Breaking the Skin
This is a sad poem.
This is a bitter poem.
I'm a crazy goddamned poet with a lot of shit on my mind.
I am a gay, black male.
I like penises. I'm a top. I am 28. I am shy.
I am not your stereotypical gay man.
I prefer white men.
I like red heads best. Brunettes.
I like black men too. I'm just picky about them.
My pride doesn't come on a tee shirt or a bumper sticker.
I don't have a boyfriend.
The right guy hasn't come along yet.
I'm waiting for him to fall into my lap like a house from Kansas.
I like gay-situated films.
I like gay-situated books.
I am promiscuous damn it. I admire virgins for their devotion.
I took an HIV test in 1995. It came back negative.
I don't go out much. I drink on occasion.
I don't go to bars.
I like to cruise public toilets for my sex.
I don't think that's disgusting so fuck you.
Fuck you man!
My favorite food is steak.
My favorite color is Black.
I don't have a favorite actor. I have many favorite TV shows.
I watch a great deal of television. I eat a lot.
Everybody's always asking,
"How old were you when you knew you were gay?"
I was six when I first kissed a boy.
They pretend to be surprised, but I don't think they ever believe me.
His name was Tony. He had curly hair and soft, fat lips.
We would sneak off in the bathroom with yellow tile
and he would sprinkle me with kisses.
His breath was darling.
We had to stop 'cause
our teacher was getting curious.
Ira Miller poured milk in my face.
He kicked my ass using karate.
His brother was nice and took me to his mom's house
when I burned my hand on the cap of my grandma's stove.
I was hungry trying to cook wieners.
Karen told me not to touch anything. She went to the mall.
I hated being left alone.
There was this one boy.
His name was Von and he lived up the street from me.
We went to the same school together.
He was in a grade higher.
We would run off like lovers giving
each other blowjobs in the woods on an old,
dirty mattress that smelled of piss.
I knew how to suck dick even then.
He shot baby semen in a pile of dead leaves.
Von would call me every afternoon.
He was obsessed.
I was the only gay boy he knew.
He liked to have fun.
His cock would rub against the pink roof of my mouth.
I used to hear stories about him
on the school bus about how he would invite boys over to spend the night
and spill cocoa butter lotion in the bed while they were asleep.
Then they would wake up the next morning feeling wet.
Von would say, "You came in the bed."
Everyone knew he liked boys.
He has orange hair now and is wanted for grand theft auto.
Greg, the only white boy on our street liked acting black.
I pinched his butt one morning as he was getting on the bus.
He told everybody about it. I didn't care.
I was a grade school slut at Woodville Elementary.
I sucked Melvin Blake off in the bathroom across from Mrs. Gerrell's class.
I'm gonna write a poem about him next.
I often wonder if he's married with children
and sneaks off into the sheet of night to get his dick blown through
the glory holes of bus stop bathrooms.
I discovered masturbation at 12.
I used to jerk off sitting on the floor of Tillie's bedroom.
I kissed my cousin Darrin on the lips once while he was asleep.
I showed my cousin Mario my dick in the bathroom of my grandma's bedroom.
He pretended to be surprised by the size of it.
We call him Bobee.
He has a girlfriend. I hear she's not pretty.
When I gave Junior a blowjob,
he was the same age I was when I kissed Tony
with the thick-set lips and curly hair.
I hated Orange Avenue Apartments.
Did I mention Daniel Stuart?
He had bucked teeth and bad B.O.
He sucked me off in the royal blue bathroom
in the seventh grade wing after lunch.
We had Sloppy Joes that day I think.
He gave the best head until he met a girl named Debbie.
After that, he wouldn't go down on any more black boys
in royal blue-colored bathrooms.
I was asked by a guy to go take some pictures
of my dick and bring them to school.
I think he was joking. Or was he?
Eldridge James thought he caught me
jacking off in the bathroom.
He used to wipe boogers on my shirt.
He didn't see a thing, but spread it around
the whole school anyway.
I went to Nims Middle School and hated it.
All the boys wanted to fight me instead of wanting to fuck me.
They picked at my red, leather All-stars.
I remember the burgundy corduroy jeans I wore in a fight with Ron Allen.
He was so cute, but a real asshole.
I had a crush on my 9th grade gym teacher.
His name was Jim Teter.
He had a perky butt.
He could've been gay. I wish he was. I really do.
