1 July 2017

 I gave up in-lovement for Love,
I gave up lovers for the
to wed me now would be without
  meaning. How could you? whoever
you are, we are already married—
  now the real honeymoon begins!

28 May 2017

 It must be true that long hair begets a
special communion with God, for I can
 hear voices that my ears aren’t privy
to. Samson heard the call and he
 tore down the temple;

 I keep being driven deeper and deeper into
these woods, where the mumblings of
 sycamore and elm tell me there is no
difference between the earth and the
 sky, and,

 stretching out their great feathered
arms, reminding me that the sun is
 just another star, lost in this daytime
illusion, yet ever searching the
 heavens for its place among the


Orange Kitty Bleeding

Orange Kitty Bleeding

 music by Griffin Candey; commissioned by Gavin Dillard Poetry Library & Archive

I killed the old orange cat this evening.
After chasing him for three months, I
crawled up on the roof after him;
right between the eyes from not more than
five feet away where he had Bagheera
treed up the great live oak.
Orange Kitty fell and I blasted him four
more times as he jerked on the ground
below us.

Bagheera came down from his upper branch;
and after, I brought out Marlene, Big Tao and
Quan Yin to show them that the rein of
terror had ended.
But as he lay there with his fur blowing
gently in the oncoming storm, I had the
strongest urge to take his bloody form into
my arms, smooth his once-beautiful pelt and
tell him that it will all be all right.

I miss all my old lovers, wherever they
lay bleeding beneath the grass, I would
take them all once again in my arms and
tell them that it is not that bad, that it
will all be all right;
death after all seems so unreachable to
the living, so temporary as though it
were but a mistake, a dream that will
fade back into the reality of the
sunny morn.

But I didn’t touch the orange cat, he
was covered with blood and had been
sick, wild and unreachable as it was.
Instead, I thought of Vince Romano,
James Parcells, Steven Buker, Frank
Drummond, Jimmy Barron, Victor Lopez,
Bobby Consolmagno, David Burns, Gary
Jeske, and however many more whose
names I have quite forgotten or honestly
never knew;
warm warm hearts that had once
beat against my own, now cold lying
somewhere in the shadow of what had
been life, their fur now matted and

The cats avenged, we came back into
the house just as the storm was blowing
in from the west.
I thought of Orange Kitty, of covering him
with newspapers or old clothes lest he
get cold and drenched where I had
left him among the periwinkle.
Instead I removed the bullets from the
remaining cartridge and set the twenty-two
across a pile of fresh-folded linens, to be
returned to the neighbor in the morning.

The rain began spattering like
gunshot across the fiberglass back porch roof;
my dinner was still warm.


Notes From a Marriage

[A possible staging: On the proscenium is a bed. As the audience comes in, two men are spooning on the bed under a sheet. The younger is naked, he never speaks, and is a moving, moaning, prop/device for the other. When the house lights go down, the orator rises from the bed—he is wearing pajama bottoms; he addresses the audience, but uses the bed and his partner as appropriate, stroking, playing with the sheet, kissing, and perhaps climbing upon.]

music by Clint Borzoni; commissioned by Gavin Dillard Poetry Library & Archive

copyright © 2015 by gavin geoffrey dillard


He fell asleep in
the morning
and the birds sang
all day


A good slow fuck
and a short dark nap

when we awaken the
neighbors’ calla lilies are
peeking in our
open window


He’s half Italian and
half Syrian

dark hairs and
sesame oil
all over my clean
white sheets


I crawl into
our relationship
the way an
infant crawls into
an open room

naked and
ready to learn


Someone put the
sun in his eyes and the
smile in his face

when I kid him
about it
he insists it was me


First time he
called me
honey I
wanted to pour
right in his
glass and
slide on
his throat


The air around
him hums with
his needs

and me
suffocating with


Naked at last

we can turn
our thoughts to
better things


Impatient for
love’s conquest

we both succumbed
before the first
bomb fell


He holds out his
hand and my heart

what kind of wizard is this?


These eyes

could tame giants


I told him
that I liked
being alone

and he
moved in for the


He kissed me when I
wasn’t looking

my eyes have been opened


Now we kiss at
every glance

compulsive behavior
at its best


When we kiss
it’s for the
first time


Quiet in
his arms

there’s left
no room
for thought


Dents in
the back of
my mind where
parts of his
body fit
like thoughts


No one would have
pegged us as the
perfect couple

his smile is so much
bigger than mine


Nothing in him
on him
around him to
make me bleed

just an
open heart that
fits me like a


No clouds now just a
darkened sky as
evening sets its

I reach for him
gently an
open mouth and
pull out what
is mine


His eyes are
windows that
never shut

storm and
summer breeze


Pillows remind me
of him

fat and
full of goose


My mind doesn’t
wander anymore

it is content to just
sit and
look at his face as
he reads


He peed on my
favorite rose bush

and I thought it would
never stop


He’s so quiet when he
sleeps in
my arms

I could swear I
heard my heart


He has shown me

real hunger


He’s not so

for an angel


in his Hawaiian

I can see him with
my eyes closed


His moves are
they will take a
lifetime to

when we dance I am
filled with understanding


It’s not so hard to
make him smile

time-consuming perhaps
but what else
have I to do?


