The Louisiana Social Pledge

We pledge our allegiance to Louisiana. We will embrace what makes us and our state unique. Louisiana will be recognized as a leader and innovator of the New South. Many great leaders of the future will come from this state. And we will show both the media and politicians that we are smarter than them. We will no longer have our resources exhausted and our people used and left behind. We will work hard and play hard. We will protect each other. We will support each other. We pledge that we will do whatever we can to get these things in motion right now. We will no longer wait for a path to be cleared for us. We will clear the path ourselves. And we ain’t giving up easily. We will socialize in the real world just as well as we do on the internet…in hopes to organize ourselves effectively.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Guardian Angel's Bed (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

“I want you in my bed”
He said to me in sincerity
The phone call came when
I was in the middle of my shift
As a dancer at the Lost Angel
A bar near the lake of fire
I had a made a pact with Lucifer
In order to protect my family
Other angels weren’t as aware as me
Though I had to learn seduction to save them
I was the best one at it, it pained God
But I was God’s spy and very loyal
But the pay of the job kept me employed
Much longer than I had intended
“You should be with one person”
He spoke again, Stefan, he was the one
The call came when I was on break
I was sitting on a flaming couch
Fire no longer burned me, my wings scorched
Yet still beautiful and ready to take flight
“My senses are weak, how will I find you?”
I frantically used my smell, my sight weak
He was close but I wasn’t certain
With all my might, I left the Lost Angel
I flew into the sky, ash falling from my wings
When I got outside his house outside the Gates
I could see heaven over the moon
Neither I nor Stefan were ready for liberation
Though our union could set that path
I banged on the door and he opened it
He was the sexiest angel I had ever seen
He had skin burns like me, but long healed
He was brushing his teeth and told me go to his bed
“You’re too beautiful to be dancing for Him”
I sat and stared, wondering why this angel cared
I was too guarded, too burned, to believe him
“I want you in my bed, I watched you for 900 years”
I gasped. What did he mean? Was he for real?
His face seemed sincere and then grabbed me
He kissed me and I weakened and I healed
The ashes of my wings began to become white, feathery
I looked at his arms and, there, in front of my face
Was a tattoo of me. He was my guardian angel.
All the pain I carried was gone and I saw my husband
I laid in bed with him and fit into him like a puzzle piece

(to be continued)

Sweet Things in Life (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

You have ice cream all over your face little boy. Tell me, was it worth it?
Now it's all over your shirt, little boy. I want to know, could you avoid it?
Now your hands are all sticky, little boy? I'm curious, did you enjoy it?
Yes, it was worth it! I had ice cream didn't I?!
A dirty face meant I tasted, A dirty shirt meant it was real, And dirty hands mean I can do it all again.
You had ice cream, didn't you. . ? I'm sorry, I couldn't tell. You threw your spoon and cup away.

That Adele Song (James Leland Ludeau-Lafayette, LA)

