Living the Divine (Poem)

I hear the sound of the windchimes
the first six notes of Amazing Grace
the rush of water from the fountain
and traffic outside my window

Lighted candles burning,
in my dimly lit apartment office
scented wax and a bamboo plant
and a clock from a yard sale
still with it’s selling price

my desk is gorgeous
wooden, polished,
with a lamp in Tiffany’s style
bought from two retired republicans
gone off to live the rest of their wealth
in Arizona

a pair of inexpensive earbuds
that sing rock and roll when I work out
a brown leather wallet filled with credit cards
my favorite a golden American Express
my mother never thought I’d own

I am a homeowner
a dog walker
a bread baker
and a love maker
to a man, I call my husband
while the Virgin Mary watches over us
from her spot on the wall

I have a good life.
Dear God, I have a good life
when did all this happen?
how did all this happen?
what divine accident was I a party to?

Work “Woke” or Perish

When the Supreme Court Decision came down in Obergfell, I thought that I would be jumping for joy, ready to go out and party, ready to fly a rainbow flag in the faces of those who said it, A) shouldn’t happen and B) won’t happen. Gay marriage would never happen inside of the United States.

For over thirty years I, and many in the LGBT community as well as their families and friends that supported them, lived with the pressure of a world where two people who very much loved each other couldn’t take their relationship forward and secure their lives in a meaningful way.

But I didn’t party. I didn’t run around screaming with a rainbow flag. I didn’t even have a drink, a toast, to the Human Rights Campaign and my people who immediately set about getting married by the hundreds.

I took a nap.

The pressure that was on me, that had been on me for years since I came out of the closet, suddenly evaporated in a text from my husband that declared, “WE’RE MARRIED”.

See, we drove 15 hours from deep in the heart of Texas (clap, clap) to Des Moines Iowa a year prior to get married.

I had received a little 500 dollar advance for my book, Objects in the Rearview Mirror, and that Saturday evening, at a gas station, I looked at him and said, “Hey, you want to go?” And we did.

I drove all night through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and finally into Iowa, arriving at a bed and breakfast so tired I was shaking.

My Army training kicked in. I was taking that hill. I was delivering my fiancee to the steps of the courthouse or wherever it was we had to and marrying the crap out of him. 🙂

When, on Monday morning, we stood hand in hand out on the lawn of the Bed and Breakfast and said: “I do.” (The owner had been ordained in that state specifically for the purpose of marrying gay folks) I cried.

After I woke up from my nap, I imagined a world that would soon follow. A world where we wouldn’t call it “Gay Marriage,” it was just plain, ordinary, marriage. The world was moving forward in a positive direction and everything would be fine.

Yet, I had a deep down fear in my gut. Something from our (and by our I mean the World) history that reminded me that one step forward for mankind was often met with a fierce push and a stumble.

Enter Donald Trump.

Since the 2016 Presidential Election a great big, black, shadow has descended over our country. Rumors of Russian involvement in our elections, ongoing Federal Investigations, Vice President Mike Pence and his anti-LGBT record as governor of Indiana, the removal of the thin mask of conservative Evangelical Republicans, and soon thereafter – the deportation of “Illegal Immigrants”, the separation of families, the forced psychopharmacological drugs on children, and according to NBC News reported tonight: Their brief saying that the Civil Rights Law does not ban discrimination over sexual orientation. Of course, the head of the Justice Department is a known racist, sexist, misogynist dinosaur by the name of Jeff Sessions. A relic of Southern Aristocracy, of Slavery, and Jim Crow, and the dehumanizing aspects of a repressive and violent time.

As a writer, as an artist, as a human being, these past two years have been very difficult to say the least. My country doesn’t feel so much like it’s taken a stumble back. It’s more like the shove landed America flat on its ass.

It’s been difficult watching the rise of violence against minorities of all walks of life in our country. From those murdered in Charleston, to those NFL players who being of African American descent kneeling at football games to bring attention to the arbitrary murder of people by rogue policing, to the videos of violence, verbal abuse, and recorded phone calls of white people calling the cops of others because this is their time to shine.

All the things that they wanted to say, do and put out there toward those who are different, whereas in the past the culture of America had kept their mouths shut, now parade boldy into the light of day.

That pressure has returned. Ten fold.

The fear is excruciating.

I am now on benzo’s and Zoloft just to make it through the day without shaking apart, recently diagnosed with a panic disorder, I feel every single minute of every single day.

