Author’s Triumph (poem)

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 Joshua Earle

 

 

 

I feel worn out
the words have run dry
disappearing into the air
the finish line behind me
on this mountain I built myself
that once rose out before me

On shaky burning legs
gasping for breath, stitch in my side
I lean over and take in
the ice cold air
somewhere above the clouds
with the sun on my face

The thunder rolls
somewhere beneath me
the rain I’d run through
mixed with my sweat
clinging to my heaving chests
but its silent here

Sixty thousand four hundred
steps I’ve taken
lost my place and slid
on broken pieces of other’s
shattered dreams
I cut my hands
when I skinned my knees
and packed my mouth
with snow

But now, here
atop my mountain
made by me
the sun shines bright
casting my shadow long
behind me
I bask sinking to
my knees
refusing to feel the sting

I’ll float down
it’s always the same
I’ll sink and slide
laughing
down is always easier
than going up
grace, my help, in
the rear-view mirror
and i’ll sleep

then one day
my fingers will itch
and my mind will grow
restless as wanderlust
sets in again
and like some forgotten diety
I’ll summon the rock
from the earth’s deep core
and thrust it twice as high
once again

but for now I’ll stay
in the sunlight above me
surrounded by friends, my husband
my God
casting long shadows back
on the mountain face
clutching the finish line ribbon
as it flutters, broken, in my hand

My husband (Poem)

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Johanneke Kroesbergen-Kamps

I am but one soul
in flesh and bone
with eyes that see
and lips that kiss
sweet brown hair
over a pale brow
after my arms
lifted you up
off the couch
where you slumbered
and carried you
gently to our
bed

I am but one soul
existing in two bodies
one left vigilant and
one that slumbers safe
with our dog sleeping
at your feet

I love you

My husband

goodnight

Book Release (When Heaven Strikes)

So I wrote a book.

This makes number 4, now? I think.

Anyway.

 

I am really happy to be able to bring you this latest book, When Heaven Strikes. This is my take on contemporary gay literature.
This was probably the hardest book for me to write, to date. It was certainly the most trying artistic wise for me to create.
I would like to dedicate this to gay men in general. To my brothers past and present.
Your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your pain, your love, your sex, your life, your triumphs, your tragedies, your faith, your awakening, your knowledge, your experiences, your journey, your art, your marriage, your families, your humanity, your death, your spirits are all valid.
The struggles you’ve been through – that you’re still going through – they’re all important. You are important. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Xoxo
F.E.

P.S. Paperback and Audio are coming soon.

 

 

Dear God (Poem)

 

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Photo By: Lisheng Chang

 

God can you hear me?
Even though my faith has waned?
Even though I’ve abandoned my father’s religion?
I feel empty.
Poured out. 
I can no longer lean on man’s truth anymore
even that wavers and crumbles under my feet
What was, what should have been remembered, is lost.
Truth seems inverted. Relative.
There’s so much gray.
I feel lost.

To the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
I’ve told my story
I grew as still as a sharp intake of breath
before bleeding myself dry over bare bits of parchment
till every drop has been squeezed out of me
I’ve confessed
and yet I feel weak
like I’ve wandered the wilderness for forty years
telling the truth over and over
and yet the shadows still grow long and the sky turns red
and the bread I’ve eaten has turned to stone

Is this what was meant by the tree of knowledge?
is the act of knowing so burdensome that truth alone
can lead a man to die?
that the weight of it can bring sorrow and pain
powerful enough to cripple the heart
and make one doubt even his own mind
was that the fruit so forbidden
that cast man into the void – not the knowledge of sin
but the understanding of it? The wisdom it provides?
is sin simply the essence of our humanity and the hatred
of it our own self destruct button?

I don’t know
and that is the worst of it. It’s like wine
that never slakes the thirst. The more I learn the less
I know and the more I want.
But to learn is to breathe and to cease is to die
While great world religions were all erected in this merry go round of knives
hating absolutely what it cannot cease doing unless they cease to be
but cannot cease to be by their own hand lest they cast themselves into eternal uncertainty
which is more uncertain than this …this…whatever it is this is.

Is it balance? Is that it?
Acceptance of it all? The light in the dark and the male in the female? is it this that would bring me comfort?
Were the easterners right when they uttered
Namyoho Renge Kyo?
Was Buddha, like Moses, a prophet telling everyone just to calm down?
That even in the muck and mire of who we are
we are still the beauty that manages somehow to emerge triumphant?
Should I fill myself with that?

Dear God, am I going to be okay?

Thy Will be Done –
but you have some explaining to do.

Okay, Teen Vogue, Let’s talk Sex. But let’s talk about all of it.