As the bullet left the barrel of my gun i thought, "God, do i really want to do this?" "It's so permanent and I've always had issues with commitment." But it was too late the bullet was on its way his fate decided and as it tore into his scalp it splintered his bone shattered his flesh it made a mess bigger than we ever were "what an absolute metaphor for our relationship." I thought as a smile bigger than Texas owned the muscles of my face it was a gorgeous mess some of his blood splashed across my cheek i'd just shot my lover in the head and as i stared at the abyss that the bullet left i thought, "Je ne regrette rien." he deserved it my room in hell is booked with this deed i'm almost certain and if i see this bitch in hell i'm gonna shoot him in the head again because i want to see him die over and over and over he always thought i was the weaker but it's me who is still standing as the corpse of this asshole lies on the floor helplessly draining itself of O Positive blood It's funny how many thoughts run through your head in one second at a time like this i used to think, "Someday you'll be sorry." when he'd hit me now i'm certain i'm not not sorry the only regret i have is that i wore my favorite jeans today and now this mother fucker is all stained on them i guess i will always have a piece of him next to me his DNA i stepped over his legs to see if his eyes were closed he only had the right one left "ain't that some shit" i thought he looked good in red looking good was never his problem being good was now he was good and dead i'd diminished myself long enough swallowed my light and in this moment i felt resolved and just as i thought it was done i heard one huge sigh come from his body this happens sometimes when people die i think it's their soul exiting their body i hoped his would wander forever lost i couldn't stay here anymore the metallic smell of his blood nauseated me i bent down and kissed his cold lips then i kicked his face with my Tom Ford boots i grabbed my belongings and exited and thought "we couldn't have two drivers on the clutch" as i left the scene of my crime i sped away in the charcoal night i felt saved i stuck my hand in my pocket and rubbed my rosary for luck "Jesus help me out of this" i cried out and He did i think because suddenly i was steered back to the scene i'd just left i siphoned gas our of my tank into an empty bottle of Jack i dumped it on his lifeless body i smoke a Marlboro even though i don't smoke the nicotine entered my bloodstream making me feel more alive focused on the task at hand the smoke entered and exited my lungs and with each breath i felt reborn like i had a chance to do it all over without him a weight lifted from my soul the end of our love was violent and as i flicked my cigarette onto the pile of his flesh on the floor flames swallowed whatever was left burned this fucker down to the ground "sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead" the lyrics of that Adele song played in my head i'd heard it a million times i only needed to live it once

Friday, August 30, 2013

Shell Dance (Cara Anne Overgaard - Lafayette, La)

Words can be so liberating Then again Words can be so heavy that it seems your heart and head are filled with lead labels The ties that bind A cocoon bursts forth into new light AS THE WORM BREAKS FREE ITS BONDS WORDS hold me down Who needs these names but What then would I call a butterfly

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dissolve Into Me (Louis Toliver, Jr - Swartz, La)

I use to be the type of man that avoided conflict
Life has now put me in a spot where I must manage it
But what do I do when my existence is the conflict?
I think I will just go away, disappear, dissolve into me.

I don’t want to go away to harm anyone’s feelings
Life thinks I should put my feelings aside at the moment
I think it is so that I may learn to be right about myself again
If I just go away, I can make the decisions that just affect me.

I’ve come to wish for solitude rather than being social
Life thinks that meditation will pave a fruitful life for us
Then I will reemerge when nature needs me most
Dissolving into me will lead me to a fulfilled destiny

Grown-ass Man (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

You're a
Grown-ass man.
Yet, you expect me
To maintain a petri dish,
Efforting a self-contained culture,
Of your feelings
As if
They are my responsibility
And not yours.

You're a
Grown-ass man.
But instead of seeking others' points of view,
You behave like a statue:
Immobile, attached to the proximate, stubborn—
Demanding that all,
In turn,
Walk over
And stand beside you.

You are a
Grown-ass man.
However, rather than showing grace through maturity,
You flip maturity inside-out by throwing tantrums, instigating fights,
And acting out everything below
The age of 22.
Well, I'm not dabbing your corners
Or wiping your ass—

You're a grown-ass man.
Now go do what grown men do.

Relapse (Trisha Dudley - Lafayette, La)

Now is about the time I fall back. I need a hit, a fix. To give up and subject myself to IT again. IT looks so good at a backwards glance. The memories seem so bright and right.  Our minds cling to the positive and run from the negative. But when you stop and acknowledge,  pay your respects to the bad, realization comes. For every high there is a low. Don't go back. The temporary rise is a fa├žade, the pain after the inevitable fall is real.  That ending is the only "hit" that should count.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remapping (Micah Caswell-Baton Rouge-LA)

My body is a map. I am the cartographer. Desire, my language.
Sometimes I get lost In the paths your fingers trace. You rework and redefine A canvas that was already used, marked, Every touch, brush and grip still glowing against my skin.
Concepts being relative, and context being everything, I was a virgin. I had never been touched in the ways you touched, And I wanted to bend, stretch, bleed For you. I wanted to let you have me, take me. All this I told you with my eyes, bowed head, and bent knees. “Fuck me.”
My body is a work of art created in dyad. The colors, sometimes vivid and aggressive And sometimes muted and soft, Are a mixture of us. You see, I too mark my own skin, flesh and bones.
My body is a map. I am the cartographer. Desire, my language. I find myself In your touch.

