Thursday, September 29, 2011

Main Man Will the Shake Expresses my Thanks for Your Birthday Wishes

"Sonnet XXIX"
When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate,
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? Canto 10

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint?

CANTO 10  September 28, 2011

One significant thing I forgot to mention about the Atlantic City days
I almost cheated on E. with E.O., my manager at the Holiday Inn
He looked like Eddie Fisher and dressed flashy and drove a Dodge Challenger
But he was basically a quiet man and possibly gay. We only necked once,
Late at night after going out drinking. A zaftig blonde, who was 3 inches taller than E.O said that she was going to marry him, but first she was going to kill me.

I said nothing and Gigantor left. I heard later she became pregnant and he had
Never told her that he had had a vasectomy. Good.

But there had been damage to E. and my relationship. He was growing fatter now

Never leaving the couch when he wasn’t at work.
We moved in with friends on the Main Line and stayed far too long.
We rented a house far too far from Center City in the Northeast
Ethan found a job in some store, either recordings or books
We struggle through sex once a month, with no pleasure for me
I remember that the house had no furniture except for a bed and a couch.
And E. never left the couch when he wasn’t at work, so we must have had
A television.

I became a Secretary, not an Administrative Assistant,
At the Institute for the Study of Civic Values, a meaningless title meant
To gather endowments and government money. I know we did some
Anti-redlining activity with the infamous Acorn
We had a convocation of activists in Virginia that was mainly social.
And I flirted with my first Dave there. He had promised another woman
At the meeting that he would spend this one with her and promised to
Flirt more with me if we ever met again, which we didn’t.

But one important thing began in Philadelphia

You can’t see Broadway from Broad Street in Philadelphia
But you know it’s out there. And I found a place that was teaching
Playwriting. The Philadelphia Company. And I returned to my pen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Told it's Like Riding a Bike

I gave up sex in 1993, mainly because it wasn’t worth the trouble any more.  Not only were all the good men taken, the ones who were good in bed were definitely off the market. And it was depressing to see that the younger men I dated had none of the skills of the men of my generation. There had been a sea change in the failure of Feminism. The females who saw our assertiveness as a chance to get the men, had run in to our places with no demands and the urge to please. It was obvious that the younger men had no incentive to please a woman as she would stay no matter what. The Joy of Sex was replaced by the Joy of Sexting and the hookup became commonplace. Friends with benefits. Like brushing your teeth. Don’t make a big deal, I’ve got a call coming in.

You’ll notice that Bill Clinton never mentioned giving Ms. Lewinsky any pleasure…no. It was the new age where a man in power didn’t have to worry about showing his body because he didn’t have to undress in front of a woman. She would kneel before him and serve him. Oh, good. That’s what Feminism was all about…making a cheap porno. 

But look, guys, I realize that I had stopped holding up my end of the deal. Having realized that women having to spend more money on hair and makeup and clothes than men was unfair, I had pretty much ended my days of being dressing to please when I was first married at 21 to Anything Male With A Pulse. In 1993, I was 44 years old and twice divorced. The first shot of menopause over my head emphasized a huge difference between female and male. There is the natural attraction of a fertile women, but I assure all of you gentlemen that the urge leaves woman is a myth. I have not lost the urge or ability, I’ve just gotten hip enough to the idea of a woman of 62 talking about it is considered gag-worthy by most men. So, seriously, why would I want to waste the money on makeup? Botox. Plastic Surgery. You end up still looking like an old lady, but one that had work done.

So, I have to accept that the fact that the last time I had sex will always be an EH! memory and try to recall the four in the middle of the pack who were spectacular. I’m pretty pleased with the last man I kissed, so let’s just put that in the scrap book as the closing memory. The scrap book is not locked and might be opened again. Anything can happen and I’m not going to run away from men, but I’m not looking for it either. Yes, next June will be 19 years since last I assumed the position, but I’m told that it’s “just like riding a bike.” Well, yeah, if the lady’s on top.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? Canto 9

CANTO 9   September 23, 2011

I think of all the dark periods of my life, the darkest was Atlantic City 1971-1976

Lost years. You killed yourself for 3 months during the summer and just watched the sand blow down the boardwalk, but there were enough conventions to keep a job.