A word of appreciation
for good design

had there been
one more nipple my
heart would have


Giggling with
malice he attacks me
with a small
red hanky

I have never been
so easily felled


It’s late

he should be in

and I should be

or licking his face


Quiet now almost
asleep he
breathes as if
I weren’t even here

I move closer and
pretend to be his dream


He sleeps while
I write

as if my thoughts
were lullabies
as if his dreams
were poems


Quiet now
sleeping like a
conch shell on
a cotton

I place my
ear to his
opening (the
sea inside) to
hear this
tide that
flows for me


He doesn’t talk in
his sleep but I can
tell what he’s

in the morning I asked if
he had dreamed of me


Sometime near the
morning he kissed me as though
he thought I were
still asleep

I prayed that I would
never wake up


Then he got a
cold and slept in his
own room and
I thought that the
wall between us would


No better
forecast than
another month of

in his hand he
builds a fire


When the rain
started his body
became warmer

winter turns to
spring in my arms


At the foot of
the bed his
boxer shorts

like the guttered
wrapper of a fine
Italian creme


White flannel sheets
feathered with loose
black hairs

the Italian lover
is unsurpassed


He overtakes me like

my dreams are real


Some nights he
lies in bed and
waits for me

other nights his
dreams seduce him
first and only his
body beckons

at those times he
seems to need
me the most


I crawl in bed late and
am confronted by
his butt

Good morning I

and it just smiles


I didn’t believe that
he was a real cowboy

but when I climbed
out of bed I
tripped over his


He says they call him Sidewinder
at the ranch

in bed he’s as
soft as a
newborn calf


I don’t consider it unreasonable for a
man to get into bed wearing his
boots when he’s
busy playing cowboy


He wears his
boots two sizes
too big

I’ve never
asked him why


At night he’s not
so tough

he breathes like an
and sometimes
wets the bed


I can tell when an
angel has visited

in the morning
there are little
pieces of
stuck to my belly


I suppose it
all comes out in
the wash

these crusts of bread
and buttery smiles


Slow dancing in a
bedroom sortof

neither wants
to lead
we both refuse to


It doesn’t take much to
wake him up

just a slap a kiss
and about ten minutes


He sleeps so
soundly he doesn’t
stir when I
curl into his arms

I sink my teeth into
his chest


In the morning he’s a
nasty beast

caged in my arms


He can’t move when
I stroke his

he’s an easy


No one told me love
could be this
soft and quiet

when he wakes up I’ll
have my hand over
his mouth


He’s not ready for love

I’ll wait


His lips
and clean

for my bite


With a simple

he can terrorize me


I put on a tape of
Beethoven’s 9th (and
longest) symphony

he gets into bed


He’s thin for a

it sometimes
takes all my strength
to be pinned


Thin arms
like the handle of a
billy club

always ready
for love


If he catches me
letting him

the game’s
over for
both of us


Please let me finish
writing I

don’t let me disturb you he
said softly
brushing a
bare butt against the
back of my arm


He sits across the room and
eyes me suspiciously

I unwrap my towel and
show him what I’ve been


His lips tremble
when his pants
are down

I pretend to not notice


Now he’s pretending he’s a
Siamese cat he
looks at me cross-eyed and
scratches me across
the face (I leap
onto his chest and sink my
teeth into the fur

a Siamese is no
match for the
great domestic shorthair


It’s no secret that he
loves me

I beat it out of
him every night


His body satisfies
five minutes later I’m
anxious again

how many times must
he tell me that he
loves me?


