Bill Kushner is the author of Night Fishing (1980), Head (1986), Love Uncut (1990)
and He Dreams of Rivers (2000). His work was anthologized in Up Late (4 Walls 8
Windows, 1987), In Our Time: The Gay and Lesbian Anthology (St Martin's, 1989)
and Out of This World (Crown, 1991), and appeared in numerous magazines, such
as The World, Mind the Gap, Lungfull! and Rattapallax. Recipient of the New York
Foundation of the Arts grant in poetry, Bill lives in New York City.


April! & he tries like a windswept fool to
catch my good eye & he tries too hard, & I
never look when I'm supposed to look, but
sometimes I do, & today I did, & we duck
in a doorway, all mumbles & whispers, & I go
down in a hot breath on his prick, did I
this day do this? all the trucks roar by
here, unless they stop, & sometimes they
stop, just for just a minute, & I times
jump in, nothing mystical to it, on broken
wings, but for nothing, seconds, & I'm back
here on land again, swallowing the dust all
my lovers kick up, it's a long hard highway
but I don't have to tell you, I see you're
on it too, who exist but in dreams, & here
he comes around again, all swagger, 2 honks

On Beckett

I am not of the big world (the unbelieving city)
I am of the little world, a poet, the last ditch
of unemployable men. Mother was a lover of animals
the upturned loved face faintly blue out of the
confused plain, asleep fall to nothing anymore

The need to turn to keep on turning to hope that
I was going in a straight line toward her. Have
I lived in a kind of a coma? Our conversations
consisted of silences sent flying furiously at
each other. I am satisfied, content. In the end
you will utter again: Yes! I remember. Was
playing in a garden, in the sounds, you charming
secret things, a fart in his Italian corduroys & from
somewhere Schubert. I forgive nobody the light it
leave at that. To state the worst, perfectly. It
will end never end.



May! & sometimes I wonder what am I doing
& then I remember, I am doing this, this
Is what I am doing, one word & from somewhere
Another, no sense, nuts, nonsense, nada
Sheer babbling, why I should give up, start
Knitting instead, & yet if this is so totally insane
Then so be it, a look can say more than words
& yet words
Like birds, fly too, do you hear my wings fluttering?
It's because of you. Do I need to be any clearer?
Okay then, this park, falling evening, deserted, is me
All the pigeons come, arms outstretched, begging
for crumbs
& crumbs I got, all my gay May poems, a yowl of
A wind dives into my pants pocket, says Yeah I'm home
As I sit, staring up, & write, surrounded by memory, this
opaque city, & your face before me
Staring out every window, your curious downturned face
caught between the night's
Falling light & me, what ever do you see, wonder
what you see


May! is his ass really all hanging out? it is! what cheek
But I'll walk past you anyway, ever the actress, these
midnight streets
Look! the U.S. Marines! say pardon my stares but where's
All this leading? oh it's only Bill again, following his
dick again
In search of his Fate in the form of a Man, how funny words look
As they stare startled back at you who just wrote them down
As he turns the corner with a swagger, should I follow after?
What pray comes first? the singer or the song? & there
he goes again
The dreamer or the dream? the poet or the poem? but then he stops
Goes down steps of subway & when I get there he's there at the
bottom, looking up
& dick is out & dick's so big as he stares up daring me, face of
hot angel, jeans, leather jacket, waiting
& now comes Sunday & oh Daddy spank me, I been such a bad boy
"Those carrot-fuckers are attacking those carrots!" Why's my
life these days
& these sultry nights in the trembling hands of some sad circus
clown when all
I want's a career, a marriage, a home, Ranch Style, cats, dogs,
fishies, kids, a few degrees, His Master's
Thesis, & it is this: if one must get down upon one's knees
To see the stars, why just make sure your gasp far exceeds your reach

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