No one believes anything I say about Frank Adamucci, Jr., but while he might have been lying, I never do. In those days, if you told me he was rude and a liar and a terrible person, I would give you his phone number and you would call him to tell him and then call him the next day and the next and the next because you were laughing.

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, spit it out, you Circus Freak!” he would say.

And you could never say it that way. You would not have the person respond with laughter, but Frank could.

He presided in his huge bedroom, entirely ringed with thousands of autographed books. Mrs. A. was the perfect New Jersey rich housewife with the blonde helmet of hair and mink coat. She was so very down to earth and I will always think of her screaming "FRANKIE!". Rich or not, she did all the cooking and taught me that the soul of Italian cooking was simplicity.  

FRANKIE!  was friends with all of the famous writers. of the 1970s and 80s:  Jules Feiffer, Joseph Heller and on and on. He knew how to find them and make them take his calls. Since my husband worked in a Bookstore, Frank demanded we go with him to American Bookseller Conventions. Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C. Once, at a convention in New York he dragged a skinny, dark-haired man with a hooked nose over to me and barked “Watch Kozinsky for me while I look for something.” Jerzy and I had a lovely conversation, at the end of which he told me “If they ever say I commit suicide, do not believe them. It was CIA!”

I was there with Fran and E. at the after parties. Laughing with Tennssee Williams and Kurt Vonnegut (very drunk, he propositioned me in front of my husband, who wasn’t sure he could object. I said ‘no.’ NUTS!)

Whenever we walked into that deceptively small house full of books in Margate, Frank was always on the phone with someone important. Shari Lansing or Hunter Thompson. And one day he demanded to read a play I had written, and then declared that he had decided to try playwriting and handed me a one-act, “Withdrawal”, which was brilliant and I got produced twice in Philadelphia. Frank claimed productions of his brilliant subsequent plays, but always somewhere far away, like Arizona, so I never knew.

The one thing I realized in that barren time in Atlantic City was possibilities and I started to imagine  that I could not sit there just going to Frank’s on a Saturday night to watch the brilliant work of Carol Burnett and “Mash”. I wanted to do something. It was time for the first step. And the nearest step was Philadelphia. One day, I just told E. that I was moving to Philadelphia where friends had offered to get me started in life. He could come if he wanted, or not. Unfortunately, he decided to come with me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? Canto

CANTO 8   September 21, 2011

I might not be able to do this part justice till I turn this into a book
E. ended up conquering massive problems and fathering 4 great kids.

However, back in 1971, his parents and brother were still alive.
S. was completely insane. She drove her husband, L. into silence
Now, bear in mind, E. was not born E. He had chosen his own name
And so his younger brother decided that he would be J.

We got out of there quickly, but I don’t want to waste your time
We had an apartment in the Chelsea section of AC back when it was dull.
A basement rock band drove us out to Pleasantville.
The landlords were downstairs and so they asked us to leave when
They realized they didn’t want people above them.

E. was the manager of a bookstore, a perfect position for him
And I worked in Reservations in various hotels. A perfect use for my theatrical training.

E. got fatter and fatter and I got more and more depressed
We ended up living in the basement of a summer house, but I’m getting ahead

The most significant moment of the story happened one day in the book store.
This magnificently loud and well dressed, dark haired male creature was at the counter, laughing so loud the whole store turned and looked.

Frank Adamucci, Jr. of Margate. If you knew him, you will be smiling right now.

Dressed in the bell bottomed, French shirt, platform heeled glory of  the 1970’s.

His father had owned a construction business and had been murdered
Despite the Italian name, I was told quite firmly that it was a botched robbery
That left the 18-year-old Frank a millionaire, but with a mother to take care of.

He could not leave her and Margate and had no education and was the most brilliant, clever, dazzling creature on Earth and straight as a stick, with the women
flocking around him. He could get away with accusing a gay friend of having “landing lights on your ass” and keep the gay friend’s adoration.

He turned away from leaning on the bookstore desk and looked at me as Ethan introduced me as his wife. Frank looked me up and down with those dark eyes and smiled and said “You’re interesting!”

