Chapter 3 is Available!

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Hi, Patreon fans.

Chapter 3 of my new Work in Progress The Road to Redemption is now available on my Patreon page.

www.patreon.com/fefeeleyjr

 

This is a work of gay fiction in the urban fantasy/ post-apocalyptic world. I really appreciate your support and can’t wait to bring this newest book to you all. Check out my page. Oh yeah, the first chapter is free.

Thanks!

F.E.

P.S. I would love your feedback on the story and where YOU think it should go.

 

If only I…(National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoDemetrius Washington

 

If only I had leaned into that touch
that September morning before you left
the sheets pooling at your hips
my body sore from the night prior

I had lain awake all night
your head on my chest wishing
for the morning to refuse to break across the sky
leaving us naked and bathed in darkness

I saw the hurt in your eyes
at the sudden sullenness in my gaze
as I bit down on a thousand words
of panic at the back of my throat

I loved you
with your careless hair and your soft grey eyes
and your warm body and your powerful back
the shape of your lips that kissed me
and the submissiveness

If only I’d taken care
to dress with you and walk you down
the flight of stairs to my door
and kissed you once more before sending you away
into the morning sun

You had another life
was it a job? A home? A wife?
you wouldn’t say and I didn’t ask
when we met at the airport bar

I didn’t care then
but I do care now
if only I’d listened to the voice that warned me
somewhere underneath my second
bourbon and seven
when I saw the tie you were wearing and smiled

You were here on business for a month
and you were my lover as well
and we worked til daybreak often
laughing and drinking and lovemaking

Do you want me to come back?
No, I didn’t want you to leave
If only I’d said that
I wouldn’t be left here with only the smell
of your body on my bedclothes

The Peculiar Timing of the Nashville Statement by The Southern Baptist Convention

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Pana Vasquez

I’ve been watching the news of the absolute devastation that has taken place in our country over the last week or so.

Houston, Texas, along with many other smaller communities along the Texas gulf coast was slammed hard by a massive Hurricane.

Yet in the midst of the wind and the rain, the destruction of homes by wind gusts topping 140 miles per hour, the wiping away of family homes and business, the upending of lives in an area so large it would cover Michigan from end to end, in the midst of turmoil and death, evangelical leaders decided at that particular moment to hold Houston’s head underneath the water.

150 ministers from the S.B.C gathered in Nashville to build and ratify a manifesto that takes aim homosexuality and trans-gendered folks. The language is divisive, it’s old age fundamentalist rhetoric, with debatable versus thrown in for good measure.

To a lot of people, including the Mayor of Nashville, found not only the statement appalling and not reflective of Nashville’s values, but people really questioned the timing giving what has transpired over the course of this past week as well as the ruining of many people’s lives, lively-hood, childhood homes, as well as the death of people caught in this terrible tropical storm.

I, however, am not looking at that.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed to push back against the wave of northern Baptists’ vocal dislike over the institution of slavery years and years ago. It was created in Virginia on May 10, 1845, oddly enough, the very same state where the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights once prophesied that, “A national sin will cause a nation calamity.”

The sin: Slavery

The calamity: The Civil War

Do you ever sit back and wonder why the Civil War was so bad. Why so many people died? Why Jim Crow was so bad? Why the KKK was so powerful during the lynching years of the 1920s? You ever wonder why race is still, 17 years into the 21st century still such a hot topic of debate?

Look  no further that the Southern Baptist Convention. In short: These people used the Bible, the Holy Word of God, not to cover up the sin of owning, beating, selling, mutilating, raping, and murdering human beings, but to justify it. The ministers preached it out of the pulpits using some pretty impressive mental gymnastics and the ‘Sin of Ham’.

Heck it was southern ministers like Oral Roberts and Bob Jones Sr along with Jerry Falwell who, being furious over Brown v Board of Education, sued the government to be allowed to open whites only Christian schools using their 501c3.

They lost 8 -1

However, just a day or so ago, The S.B.C reached back into it’s utterly ungodly past and just like their predecessors raised the devil of bigotry and divisiveness once more.

