Letters Back Home


Letter to Amy Jane
Letter to Two Lesbians
Letter to Anita B. Rice
Letter to Wood Bloxom
Letter to Loretta Langley
Letter to Ed Price
Letter to Richard Doxtator
Letter to Tom Jaggard
Letter to Larry Ballard
Letter to Theresa
Letter to Connie

Letter to Amy Jane

I remember back then—
When some Olpe kid broke
My poor faggy lonely heart

Mommy Dearest would—
Console me with stories
About her cute boyfriends

Getting out her 1942—
Emporia High Re-Echo
Yearbook & telling me stories

About Bloxom, Price and—
Anita B. Rice as well as all
Her cute past boyfriends

Two marriages later—
She was still looking for
Some kind of Happiness…

Letter to Two Lesbians

My favorite teachers like—
Miss Hillerman who taught
Art at Lowther Junior High

Vina living with her lover—
Miss Mildred Kaff who was
My math teacher back then

Both ladies made such a—
Lovely lesbian couple who
Indeed loved each other

They were kind to me—
Like Elsie Pine and many
Other Emporia teachers

They’re the real ones—
Who made the Athens of
The Midwest possible…

Letter to Anita B. Rice

I was simply terrified—
By your sharp pointy
Tear-drop edged Glasses

The way you’d glare—
At me each time I dared
To raise my nelly hand

Trying to answer one—
Of your boring American
History questions for you

Only for you to dish—
“I’m simply appalled
Miss Kelly by your nerve!”

“You should think twice—
Before opening your stupid
Lame-brained Mouth!!!”

Letter to Wood Bloxom

If insults and denigration—
As well as abject racial and
Sexist discrimination ever

Ruled the roost it had to—
Be Wood Bloxom’s eternally
Dreary degrading ugly Mouth

“Somewhere in Kansas”—
He’d opine and complain each
Day looking down at us…

“The sun is shining but—
Not here in nit-wit dumb
Stupid little idiotic Emporia!”

He hated Hispanics and—
Female National Merit
Scholarship Winners…

Letter to Loretta Langley

I had gentle Mr. Stanton—
Teaching me Typing which was
So very important to me

It was the only thing—
In the whole high school
Curriculum that mattered

Typing was the gateway—
To becoming a nelly poet
Doing what I do today

I was so lucky not to have—
That witch Loretta Langley
Rap my knuckles with a ruler

For cruising the goodlooking—
Guys in class instead of doing
My speed typing appropriately

Letter to Ed Price

Your classroom was uniquely—
The only one with laboratories
And tiered seats for lectures

You taught physics & chemistry—
Just like you’d done when my
Mother was there in the ‘40s

You gave lectures standing—
There in class while clacking
Your false teeth up and down

Bored with the same old—
Lectures about this and that
Over those long decades

Mother and I smiled—
Some things just didn’t seem
To change over the decades

Letter to Richard Doxtator

You were new to the racket—
Teaching English hadn’t become
The same old drag each year

You were fresh from KSTC—
And still learning how to write
English like we were doing

Such a complex chemistry—
Both teaching and learning how
To swim in the Sea of Language

An exciting Proposition for us—
The ones interested in writing and
Reading new novels and writers

One time you even got up and—
Walked across our old-fashioned
Desks to wake us Readers up!!!

Letter to Tom Jaggard

When I read Allen Ginsberg’s—
Poem “Howl” in a beat-up City Lights
Paperback edition from 1956:

“I saw the best minds of my—
generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked…”

I thought of brilliant depressed—
Tommy Jaggard who was living
On the edge there in Emporia

More than just nonconformist—
Living in his basement bedroom
With all his parent’s antiques

His father hated him and his—
Mother didn’t know what to do
And I was maybe his only friend

He tried really hard to fit in—
Went to Reed, joined the Air Force
Even was a mail delivery man

He got married but nothing—
Really seemed to work for him
Despite his incredibly smart IQ 

He ended up in a bathtub—
Slitting both his wrists to bleed
To death, such a terrible waste

Letter to Larry Ballard

Another one that died young—
A National Scholarship Merit winner
Born for MIT it seemed

But he was never that interested—
In physics, mathematics, chemistry
And the whole post-Sputnik craze

David Penny was his MIT roommate—
But Larry didn’t want to be one of
Those Born-Again Christians either

So he came back to KU in Lawrence—
With his own interests in anthropology
And science-fiction dystopias

But he ended up in a missile silo—
Then on a secret mission to Turkey
Got blown outta the sky to smithereens

Letter to Theresa

Yes, I know, sweetheart—
But I hated that shitty awful
Little Cowtown worse than you did

The way people were always—
Walking up to John and saying
Snotty “I’ve got YOUR Number!”

Then there was, of course—
Faggy fey Jimmy Stevens who
Was the fruitcake Cheerleader

Who got away with murder—
Being swishy and all fem with
Those pom-poms & pirouettes

Especially at Basketball games—
The auditorium all sweaty with
Screamy hysterical Mobs

Letter to Connie

No wonder you took—
Miss Howard’s Spanish class
For three years in a row

And there I thought I was—
The only Hispanic queen bee
In that naughty little town

I was desperately in love—
With sexy muscular Arnoldo on
The EHS Wrestling Team…

I loved it when he pinned me—
On the mats in the YMCA gym
And made me scream for more

Then later in the steamy—
Showers of the YMCA when he
Stuck a bar of soap up my ass!!!

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