And then spent twenty more years showing me that I was.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This Started as Essays About Theater and Here's One More

There was a time I did a lot more essays in this thing, whatever it is now. I guess that was when it was about playwriting, and I’m not sure I have the strength or the time to throw myself into that insanity again. I cut 50 pages out of Amour Americaine and I really have to find a better name for it. It was stupid of me to write it with the huge cast and numerous sets of Cyrano de Bergerac, but I had to try. Now, it’s down to 9 characters and whatever set you can or cannot dredge up. And now, more than ever, it’s fiction. Roxy never was completely like his inspiration and now I know that he is an innocent in comparison and I, of course, could never be Siriana because she is successful and I am not. And more importantly, the two had a real relationship and mine was only a fantasy and as real as the damned script. And yet, in the script, where I could control everything, I think I got closer to the truth.  Unlike Cyrano, Siriana does not become a slave puppy to Roxy. She is a feminist and puts him out of her mind and lives. She is bright enough to know that there is not just one great love and lets herself get involved with Lee. But she is also human enough to end up like Cyrano, dying for love. The one last gallant gesture. And that is total fantasy. Romance. And thank you M. Rostand, for helping me experience Romance and come out alive.  We’re going to be reading it in the church group and I will put it into contests, although I’m not so romantic that I forget how show business works. 61 is “too old” and they will not even open the script. So, I think I’ll put my age on the front cover. Talk about a hopeless, romantic gesture. Talk about panache.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Side of Passion

The Greatest Passion of All

The greatest passion I have ever felt
Was when I wanted
To kill the lazy bastards.

When they couldn’t find one damned fucking job
While I worked daily,
And spent the money I earned.

Number one
Followed me from town to town, complaining
That he felt no love
And spent thousands on signed books.

And allowed them to all be struck with mold
An incurable cancer
To paper and to marriage.

We seldom if ever had sex or joy
Paid the deposit
For his new apartment fee.

He has remarried happily, rejoice.
With four strong daughters.
But I didn’t see the light.

Number two

Nine inches and skill in The Joy of Sex
Stopped arousing me
When he started hoarding trash.

Awake at 2 a.m. seeing him sleep
Thinking of murder
Not of lust or affection.

Walking two blocks to Candlewyck Diner
In the predawn dark
To eat pie and drink bourbon.

He did not notice that I was leaving
He thought we could date
So I disappeared for him.

There’s my story of love and lust
And men for whom love went bust.
Here it is, twenty five years along.
Alone and happy, still going strong.

Love can intoxicate you
But Hate can set you free.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? Canto 7

CANTO 7   September 17, 2011

I remember that going to the Coffee House in Atlantic City felt normal
There was coffee and poets and left wingers like Steve Twiss,
My first gay friend.
I wish I could say that I remember anything about the poems
E read that night, but I don’t. He was good and professional.
His real name wasn’t E, he had simply decided to choose  a new name
I didn’t know that was a bad sign.
His girlfriend wasn’t there that night, as I found out later.

Now, here’s one advantage to having been raped, it was easy after that.
I took E’s virginity because his girlfriend was a virgin and refused to take the pain.

And that turns out to be the ONLY reason he chose me.
I didn’t see the pattern beginning.
That the only woman who wanted him had something wrong with her
And he never hesitated to tell me and I went along with it.

But I said goodbye and I left, ready to go back to Ohio University
And my first off campus department with 4 other friends.

And E., who had told me that he could never love me
That I wasn’t good enough.
Showed up in Athens, Ohio, a totally lost East Coast boy.
I found a friend to give him a room and I was his only friend.
So he said, and I quote “I might as well marry you.”

About this time, I was informed by the School that they had
Forgotten to tell me about an required couse that was
Not available until the next fall.

And that they were cancelling my Playwriting major.

Everyone else had moved over to the English Department.

But I  had minored in Philosophy, not English and either way,
That would be a fifth year of college and there was no way
That my parents would help with that.

So, this being 1970 and we were morons who thought that
Education didn’t matter, I dropped out and collected E.

And we got on the bus to Cleveland, me and this man
Who didn’t love me but was following me wherever I went.

