Contributor Edward Field is not in Kansas anymore. Thank the Lord. Or rather, instead of thanking what may not exist, thank the great force, or thank the blinding light. Thank the heavy sighs in the winds. The Kansas Legislature’s recent moves to de-criminalize bad behavior towards homosexuals is proof that WWII has not ended. Mr. Field knows a thing or two about the fight. As a young man in the Army Air Force he leaned out his window and dropped bombs across the Reich.
A good patriot can come from anywhere. A good patriot can become anyone in life. Anything is possible. We can make our own wings. We can leave the labyrinth. We can escape the tower. Mr. Field’s first book, Icarus, appeared in 1963. Between the war and Icarus he “threw himself into New York’s literary scene, searching for fulfillment as a gay man and poet in Greenwich Village and the bohemian outposts of Paris’s Left Bank and Tangier—where you could write poetry, be radical, and be openly gay…a forgotten era—postwar bohemia—bawdy, comical, romantic, sad, and heroic.”
And mercifully far from Kansas.
Getting Used to It—
my new face, for one.
But what a relief not to have to be
the pretty one any more,
begging for love,
and to have this ravaged mug,
the man of experience, the worldly
no-shit look, and with it,
even a pot belly,
though I’ll admit that with a pot belly
it’s better aesthetically
to have a big ass to balance it behind –
not in this lifetime, I guess.
But this new old face,
I’ve ended up with, means
I don’t have to please anyone.
I can stand face to face
and look the man in the eye –
in brotherhood or the riskier area
of standing up for my rights,
gay and proud.
It’s still a shock
to see myself in the mirror –
a mean old sonofabitch.
I’m beginning to like it though,
and watching porn
I’m not with the one kneeling in worship
or the one with his legs in the air –
now, to my astonishment,
I’m the guy grabbing him, pushing up his legs,
and pumping away.