The Goddess of Transmigration


Cole grew up in the Midwest, the source of much pride in the eyes of his parents, a flourishing happy child with six older siblings. At age 7 he first became vaguely aware of a sense of difference from the rest of the boys his age. He found no interest at all in the local games of softball played out almost every summer afternoon, with Patrick Pilchuck's dad playing umpire to a whole bunch of neighborhood boys for innings that often lasted till sundown. This only meant that one or two boys that he'd usually play with weren't around for a time. Cole didn't think to question his own lack of curiosity about baseball; it was simply a part of the world that didn't interest him, like Mrs McCormick's lessons on long division. Even when years later, at age 11, Patrick told him that he was too 'quiet' for them to be friends, Cole had no idea what fate was preparing. There was simply to many distractions--leaves to collect and press, roads to build, trees around the neighborhood to explore, friends and games, and new things to learn and see almost every day. In the seventh grade, one day in art class he was proudly working on a watercolor, his first, a seascape with a boat and a dock and gulls in the sky. School had started less than a month ago, and the changes around him these days usually felt overwhelming; but for an odd moment, Cole was enjoying himself, he was learning something exciting and new.

Mr Barnet, his art teacher, who's admiration was something to strive for, had looked over his painting and suggested that he make the line where water met sky "as straight as a string", and that's what he was working on now. He'd found a scrap of white cord in the supply room, and after dipping it in water he now stretched it out above the painting so as to mark the horizon. Gently maintaining tension on the wet cord, he held it against paper--but lost his grip and watched as the wet string skittered and rolled across his watercolor world, smearing his work. He frantically tried to fix it, but it was hopeless.

Later, when he asked to see it, Mr Barnet remarked, "Don't ask a bent boy to draw a straight line." Cole sat stunned in silence as his favorite teacher walked away, mystified at how this person he had looked up to had rejected him, wondering what it was to be 'bent', knowing it somehow made him 'less than', never mind less than what. He gritted his teeth and felt the room fade out of his vision and at the same time realized his heart was pounding.

Then a yardstick tapped him lightly on the head, seemingly out of nowhere, interrupting his defeated thoughts. Eric Haskell was waving it in front of his face, taunting him. "What you gonna do about it, faggot?" Cole sat stunned for a moment, unable to answer, unable to think, as embarrassment turned to anger and he felt the blood pounding, as if trying to escape his face, his ears, his entire head under pressure. Eric was tapping him on the chin now, as if to raise Cole's head to look up at him, dominant and above him, the hetero, superior. "You are a faggot" he repeated. Cole's eyes saw white and the muscles in his neck were suddenly coiled springs unleashed and the yardstick is in his hands now--he’d seized it; in an instant out of Eric's slack-jawed hand, and now he withdrew the instrument to one side, eyeing Eric's dull, hurtful gaze. "You are a --" but Eric didn't finish the sentence before Cole's yardstick slew air, singing across Eric’s cheekbone. The sound of air followed by splintered wood, and Eric was on his ass in a second, his retort a hiccup of stunned explanation. Shouts from classmates aroused Mr. Barnet from the other side of the classroom. Eric's upraised hand covered his face but beneath it running down his sleeve ran a flow of blood. Cole couldn't believe it. Rage and a flush of success at slaying a dragon welled up in him. On thinking about it later, Cole would realize that he'd held the yardstick to insure it would skim through air as fast as possible, for maximum impact--with a tingle of pleasure, undeniable, like the sweet taste of antifreeze. Barnett was pissed.


The class was a riot of boys' and girls' cheers and catcalls, laughter and gasps, all at once and surrounding the two boys. “That was a lucky sucker punch” said Eric's buddy Bruce McAllister, as Mr. Burnett walked over, glaring at Cole, then at Eric who remained planted on the floor, gazing up with shock in his face. Burnett barked an order for quiet, and silence fell like a shroud. Cole's startled classmates backed off.

