Tuesday, October 23, 2018



by Frank Bidart, 1939

 Lie to yourself about this and you will

forever lie about everything.

Everybody already knows everything

so you can

lie to them. That’s what they want.

But lie to yourself, what you will

lose is yourself. Then you

turn into them.


For each gay kid whose adolescence

was America in the forties or fifties

the primary, the crucial


forever is coming out—

or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.


Involuted velleities of self-erasure.


Quickly after my parents

died, I came out. Foundational narrative

designed to confer existence.

If I had managed to come out to my

mother, she would have blamed not

me, but herself.

The door through which you were shoved out

into the light

was self-loathing and terror.


Thank you, terror!

You learned early that adults’ genteel

fantasies about human life

were not, for you, life.  You think sex

is a knife

driven into you to teach you that.

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