Filial Fragments

Richard Ronan. "Violets". Flowers.

this is a farewell poem:
stephan was like my son
in many ways I mean:
like a son I maybe wanted
to have and didn't and
evidently won't have I
know that part of wanting
a son for any man is a
bid for something immortal
or at least a second swing
at what he left unresolved
another part is like lust
Andrew Holleran. "Foreword". The Man I Might Become: Gay Men Write About Their Fathers.
In his book Being Homosexual, Richard Isay suggests that this alienation between gay men and their fathers begins in childhood when the father, sensing they are different, withdraws. This is not to say that fathers are still not enormous presences in the lives of their gay sons. Fathers have always been, in life and literature, a mystery we believe we must decipher before we can understand ourselves.
Robert Glück. "Robert Duncan: Tribute". Communal Nude: Collected Essays.
In the late seventies, a poetry event took place over two nights at the Gay/Lesbian Center on Page Street. Twelve gay men and twelve lesbians read together. This was a very novel idea at the time because the two communities hardly spoke to each other, and the atmosphere was tense. One woman read a poem about a mother verbally abusing her little boy on a bus. There was nervous laughter from some of the men, and the poet stopped midway. Trembling with rage, she told us that she had read the poem many times at women-only events and had never experienced laughter. There was total silence, till Robert called out from the audience that none of those women had ever been the boy in her poem.
Two memories of my own father:
Sitting on one end of the couch nestled close to him, an open book on my lap. He taught me to read.

At potato harvesting or planting (I'm not sure which), a spade raised against me in anger. It never descended.
I now read a queer subtext into the lyrics of Father and Son by Cat Stevens: at the very least the song is dual-voiced. A paternal figure in the refrain "Find a girl, settle down / If you want, you can marry / Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy" and what we take to be the son coming to the realization that he must go, he is not heard, "From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen".

There are other songs. Other fragments. To read. To query identifications.

And so for day 2051