Select any of the below for full text of poems:


Be my god,
if you don’t mind

being asked.
And if you don’t mind

being asked
to dance

at this masked ball,
allow me

to introduce myself—
I’ve worn this face

since birth,
and now I want

it off.
I need a god

to remake me,
not in his image,

but in the shape
of boys

I ached to be:
the cresting

wave-like pompadour
of Johnny Villar,

Terence Kelly’s
stiff upper lip,

the name alone
of Artie Robb.

If you do
become my god,

let the chandelier’s
refracted constellations

strut across
each dancer’s mask,

those romantic glances
of cut crystal

giving us
our best chance

of living life
as someone else.

Replace my skin
with a pelt

from smelted ore—
I’m tired

of flinching
from a score

of imagined hurts.
You always were

and always will be,
you have an infinite future

and a past as long—
so, as you glide across

this ballroom floor,
lift your disguise

and show me who you are.
I’m not asking you

to be the god
of a saint,

just of a minor sinner.
And really, who have I ever hurt?

(Yes, but long ago.)
Be my god

and let me recall
the good days

in our home,
not the drama of gin

before dinner
and brandy later,

where hour after hour,
the bear

went over the mountain
only to find

another mountain.
I don’t need a large part

of you,
just that corner

that loves puns,
a kind of school-crossing

the jester

who invented sex,
the magician

who pulls a man
out of a boy

and a new man
out of him.

My god! Good god! God forbid!
God asked to damn

everything on earth—
the lost ring, shut store,

stripped screw
and missing oar,

all who walk
on two legs,

with tail or without,

employ wings,
slide on stomachs,

God asked to bless

everything we eat
and both sides

of savage nation-beasts.

on whose knee
I will sit in heaven,

please be my god
before the certain curtain call.

I know
I’ve created you,

and I know
it’s the other way around,

but since these are only
pleas on a page

don’t punish me
too harshly

for being,
in a manner of speaking,

your god.
I made you

to remake me
and then

take me
to someone

who will love me,
if it’s possible

to love a man
in a mask

who asks god
to dance

at the masked ball.

The Situation

Thou Sayest

The Wish Mind


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