Author: Frank Bidart

Frank Bidart who was born in California 1913, was educated at the University of California a t Riverside, and at Harvard University, and has taught at Wellesley College in Massachusetts since 1972.

For the past nine years he’s been a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Queer

Lie to yourself about this and you will
forever lie about everything.

Everybody already knows everything

so you can
lie to them. That’s what they want.

But lie to yourself, what you will

lose is yourself, Then you
Turn into them.

*

For each gay kid whose adolescence

was America in the forties or fifties
the primary, the crucial

scenario

forever is coming out—
or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.

*

Involuted velleities of self-erasure.

*

Quickly after my parents
died, I came out. Foundational narrative
designed to confer existence.

If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not

me, but herself.

The door through which you were shoved out
into the light

was self-loathing and terror.

*

Thank you, terror!

You learned early that adults’ genteel
Fantasies about human life

were not, for you, life. You think sex

is a knife
driven into you to teach you that.