My parents were not happy, but it would be another 40 years
Before I found out just how unhappy they were.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Messages in Bottles

Creation’s a mystery with no rules
Inspired by daydreams and fantasy
Needing the foundation of proper tools
Needing reality but flying free

Sometimes we weary and the well runs dry
And the buyers and audience are gone
No longer young, and not yet old we cry
And wonder if we can last one more dawn

Is it just a message in a bottle
Can we be content with mastering craft
Do we take the pressure off our throttle
And remember the days we danced and laughed

Did Shakespeare know he was The Great Shakespeare
Was Vincent was ever called Master Van Gogh
All we can do is create it my Dear
And hope that new generations will know

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time to Pay the Piper

The disco days are dead and gone
And the charges have all come due.

Worry about it tomorrow.
But tomorrow has come for you.

The details got away from us
In a haze of Bordeaux and Brie,

Fantasies and daydreams of Love
But no debt we ran up was free.

I wanted to save you, sweet boy
But this boat just had room for one.

And like Rose in Titanic’s film
I dropped your cold hand so to run.

And I survived. Big fucking deal.
I owe the drowned ones compassion.

I must help, and I must listen.
Don’t let the rich bastards cash in

On our foolish indulgences
That they controlled in secret ways.

To dazzle us with shiny things
And for which the blameless child pays.

Amazed, I see that Jack survived.
Finding his own way to the shore.

Stripped clean and redressed in new clothes
Ready to find a new open door.

I refuse to let them win this war.
Let’s give them a revolution.

With stronger, leaner, angry hands.
The product of our evolution.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint?

CANTO 6   September 13, 2011

This would be the pattern, three times in all.
It would take me forty one years to learn the truth.

So, when I returned to Cleveland after school was closed early
For the summer of 1970 and my Mother had found me a job

Her friend, Frank Stan, worked at the Dennis Hotel in Atlantic City
I had worked for my mother at the Statler Hilton in Cleveland
The summer before. There was a troupe of college students
From around the world, working at the scut jobs out of sight.

Did I mention that I had been born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
My father regretted that he hadn’t used the GI Bill after the war
And ended up in the steel mills that closed and forced us to
Make the move to Cleveland, Ohio.

And to be perfectly frank, I forget how I got to Atlantic City in 1970
I must have flown to Philadelphia. I know I wasn’t driven.
And from Philadelphia to Atlantic city, pre gambling, there was no air.

Somehow I got there and went up into the vast neo-french classic towers
Of the ancient Dennis, pre-gambling.  And I was assigned a dorm room
I think of 4 women one in each corner, with giggling “normal” college girls.

I know they were “normal” because they laughed at me behind my back.
There was a bevy of strapping, bonnie Scottish Boys
And one Miss Irene DiNola of Rome, Italy, who looked at me and said,
“You! You are interesting! I am Irene DiNola, of Rome, Italy! Let’s go
have fun!” And we left the “normal” girls behind and scoured the bars
of The Boardwalk. Understand, we were allowed to drink at 18 back
In those days. I smoked my first marijuana and as it was laced with
PCP and nearly caused me to happily jump off one of the amusement piers,
I never smoked marijuana (much) again.

The hotel was huge and horseshoe shaped with a bar outdoors in the center
I think we bussed the tables. I do remember eating in the kitchen of the hotel
And learning things about hotel kitchens that no client should ever know.

As the summer neared it’s end, I heard that there was a hippie coffee house
With readings done by poets and it was there I went one night and
Changed my life for 8 more years in the City by the Sea.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Fantasies are Starting to Fade

Fantasies and daydreams are meant to
Fuel the young.
To inform their actions and impel them into life….
Where they learn the bitter lessons of

How many mistakes did I make or chances
Did I blow?
And don’t tell me Happiness welcomes the aged
With open arms and passioned sighs.
Get a clue.

Did I really give up everything for Art or for men?
Not for love.
I always fantasized and daydreamed while married
To men who couldn’t earn a living.
And took mine.

Whoever I had in my arms wasn’t what I dreamed of.
That was all
Fictionalized characters that I turned into scripts
While I let myself be led around by real men,
Who hate me.

So here I am now, all alone, keeping all my money
Without Love
And too old to be the hot young playwright
In a world where the money all goes to retreads and

I have way too much free time and I won’t starve or
Be homeless.
Anything is possible if I don’t lie down and give up.
But I’m getting tired of possible and wonder
What can be?

Get thin and strong and keep the fire burning, woman.
Pray for health.
What inspiration can you find in this messy society
That seems to want the elderly to die to
Save some bread.

