Symposium with Accordion Accompaniment, V. Aristophanes’ Imperfect Circles

Andew Silence Equals Death

Andrew Grimes Griffin at Gay Pride in Ottawa…sometime in the 90s.

V. Aristophanes’ Imperfect Circles
or, Slicing Hard Boiled Eggs with a Hair.

Patrick was the blond American
boy next door
I met in Ottawa.
He called me Mr. A.
I called him Yankee.

Ernest said he went
quickly, so quickly
that one day Patrick,
in a voice of broken reeds, said,
“I’ve grown old, so old, so fast.”

Patrick died six months after
being diagnosed HIV positive.

Ernest said the eighty pounds
Patrick had become
was easy to hold,
but hard to carry.

And Oscar Wilde was almost right.
Friendship is far more tragic
than love
because it lasts longer
– if you’re lucky.

If you’re not
then you can
put it down
to an accident,
put it down
to an act of god,
or simply
put it down.

But, regardless
of what we do,
there are times
when we walk around
in profile
like relief carvings
on tombstones.

AGG19890318

Depth Charge: It seems that the darker side of the late-Eighties and early nineties is emerging with the release last year of How to Survive a Plague and the upcoming Dallas Buyers Club. By 1989, my friend Patrick was already dead and I composed this poem as part of a cycle based on Plato’s Symposium. I am posting it today as a companion piece to Facebook Photo and Why Someone Has To Die.

21 years ago this month the Sodomites with Flashlights presented Sodom etc. — a seminal piece of queer art. To  commemorate the anniversary, I will be posting excerpts, pictures and other material traces left by the show.

As the month goes by, just click  here to see everything posted about Sodom etc.

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