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Identity: Family Portrait (By Walter Beck)

From the desk of Walter Beck:

“New piece from the notebook in three parts. This is one of the most brutally honest poems I’ve ever written and truth be told, I had to fight back a few tears while writing it on my smoke break.”

Read it and dig it.

Identity: Family Portrait Pt. I
(By Walter Beck)

My grandfather
Shows pictures of the family
To my cousin’s friend.

He comes to my picture,
All he says is;
“That’s W.T.
He’s gay,
But we don’t talk about it.”

He doesn’t say,
“That’s W.T.
He’s a writer,
We’re all so proud of him.”

He doesn’t say
“That’s W.T.
He’s an activist,
He’s a young man of principle.”

Nope, he doesn’t say any of that;
I’m just a faggot,
All my life’s work doesn’t matter.

They don’t talk about that either.


Dutiful Son: Family Portrait Pt. II
(By Walter Beck)

“Think of your mother;
She has to hear it from grandpa and Uncle Bill
Every time you show up looking like that,
Or when you talk about your writing and activism.

She has to answer for you,
Explain you,
Apologize for you,

Think of your poor mother,
She deals with enough crap at work all day
As it is.

Can’t you quit being so selfish for once?”

Sure, I can do that.
I’m still young and strong,
And after eight years of silence
What’s a few more, right?

Take it from me,
I speak from too long experience,
Nothing covers up the stains of inner bleeding
Like a few gallons
Of sweet Carlo Rossi red.


Bargain Love: Family Portrait Pt. III
(By Walter Beck)

The best I got
Was “I love you for who you are
But you know what Pastor Reeves says.”

I just nodded and smiled;
Better to receive some scrap
Of acceptance
Than the customary awkward stares and silence.

I wanted love
Without any buts, amendments,
Or exceptions.

I wanted at least one
To hold the Colors or a sign with me,
To stand on the firing line
And look liberation in the face,
To look out at the world
And bark with heart and soul;

“This is my family and I fight for him!”

But I suppose with the right equipment
You can fight your war alone,

Even though you’re tired
Of being a solitary warrior.


Our Bi Laureate at Rally Against HJR-6 Terre Haute, Indiana October 11, 2013
Our Bi Laureate at Rally Against HJR-6 Terre Haute, Indiana October 11, 2013


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Lynnette View All

Producer and Co-Host "The BiCast"

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