Penis Envy (Kisha Kana-Lafayette, LA)

I am a woman.. from Venus
Although..I often find myself wanting a penis

Why? Makeup, dresses and heels are what I love about being a girl
But, sometimes, I feel I'm in a different world

I could just be a guy and hang out with the rest
Without watching their eyes wander over my breast

In a board meeting, I could have a say
And maybe even a higher pay

After sex, I could go to sleep
Satisfied that I just came....balls deep

Truth is, I just want to rock and roll
With my ambiguous soul

Why can't people see?
We are all really AC/DC

Be proud of who you are
Even when you find yourself at war

To thine on self be truest
But sometimes I just wish I was Louis

I Forgive Myself (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)


For the abuse that was and was not my fault that I held onto


For the all the opportunities to better myself that I didn’t take


For trying to kill my soul alone instead of expressing it with my community


For keeping my faith in God to myself when I shoulda been shouting it


Because I could never love myself nor anyone else if I didn’t forgive myself

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Black Widow (R.E.) (Louis Toliver Jr-Monroe, LA)

If I had been sober, I would have seen the Black Widow you were, jumped out of your web; instead, I got stuck to your Hell.

It was poetic chaos:

no structure
no rhyme
no reason

How could I explain myself to a psychopath, like you? You didn’t really give a fuck.

As I danced, silked to you, overdosing from your poison, feeling like your tainted prince,
you swallowed me up.


Interwoven (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

A braid.
That is my latest representation of the whole fate vs. free will thing. Think about it: At the very end of a braid, you have numerous individual follicles. No one even counts them, there are so many. Then, as you go higher up, those follicles are gathered together into three, better defined, "cords." Though very separate, these cords are in very close proximity to one another. They touch. They weave together and they form a pattern. And as you follow that pattern, though those cords (and consequently the follicles that make them up) were so apparently different, you are lead back to the scalp. Literally, the head honcho.
When I sit down and think about it, I think we as individuals are the follicles. We are made up of our spirits, emotions, and attachments. And as we move about our lives, the people we meet and the situations that we encounter are the cords. Cords are made up of our environments, social circles, and everyday lives. I see the scalp as God. I mean, the scalp is where all things eventually connect, right? And the braid, itself, is the journey we all take as an individual that slowly blends us with All Things That Exist.

C.O.P.E. (Matthew Talbot- Iowa, LA)


The Optimistic Candle (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Knifed in the back countless times from either actions or words. Yet, I am still able to get up everyday and face what is wrong with this screwed up world to make things right, to shine a little light.  If these stab wounds were any truth, I would surely be dead by now.   However, that ‘truth’ is just a lie because it is caused by fear.  I refuse to live in fear.  I choose to live in love.  Through the darkness of humanity, I am an optimistic candle.   Sometimes, when I am laying alone at night in my bed I reach behind my back and I am shocked to find my blood on my hands and the pain that goes along with it.  But I am an optimistic candle and if I must bleed to death then I shall do it. I am a river of wax, so light me up. I never want to see the day that the light of those who seek to love or for truth shall dim or fade out. Have you ever been in a dark room during a storm and the lights go out? How relieved are we when we get a candle lit and it brings light to our eyes? But have you ever used one candle to light other candles and the light grows?  The room seems safe because the shadows disappear and the door is visible.  It takes just one candle to light a room, how many candles to light a city? I’m not really sure but I am an optimistic candle.  I know there are many candles out there and I hope they will come together.  I hope they at least try to light up a city, because I am optimistic candle.  At times, my flame grows dim, at times, I think it will go out.  But I have faith that candles could be everlasting, led by the ambition for light.  As their wax melts down to their end, will there be other candles to light us? I used to think as I laid stuck to the harden wax I bled onto my bed that I would be recycled as I waited in my dreams for a match to bring me back to life.  But my reality, my truth, is that many candles have come to pass the same flame onto me as I do unto my children. I am optimistic candle waiting for the storm to pass so the power, the light and the truth will come.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Race Me Religious (Adam John Schexnayder-Crowley, LA)