Yet, I cannot NOT work.

It’s impossible for me.

It’s impossible for me as a queer writer to not do what Nina Simone said we should do and that was to reflect the world around us.

Angela Rye, a CNN commentator, and activist, said something that stuck in my brain since the first time I saw her speak. In this era of ‘wokeness’ the backlash of Donald Trump, you might say, in many different areas in our socio-political culture. She said it wasn’t enough to ‘be woke’ but to ‘work woke’.

She says, “It’s pointless for us to use our talents to understand what’s going on and not apply what we’ve learned to action,”. You can watch her explain it here.

Now, she’s referencing Timesup, Metoo, Black Lives Matter etc. but it makes me think, especially with all this added pressure, that this should be applied everywhere.

It’s not enough to know what the issues are, we have to do something about it.

Recently, I wrote a blog about the way gay men are viewed in a segment of literary fiction called M/M or Male/ Male Romance and received ten kinds of holy hell from people, some of them my friends, most of which aren’t gay – talking about how wrong I was, or how misogynist I was, or whatever they had to use to defend not their writing per se, but the way they depicted gay men in their work.

It amazed me how fast the backlash was. It amazed me, the think pieces people wrote to defend themselves, and either aggressive or passive aggressive messages I received telling me, a gay man, what was up from people who loved to proclaim their ‘wokeness’ and their progressiveness.

It’s also amazing to me that should shit get as bad as it potentially could, “they” aren’t going to care whether those writers are gay, bi, lesbian, trans, straight or otherwise when all hell breaks loose.

They didn’t like the idea that I objected to a subgenre of books that relegates gay people to animals or animal-like behavior such as dogs. Or, that I object to the types of books akin to Holocaust porn, concerning gay people and conversion camps.

I have felt isolated before, I’ve been and have felt cut off before, discriminated against, etc. but after that blog went live – I’ve never really ever felt my minority status that much before. Ever.

I think it’s essential for gay people, black people, any sort of minority to reclaim their power. Artists, it’s essential to use #ownvoices to authenticate the work that you do. I think if there were a time publishers, magazines, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hollywood, to let themselves be flooded by these minorities and their stories – it’s now. It’s time for us artists on the fringes to not just be woke, but to do like Angela said, “…and work woke.”

Tell our stories the way we know they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memoirs of the Human Wraiths (Book Trailer)

Hi everyone,

I am really happy to present to you my brand new book trailer for the rerelease of my trio of ghost stories, Memoirs of the Human Wraiths, on June 15th, 2018.

These three ghostly tales center on three different gay couples struggling against the forces of evil.

The Haunting of Timber Manor
Objects in the Rearview Mirror
Still Waters

I hope you enjoy them!!!

Follow the link to watch the trailer,  here

You can order the books here 

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my Patreon account and help me make great LGBT content! www.patreon.com/fefeeleyjr

See ya there!

Gay Writer needs your love (I swear to God it’s not what you think)

dmitry-bayer-451433-unsplash

 

unsplash-logoDmitry Bayer

Hey Everyone.

I am really excited to bring to your attention something that I think I should have been doing for a while now.

As most (all three of you) know that I post my poetry online for free, I have decided (my husband has decided) that I should post them as well as my fiction online through Patreon.

I know this whole system is somewhat controversial but I try (at least on my Patreon page) not to be. The access is broken down into levels that I think are pretty cool and would allow me more writing time and more focus on content creating instead of running around Hell’s Half Acre (Hi Sam and Dean).

Besides being a poet, I write fiction. Mostly gay fiction in the paranormal genre and if you’re an author like me you know that when you type ‘The End’ the real work is just beginning even if you are traditionally published.

I would like to deliver the best product I can to the people who spend their hard earned dollars on the stories and poetry that I create and I just need some backup ( Marvel or DC doesn’t matter) to help me do that.

So, without further ado – here’s my site www.patreon.com/fefeeleyjr

Come by and visit.  I hope you like the place.

Thank you

Book Sale for Closer

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/775332
 
Available in Ebook and Paperback. Audio coming soon!
 
“Gripping, creepy, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.”
 
“An incredibly well-devised page turner. “
 
“If you like your love stories with a supernatural element, you should like this one.”
 
My new novel, Closer, is on sale for 3.00 at Smashwords. Follow this link and the code is RAE50 before you check out.
 
WATCH THE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1DrBTMHs0o