I don’t know yet.
I’ll get back to you,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? CANTO 5

CANTO 5   September 8, 2011

May 4, 1970, in the Ohio College system
Someone was in rehearsal for my play “Lullabye Dance”
The little blonde bitch who deigned to direct it,
Was permitted to ban me from rehearsals
And casting and set design.

So much for Ohio University’s
Quality Theatrical Training.
As I discovered later, no one knew
How Playwriting works.

I did not fight with her.
I think I met her once and was dismissed.
She always wore a little plaid hat
Trying FAR to hard to be hip.

So, I got involved in the Vietnam Peace Protest
I had gone to DC in November, 1969
Just missing the Dupont Circle Riots
Because we had a bed to sleep in
In Silver Spring, Maryland.

At OU in May, 1970, the protests were basically
Masses of us cutting classes to hang out
Wearing denim and armbands with
That damned peace symbol everywhere
Under banners, drinking red wine from Coke Bottles
So as not to be caught.

The girls provided sex and secretarial talents
To the men of the movement and were just
Starting to figure out that something wasn’t right
About this 60,000 year old arrangement.
We were starting to get together and talk.
Bread and Roses. Bread and Roses.

The Theater Department was rehearsing “The Front Page”
When we heard that Kent State had made the real front page.
And of the National Guard’s attack on the
My sister, the Good Daughter, was at Kent
Getting a bachelor’s in nursing
And still tries to tell me that Guard
Had to open fire with bullets
At the kids throwing rocks.
She had treated Guard Members at
The Health Center where she worked
And said that they had cuts from the rocks.
But she didn’t see the bodies of the kids.

And next, the very same Ohio National Guard
Was on it’s way to Athens….to get us under control.

I only remember the picture of crowds running through the
Streets that night, and feeling Mace in my eyes.
Not fired at us, but up from the basement of my dorm
Howard Hall. (Yes, of Scripps Howard)
Where the campus police were located
And someone had accidently set off a can.

The next day, silently, we watched the
Ohio National Guard rolled into town.
Truck after Truck, rifles at the ready.
Kids dressed in green fatigues and helmets
 As scared as we were.
They had fired in terror
And were now considered dangerous
And out-of-control.
You could feel it in the air.

The Peace Movement died that day.
The “Hippie” Movement died that day.
They shut down the college and my first production.

It would never be the same.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Experiencing 9/11 in both DC and NYC

So, my sister usually flies to Montclair, NJ (via LaGuardia) for my birthday on September 29 every year and in 2001, for reasons I still don't understand, I suggested since she could get a plane to Washington and I could get a train, why didn't we meet there and tour D.C.? We took 3 days off the week of 9/10 and not being rich, decided to only stay in the L'Infant Plaza Hotel for 3 days, 9/8, 9/9, and 9/10...leaving the morning of September 11, 2001. We had a terrific time and the morning of 9/11, went downstairs where there was an actual mall of restaurants, as we walked toward the restaurants, I had to grab the wall, nearly passing out. You see, I get ESP vibes when planes are crashing. It must be the passengers' terror and I got hit with a big one and my sister saw it. When we got upstairs to pack, I turned on the television and there was the first World Trade Center tower burning. My sister couldn't stand it and went out on the balcony, which faced the Potomac. I saw a white airplane in the sky flying low when I watched her walk out. When the second tower was hit. I yelled "A television news helicopter must have hit the other one! My God!" She yelled from the balcony...."Sue? Is this natural?" I came outside and saw a tower of black smoke. "It's terrorism." I replied, getting it right. The hotel management made us come downstairs and stand outside because there was another flight, Flight 93, still in the air while everything else was frozen. I was one of the people on the ground they died to save. Thank you, guys. We couldn't leave the hotel and no trains or planes were flying. The next morning the trains were back on and I abandoned by poor sister, whose daughter-in-law had gone into labor due to the stress, and found my way to Union Station. I was in the newspaper business. I had to get back to New York City. My brother-in-law drove in from Parkersburg, W. Va. and met my sister at the end of the METRO line in Virginia. That is one tough Grandma. Since there was no way out of New York, I had to leave the train in Newark, taking a bus ride through some horrible slums that we force our citizens to live in. We were all Americans on that bus, black and white. I was exhausted and asked my temp to stay at work one more day, filling in. Friday, after seeing it all over and over on the news, I got the courage to get on the bus to NYC. As we came around the Helix into the Lincoln Tunnel, I saw the smoking pile of debris under the gaping hole that had been WTC. When I got off the bus and walked onto Eighth Avenue, I saw every wall covered with missing posters of all shapes and sizes. The air smelled of burnt building and death and would actually hurt my lungs by the end of the week for the next 4 weeks. Ambulances and police cars raced madly among the stunned crowds. At work, the stories began of everyone's adventure, but I had to get hundreds of editorial cartoons out to 2300 newspaper subscribers. I had to! I was in the news business and I was 40 blocks away from the burning pile. I had seen the Pentagon burn and been saved by the martyrs of Flight 93. Both cities. Both tragedies. Would we had paid attention earlier and prevented them both.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? #4

