Issue 206, Fall 2013
You’re born that way—or else you’re not.
It’s snowing—or else it’s hot.
It’s like the strangeness, that’s also natural,
When it’s raining on one side of the street.
I’m back to childhood when I see it weirdly
Raining on only one side of the street. I stare
Because it’s rare. How does nature dare!
It’s like the first time you hear Bach. You stop and stare—and hear!
Everybody watches the weather report
On morning TV when everybody’s getting dressed.
You always see something. You never see nothing.
If you don’t like what you’re wearing, change the channel.
But it’s always the same weather, isn’t it,
On every channel, and always changing
With the times? I like that
It wasn’t raining, and then it was, but the sun was shining at least
On one side of the street for homosexuals
In those not-so-long-ago pre-Stonewall days,
Though it was difficult and even dangerous
And they were often unhappy,
However happy they were.
Samuel Barber at the Curtis Institute
In Philadelphia with Menotti and oh my what gifted fun.
I think of the hard-drinking tough-guy GI Bill fags
I knew in Cambridge, Mass., Harvard
Teachers and fiends with a taste for straights, doing their best on weekends
Not to get caught or killed,
And basically brilliant and frightened and thrilled.