He incites me to
when I respond his
body throbs with

war is sweet


I cringe in bed
plotting my escape

helping him
bind my feet


He says I’m only
interested in his butt

I wanted to
deny it but my
first thought is to
turn him over
my knee


He seems to
do everything he can
to get spanked

I suppose if I had a
butt like his I’d
be the same way


His mother used to
scold him for
throwing tantrums

but I just smile and
turn the other cheek


This painting I did (of
Bacchus) actually
reminds me of him

the grapes would taste like
his fingers when
I find them in tomorrow’s


He tried to
tell me he was

but I
spanked him anyway



or just ornery


Sometimes I think he
should be punished for
acting the way
he does

then I think
his butt alone
could get him into heaven


He said he wouldn’t
love me if I
didn’t fight back

sure enough
I hit him and he cried


No more tears
we promised

and he bit my fist
to see if I could
hold to it


You’ll be sorry after
I’m gone he
utters in protest moving
closer to my

I know he’s
right I
never forget a love


He doesn’t know me when
I’m angry he

he moves closer and
touches me like
a stranger


No need to try
to spare feelings

he knows I’m a
big boy



His smile is mischievous

he has placed me between
his teeth
and holds me


His character is
impeccable in

he never smiles
without needing to


He doesn’t have to
prove he’s tough

I can see it
in his smile


How does he know
that I will never
leave him?

he doesn’t


If I left him I would
surely return

it doesn’t take
much to
bring me back


Not a chance for a

absolutely not
he says



Sometimes he doesn’t feel
like having sex

at those times I
love him the most


It takes work to
love somebody so thoroughly
that there’s nothing
left over for


I can’t be with him
around the clock

he says


His hands thin
like monkey paws

he peels me like
a pro


He runs into the
room brandishing
an erection and
a smile

Your love
or your life!


He fell in love with
a picture of me
and I got jealous


A wonderful dinner
with friends he
shows off his distended
belly and I
think how nice
it would be to make
him pregnant


He’s not all
mine for Christsake

he makes me
share him


He wanders into my
arms crying

when my shoulder is
thoroughly wet he
backs off (look of
satisfaction on his face

somewhere in his eyes
is a question that
has already been


When I anger him
he goes to sleep

it always changes me


I don’t cry anymore when
he hits me

it only makes him stop



angels have teeth


Hands on
his hips like
a Victorian vase

I could pick him up
and drink his


How beautiful when
he pouts
arms crossed and
butt sticking out

how can I
be serious my
hands on his


It’s not like
I’m ever really
mean to him

I mean
what’s the point
he just cries?


I socked him and he
just smiled

it ruined my whole day


at times

he is forced to
contain my love
in some of the
strangest places


If angels
haven’t hearts

what has he
where my
love should be?


He thinks when I smile
I am fooled by his words

I am merely
his lies


Puss has eyes like his
wild and dark

ready for attack
even when he’s


He is not
his faults

I have
savored every one


Last night we held
each other and cried

mutual pain brings fulfillment


Someday I’ll miss

these grumpy smiles



by a
stiff white towel


reaches the bedroom

in the form
of indifference


Socked in
on a rainy

outside the
sun is heartless


I would give
the hair off my body
to bring laughter
to his
sullen face


His eyes
and black

here is a storm I
cannot escape


The clock ticks
louder when
he’s gone

smells in the bed
collect memories


His arms
are delicate

when he’s gone
they leave a
shadow on the sheets


Sometimes I can
miss him
and not even
remember what he
looks like

but when I
look at him it is
always easy to
remember how
I missed him


No use
wondering where the
warmth has

better to just
cry and wait for
winter to
set in


Someone moves the
earth beneath my

and catches all
the feelings there
that fall


Damn this
unwanted silence
between us

who will be the first
to scream?


Is there something
that I haven’t


No poems now

just bruises


Can’t think of any
better way to
part with love than to
leave it with a
promise to return

it’s so
easy someone


Leaving him won’t
be so hard

I know he’ll
need to see me


So we kiss on
each other’s

what’s a little pain
among friends?


And I can be a
better husband now that
we have given
back the

nothing now to keep us
nothing more to
prove nothing
left to
lose nothing
binding but the
circle of our


Thank you for a
wonderful marriage he
I won’t cry if
you won’t


must be dust
in my eye


In his eyes there’s
something that
never moves

it’s a reflection of
unchanged as I
rise and fall


In years I
may forget

chubby little


I’ll visit he says
and I’m sure he will

in time


I pose to him
a hundred

he gives me one
simple undeniable

21 May 2017

 When night closes her eyes, day is
imagined; when dawn blossoms, the moon is
 gently blown out.
sometimes the world simply needs to
 shut the fuck up and let the
comets have their day.

 Sometimes a firefly illumines all the known
galaxies; why limit your choices? all of
 this lives inside us; why go about
business-as-usual when the butterflies are
 calling your name?

 As long as one is breathing, one’s
choices are illimitable; and when
 breath stops, the possibilities are
multiplied by the number of
 stars upon the night’s mantle.

 And this, my friend, is why I
drink—because the Night drinks with
 me—and oh, the places we go!

20 May 2017

 Art is an attempt to create order from
chaos. Chaos always wins. But we
 make art anyway.