“Tilt your head back.” Mr. Burnett commanded, and as Eric did so, the teacher knelt down and produced a handkerchief for the boy, and told him to pinch his nose closed. The bleeding stopped quickly, and Mr. Burnett ordered the rest of the class to return to their work. “You boys come with me now. I'll be back in a minute.” Cole found himself pushed out of the doorway and down the tiled corridor by the force of Burnett's fury and his own growing shame. Eric followed close behind, hiccupping it seemed, with the teacher behind. They all knew the way to Mr. Booth's office. Cole couldn't feel anything but a heavy dread settle on his stomach. The corridor's institutional green concrete walls seemed to take on the aspect of a sickly swirling dream, in which Cole imagined that he'd find he his feet rooted to the floor, fixed by a slimy green suction. Except he was walking in his normal sneakers, and this was real. He'd never been to the principal's office in his life. When they got there, Burnett told Mr. Booth that the boys had gotten into a fight, and both needed to be properly disciplined. When he left, Booth questioned them separately, beginning with Eric. Cole waited outside for his turn, and eventually heard the brittle slap of Mr. Booth's paddle. Just one loud crack, and then a moment's silence. The door to the principal's office opened, and Eric appeared and walked out of the waiting room. As he passed he set his cold ice blue eyes on Cole, a look of total scorn, and silently he mouthed the word again, “faggot”. Cole's thoughts had already advanced to far into his upcoming punishment to react at all. He felt numb. He went in and closed the door.

“Sit down” he said, indicating a metal chair with a cracked vinyl cushion. Cole looked at the floor and waited. Cracked tile, parts of it missing, gray plastic molding where the floor met the wall. A metal filing cabinet with numbers hand written on tape labeled each drawer. There was a radiator with a cactus houseplant on it, the radiator cold now; it was a sunny September afternoon. He thought, “This place is a dump.”

“Now Cole, I know this is your first year here, and I know how hard it is to fit in among so many kids that are just waiting for a new boy to show a weakness. This is a only your third week here, and it sometimes difficult at your age making friends.”

“But, I—“

“Quiet, boy. You're in my office and you'll be silent until I tell you to speak.” With the “I”, Mr Booth leaned across his desk towards Cole and scowled, his eyebrows knitted together like a mask. “I'll be watching you from now on, and if you behave yourself here at Pinehurst Elementary, you'll have no reason to see me here again.” Mr. Booth drew himself up into his best threatening grown-up pose. “However…” And at this the man rose up from his desk chair and looked down at the boy over his reading glasses. In that moment Cole noticed a cheap gold chain attached to his eyeglasses at the temple, something he'd only seen once before, worn by the nice librarian who let him eat his lunch in the audio/video room, at the back of the library at his old school. It was a woman's chain. Mrs. Pick came flooding back at that moment, droopy flesh on her arms, dresses that were to small for her plump body, and always talkative and cheerful, the very opposite of what librarians were supposed to look and act like. She was always wearing her glasses like a necklace with that chain. Cole had forgotten her entirely until then, but loved her all over again. “…if I find you back in my office ever again, I'll make mincemeat out of you.” Cole opened his mouth to speak, and promptly closed it; Mr. Booth was not in a mood for an explanation, didn't care that the incident was brought on by Eric, even if Cole could manage to find the words. Neither of them realized the potential of their situation, another juncture, a fork in the road. Humiliated, Cole simply stood before the principal's desk, his gaze on the man's desk, and waited. “I want you to bend over that chair, now.” Cole assumed the position, but not before catching a glimpse of the principal's paddle, surprisingly new looking, a single piece of solid wood, varnished dark and shiny, with a leather cord looped through the handle at one end and finger sized holes drilled across the surface for maximum impact. Mr. Booth gave him a single sharp smack with the instrument; Cole yelped despite himself, and he felt the blood in his ears for a second time that day. Mr. Booth felt his dick stiffening. He cleared his throat and swallowed. “That's all. Go to your next class.”

Cole walked listlessly to his 5th period gym class, his legs wooden, eyes seeing nothing, his thoughts on Mr. Burnet, Mr. Booth, and Eric. Eric wouldn't be in his next class but by now the whole school would know about his fight, and nobody was going to back a mousy new boy that clubbed people with sticks. Besides, Eric was a jock, with jock friends, Cole knew that some of them would be waiting for him after school, waiting to even the score. He crossed the blacktop playground and started down a sidewalk leading to the locker rooms. He could see cars passing by behind the cyclone fence on the far end of the field track at the back of the school. He listened as an engine's whine called out to him in the afternoon air and as he listened the sound faded until the car was out of sight. Other cars came and went. He heard gravel under his shoes as he walked, and to his surprise found that his course had strayed to the left, off the sidewalk, and he realized that he was headed past the locker rooms, past the showers, past the jogging track and playing field. He approached an open gate in the fence. He wanted the kind of freedom belonging to the people in those cars. He wanted a car, he wanted a new life, and he needed it all more than any 5th period P.E. continued…

Sacred Spy Puzzle

I met a man on First today
Who could blend in the CIA;
He said I'd face reality
After this commercial message.

