the poet who writes letters / the letter-writer who writes poems.

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A friend directed me to this Newsweek article by a gay Israeli solider.

It was fitting timing, really, since this morning I found a new Facebook group called “1,000,000 people who know the state’s permission isn’t needed for marriage” and became enraged when I read their brilliant solution: All you need is a few witnesses and call it a common law marriage. Listen, I’m all for the symbolic meaning for marriage as much as the next romantic sap, but we’re dealing with messy bureaucratic red tape here.

While I appreciate the sentiment, it doesn’t exactly hold weight in a courtroom, a hospital, or when signing adoption papers. A even when we think we have the legal circus figured out, we manage to find some situation where we don’t have the right paperwork and things go terribly awry. While our straight counterparts fly through the system with the greatest of ease, we have to constantly manuveur and jump through hoops.

So when I read Yoni Schoenfeld’s article, this passage struck a particular chord:
“As Israelis, we are taught from a young age to admire the United States. The American dream offers an alternative to the somewhat harsh reality of life in the Middle East. But that dream has been betrayed by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that governs gay and lesbian service in the U.S. military.”

As you may or may not know, Israel does not have a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in their military. And while gay marriage is not legal in Israel, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat us to it. (Along with Mexico City, Portgual, and South Africa, thank you very much.) And at the very least, each person in the country is given the opportunity to serve in the military, without fear of being outed and discharged. The only fear that should prevade in combat is the fear of death or injury – not who the guy or girl next to you is screwing.

The observation has been made that the cruel irony is that our government has towed the great freedom of democracy line all over Iraq and yet, some of our soliders serve there with that fear of being outed and kicked out. Personally, I would never volunteer for service, particularly in this climate, but each person should be able to make his or her own choice.

After all, isn’t that we claim to the rest of the world?

I have poem up on anderbo.com!

Check. It. Out. (Along with all the other great work!)

It’s not even close to a fair choice. There is a new dimension to the health care debates — taking HIV medications as a precaution after rape apparently gets you docked for a pre-existing condition. Yeah, if this woman hadn’t, she may have developed the actual virus and then where the hell would she get coverage? All I can say is WTF?

READ THIS IMMEDIATELY.

We should send this to every punk in Congress who’s fighting Obama on change.

An email I wrote to Andrew Sullivan, following the posting of his “Dissent of the Day,” 10/13/09.

Wow, heterosexual love can produce a universe?

I had no idea. From the way I understand it, heterosexual sex sometimes, but not always, produces a child. Hunky dory for you.
 
Maybe I’m just a little oversensitive about some anonymous person calling my love a “ghostly comparison” to theirs. Maybe I’m finally coming into (or returning to) my angry dyke phase. Maybe I’ve just read far too many comments like your reader’s. But I am sick and tired of this pissing contest. It’s the origin of every argument against gay marriage, DADT, and gay rights in general. It’s the concept that there is only one absolute in life and if you don’t abide by it, you’re a second-class, subhuman being.

And what if being gay were a choice? (And personally, for me, I think it’s a combination of several factors, so choice may be involved.) I don’t know if it is, but I do know I choose to be with the woman I love and she chooses to be with me. We choose to support and take care of one another, to help realize each other’s dreams. So if that commitment is somehow “beneath” the heterosexual model, well then I’m happy to choose it.
 
By the way, you know what else a sperm and an egg produce? Gay people.

Apologies for the hiatus! I’ve been making excuses again. But, seeing as how all other forms of writing are back on the horizon for me, I figured blogging could squeeze its way into my schedule as well.

Here is a little something to satisfy your palates – literally. I realized with all the wining and dining I do in New York, it was high time I wrote some commentary on the subject.

This is a list that I started after a dinner at the West Bank Cafe, located at 42nd and 9th.

Enjoy!

1. The bathroom stalls have floor-to-ceiling length doors and sinks that look like bowls of pottery.
2. There is at least one item on the entree list that is in a foreign language – even if the restaurant is not ethic.
3. The “pre-meal” item does not consist of bread.
4. Sorbet is served between courses to “cleanse” the palate. We all know it’s served just because it tastes amazing.
5. The cognac list is as long (if not longer) than the regular dessert list.
6. Gratuity is automatically added to your bill regardless of party size.
7. The waiter is incredibly skilled at opening bottles of wine – you’re not sure, but you think you just saw him do it one-handed.
8. You don’t get a choice of salad dressing and there are no croutons.
9. There are no children in sight. If there are, they have napkins neatly folded in their shirts.
10. You know it’s going to be a night you’re everywhere you want to be – VISA is in your back pocket.

Something about having a new trumpet-playing neighbor whose music wafts through my open windows makes me feel even more New York.

I get to create a whole back story for this person – perhaps they’ve always lived there, but they just started playing. Or maybe they are someone’s child who has just started taking music lessons or an out-of-town relative staying for an extended period. It doesn’t really matter, plus, the mystery of it all is part of the fun.

It reminds me of another set of windows where another instrument could be heard. During my sophomore year of college, I lived in a dorm that was part of a  pseudo-quad set up. A very talented drummer lived across the way in the dorm just diagonal from mine. It was the only kind of noise I didn’t mind distracting me from a paper or reading. In fact, I welcomed it.

Now, here I am, six years later, in my apartment in the city that was only a dream back then…