Gay Pride Parade

I am returning from lunch in the city,
when the parade crosses my path.
Led by a row of butch Harleys,
they march down Market Street,
rainbow flags snapping in a stiff June breeze.

Drag majorettes lead a rousing drum corps,
setting the rhythm and the pace.
Following them, a group of alternative families –
two mothers pushing their stroller,
a six-year-old boy riding the shoulders
of one of his dads.  Then the float
with the bearded beauty queens
waving to a cheering crowd.

I think, good for them,
but the old fart in me finds it hard
to leap from “tolerate” to “celebrate”.
Still, I half-expect to see you marching by,
proud of your new identity.
And if I saw you, I would wave.

So I wave anyway, as if I have.


Yesterday, I learned to celebrate.

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