He opened up my faithfull door,
The one beside my headache.
He seems to want my help somehow
But what he's after I don't get it.

It leads to lapse poetically--
unavoidable integrity
will lead to shooting my tv.
If you read this far you'll meet him.

He'll stand atop your breathing tube.
He'll legislate in your bed room.
Jesus will entertain you now.
With a sound byte word diversion.

Poetry Frag

My power learning
Beyond understanding
My only true meaning
The end of this sentence.


Once while sleeping I spied a place
where mystical voices called out of darkness
they travelled through beauty through space to where
in clusters of pods and flowers, appeared
a white spider within one thumb sized blossom:
"Who goes there?", she asked in a cracking proud voice
to the warm breath passing my amaze-parted lips.

"'Tis I!", said my voice (apart from my head),
"Please forgive my intrusion, but you must understand,
that I've come from afar, across water and land--
"to borrow a strand of your pearly white thread
that I may tie some magic on my lover's hand, a spell
to bind him both foot and hand."

"Child...", the grandmother spider replied to me softly
(for she was indeed a frail, noble, old creature.)
"My web was made neither for hands, fingers, nor souls,
--but for hunting and shelter and riding the air.
Before you find yourself inside this man's lifetime,
consider an alternate plan if you care."

"What I have in mind" she said gesturing pink talons,
"Is making the time that you have with him fair,
to let him each season outside your familiar
and both of you change as each other would dare."

"Allow him his ample permission beguile him
With living and laughter and trust taught together,
In tribes here exceeding my own brood would muster
In webs woven strong for love comfort not snare."

With that I could only amazed and dumbfounded,
Utter pale thanks and depart from her lair.
Left to redemption I blessed her while dreaming
And sought ever after for lovers to share.

Another story...

“I want you to know that I apologize for any hurt or pain I caused you”. My mind was a blank sheet; I felt my mouth tighten into a thin forgiving smile as I glanced into his eyes to be sure I’d heard him right. It actually didn’t matter to me just then how sincere he was; it was enough to hear those words, acknowledging that I had finally confronted one of my attackers, acknowledging that what he had done to me, had happened. In that smile I imagined my forgiveness would be given, handed across the bar table like a cigarette lighter, received in his arms in the same spirit of his humble announcement. I was wrong; once again, what I took to be a truth in the moment turned out to be merely wishful thinking, kind of like when you leave a trick’s apartment and promise to give him a call soon—you really intend to at the spoken moment, and maybe even when you cross his front door threshold the second time (you know, on the way out). Only later as the rest of life crosses your awareness, as the uncomplicated beauty of his smile and arms and aesthetic begins to fade from your memory do you one day realize that you’re not certain what happened to his phone number. Was it used as a bookmark in a catalog long ago; maybe it went through the laundry; or perhaps its in the second drawer of that huge desk in the spare bedroom, the place all the discarded evidence of your past leggy adventures go on their journey to nowhere.