CANTO 4   September 5, 2011

Muddling through my first days in dormitory.
Figuring out the rhythms and having a date
Or two with a heavy set boy whose name
I don’t remember and whose advances
I resisted.

Then I met my first real “Hippie”, Bob Bolan.
Only, don’t call us “Hippies”…we are freaks.
Tall and skinny, dressed in fringed denim
With longish brown hair and such an attitude.
Playing something in some band
No one had ever seen, but mostly
Just smoking dope.

Supposedly a theater major but mostly
Just selling dope.

Through him I met the big pusher from Columbus.
The man who could get you anything.
Wearing a cowboy hat and mink coat.
As close to Pimpin’ as a white boy could get in Ohio.

I revived him in a play of mine called
“The Thirteenth Step”, and cast him as Satan.

But I didn’t get involved in any drugs.

No, never having done that with Bob.
Didn’t even have a date with Bob.

Didn’t know what Bob was doing that night
When he got me into his dorm room
And without asking, pulled my clothes off and
Threw me onto the lower bunk and put
Something inside of me, causing horrible pain.
I didn’t know that it was a penis or that he had
Raped me.

No time to say “no” it had happened so fast.

And he was furious, ANGRY that I hadn’t enjoyed it.

That I hadn’t acted like a “Real Woman”

To what? Being hit by a truck?

He threw me out of the room, still bleeding.
And if it hadn’t stopped, I might have gone to
The Health Center and gotten him arrested.

But it stopped and he never looked me
In the eyes again, refused to speak to me
And showed off a new girl friend who must
Have known what he was doing.

Two weeks later, in the shower,
Something fell out of me.
A condom that he had never even
Bothered to look for or think about.

And my daydreams and fantasies started up.
With renewed vigor and deeper stupor.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint?

CANTO 3   September 3, 2011

Borderline Disorder.
I was over sixty years old when I understood.
All three major men in my life were college dropouts
Following a nervous breakdown.
Gee, you think I might have a pattern here?

But back in the day
Back in my day
We thought that every “fuck” and “shit” was rebellion.
Everything was good and clean.
Because we finally got that America was failing us.

Still, at Cleveland State, a boy handed me a copy of the book
“I am Curious Yellow” and told me to study it
I handed it back and never returned to him.
I transferred 200 miles away to Athens, Ohio.

I almost went home from Ohio University
My Junior year because it was all too new.

People in my bedroom.
People in the cafeteria.
People trying to be my friend.

I called and told my parents
I might come home and they said “No!”
Didn’t I understand that I had left?

All my things were stored in the basement.
I could not come home.
So I went to my first therapist.

Grad student, thought he was Freudian
And so, for the first time I talked and I talked.
And from there, started to talk to people.
And to men.

Now, I had dated in High School.
Dear, sweet, boring Ed Biebel who never
Tried to kiss me and had to go.

Dear, sweet Jimmy Hu, two years younger
And a Star Trek fan.
My parents didn’t want me to date Chinese.

Their bigotry cost me the chance to be Sue Hu.

Finally, M.C., the tall, good looking blond
That all the girls wanted but he asked me to the prom.

Which was a month later and I never dated him
Once in those four weeks, just danced at the prom
Took me to  Cedar Point and disappeared.

I saw him years later on a CTS train platform
Hair dyed golden and gay as the wind.

So, I knew less than nothing about men
I knew less than nothing about psychology
At the age of 20, fresh meat at Ohio U.