One more second could be too much. One less second could be not enough. I’ve reached the mountain top only to find that there is still more climb. Perseverance will be my manifest of what’s to come. The last few seconds of the race are upon me. I reach my hands up and call to Papa for deliverance. Guiding me to the top with effortless ease. He will show me the way and give me the strength. The strength I never knew I possessed. Finally passing the ribbon with my chest. I’ve made it. No thanks to anyone but Papa. Or at least that’s what I’m told….

Runaway (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

I want to be a runaway
Free, floating, thinking
Seeing life for what it is
Simple, complex, tedious
Breaking from all of the
Conflict and imprisonment
Hoping to be a runaway
Now, tomorrow, forever
Knowing that time is fleeting
Life, death, purgatory
A runaway is none of the above
An outsider, rebel, lover
He defies the odds of the time
Free, floating, thinking

Monday, August 19, 2013

Our House (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

It’s Thanksgiving all the time!
We are so glad that you can join
Come into our house, our love
Father is cooking dinner
Mother is telling stories
Sister and brother are there too
All supporting each other all the time
Pick whatever role you like
We just want you…to be you
Because you are always welcome
To our house, our love, our family
No matter who you are or who you love

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Funny Books (Lakari Jaquan Fontenot- Lafayette, LA)

20 pages filled with characters who won't judge me for being anything but me 

In those pages lie my best friends in the entire world 

These same pages will always be there when I need them 

Those pages hold my deepest darkest secrets 

The same pages I cried into a million times 

Those pages that hold men and women I admire and will forever look up too 

The same pages that make me happy above anything else 

People laugh and make fun of these pages 

But at the end of the day, these pages bring me too much joy in my life

Wounded Birds (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

I like to intervene to end the suffering
Of a broken wing
And a shredded feather.

I can't help it: I'm a healer at heart
And I'm drawn to those
I know I can help.

Their feathers are different,
But their songs are the same:
They hurt from the inside- out.

So I give them a bird bath,
And bird house with some bird feed,
And they fly again

Mostly away.

A tear glides down my face when
I allow myself to ponder
The transient nature of these relationships.

But I'm a healer at heart.
And knowing that these birds now have the choice to fly away,
reminds me that I've played my part. . . 

So that they can continue to play theirs.

Serenity (Ted A Richard- Church Point, LA)

Sensing that I am okay

Expecting that everything is just as it should be

Respecting my rights to have and express my feelings

Enjoying the tranquility in my life

Never giving up on myself

Intuitively knowing that I am who I strive to become

Teaching others through my experience and my truth

Yearning for the best of myself always

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Your Life as a Mime (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

I love how Karma makes a mime 
Out of you
Of me.

I can't help but feel satisfied
At the fact
That you are now mimicking
The same, exact actions
That I made 
That you made
Into an opportunity.

You took my kindness for weakness and my vulnerability as Manifest Destiny.

I love even more how Karma makes a mime
Out of him
Of you.

Now you see yourself for what you are, and you now know how it feels to be me.

The Story of "You" (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

“What about us?” I said as I was leaving
I’ve spent all this time right by your side
And this is how you repay me? This?
Yes, I’m pissed. Yes, I’m fucking pissed.
I’m not going to keep saying I’m sorry
Not to a piece of shit like you, no way!
You. You. “You” is all I hear out of you

And the thought that I gave so much time…
The thought that I built a life around you…
What about us? Huh? What about us?
Lying, cheating, stealing, hating, fighting,
Hugging, kissing, sighing, loving, fucking…
Ahhh! I hate you! I hate you! I love you!

