Monday, January 31, 2011

the murder of Earth & Zoe Strauss's photo 

Frank Sherlock called me up and asked if I had seen the photograph of my old boyfriend Earth that Zoe Strauss recently posted on her Facebook page. I was on the phone with Frank until I found it. It's been about 12 years since Earth was murdered. I've never seen this photograph of him until now, and he's as beautiful as I remember him.

In the early 90's we were living in Philadelphia's Imperial Hotel on Juniper between Locust and Spruce. That's a whole long story, that hotel, that street, those years. I'm not interested in tripping down memory lane. What I will say is that I loved this man. Dearly loved him, and I wish that I could go back in time to prevent him from moving to Tennessee.

But when you nickname yourself Earth, chances are the city is not where you want to live. He didn't. I still remember the last time I saw him in the health food store near South Street where he worked. He embraced me with an enormous smile saying that he was FINALLY DOING IT he was finally moving to Tennessee to the Radical Fairy encampment.

He found a cave on the mountainside where he would visit each day to meditate. He must have been watched by the people who killed him is my suspicion. Whoever they were, they were never found. He was hogtied, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Can you imagine this? I have, over and over. Look at this photograph PLEASE! Look at that man there. He's the most gentle, sweet, sincere, honest man. He cared so much about this world. It still makes me angry when I think of his murder. It's an anger I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to do with some days.

Our queer politics and spirituality brought us together. And I loved him. Very much. And I miss him. And I'm so glad, and feel so fortunate to have had time with him while he was alive in Philadelphia. There are so many people on Earth that it's a miracle we ever find one another when we do, right? But I found Earth, and he found me.

And thank you Frank Sherlock for telling me about this photograph. And thank you Zoe Strauss for taking it, and for posting it. It doesn't make me sad. In fact it makes me extremely happy to see him again, especially in this context. THANK YOU! I'm grateful, truly grateful for my friends, and the possibility of love in this world.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Book of Frank: the mini movie (under 3 minutes) 


Thursday, January 20, 2011

2 PhillySound poets for PSA 

The Poetry Society of America asked Michelle Taransky and CAConrad WHAT IS AMERICAN POETRY.

posted by CAConrad

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baltimore Center for the Emerging Text 

Hello PhillySound,

Here's a message from Baltimore's Christophe Casamassima & Douglas Mowbray about a great project they're spearheading. Check it out - & contribute texts if you can!

-- Chris McC

* * *

406 York Rd. (lower level)
Towson, MD 21204


Furniture Press Books and twentythreebooks, both publishers of poetry and poetics, have developed the Baltimore Center for the Emerging Text (B/CET). We are centered at the Towson ARTS Collective in Baltimore County, Maryland, a public space used for workshops, performances and exhibits. Our mission suggests that readers, writers, publishers, performance venues, audiences and distributors are linked by a common goal: the perpetuation and sustainability of poetry and poetic practices. In the spirit of creative literacy, we are working to introduce our communities, young and old alike, to the joy and necessity of a fruitful and imaginative inner-life.

In light of these goals and practices, we established a library of emerging texts (small press books, self-published books and ephemera, handmade publications, audio/video, etc.) We currently feature over 2,000 individual items, from hardcover collections to screen printed broadsides. It is our goal to be the largest self-sustainable library of emerging texts, free and available for all.

This ongoing project begins with you. Help us build the most comprehensive poetry library in Maryland and give our community a vital resource. There are no limitations to size or format, but we do ask that all donations are in fair condition. Multiple copies are welcome and encouraged. We will be donating these copies to local and academic libraries to offset the growing cost of books. All donations are tax deductible.

Please send all materials to the following address: Towson ARTS Collective, c/o B/CET, 406 York Rd. (lower level), Baltimore, MD 21204.

To get a better look at what we’re doing, and what we’ve accomplished so far, please check out the following resources.

Towson ARTS Collective

Furniture Press Books



Dialogue’s End [interviews, reviews, views]

Onthology/audio [recordings of poets]

Cheers, and many thanks for your support,

Christophe Casamassima & Douglas Mowbray

one (Soma)tic Poetry Workshop
every month
for $25 each
(or take all 12 for the price of 10)

for ALL details please
click HERE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Can Feel Good About 

Check out my new poem for Zoe Strauss on the latest episode of Jupiter88. You should feel good about it. If not, feel good about the fact that you don't feel good about it. Either way, just relax & feel it.

- Frank Sherlock

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


JUPITER 88 is a video journal of contemporary poetry
Click HERE to see
issue #1 with Debrah Morkun

posted by

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

sharing my new video 

from THE BOOK OF FRANK (Wave Books, 2010)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

suicide: bullies score again 

My sister called me on the morning of New Years Day to wish me happy birthday. That was nice. She said she was happy I was alive, even nicer. I found out WHAT she meant by that when she followed up with telling me that a teenage boy killed himself back home in rural Pennsylvania. He was in the same high school we had attended. And he had endured severe bullying.

She told me that the school was covering up the REASON for the bullying. The boy had Asperger's Syndrome, and the papers, and the faculty claim that THAT is the root of the bullying. But my sister says it's because he was gay. There are other teenagers with handicaps in the school who no one bothers. My father who is a janitor at the school agrees with my sister.

In the end it doesn't matter whether he was viciously tormented for being gay, or not, he had come to that wall so many people come to where it SEEMS better to die. And then they do.

In a way I guess IT IS IMPORTANT we find out whether he was tormented for being gay or not because the gay community if they found out would be more proactive at that school, in that town. I left completely scarred, but stronger than ever, having survived the daily taunts, jabs, the jocks screaming at me EVERY SINGLE DAY "IT'S AN EXIT NOT AN ENTRANCE!" It. It's. It's not. Everyone JUST KNEW that IT was an asshole. And they made me realize I could survive ANYTHING.

HOW DO WE REACH these young people? How do we tell them it's going to be okay in a year, JUST HANG IN THERE. You can move somewhere else. Somewhere where people LOVE YOU. You can do that. It seems impossible, I guess. What's reason enough to live?

He was in the 11th grade, SO CLOSE TO GETTING OUT OF THERE!

This has made me very sad. Thinking about those hallways, and rooms, in that town that I know so well. Knowing that someone else was going through EXACTLY what I went through by the library, in the bathroom, in the locker room. I'm so sorry that he didn't have some THING, even just ONE THING beautiful enough that was worth living for. How awful. It really is that hard to hang on when all you want is to be left alone.

Merciless is a word I have thought of often. I hate the word mostly because it never takes into account that maybe the victim didn't want MERCY, maybe they just wanted to be ignored. Ignoring someone could be merciful. But showing mercy, it's an act, and maybe JUST MAYBE what was wanted was invisibility.

Showing someone mercy can also be patronizing. But of course it can also be kind, and marvelous.

Some days it's impossible to know what to do with all the anger. Maybe that too is the problem for the bullies? What is driving that must be answered to. I think about the boys who spent SO MUCH TIME finding new ways to send me and my boyfriend out of our skins. I mean DO THEY EVER FEEL BAD about it now? Will the boys who caused this LATEST suicide feel it for years to come, FEEL the death they caused? I guess it is important to find out if the boy was harassed for being gay like my family says. My father has grown a lot from having a faggot son. It was nice to hear his outrage. I wish I had had his outrage when I was in high school, but never mind.

I'm sad that the sharp taste of blood is still on the tongues out there in rural Pennsylvania. Taste for destroying the different. It's easy to be transgressive in such a repressive environment.

It's easy to die transgressing out there. What to do?


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