This time, however, their beef wasn’t with the Northern Baptists and their sudden revulsion of the inhumane treatment of slaves that threated rich landowners. No. It was directed, purposefully, at a southern city in one of the proudest states this union has ever known. Houston.

Houston, Texas is the 3rd largest city in the United States. I believe it boasts the 13th largest G.D.P in the entire country. With a population of about 6 million people inside Houston proper and it’s outlying areas, the great city of Houston is a proud, beautiful, and diverse part of the gorgeous lady that calls her name Texas. A name derived from a Native American name Tejas meaning ‘Friend’ or ‘Ally’.

I hypothesis, leaning hard on ‘knowing’ because I was once a nut job fundi, that this storm provided a perfect time to condemn Houston for recently having an out, married, lesbian mayor Annise Parker who served her city for six years.

While the debate of Climate Change rages through the country, and through the world, these S.B.C ministers in their desire to cling to power, didn’t just pass condemnation of gay people and people who were trans-gendered. They decided to release this statement as a counter argument that God brought destruction to the Gulf Coast for Houston’s political decision in electing Mrs. Parker.

Alas, in the past 72 hours, when pastors like Joel Olsteen of Houston couldn’t be bothered to open the doors of his massive mega church to those in need, Texans did as Texans often do in these situations. They didn’t wait for help to arrive, they didn’t sit idly by while neighbors suffered, they didn’t blame people for their suffering, they didn’t do things for political reasons, although the Southern Baptist Convention surely did.

They became like Christ.

Even in their limited capacity as human beings to be perfect, political ideology died, racism died, divisions about sexual orientation died, gender, culture, heritage, all the things that serve to divide mankind into camps of ‘Us’ vs ‘ Them’ things that were nailed to the cross of human suffering  2,000 years ago and in this great hour of need mercy, charity, forbearance, benevolence, and the complex and fickle and hard to kill human spirit stepped in.

In the days and weeks ahead, there is going to be a lot of discussion over what happened in Houston. There is going to be a lot of money required to put these people’s lives back together. There will be homes needing to be rebuilt. There will be schools needing to be cleaned out and repaired. There will be churches that will need the same. And, as tragic as it is, there will be people needing to  be laid to rest and families will gather to mourn.

In the divisiveness of this past year, in the chaos of the world, Houston Texas and it’s outlying areas came together to show people in this country who we really are. We are America. We will survive. We will not only survive but we will thrive. And we will thrive because American’s of all walks of life, all religious backgrounds, all faith backgrounds, all cultural, ethnic, and orientations – have a promise woven into their hearts. A promise hard fought and although sometimes having lost it’s way, the ties that bind are as strong now as they ever were.

That promise is:

We hold these truths to be self evident. That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And an even older promise than that,

For God so loved the World that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever beleiveth in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life. John 3:16

For God so loved the World, SBC

Not some of it. Not some of them. Not just white ones. Not just republican ones. Not just Straight ones. Not just Male and Female ones. Not Southern Baptists, alone. All of it.

You were wrong then, you’re wrong, now.  The statement made by S.B.C and it’s signatories ought to be seen for what it was, shameful, a low blow, and a sin.

She deserved better than that. We deserve better than that. God deserves better than that.

I hope Houston, once she get’s her cowboy hat on again,  responds accordingly.

Sources:

http://www.baptisthistory.org/baptistorigins/southernbaptistbeginnings.html

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133

Silver Haired Man (Poem)

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Photo by Shamim Nakhai on Unsplash

 

silver haired man
brother, I hear your hearts song
though martial music fills the air
like thunder it rumbles and shakes the world
there is familiarity here in your words
like the soft sighing of grass

there is a longing, there
the shadows of what could have been
ghosts of ‘what if’ gone silent and still
as your path turned left and you
leaving ‘what could have been’ behind you on the floor
weeping behind their glass wall

winters, oceans, the strangers house
I know these things as well
the hungry, the longing, nuances others overlook
I’ve cast mine eyes there
it’s one thing to view the world
it’s another to inhale it, hold yourself still, and see it

Silver haired man
the hand of God hasn’t been removed
its mark is still burnt onto your being
as now, you speak with his tongue
and notice the infinite in the cracks, pot marks,
and driftwood of humanity