My dick certainly wanted to forgive him at the time; I’d already decided I wanted to go home with him again, for more than old time’s sake, mainly because I was so overwhelmingly lonely. It was the night before the night before Christmas, and the next morning I’d be picked up in front of my house by my brother for the long uncertain journey to eastern Washington for an equally uncertain family get-together. Alton’s family ties meanwhile were stronger than cotton it seemed; he’d spent the first hour of our evening together picking through the complex web of relationships that made up his family, his brother’s failed marriage, the sister he’d only recently seen after a painful 3 years apart; his surrogate counselor at school. To me it was just the usual coagulated mass of misshapen love that made up the lives of most of my bemused friends, the only difference was that Alton was able to talk about these people's lives as if it was his own experience he was having, not someone else’s. He cared about them, even if only as a surrogate drama to displace his own. I wanted to forgive him because I knew that this wasn’t a ploy to keep me away, or at least it wasn’t a conscious one; maybe he did use his love for the other people in his life to keep me at a certain distance, but if so then he always did, for that’s how I remember him, always telling me about the personal lives of those around him. Never about what he was actually going through, except in the barest essentials. I thought that I could accept his apology as an admission of fault, and move on. But the odd thing about moving on is that sometimes your past is moving on right there with you racing nose to nose, and no finish line in sight. I wanted to put this lost love into some sort of order, I had in fact put him and our time together out of my mind completely, because of the way I had let him use me. His dick had given me more pain and less pleasure than any other before or since. I had forgiven him, I thought.

We talked for hours over more cigarettes and our mutually favorite cocktails, just like the ‘olden days’, argued with a handsome Latino acquaintance of his from the bar, Raul I think, and after he left, Alton and I wound up flirting even more and then exchanging more signals than ships at sea--he all the time telling me what a sight I am for sore eyes. I responded to his confessions with more smiles, all agreement. I told him how good his dick had felt in my ass during a particularly pleasant and sweaty weekend in a beach cabin last March. Pleasure and pain and my ass: its all about timing.

We left together of course, headed for his apartment about 5 blocks away. “I just want some poppers”, he said, and I asked to go with him on this unexpected but interesting diversion. He’d intended at first to fetch them and return to the bar, saying he’d only be a few minutes, but I was up for the walk and happily asked to go along. My three cocktails had gone to my feet I guess. Out of the bar, a couple traffic lights, up a flight of stairs to a dirty man in a dirtier (hetero) bookstore, and then out again into the urban night, but now we were headed in a direction away from his home. I hesitated, a little mystified, maybe he’s uncomfortable walking down First Avenue this time of night, I thought. Then he’s suddenly feeling chatty with everybody else on the sidewalk, no small crowd for 1 AM. With a few more curious glances from me, and after asking if me, a white guy, wouldn’t be better off wandering on ahead while he conducted whatever he was conducting—he confessed that what he was really after was a little powder, and a seemingly idle question drifted back into my memory from the conversation in the bar, “Do you party?” he’d asked. It seemed innocuous enough then, considering the range of our conversation, and near as I can figure it was pertinent to our chat about what all drugs we’d experimented with ‘in high school’. Now I realized one more thing I really didn’t want to know about this former boyfriend. Soon he was talking to another black man, who eyed me briefly as I nonchalantly walked by, as nonchalantly as a paranoid white boy who doesn’t get out much can at 1 AM downtown. I panicked, or I came to my senses; you choose. I went around the corner, walked down the hill the First, doubled back around the block and headed for the artcar, back at the bar. I found the onramp onto South 99, and headed back on the highway to the West End, to join all the other lonely smucks who didn't get laid that night.

A fragment...

Leaving the empty apartment jumbled and disorganized, the way we found it. Cut glass chandelier hanging just a little oddly, prisms missing; corridors spilling cardboard boxes of somebody else's happier times gone-by; kitchen stove under filthy tiles filmed with years of hopeful holiday roasts and later, subdued corner market won-ton take-out, washed down with cheap wine. New York is indeed passing behind me now, as we gather a metric ton of trunks and duffle bags and head for the subway. Hoping to make it through car horns, cabfare, 15 miles of underground railway, endless pedestrians, and airport security, all with excess baggage and an exhausted, very frail, very confused child of 43, in two hours. We've got lots of time to make the plane he says. He's always like this.

Jesus was it ever that simple...

