Letter Founder #55

Letter Founder #55, from Answer Shirker Press:
(Click pictures for larger versions)

Poem from the front cover:

Pay Stub
I found the discolored
rectangle of paper
while scavenging through
my mother's jewelry box

my father's pay stub
from the second week
of September
some shit job, flopping a mop
for $5.05 an hour
ten years later
he'd be dead of stomach cancer

I took the pay stub
and stuck it in my wallet

over the years
I'd lost everything
given to me
meant to keep him
close in heart and mind

rings pawned
trinkets misplaced
photographs trashed

this I would keep

I wonder
if years from now
when I'm gone
my children might find
one of my pay stubs
and realize
I, too, gave my life away
for almost nothing

-Karl Kowes

poem from page 5:

Thank you, Gay and Lesbian America!
We are finally winning
And you have been so cooperative

All those years
We hated you, we beat you

And you fought back
You stood up
You stood up for yourselves
For oppressed people everywhere

You fought us at Stonewall
You fought us in the streets
and worked to undo what we have done

You fought classism
You fought racism
You fought sexism

And you scared us
You were too loud, too strong
And you were getting stronger

But then, then you tackled marriage
And then we began to win
Because now the ball's in our court
You've been tamed

You concentrate on gay marriage as if nothing else exists
You have forgotten your strong roots
You have forgotten your anger
your open eyes, your compassion

Now you want to be just like us
Just like hte people who hate you so much
You are casting off the trannies,
the scared and bullied 8th grade queers,
the thousands dying of AIDS

You don't see them anymore
Your organizations don't support them anymore
There is no solidarity, only priorities:
Don't worry!!
They are not like us!
We are the new face of homosexuals:
Wedding bands!
Picket fences!
Throw pillows!

Please let us assimilate,
you say
Let us aspire to SUVs and soccer games
Let us decorate the interiors of your mansions

This will go on for years
We are winning
And you are whining
And all the while your fire, your defiance, your sharpness
It's withered to nothing

You don't scare us anymore
You want to be us
And we won't let you
But we will strong you along
and keep you occupied

You used to be everywhere
Fighting everywhere
Changing things, challenging things
But now, this isn't one issue
It's your only issue

And you've played right into our hands

Thank you

-Erin Reed

More in the hardcopy issue, which you can get (for freeeeeeee!) at various retailers around Lewiston/Auburn. Comment or email for more info...

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