Was I always in this alone? When did you leave ?
Where did your heart go? Mine was here.
I’m so embarrassed. I’m so confused. I am…
Who I am? Who am I… without you?  I’m lost
My life gone down the drain. A black hole.

A black hole created by an asshole. That’s you.
Yep. The asshole. I don’t know what to say now.
I could stand here in silence. Should I? Hell no.
Well, I’ll  just stand here and think. Think…

About the multiple ways to say “goodbye, jerk”
Or about the multiple ways I can leave you
My stomach turns at the sight of a dead end

And that’s what you are…a dead end. You!
Clearly, you can tell I’m finding a new path

I’m no longer in the cast of the “Story of You”

Spent (James Leland Ludeau-Lafayette, LA)

  • We fucked like waves of the ocean Crashing over us A sea of lust consuming us We gasped for breath A wet soreness took residence of our bodies And still we wanted more Like the drug of a fiend he used my mouth He set my flesh on fire with his touch Drenched in sweat Our bodies moving with each other in fluid motions A rhythm divine Until love conquered lust in dirty sheets Stained with the remnants of our primal struggle If he were the ocean I'd learned to float I'd dove head first into my desire Tasted the salt of his naked flesh I lay spent staring at his body Sweat & cum combined Congealed Like a mask covering our torsos A marriage of our DNA Lay in ruin His eyes penetrated my mind As his tongue penetrated my body I was captured A spell cast My longing for his sex, his touch, his taste, his smell overpowered my desire for anything else His voice calling my name like prayers in the night It was sacred Immortal Like nothing I'd known His body felt like my home Our breaths connected Synced

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nature’s Serenity, Selfish Humankind (Marlon D Bourque- Lafayette, LA)

 From the Author: Late June 1980 while at the foothills of Mount Rainer National Park on one of my many nature walks. Re written in 1986 as part of a English literature attempt at old English-sonnet style. Gained superior praise from a creative writing students critique group. Published in January 2004 as part of the “International Society of Poets” best poems selection entitled Colors of Life. 

Amidst majestic mountains of morn, lay meandering trails covered in dew. Skies dawning bright amber forelorn, winds whisping evergreens moments through.

Maturity experiencing time go by, foundling wildlife yet to rear. Waiting till precious eagles fly, sensing approaching winter season near.

Gentle calming tides ebbing flow, revealing seas natural watery scene. Great rivers winding far below, among deepest valley’s so serene.

Prideful humankind boasts to kill, against poor natures helpless will.

No Easy Way From The Earth To The Stars (James Leland Ludeau- Lafayette, LA)

Gravity hurts
Falling from your arms 
Where I longed to be 
I read it all wrong 
Wasn't what it seemed 
Out of the lion's den 
Born again 
Treading my own path
I was all aboard 
Until you said you would be King 
'Cuz that's not how my story will be written 
Not smitten 
I won't fall asleep for 100 years and wake up to be rescued 
I'm the prince & the princess & the King of my own tale 
I won't fail 
Back on my feet
 Reassembling the pieces 
Don't have to pretend any longer 
I'll write my own destiny 
Share my thoughts 
Bare my soul 
Be made whole 
Blindsided by you I saw stars 
Now I'll fly to them 
No easy way from the earth to the stars
I've never loved easy 
Never loved easily 
But I'm wide awake 
And my heart is open 
No longer bound by a liar's ideal

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Serenity (Ted A. Richard-Church Point, LA)

Sensing that I am okay
Expecting that everything is just as it should be
Respecting my rights to have and express my feelings
Enjoying the tranquility in my life
Never giving up on myself
Intuitively knowing that I am who I strive to become
Teaching others through my experience and my truth
Yearning for the best of myself always

The Only Pain I Feel (Madison Elizabeth Holland-Lafyette, LA)

You don't have the ability to hurt me anymore I'm not gonna lie and say That its not because you've done so much damage already But its also because my heart has grown Since despite everything that's happened I cannot imagine being apart from you Or never loving you again The hurtful things you do Wound my heart because now I see That's its not me you're doing this to Its you And knowing that you are in pain Is really the only thing that makes me cry Anymore.