In no hurry at this hour walking boots clomp on a cold sidewalk, thin blue mittens covering thin pink hands, flicking a cigarette, talking to myself. What kind of slut do you think I am? Ken's button smiles up at me from the previous weekend. I grin in spite at a lone passing car, occupants too intent on rainy streets to notice my casual, even pace, watching them out of the corners of my eyes. A block behind, in a misfit den of large furniture and small dreams, lie my two unconscious companions, the presence of this man-child forgotten. Then me motoring down the same vacant street, empty except for embracing lovers, seen on the sidewalk from the knees down dimly, through my own streaked foggy window. What sex are their shoes? Where were they when our taxi passed by at midnight? What did I expect in the cab, something more from them--two lover acquaintences with smoky lips, friendly words, smiles; happy to have something (someone) new for a change? Even when you're sure the story you're listening to is false, its only after the truth looks back at you that the betrayal cements your heart. My cynicism sprouts like the crabgrass in an immaculate backyard. Angel would be proud. Zoey at least was a well-meaning, well-behaved, tender, if ineffectual sort-of-man. Trapped between his carcass and that of his huge mid-western/polenesian lover, Nathan--whose half-conscious lunges and half verbal ramblings I endured until daylight. Meat for a sandwich of stale biscuit and a wedge of bread dough. I did it for the memory.

No I didn't really mind. Even though I just wanted to sleep.

Zoey was the one who should've been riding the elegant elevator down to the lobby, walking past an alert night watchman's eyes, through the heavy front door, and back up Madison Avenue. He in his plump nudity, in the dim hall of his home, a hollow step between what was supposed to be and what is. He was loyal, kind even. Hours of graphic acts against imagination, and Nathan, eyes dull, fingers invading, filthy breath propels me out of the cramped, dim apartment clutter, out of stacks of unwashed dishes and ragged magazines and paper cups and holiday trinkets and junk mail, through a cat hair trail of carpet from bedroom to living room to bathroom to front door; escape.

For December its pleasantly mild; mist rising from my lips, soon mingling with smoke from my jaded cigarette, walking back up to the car, winking at an occasional passing motorist, pretending I'm hustling to feed my coke habit. The digital clock at Seafirst Bank reads 2:46 in the morning, not as late as I thought. Its a brief walk to the banana car, eight blocks or so; soon I'm one of the motorists speeding back towards the suburbs, safe and unconcious of my blessings.

The principle of irony is left for each of us to decide upon; mayhem and chaos may yet decide your fate more fully than destiny or guile. And what to do in the mean time?

Other bits...

What is really known--what combination of left & right applies that I can share with those outside my head? What about electron travel, magnetic field induction, entropy, engineering, evidence of a goddess, not to mention the seeds leading to life. Conception and growth, and magic and loss. None of it is known. And me with a four year degree.

So magic is here. And happenstance & serundipity & coincidence & karma & irony and none of it accidental, though it may so appear.

Blue Morning in Idaho...

Wrapped and dreaming under warm quilts and covers, sleepy eyed and yawning he rises uncomplaining to his mother's beckoning arms. “Come look”, she says. “Come see what your brother found outside in the snow.” A pajama clad child pads silently down the dark hall, hand gently lead by his mother; he's wondering what the fuss is about, why Mama is so excited, vaguely aware that this has never happened before. Yet she's also refrained, subdued. Such subtleties are lost on his intellect, but whatever the mystery, an answer is in the next minute.

Steph and Arnette and Father are already in Mama's room, their backs to the bed, peering outside into the dim twilight. Doby notices for the first time that the light outside is bluer, clearer, colder than inside his family's house; and he doesn't notice--he's already forgotten, so intent on what the fuss is about. Mama pushes him up to the window, arms outstretched one on each of his shoulders; Steph actually makes room for him. Outside yonder clipped hay field beckons, and the graceful movement of majestic beasts strikes him; Doby inhales hard. “Is it deer, they don't look like deer.” he whispers inside his parent's hallowed bedroom, unsure if he's keeping his voice low because he comes in here so rarely, because everybody else was so quiet, or because he might scare it, a quarter mile away in a pasture under the moon.

“Elk”, said Steph, his next older brother. Arnette shushed him, and the three brothers watched the herd outside their parents' window, on a warm night in June, with their father silent beside them, and Mama standing watch. One by one the boys trailed off to bed, first Arnette, then Steph, and finally Doby, the vision of grace etched into his memory forever, and forgotten tomorrow.

More frags...

