Archive for category Gay Poetry
Lee, Donovan. “Getting Past Almost: Expanded Edition”, Writers Club Press, 2002.
An Erotic Treasure
Being from New Orleans, I gravitate toward books about the city and I don’t know how I could have missed this one. The author sent me a copy yesterday and I immediately sat down and read it and I was impressed. It is quite, to say the least, erotic. I often have wondered about books that have so much sex but this one is special—it has a great story as well. The sex is very hot but the plot of the book is so good that even though you are reading some of the hottest fiction I have ever read, there is that wonderful storyline that makes it all that much better.
From what I have read the book has been published twice. Donovan Lee, the author and also the name of the main character, decided that after it succeeded in its initial publication to pull it back and add some of what he had previously cut as well as add some new material. All in all, it is a wonderful read.
I do have the feeling that I have spoken to the author and I wonder if it is who I think it is. At any rate, let me write about the book.
As the narrator, Donovan Lee, tells a friend of his about his gay sexual experiences we are let into the life of a young man discovering and experimenting with his sexuality. He relates to a high school friend some of his escapades and another friend happened to see something he should not have causing some trouble for the two friends. Young Donovan is ostracized and as soon as he graduates from the high school in the small town in Louisiana where he lives, he heads for New Orleans in search of love and happiness. What he finds is sex, sex and more sex and ultimately falls in love with his dream man. However his happiness is threatened and this threat could ruin his happiness. What Donovan does learn is to accept himself and all those changes that come with living.
To tell you anymore would ruin a good read and I would not want to do that. This is one of those books that you will read and remember for a long time and not just because of the sex but because we learn about self acceptance and being ourselves. I tell you that is one book that you will enjoy from cover to cover.
Derfner, Joel. “Gay Haiku”, Broadway Books, 2005.
Sweet and Sassy
Joel Derfner is my new hero. After reading his new book, “Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever”, I made my own quest to find his first book, “Gay Haiku”. It sounded like it would be great selection of short jokes but it is so much more than that. Yes, it is funny but it is also insightful and biting. It is a description of the crazy and maddening world of gay dating and it is very easy to relate to the haikus that he gives us. In seventeen syllables he catches each moment perfectly something that authors have written full books about and not managed to get.
The Haiku poem has long been part of the Japanese literary tradition. Usually a haiku expresses peace and contemplation as well as spiritual enlightenment with a balance of rhythm and rhyme. Rather than write about the changing of the seasons or the miracles of nature, Derfner writes haiku about the changing of boyfriends and the miracle of shopping. (How can one not love that?). Included are 110 irreverent and witty haiku poems and each is fresh and original. Topics of the poems include decorating, dating, shopping culture and politics, family and, of course, sex.
“Gay Haiku” is terrific and is a laugh a line. It will probably give you an impetus to write haiku of your own.
Michaelson, Jay. “Another Word for Sky: Poems”, Lethe Press, 2007.
As most of you know I do not review poetry often probably because I rarely read something that can be reviewed. To me poetry is very personal and I find it very hard to put my emotions on the page. However, I am going to try to give an objective and sound review to Hay Michaelson’s “Another Word for Sky”. I am a faithful reader of Michaelson’s website and journal “Zeek’ and have read both his books as I am particularly interested in queer Jewish issues. Michaelson, like myself, is a queer Jew and a philosopher. Unlike Michaelson, I am a college professor and he is an intellectual that people listen to. He is a bit of a Renaissance Man with a quest for knowledge that seems to grow continuously. And Jay Michaelson is a poet and a damned good one. His passion shows through his poems and they speak on many levels. He flirts and plays and he is erotic and sublime. His poetry is tender and raw, satirical and devotional and he seems to be controlled by Eros. Writing about love he is passionate and naked as he is when he writes about G-d. Michaelson lets us into his magical and mystical mind through his lyricism and he inspires and infuriates. However if there is anything that characterizes the poet it is that he is himself, Jay Michaelson with his desires and yearnings, his sexuality and enlightenment, his joys and his miseries.