Pain (Adam John Shexnayder-Crowley, LA)

What is it there for?? To let you know when you've had enough. Karma's sick way of keeping the cycle going. Maybe even just a design flaw in human nature.  Above all, one day.....the pain will be useful to you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Love Spent (James Leland Ludeau- Lafayette, LA)

Love spent That's how you left me Blindsided Alone on the floor Emptied of emotion Barren of feeling And if you'd held me as tightly as you grasped at my money We might've made it But you pretended And I paid And I paid in more ways than I realized at the time Love spent Broken Bent Twisted Angry Confused And I will sweep up my pieces Rebuild Continue on my journey I invested so much in us That I lost me You gained I lost You tried in vain to capture my Light A vampire of my energy I'm love spent Don't trust in it anymore And the only love I seek these days Will be the love I have of myself It's a Leo's greatest strength after all So leave Go Take what you've gained I can smile knowing its not yours to hold really And you'll lose it someday The universe will see to that

Shade (Ted A. Richard-Church Point, LA)

Some people don't realize that the "shade" they are presenting
is more a reflection of their own insecurities,
rather than an insult to the one standing under the tree!!!
Most leaves fall in the autumn ...
No shade is left!!

And some of these “shade” people will see this or hear this
Then they like it and share it;
but never realize that the tree they’re hiding under
is about to fall.
And when that happens,
I'll be doing just fine in my own sunlight.

I'm Glad It Didn't Work Out (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

     When I think of all the guys that I wanted things to work out with in the past, I have varied responses. I chuckle usuallysometimes I sigh and roll my eyes so hard that I swear I can see my own thoughts. I never respond like this because of the typical, "What did I see in him?" It's always because I know exactly what I saw and  I actually felt we were a good match.

     Even though the guys are radically different from one another, there is a common thread I have noticed: I always think, "It doesn't get any better than this." I always tend to feel this person is the perfect match for me, which leads to a clinginess and a pressure to prove my worth. But usually, things fall apart for one reason or another: "I'm straight," "I don't want to lose what we have as friends," "You're too soft," "This is moving too fast for me." All kinds of bullshit.

     But you know, I acknowledge my part in finding myself in such unsanitary situations. For one, I need to disregard the desire to "fix" people. There ain't nothin' wrong with a little helpsome spackle here and there, but bitch, I'm no mason. Not anymore. . . building houses for other people to live in. And for two, being the only one giving a percentage over twenty-five.

     I also understand that there is zero need for me to prove myself to anyone. I am already good enough. I was born and I will die that way. So all of this giving 'till it hurts, even if it's just my attention, has come to an end. Hmph, "It doesn't get any better than this." Interestingly enough, every subsequent guy would be of a higher and higher caliber of what I "needed" at the time. I guess it was because I would learn an important lesson with each one, and I would see my self-worth as much less of a stranger.

     Remaining with those individuals would have only stunted my growth.

     I'm glad it didn't work out— with any of them


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Something about the Heat (James Leland Ludeau-Lafayette,LA)

In those days it was simpler The summer nights seemed to last for days Carefree escapades The humidity stuck to us Heightening the lust Magnifying the fun Sometimes I felt like the sun's light only existed for my skin Energy swarming Kisses that had the power to make your day Bronzed lovers Stealing moments in the grass Standing on the balcony on St. Ann Your fingers caressed my blond hair As you bit my lip softly I think there's something about the heat in the south It makes you not care about anything but relief The moon The dew Cooling off the intensity of the day I ran into your arms Our love innocent Still makes me smile So long ago Summertime still brings that feeling out in me You still touch me Like the amber light of the sun You light up my life

