The Drag Performance

The Drag Performance

By Walter Holland

This city block at summer, past Redden's funeral home,
the place I last saw your body. Fourteenth now in summer's heat,
I'm heading west toward the old Anvil, the place you roamed
about in the seventies -- The packing district, hunks of meat
hanging on hooks over docks of sawdust, where men at night
had sex in trucks and fronted the warehouses. A drag queen giving a show,
a cause for celebrity, a downtown following -- I head to the theater, in sight
the restaurants, cafes, condos, urban renewal spreading now below
Chelsea. I remember you in gloves, running mascara in streams of black
and a packed room with the lilt of your voice as you spun some Haitian
voodoo spell. Tall priestess garbed in makeshift sparkles, dead queens back
then could not be buried anywhere else but Redden's, fear ran
so rampant during the plague that corpses lay unclaimed for days
no one dared to carry them away.

"To Dan, My Psychotherapist, Who Said 'Forward Is Always Better'"

By Dennis Rhodes

I will break rocks
to move forward
I will make my head into
a battering ram
to vanquish mountains
There is no wall
that will stand in the face
of my rage -- that will dare
be immovable     I will batter
any lifeless thing that resists me
into oblivion meeting force with force
and nothing will stay solid in the wake
of my hard heart     my stone jaw

my vengeful wounds

Walter Holland is the author of A Journal of the Plague Years: Poems 1979-1992.

Dennis Rhodes is a former Body Positive board member and is Poetry Editor of this magazine.

Back to the September 1999 Issue of Body Positive Magazine.