I lost 10 pounds that year.
I used to wear an extra pair of shorts
under my sweats so people in class wouldn't
know that I had a hard-on.
I hated Rickards High.
I was obsessed over Ben Hood.
I used to stick letters in the windshield wipers of his car.
I knew where he worked. I had his home phone number.
I used to call him and he would angrily ask, "Who the hell is this?"
I got over him after he graduated.
They use to call me a fag in Woodshop.
They used to throw textbooks at me in World History.
I carried my dad's rusty hunting knife to school.
The school sheriff almost caught me red-handed.
I wanted to stab Cleveland Richardson for calling me a fag.
His brother was a talented singer.
He killed himself over a girl.
Beticia Johnson made straight A's.
I thought I liked her once in middle school.
She got pregnant.
She shot herself in the front seat of her car over a boy.
A white girl lied and said I walked out of the bathroom
with my cock hanging out of my zipper.
That's what the principal said she said.
I had a crush on Eric, a substitute teacher in American History.
I had a crush on Francisco Ortiz.
He was the only Latino at our school.
I used to call his house and hang up.
He was a very talented artist.
I had a thing for Mr. Collier.
He had a jerri-curl and was originally from Miami.
Deep down he was gay. He denied it.
I use to look at guys' dicks at the urinals at Parkway 5 Theatres.
Robert Brummerhop made the cutest usher.
He used to be on the swim team.
I heard he really let himself go and is living in Texas.
I watched him through the door of the bathroom stall.
He saw me and said nothing. I got scared and left. He looked at me
as I sat in the lobby.
Heard his brother Ben is a real whore.
I saw him at Club Park Avenue wearing daisy duke shorts.
I got arrested at 17 for showing an undercover cop my prick.
He had blond hair and blue eyes.
I didn't know he was a cop undercover.
My folks were supposed to wait outside the mall for me.
I was there to put fliers in people's windshields about my dad's
new storage building business.
That was the year acid wash jeans were in style.
They handcuffed me like the criminal I was.
A lesbian cop interrogated me in a white room. She asked,
"What if he had have given you a blowjob?"
They released me to my parents.
I told them I was a victim of racism.
My dad thought it was bullshit.
He talked to me about sex.
He thinks gay men are freaks.
I went to juvenile court.
I had 3 months probation and 75 hrs of community service
working at the animal shelter.
They killed cats and dogs if they were not adopted by a certain date.
I had to see a counselor to talk about my lewd and lascivious act.
My dad went with me.
The psychologist asked me in front of my dad,
if my parents had ever sexually abused me.
I was as mean as a snake to him.
He thought it was because he was white.
He had me shipped off like a slave to a Dr. Dana Dennard.
He has an office in the back room of a bookstore he owns.
It is called Amen-Ras Books.
It smells like incense.
I had to tell him all the dirty details.
He grimaced as I mentioned the words penis and stall.
"You should think about dating girls," he said.
This was his psychological advice to me.
This was his cure for my being homosexual.
I think he thought that black men were not supposed to be gay.
I think he thought it was a "white thing."
I told him what he wanted to hear, that I was getting better and there
was this one girl who . . .
My mama found him attractive,
but I thought he was an ugly, hideous monster.
I got arrested again at 25 in Tom Brown Park.
He was a black dude in plain clothes.
He asked me to pull down my pants and sit on the rocks.
I did what he said.
A guy in a red shirt caught us.
"Don't even try to run," he said.
I was taken away in an Oldsmobile to a spot where the real cops hung out.
I sat in a backseat for 3 hrs. I just wanted to go home.
They were catching guys like me in butterfly nets.
I was taken off to jail.
They made me take off my shoes and empty out the contents of my wallet
on a table.
I called my then friend Lynda to come bail me out.
She had no money.
Marc wasn't home.
I ran out of friends.
Didn't want to call my parents again but I did anyway.
I lied and told them I was stopped for speeding.
They called a bails bondsman and he discovered the hidden truth.
They released me on pre-trial release.
I called back and told them they didn't need to bail me out.
They had to come pick me up. My truck was still at the park.
The drive home was a hanging at high noon.
I had to go to court where I got six months probation.
Paid court fees out the ass.
My mother said she would rather be dead then for me to be gay.
I told Lynda what happened.
I told Doug and Marc what happened.
Locked myself away and wrote poems about the experience.
I wanted to kill myself.
I hate this town.