Let It Go (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Right now you are hanging off a cliff. Now, it’s not completely your fault that you are dangling here right now. I understand that you were pushed to this cliff and now you are hanging here in fear, in pain, in guilt, in hate, but I’ve got your hand, and in order for me to help you up, you have to let go of that burden that you are holding onto. Why do you choose to hold on to it? You know what I’m talking about. Right now you are holding onto something that you could right now let go of. What good is it doing you to hold on to that…Fear? Pain? Guilt? Hate? Just let it go. That’s the only way I can pull you back up onto steady ground. Don’t look down or you will only be reminded of where you have been and get lost in your struggle and not the triumph if you look upward towards me.  I must admit that the weight that is dangling from your legs is making it hard for me to maintain my grip. So, look up at me, reach down unshackle your burden and let it fall into the abyss of the past. Then, help me pull yourself up on this steady ground. The relief will come with tears, but that is how you know that you have made it. Come on. Pull yourself up. You can do it. Think of all that you have been through and let it fuel you, don’t let consume you. Just breathe. Let it go…there you go. Let it go. I got you. There you go. We are both strong. I’ve got you. You’ve got me. You are on solid ground. Now, grab onto my waist and let’s walk away. We have a life to live. Triumphantly.

Hidden Behind Bright Blue Eyes (Adam John Shexnayder-Crowley, LA)

It was the perfect day for a wedding. It was a cool 65 degrees without the sight of clouds for miles. The grooms family were all on one side and the brides adjacent. The flowers were perfectly set in the best places. The aisle was lined in teal silk. The stage had lattice vined with the prettiest flowers anyone could ever hope for. I don't know how she pulled it off, but there was even the slight fragrance of lilac in the air as if it was being blown over by an invisible fan. The groom, oh how he was magnificent. Straight laced and freshly trimmed, he was towering over the audience like he was ready to take on the world. His groomsmen all in line behind him as if perfectly supporting his radiant aura. You couldn't tell that he was nervous, but I could tell the secret that slowly ate away at his heart. The music began, and the procession followed. Each bridesmaid slowly entered the scene, gracefully climbing on to the stage as if they practiced this march a thousand time. You could almost bet that she carefully selected only the best dancers to be in her wedding party. Then she emerged behind the blooming magnolia tree. Her dress slightly flowed with the wind. She clenched on to her father as if this was the end of her days. You could tell the stress from the barely visible circles around her eyes.  The concealer needed to be returned because it wasn't up to par against the brides worries. Her father slightly placed a kiss upon her forehead. She closed her eyes and embraced him. She took the grooms hands and shivered in excitement. This was the moment she waited for her entire life. He looked her in the eyes as if he was reading his own future in her hazel gaze. The preacher began the ceremony. Everyone was on the edge of their seat as if they were watching the blockbuster hit of the fall. And, as protocol to the ceremony, the preacher asked the audience if there was anyone who had reason to object to this holy matrimony. I had been waiting for this moment my entire life. To profess my love for the man that gave me everything I had ever dreamed. To show the world that I was the one that made someone the best they had ever been. I couldn't let her take the credit for the man I had shaped into what you saw upon that stage. My words failed. I couldn't even move. I was paralyzed with realization. Next thing I knew, the preacher was announcing the newly wedded couple and the kiss followed. Of course, it was the most beautiful kiss I had ever seen. I had longed for such a kiss. As I sat in the back row, the couple passed me. And I turned to watch them enter the sunset. He turned around and stared into my eyes. Just as he did a minute ago. But there was something different now. Something distant that would send me spiraling down. It was the goodbye look that I wished would never given to me. His bright blue eyes were gone just a moment later. And that was the last time I saw him. He assimilated into a life he was never meant to live. Without as much as a goodbye. And he deserved every second.