You see the lesser, because you are the lesser
but the greater for it
for the veil has been pulled back
and the truth – that drove priests mad
stands in stark nakedness
exposed this time to eyes that seek to cover
not it’s shame, no

No, what you do isn’t an act of embarrassment
what you do is an act of empathy
you cover it not to hide it from the world
but to protect it, you, us, from the cold
like a good father would

Industry panic (Poem)

 

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Since when did it become fashionable to impede on someone’s hustle?
What’s up with this?
Can’t you do do that thing on your own?
Can’t you go out and make that green on your own?
You’re like amber bottles lined up with skulls and crossbones

you look good but that shit is superficial – you know what they say…
you’re poison, ally my ass – Et tu Brute?
Ya’ll gotta stop this, it’s toxic
it’s narrow minded, quixotic,
if someone’s got their game on deck
why come along and knock it?
If someone’s got something to say
let them do that thing, why stop it? Myopic

you scared?
You worried someone might tell you
you don’t belong here?
That your words may be gay but ain’t none of it’s queer
And are you worried someone wants to know how you got here?
And are you worried that someone’s gonna wanna know
how y’all managed to get this industry on lock?
so now you gotta knock down someone you’re stressin’ some new cock on the block
worried that someone might come teach you a lesson
on talent -so frantic, you’re actions got you confessin’
who you been all along?
can’t take no heat when someone up and tells you that you might be wrong?

is your goals so lofty, so costly, the money you make – did you come by fraudulently – are you concerned you’re a fake?
Panicked new names are creepin’ in too fast
so now you make a mistake by kissing some ass
Didn’t you get the memo
celebrity is obscurity just waiting to happen
you could be great, you should be great, but you forgot your passion
Did you lose your ability because you were too concerned with fashion?
or is the pool too shallow, here- popularity’s gotta be rationed?

the hustle should be about getting your words out there
the standard used to be publishing, now y’all running scared
with so much static running in through the door
between the critics, the cynics, and the Z list attention whores
who found their fame shit talkin’ those who do
But your losing popularity So now you do, too?

Man, what a cliché this whole thing has turned out to be
Got voodoo queens hexing the whole famn damily
it’s a tragedy, of no less than Shakespearian proportions
you’re standing at the top of the well – tellin’ us what to do with the lotion
you say, it puts it in the basket lest it get the hose again,
How are you pointing out people’s flaws when you ain’t right within?
Come again?

 

Mother Mary (Poem)

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(Photo by Alina Sofia)

Mother,

My consciousness wanders in the cool of the evening
When the sound of the air conditioning unit hums it’s perpetual song
After the rains have swept heaven free of sticky summer air

A Marlboro red burns between my fingers as I linger in my chair
The smoke climbing blue grey tendrils upward and out of sight
My lovely slow death, when I think about life
As my wind chime tinkles away in the breeze

My lover is fast asleep mumbling in his dreams
About his worries, and grinds his teeth and apologizes for not being the best of the best of the best
To phantom faces of his industry
A race never ending to simply live in this world

But he is the best
And he is who I think of
My Jesus at five foot eight inches tall
My Atlas, my St. Michael
Beloved, enchanting my immortal soul, and giving rest to my weary mind
And pleasure to my wanton body
He stands guard at the doorway of my heart

I’ve never known love like this
Sweet Mary, sweet mother please hear my truth
I fear the cup of my heart is filled with holes,
While my mind is filled with razors
Understand that his love keeps me hungry
And the wine has yet to be bitter on my tongue

Even though he slumbers, in mumbling shifting sleep
And as minutes tick by, shifting sands, in the cool night air
Let the day’s last cigarette burns slowly down
Let me love him, and keep him, and I’ll love you
With the love of a long lost lonely child
Until the oceans and my words run dry

My husband
Mine

Amen

Well Past Midnight

It’s well past midnight
Laying on my side
I listen to the exhale of my man
In his sleep
And the wind cascading from the heavens
They both whistle breaths
Exchanging harmonies
As he exhales the trees rustle
And as the world inhales
His chest bows out

It’s well passed midnight
Laying on my side
I hear the conversation between man and earth
A song, a private primeval song
Far beyond my understanding
Yet not beyond my sight