First off, I’m Gay.
Secondly, I’m a little weirded out by this whole thing. I think having gay sex in a sex ed course is important.
That being said I’m not so sure about Teen Vogue posting a ‘how to guide’ when it comes to anal sex.
For a couple of reasons:
A) Anal Sex isn’t for everyone. I know a lot of gay men who don’t do it. This has been somehow turned into ‘all the way’ in the gay romance m/m version of Paradise by the Dashboard Light. It isn’t. Cut the crap. 
C) I know teenagers have sex. I’m not stupid. Abstinence only education doesn’t work. I grew up evangelical baptist – it didn’t work there either. Trust me. That’s how you end up with the aforementioned HIV stats and that isn’t factoring teen pregnancy. 
So far we’ve just talked mechanics.
But sex is far more complicated than just the act itself. I wish there was an open and honest conversation about ALL of the things that come with sex – stuff adults have a hard time wading through let alone some kid who’s bodies and brain aren’t fully developed. Who’s emotions aren’t fully developed.
Basically, I wished I had someone to talked to me about sex in the same fashion that say women get talked to about sex. With a firm understanding that sex =/= love and love doesn’t always require having to be naked. That there was a worth to me more than what I can do with my body. Young gay men need to hear this and they never do. As a matter of fact, they spend their whole lives being told their less or worse.
When I first had sex I was twenty and it was with a woman.
I was ugly. I was overweight. I had bad skin. I was my own birth control.
But then I lost a lot of weight and got really really cute. And that got me a lot of attention.
When I did have sex with a man, a couple of years later, I wasn’t emotionally ready.
I was reckless, careless, and stupid. I never used a condom. Ever. And while I didn’t end up HIV positive by some miracle, I’d fucked my heart up and become so jaded that when real love showed up, actually showed up, I was bitter. I couldn’t see it. I almost destroyed my relationship with my husband before it ever really started.
Because like it or not – sex does something to you. Inside. Mentally and emotionally.
Maybe that’s not the way it will be for them, but God, shouldn’t we spend a couple of years emotionally reinforcing these kids before we throw them out into the world of Kama Sutra?
D) While I understand the article said to use a condom – there are adults who won’t. Who use Prep as if it’s a cure all pill and don’t consider HIV’s older siblings that can be just as deadly if left untreated or just as permanent. 
E) While the right is dedicated to being socially retarded, and their bigotry is an emotional investment in ignorance, I think the far left is becoming just as reckless and irresponsible in their short sightedness. Don’t be so ready in your efforts to declare love is love if you won’t come out and say sex isn’t love. It isn’t the same. And while you’ve been getting heat from ding bat people for this article, you have a responsibility to teenagers to give them the whole truth about what it is your selling to them. 
F) I know the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 – 24, is suicide. Bullying is at an epic level in our country. These kids need emotional reinforcement. They need positive role models. They need space to just be kids. Some of them have shitty parents. Some of them have shitty religious figures, bad school lives, a flood of negative things said about them. Horrible Politicians. Hell, Michelle Bachmann couldn’t keep kids alive in the district she was head of, as a matter of fact, according to this article it seemed like certain people there were actively trying to get these kids to kill themselves or were turning a blind eye because they thought these kids were better off dead than gay,  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-teen-suicide/
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/facts-about-suicide
In this political climate, Jesus, especially in THIS POLITICAL CLIMATE ….come on.
G) Some people might roll their eyes calling this ‘slut shaming’ or ‘Don’t do as I did, Do as I say.” To the first people, go to hell. You know the way kids can be, you know the way some ADULTS can be, don’t set these people up for failure. This doesn’t concern you .
To the second, to some young adult that might read this,  You’re right. I sound like a hypocrite. I wish I could go back and undo what I’d been through now that I know what love is.  And it isn’t because ‘I got a man’, either. Love was with me the whole time. I just didn’t have a mom and dad who cared enough about me to let me know that in the beginning. So I went looking for it in other ways that, looking back, took from me instead of gave me anything. There’s so much being thrown at you now. It’s so confusing and overwhelming. I am not saying don’t do it. I am just saying, “You don’t have to.” No one would ever think less of you. And if they did, then they don’t respect you. You deserve respect.
Can I give you one more piece of advice? Be a kid as long as you can. The adult stuff isn’t much fun. We don’t ‘have it down’ any better than you do.  Except now we have the added bonus of paying taxes. It’s bullshit. Take all the time you need. You’re so worth it.
And if you’re a young adult who may have had sex but you’re not so sure if you want to again – there’s no shame in saying, “I want to focus on school. SAT’s are coming up. ACT’s are coming up. Prom. College Applications.”  Just know you’re worth waiting for.
H) If I were a parent and my kid brought this home. I’d be pissed.
I) This was the best sex talk I’d wished I had. If you don’t believe me, Listen to ‘Kurt’s Dad’ from ‘Glee’.