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An anthology of 7 poetry books arcing the soul as it stretches toward the horizon.
A collection of seven poetry books, The Closet Clandestine: a queer steps out, tracks a gay man's sensitivities to the strange world encountered both in and out of the real and poetic closet. Sensitive and bold, and sometimes shocking and, in all cases, lyrical, this is a journey from shy emergence to bold self-confidence. These 180 poems are collected into seven volumes, including The Awakening, Catherine and Other Poems, The Festival at Thebes, Ties and Rings, Gay October, Provincetown Poems, and Songs: Not Just Survival. "Rage girls in fiery green that I will never retreat into the closet clandestine again."
to a defining moment
We are culture’s warriors,
Raising our voices through the land;
Teaching with our measures,
And our hearts tied to songs;
Hymns that wrap the people
In heaven’s coverlet.
We are the beacons for the century,
To the youth and fiery angels,
Leading our pavilions
Into the world’s pavilions.
We follow the drum bangers,
The locust-eaters and prophets;
Beyond the tabernacles,
Into the hearth places,
The fountain places
Where the sanctuary stones weep
To understand our strains.
The frost heart melts.
The statue head quivers.
The ignorant understand
As we, the cultural warriors
Bring the beacons of truth to the night’s cold misery
Leaving in our wake
A clear and starry dawn.
* Inspired by Donna Red Wing
With proud songs of courage,
Spent to the wild plum-clouds
In a burst of future hope;
In the fiery depths of his eyes at dawn
When night’s sarabande cuts the silence
From the rainbow solace.
On the terrapin’s back
As it slowly moves my comrades into the light.
The spectrum regained in God’s eyes as we
When We are All Free
When we are all free,
I’ll sleep the sleep of freedom;
And not before.
The mist cloaks dark beauty,
Fires lit by fairies on the bar
Leading freedom’s ferry into night’s stealth.
I will sleep the sleep
When the lover’s creed becomes law
And men and womyn can call each other
By a lover’s law;
A law writ’ by living angels,
Who know the sleep of freedom
And stay awake to guide us,
Holding high the lantern,
Showing us the way
To our rightful rest.
Then, I’ll sleep the sleep of freedom;
And not before.
I am my own personal hero
And none other;
For the models are not molded
And the map was never charted.
So, to the thrill of my inner joy,
I anoint my head with my heart
And know no other like myself in total.
I am my own best actor,
Hesitating for nothing but the lurers,
Who match and sharp my wit;
Enriching my script’s best turn,
The arc and draw of life’s bow.
From quiver to mark,
My life acts up
With the stature of the giants.
Heroes for a rainy day
And sun filled afternoons;
For all times and seasons;
Sure as nature.
Sure as self.
In a space with crowds,
Or alone in the fairy dell,
Let it be known:
I am my own personal hero.
Rage girls with pepper envy
That I know who I am
And put a price on it!
Rage girls in fiery green
That I will never retreat
Into the closet clandestine again.
Rage girls for the best of it,
Because I wear it on my crown,
And into your maelstrom flout
That this here queer’s steps out.
A Night with Rimbaud
Ring me with young hearts,
Songs green with remembrance,
But not so green to be mowed.
With laughter on their breath,
And liquor too,
For they know what I have forgotten
And I need to know again.
Ring me with fiery youth,
Dancing boys who know their stuff,
Who know what I know,
That life is invincible
And when I whisper the truth to them,
They laugh at my failing body,
But laugh with my seeking soul
And hold me fast to the lies of youth
Which I need to remember
In this life of infinite laughter.
If I were Wise
They say if I were wise,
I’d close my eyes and see it their way.
So, what if I’m inclined toward men,
I can be cured, and when;
When I see it their way.
After all, the good book states I am peculiar,
At least, they say it states so;
And they are wise and know for sure;
The ancient tongues translate so.
They say if I were right
All family ties would shatter
And, after all no parent I,
No children’s feet will patter,
Or so they say, I am
Parasitic like the grave’
They can quote it with born notions;
The world can tell you, hear them say,
While I am here,
It is their way.
Yet, in a pristine pool
I see to the very bottom;
To the coral glory, and I know
That within this pool’s kiss
I am anointed and
By what I say.
I have no sin to wash away.
At least the one I am wear today.
I say: if they are really wise,
They’d realize, I’ve heard their say,
Believed it for a day
Then drowned their drone
In the flushing throne
And shout: “I’m bless and gay!”
BOOK REVIEW: L. Adlem on Rainbow Reviews
"I read poetry by "dipping" - the book lies by my bed, and I dip at random, reading one, maybe two before bed. In this way the pleasure is extended, it can take months to read through a volume. Poetry should not be rushed.
I enjoyed this volume of poetry. For one, the layout is to my taste, lots of white, open space, to leave room for thought. Another thing I enjoyed seeing was the development of the poet, from being 'in the closet' in The Awakening, to being 'out, and proud of it' in Songs: Not just Survival. There is a progression; the poet shares his life and moments.
The poems are well crafted, it is clear that thought and love and much work went into the work. I plan to keep the volume by my bed.
Read it, savor it.
Never leave me boatman, even when I reach the new land,
The land beyond the closet door.
Confessional flies open; and I leap out,
Out before my God, who tells me more of love than I have ever known;
Out before the others He created,
Not to question why?
But to sing the lamplighter's song."
A gift for expression
December 12, 2008
By Lily Mackay
Since time immemorial, people have turned to poetry to record their experiences of the world. In "The Closet Clandestine: A Queer Steps Out," a collection of seven shorter works, Edward C. Patterson has added his unique voice to the mix.
The book covers the gamut of his experiences, both as a gay man ("I'm Out" and "Not Just Survival"), and as a sensitive observer of the world around him ("Winter Reigns" and "Roberta"). He even has a bit of fun with the whole idea of poetry ("A Verse Perverse")
This is not a children's book as the subject matter and words in many of the poems are for more mature audiences, but for the person, whether gay or straight, who is interested in understanding how one gay man views the world, this book is a treat.
Poetry by Edward C Patterson
May 31, 2008
By C. Morris (Wales, UK)
The Closit Clandestine a gueer steps out, a book of poems by Edward C Patterson, is an amazing collection of poems and verse I found it both heart warming and inspireing! I found that I was brought to tears by :Ties and Rings, and warmed by : in My Heart there Lives a Dream, I highly recamend this book to all lovers of good poetry!!
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