--A life broken into zip codes, like a mirror broken into a hundred reflections...
--Like walking with Steph in a frozen field after an ice storm.
--Or Steph watching me silent in the Oklahoma woods.
--Winter slipping off the fir trees behind our house in Idaho.
--The flood in Kellogg, freeways with offramps leading to water, like a boat launch.
--The grass fire in Oklahoma, smouldering for days, oddly tame looking.
--Walking with Mama around the tiny asphalt loop that was my neighborhood. Not being able to say what I wanted. Not believing in her ability to care.
--Gathering up years of tiny reassurances that after all, I can and must live as I dream in my heart, perhaps to late to change paths, but not to late to change my love. As if it was up to my intellect to make the decision, anyway.
--And forts in the woods and peeking contests and Pat's dead dog and rainsoaked dirty magazines and snails, cotton mouth snakes, black widow spiders. Shut-ins at Halloween. Abandoned churches. Dirt yards and dirty mouths...

And what of what not to tell?

Of the death of Mr. Watson, of the torture of frogs, sensitive tears running up dirt roads to cry in Mama's arms. What of Chris Sobek's lethal threats, of Eric Hutsell's harassment, of money lost to lovers. Like Steph's savings. Browbeat and weary, he holds up the flag of hope, one last time, after changing his number, after writing her off--taking her back, letting her go, taking her back again, leaving it all to her, destitute now at 30, a broken doll in a wooden box. The boy that was afraid to be alive.


Nothing like the second night, in a tavern featuring dry-rotted wood and boat anchors, more at home were sea salt in the air--but its not. While nearly surrounded by water, Alki doesn't carry that ocean beach scent for far. No matter, it was a proper bar, lots of Christmas lights, with a dee-jay spinning Kansas or Rod Stewart to bikers and beatniks and tramps, most of them only in for the weekend. If only I could remember more of what you told me. The shady clientele comforted me somehow; at least I didn't suffer by comparison. Babbs commented once that the best insult Charles could come up with for her was that if she had the money, she'd pay for a face lift rather than fix her aging Volkswagen. It wasn't much of an insult, she was quite unconcerned about her looks in truth, and the car didn't much care either. Charles tried to insult me one time, in another crowded bar, but settled for confusing me since I hadn't the slightest idea what he was talking about. All of his emotions trebled when he was drunk, I think. At his best, when debating one-on-one, he'd extract a thread of falsity out of his opponent, who often wound up trapped in his own words, completely surprised. A chamelien voice would mask his mind in a silken hankerchief of innocent questioning. Then a firm but undeniable rebuttal...

More Please...

He was like sculpture. Not Alton. This hot asian guy I met at the baths a couple weekends ago. That’s what I yelled in his ear, over the loud trance that's so endemic here: “You are like sculpture.” I guess I had in mind the art I’d seen in New York, in the Metropolitan Gallery that time Charles and I were there. What I meant was a specific beauty I identify with very old Eastern Indian or Buddhist carvings (not normally my type but there's an exception for every rule). I was worshiping an ordinary man, idealizing him based on nothing more than how he looked, and yes I knew it, and no I didn’t care.

He was a vision, this man. I’d glanced at him appreciatively in the video room, he'd looked back, followed me into the corridor, smiled and leaned into me and much to my gratitude reached under my towel and gently fondled my balls and stiffening dick with a warm hand and asked if I had a room. (I thought, who needs a room?) I said yes. He wouldn’t hold my gaze; after a split second his eyes were anywhere but looking back at mine. But after all this was a bathhouse; the rules are different in here, I guess. Inside the room we wasted no time. He was straddling me with his dick rubbing across my pubes, all the while me giggling and grinning like an idiot, until he paused and asked, "Are you stoned?" Of course I was. We rubbed and bumped a little longer and all at once he cried out that he was going to cum, and then there it was, three heavy splurts dumped across my chest, white and warm and way the hell to soon. I was out of my mind, disappointed, and angry, but I started jerking off anyway.

Then he sort of coughed and announced, bored, "Look I’m headed for the shower. I’ll see yeah", and then he started to leave. As he walked out, in case I had any remaining pride to soil, I asked him if I’d see him downstairs and got no answer. I was glazed. I continued my wank for a full minute, my mind leaking out, empty. My dick gave way and I was in a waking dream; a jet flew over, or maybe the music changed. Trance.

A little non-fiction item on War and human nature.

Home | SADIE MAY | Paintings | cARToons | Faery Tales | Sculpture | Cruiser | Blog

| Porno | Gay Politics | eBay auctions | Friends & Lovers | Other Links | SHOP | BeautyFool