Closing OUT Glendale Pride

It was a pleasure to participate in the City of Glendale, California’s first ever PRIDE month celebration. Thanks to the efforts of folks like Grey James, Gary Freeman, Nick Macierz, Ben Evans and others, the ACE/121 Gallery participated in an exhibition of art and worked with Hank Henderson of homo-centric to organize a literary evening of spoken word. Here is my contribution – the original poem “I painted my fingernails a rainbow”:

 

I painted my fingernails a rainbow
To help answer the question what makes you queer?
   (original version: so you would know what kind of person I am)

(holding up the right pinky – painted pink)

See here on my pinky –  a dollop so dinky
But powerful, potent and purposely pink
Within its tiny confines my little girl dream twinkles
To distract from all the growing wrinkles
Once upon a time you might think pink was weak
But have you not seen its profound power united?
Not tickled pink but ticked off pussy pink and taking no more shit
From the stink of anything foul
Pink is strength imparted from its corresponding tender parts
To nab something drab and transform the norm
Oh pink! Queerest shade under the sun
Oh pink! Always on the brink of something fun
Pink! Pink! Pink! I don’t think I could squeal any more in delight
Than I do for you, pink!

(holding up the left pinky – painted purple)

And on the other hand reflecting time so refined
The regal and stately shade known as purple
Properly placed for my dainty old lady to sip her tea
In calm and comfort with a sense of high society
Not wishing any harm just wisdom upon everyone
Well respected as reflected through the ages like the sages
Dressed in various sensible shades and bountiful brocades so glorious purple
The perspicacity of plum, the vibrancy of violet
The exquisite ambiance imbued by amethyst
Or the light lift that you get as a gift from lavender
Vaulted and exalted in its holiness loyal to its royalty
Purposefully elegant and tastefully poignant – purple!

(holding up both thumbs – painted green)

Now hang loose you’ll find on my hand’s caboose
My apprehensible and indispensable opposable green thumbs
To represent the lush Eden inside me
Both the untamed jungles of sensuous mystery within
Alongside my meticulously groomed hothouse
Now should I still be found sucking my thumb
It means I’ve come to enjoy the endless green pastures of delight
All manner of savory succulents and vivacious vegetation for elation
For that is how my garden grows
But it’s also where my envy shows
I hope my bitter herbs aren’t tossed in the mix too often
A little spice when I’m not feeling nice
For should I bite my thumb at you – it is indeed intended as an insult
What can I say, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry
It’s only natural – green

(holding up left ring finger – painted yellow)

Now watch out! Pay attention! Look here!
You’ve been warned, but don’t be too alarmed dear fellow
That beneath the sunny disposition warm and mellow
To be faced with vibrant vivid livid not really so timid yellow
Now, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fear
That you’ll dismiss me as a mere lilting daffodil or dandelion queer
You can paint me a coward yellow
But whatever might dribble down my pant leg metaphorically
Is merely one moment of this bold and buttery blonde – so beware!
Should I release my wits upon you’ll be showered and certainly not in praise
Like the wasp or bee that stings you will feel the burn
Caution is required for such awesomeness acquired
Highlighted in the accent of yellow

 (holding up right ring finger – painted blue)

And here we find ourselves at blue
Among the throngs a frequent favorite hue
Not just for baby boys, but go on paint up your beards
And release your tension lest I mention your balls
Sunk into a funk of a picasso period somber mood indigo
The weight of regrets where blue bruises forge tearful rivulets
Or fleeting moments cut off too soon – come back I miss you midnight blue
Things that were never said or said with dread until all blue in the face
I want to moan – oh why do I feel so alone!?
Give me strength to embrace navy blue  – shock me into awareness electric blue
Let me dive into a pool of cool mid-century blue or
Soar once more into the vast and wild blue yonder of the sky
Oh, yes, give me smooth soothing baby blue I love you
How could I not stay true on a planet so blue!?

 (holding up left middle finger – painted orange)

Now, how to define a color that defies to rhyme
The brash and bold, does not always do what is told, orange
But do not get me started on that vile atrocity and hypocrisy
A disgrace to the particular hue and the entire human race…
But yes orange can be gaudy and audacious, bawdy and salacious
Like daggers in the eyes of sensibility
So feisty and zesty in testing the limits of taste
Tart and tangy, sweet and sultry
Appropriate color for a citrus fruit and much more to boot
The chakra source of our creative and erotic self
Sending vibrations to our imaginations from mild to wild
Orange ubiquitously encapsulates an entire season of autumnal splendor
From falling leaves to all hallowed eves
So wicked when you need it to be
So cute as a pumpkin as required
Abounding and astounding so, go for it already!
Orange you glad you did?

   (holding up right middle finger – painted red)

Now at last give in to your temptations and bite the apple red
It may be reductive, but what could be more seductive?
Such a striking stunning cunning color
Worn in all the right places and dressed to impress
Intoxicating like a fine wine – feel the rush as cheeks blush
Lips drip and bosoms blossom popping with rosy radiance and a cherry on top
So totally thrilling – and simultaneously chilling
Afterall, cut us open will we not bleed – red
Spill too much of it and we’re dead – red
Wrap us in ribbons, bandage our wounds, paint the town – red
Are we seeing nothing but – red
Are we boiling over as the world heats up in anger– red
More than a scarlet fever has reached a ferocious fervor in our head
There’s a most uncivil war of otherness overwhelming all our senses
Political fires burning bridges, burning crosses, burning truth and reason!
Witness the witless demise of our society!
Is this what we get with republican, right wing, fascist red?
No! No! No! No! Fuck you red!
We are ready to serve it right back to you
Red revolution  Red resistance Red rage
God damn you, mother fucking, what the hell is happening
If we keep this up we’ll all end up dead red!!!!!!

         (putting together both index fingers – left painted black, right painted white)

But oh there is a calm to be found in the palette of the palm
When the black and the white unite
We just might be alright
Making adjustments in this teeter totter balancing act of the universe
The cosmic dance of yin and yang through time and space
Combining all the colors, removing all the colors
The blending of sight and the absence of light
Everything and nothing
Tranquility and clarity
In the realm of possibility
Reset restore renew refresh rebegin
There is so much to be said about black and white
But they speak volumes for themselves in voluptuous wavelengths of silence
Shhhhhhhhh

As I gaze upon these fingertips I am reminded
That I possess all of this and more
A kaleidoscopic collage of colors and contradictions
And in the patchwork pattern a most dramatic chromatic diorama
My fingertips are bright little signposts
Tell tale transmissions
Of this is who I am
This is the queer I am here to be
And I see the prism you imprison behind yours as well
Free the full spectrum of who you are
We all contain Whitman’s magnificent multitudes

I painted my fingernails a rainbow
To help answer the question what makes you queer?

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