A few hours before my fiftieth birthday, I heard a rapping at my apartment door. I was curious to find a gentleman with roses and balloons at my door step. My only thought was that it must be a gift from the ladies at the office. They were always trying to cheer me up because they thought I was a lonely old man. To my surprise, the words that came out of his mouth were all too familiar. It was him. Thirty years later. He told me of the horrible guilt he had about what he had done to me. He told me of the previous morning conversation telling his wife that he was leaving her to be with his true love. It was as if it were a scene from the most romantic love story ever written. I sat back and listened as he told me of his life over the last thirty years. Not saying a word for an hour, I began to formulate the only sentence I had ever wanted to say to him. His mouth dropped in awe when I kissed him. It was just like the kiss I had saw thirty years earlier. Only this time, it was all mine. Then I slowly got up and ushered him to the door. The only words that I got out before the door slammed in his face were , "too late."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Angels (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

They live high and low
Trying to find their purpose
Most are recognized as human beings
Most don’t know they are divine

It’s so sad to see a lost angel
They see others are lost first
Before they even come to know
That they may be lost themselves

Man or Woman or both
Black or white or both
Gay or straight or both
Don’t be fooled by appearances

All angels have the same heart
All angels come from love
It’s their heart that leads
It’s their heart we follow

They help us find our way
We help them find their purpose
Because most angels on earth
Don’t know their direction

Angels are led by good spirit
They are us and here around us
So be happy, don't hate yourself
We're just angels finding our way

Coffee House Confessions (Marlon D. Bourque-Lafayette, LA)

From rural small town setting in much need of greater opportunity,
transitioned toward the promise of change ,the urban metropolis of the Bayou City.

Embarrassingly reserved, shyly awkward, unable to venture outside the social comfort zone,
yet secretly yearning to express hidden creative energies, though  painfully alone.

As an effort to gain more awareness of the “ gay “sub-cultured social community insight,
accepted an invitation from an acquaintance to a holiday soiree in the Heights.

Entertainment were a diverse group of sixteen men, the Montrose Singers,
whose 1988  arrangements were holiday favorites, Broadway tunes, minstrels, a few impromptu zingers.

Variety of  venues were; Briar Patch, Ovations, bar socials, Omega House Songfest to name a few,
also interacted during Pride 1989 Team Houston rally- “ Vancouver Gay Games III or Bust  “ venue.

Experienced barbershop sounds of Romanovsky & Phillips, The Fabulous Flirtations , that season,
which satirically illuminated the homosexual experience, for morale lift and political reason.

March on Austin for Equality , Washington D.C. Names Project Quilt for political empowering issues,
because Reagonomics indifference on epidemic destroying our gay and lesbian community ensued.

Gay Games III - Vancouver 1990 Cultural Festival Chorale, pivotal in unifying fractured wounded souls,
an important rallying cry enlightening the equal rights cause from Canadian brothers, sisters in the know.

Important acknowledgement of quality “ out “ role models helped to unify gay  and lesbian awareness,
as an increasing stigma of negative propaganda  from opposing right-wing forces spewed hatefulness.

Lean years of dwindling numbers in mid-1990’s were held together by a core group of devoted members,
fortunately a varied troupe of interim talented Artistic Leaders were able to squelch discontented tempers.

Recorded “ To Friends and to Life “ - Songs of the Seasons  1994 for Fifteenth Anniversary memories,
encompassing newly commissioned Season for Lovers, Dennis Dunwoody,  some remembrance melodies.

Echoes of wisdom ring out through the 8  years, “ Form is quality “, “ Never more louder than lovely” ,
“Music is our window to their souls”, “ Perfection is an art form “, “ Stir emotions, make music lively “.

Outgoing directors of the current millenium ushered in a great push for greater musical adaptability,
however these past two seasons  reflected increased zeal at yearning to raise the” musical bar” in quality.

From Bering,1898 Grand Opera House, Hobby Center-Zilka Hall to Wortham-Cullen Theatre, experience,
GMCH heals adversity with “Songs of the Classics”, “Oliver Button Is A Sissy” , “Life of Cole Porter”

Window of promise transformed this fledgling naivitae toward the healing power of acceptance in music,
this Platinum Lady’s 25th anniversary forecasts greater expectation challenging all to “Farther Sail” .