In lieu of the festivities I lay out twenty dollars for a séance. 
I’ve sucked a lot of cock and had my share of deathwatch but 
don’t wear rainbow. It’s good we’ve made this Technicolor progress, even so . . .

There’s still the black-and-white of Kansas and Mabuse. Norman Bates.
I hide out in a shuttered upstairs room with strangers, two electric candles
and a silver megaphone in the center of a shadowed circle

Hoping for instruction from one of my mustached lovers
the raging atheist with HIV and a passion for Strauss and Mahler
the gentle theosophist who smoked himself into kama-loka and beyond

The medium (is she Swedish?) tells me my parents are together 
after decades apart, radiant and joyous, golden figurines
who think I should try woodworking, make simple toys for kids.

The fireworks are popping off, a sequined noisy barrage
across the river. A lot of glittered g-strings and t-shirts reading
Gay is the new straight. Whatever. Lots of pretty boys out, even so . . . 

White garbage bags piled up shoulder’s height on Chelsea corners,
stinking refuse of emancipation. Policemen wave me through
the barricade. Do I resemble one of them, the revelers, or am I just 

Too old, still too much in mourning to get down and boogie big time 
in praise of doing what I could—the played-out veteran of some border 
skirmishes—not enough to be a hero but too much to go back home?

The bachelor at the bar, a beer in his left hand, mojito in his right,
confides These Chinese girls at Pride are so damn hot. I want to fuck them all.
I pay cash for my Shiraz, sprint upstairs to my single, jerk off, joyless,

Imagining no one. Drift into Geppetto reverie: what’s a real boy like?
Blue-haired fairy, fox, and cat? High school girls with home-made
posters, gym rats holding hands? One helluva celebration, even so . . .



"As gay, middle-class American life grows daily more mainstreamed and commoditized, I find it more and more imperative and rewarding to explore the back alley ways, cellars, and shoe boxes in the back of the closet. Or simply pay attention to the amazing juxtapositions of daily life which frequently run athwart the 'official accounts.' Or simply be aware of my feelings of estrangement and bemusement at the official events of Gaydom."

Robert F. Gross is a queer nomadic performer, theatrical director, and writer who took boxing lessons in Chapel Hill, judged cattle in Madison, studied drawing in Rochester, and was sole passenger on a freighter from Philadelphia to Hamburg last fall. Recently, he appeared in "Minimal Martha" and "escape clause" in Philadelphia with Julius Ferraro. Poems have appeared in The Camel Saloon, Black Mirror, Purple Pig Lit, Sein und Werden, Dead Snakes, BoySlut and Danse Macabre.