play Nathan's Poem
He is parading down Michigan Avenue
in a frock and stackings, hat, white hand gloves and heels.
The Queer Nation Party enters the bar
escorting their candidate for President Joan Jett Blakk on the Campaign trail.
Joan knows this election is a drag and has been nominated to make it a real drag.
Hire dykes on bikes she says
they’d never tolerate suck tackiness
and keep your legs crossed honey.
Next stop is a show your dick party,
where Joan obliges and picks up a number of votes.
Then off to greet and terrorize suburban families
on their Sunday mall big city shopping outing
with the message
I am Queer
I am here
and I am your son or your son’s good friend.
Then a quick photo opportunity to kiss a cop.
My matron brother cracks a smile and raises an eyebrow.
Now my brother sits still in Chicago’s Wicker Park citizens hearing room
as the new police commissioners speech
seeking the banishing of prostitutes the block
is interrupted by the local anarchisits who parade around the room
carrying banners reading No to yuppies
in direct parody of the No to Prostitutes campaign
Voices raise, Ego’s bruise
a dozen or so of Chicago’s finest enter the fray
and arrest all the banner keepers
then entering the audience arrest everyone who encouraged such disrespect>
Still and polite my brother sits through the entire affair.
An aesthetic Buddha imitation of the old Colt 45 Malt Liquor ad
where the brawl slowly crumbles around the man calmly sipping his brew.
He is still as a petal in the rain
as six armed Chicago policemen surround him
tugging on his shoulder
telling him to stand,to leave,to be arrested with everyone else
He is still, as the hush after a backfire, after a gunshot, after a broken taboo
as he politely informs the “gentlemen” he is finding the meeting interesting
and his intention is to stay.
He is still as his etiquette is vouched for
by the citizen, the voter just beyond the TV camera
he has made their choice for them
and watches the officers leave with the stillness of a pointed question.
He will be no pink Rodney King this night.
Upon completion of the propaganda he leaves
to call lawyers and arrange bail.
my God he says if is was Human dignity they were interested in
they’d at least want to bust the johns as well
and publish the names for their wives and children and bosses to see
do they let them act like that at home?
But no, none of such matters just rhetoric
about disease ridden scum catchers and queers too.
The Commissioner denies I bonds
requires everyone to post cash bail or spend the night in jail
He was surprised when they could and did
with the touches of fingers to telephone tones.
It was a night of free speech
and intellectual discourse
in the Windy City.