PFA #6 Arthur



Poems Meant as Secrets #3

Arthur, 1963 or thereabouts


dear dead flamboyant Arthur

who did not live long enough to slowly die of Aids


dead dead flamboyant Arthur

knew enough not to say

that the only people who truly appreciated young boys

were old ragged

Queens like him

and that nobody

appreciated the old Queens

especially not the young Queens,

most of whom would not stay the cold rugged course

would only have the memory of Maxine’s

and the drunken Piano players within

and keep this part of their life secret

from the women they would marry

over all the hairy years



whose face looked like a ridge

was well past the age of unpaid love

and could not bring himself to pay

so he was with George and other friends

where young boys would congregate

and some would join him

in a dark corner of the cellar

in the waiting of the bathroom

Arthur was retired

and did not need to work

though all of this

sometimes felt like it



loved Maxine’s

where he could buy drinks for youngers

and pretend

it might lead to something

One of us should

of spent a night with him

not for the pleasure of it

but because it would give him pleasure

and isn’t that what love is

doing something homely

for reasons of beauty


would not of liked the term Pederast

after all,

he would have reasoned,

he never asked for an age card,

and he never used force

nor seduction

he was just there


unlike the young women of the proper age

he might even define it as a service

and most of us would have agreed then

and some now

and some now

And any harm that was done

if such there be

was far less than the daily knives

we got at our homes

where there were monsters

who truly loved us

and knew how to kill and revive

kill and revive

on a daily basis





About bobsmall1

Bob Small has read at Bacchanal, Barnes and Noble, Borders, The Booksource (Swarthmore), The Clark Park Festivals,Community College of Philadelphia Highwire Gallery, The Mad Poets Annual Food Fest Reading, The Middle East Restaurant, Nexus GalleryThe Painted Bride Arts Center, The Philadelphia Ethical Society, Robin's Bookstore The University of Pennsylvania and also in New York City, Trenton, NJ, Washington, DC, and in many Delaware Valley Venues. He is the author of numerous chapbooks, including El Otro Lado (with Maralyn Lois Polak), On watching America Die, Small Steps and Toes (with Lamont B. Steptoe), and The Unapoet. This is his first Reading in over a year. Bob Small was Founder and President of the two decades old Poets and Prophets, which presented Poetry Readings in both Delaware County and Philadelphia. Bob was the Chair of The Delaware County Green Party and was the First Green Party Candidate in Delaware County (2005). He was also a Green Party National Delegate, among other duties. He is the Founder and Facilitator of The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PaBac), which is a Coalition of both Independents and Third Parties., seeking to legislatively improve Pennsylvania's Ballot Access Laws. (Facebook) Bob is also a founding member and Facilitator of Democracy Unplugged, and Delco Debates, which has presented Independent and Third Party Forums in Delaware County since 2004. Facebook) He was formerly involved with Cinema Resistance, and Delco Pledge of Resistance. Bob currently lives in Swarthmore with his wife and their menagerie of animals. He is currently focused on writing a Novel and organizing his Poetry, which he posts on his Blog (Bob Small1). He is retired from most of the above activities, except Delco Debates and Poets and Prophets, which he may return to.
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