Saturday, August 15, 2009

4 Thoughts of the Week

This past week I didn't find any time or rather didn't take any time to blog, so here is a combination post of four thoughts/ideas/situations/events that happened this week. 

1. PANK Literary Magazine sent me an e-mail saying they nominated my poem "Sleeping with Robin Hood" for the Best of the Net 2009 Anthology. PANK published the poem in their February 2009 issue and I'm thrilled they liked it enough to make it one of their nominations. 

2. Brad Pitt has been all over the news talking about gay marriage and how he's not going to get married until all people can get married. I personally think Pitt is a genuine person and does truly care, so I'm not going to get all hateful (like some others) about why he's doing this. I think it's pretty amazing a very popular, straight movie star is willing to be so forward and come out and truly support the gay community. Those of you who know me of course know I have soft spot for Brad and have a series of eight poems about him to prove it. 

3. I've been working a lot this week on a new poem that I'm very excited about. Weeks ago I posted on this blog that I needed help from young gay writers. I posed some questions about how young gay writers view HIV/AIDS in their work. Basically I didn't get any response to that specific issue but I did get to meet a young gay man who is HIV+ and who was very willing to talk to me via e-mail for weeks. He answered tons of questions and gave me the basis for a new poem that I'm almost ready to share with him and then with others. It's been a very hard poem to write as I don't normally rely so heavily on another person's story. I either use my own experiences, research that's not tied to a particular person, or I make it up. This was a new and very exciting challenge for me. The poem is entitled "My Attempt at an Epic AIDS Poem That References Harry Potter" (this might be the best title I've ever written). Anyway I want to say thanks to Scott, who I could never have written this poem without. I'll be sending you a copy soon. 

4. A few weeks ago I bought the new translation of the collected poems of C. P. Cavafy. I'd heard the name various times, but had never read any of his work. I bought the book after reading various articles about it and learning more about Cavafy online. This week I finally cracked open the book and started to fall in love with this poet. Cavafy is probably the most famous Greek poet of more modern times. He was born in 1863 and died in 1933, but was gay. What is astonishing is how open he is in his work about his sexuality. He writes beautifully about love between men, about lust, and about the idea of growing old and losing your beauty when so much of the gay world is based around youth and good looks. I've still only brushed the surface of this poet, but I'm glad to have stumbled upon him. I love finding poets who make me say "man why haven't read him before?" 

-Stephen (Recapping) 


  1. Great title :) Can't wait to read it.

  2. I LOVE Cavafy. And can't wait to read the new poem!

  3. I'm in complete awe of those "founding fathers" -or maybe "founding daddies?" - of gay poetry. The ones who paved the way. It's cliche' to say these things but true. We wouldn't be able to do what we do if it weren't for them. Do you own Gavin Dillard's A Day for a Lay: A Century of Gay Poetry? It's my Bible. If you don't, go online right this second and get it. For real. You won't regret it. And if you do, I'll refund your money. :)