#1 Best Seller + #KindleUnlimited eBook Releases!


My new essay TRAUMA AND TRUMP was #1 on AMAZON KINDLE TOP 100 BESTSELLERS LIST: 15 MINUTE HISTORY SHORT READS! Almost all of my Kindle eBooks are now available through Kindle Unlimited as well! Happy reading! 

 

#🍎: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America


In this episode, James Schwartz @queeraspoetry opens up his journey from growing up Amish as a gay man to becoming a poet. 
Now living in Hawaii, he reflects on his journey from the culture of "Shunning" to the welcoming Aloha.
He tells us more about the rituals of the Amish community and breaks the myth about "Rumspringa".

Available in @spotify @applepodcasts @googleplaymusic @stitcherpodcasts !!

The Forbidden Apple Podcast: Interview COMING SOON! #🍎


My recent interview with THE FORBIDDEN APPLE PODCAST discussing Amish shunning vs. aloha, Hawaii, literature and more COMING SOON! #🍎

"Selected Poems" eBook - READER REVIEW!

"James, thank you for allowing me to read your 'Selected Poems', it was a pleasure! I felt the conflict of Amish identity and oppression. This is a short book of love poems worth reading from an Amish queer minority perspective that is ostracized. I loved how the book ended with a poem on Pete Buttigieg!"

- READER REVIEW

 

"Selected Poems" eBook!


My latest Kindle eBook, Selected Poems, is a collection of love poetry spanning the last 10 years - to order click HERE!

My Amish Genealogy


PHOTOS: FindAGrave.com 
Either you find genealogy research fascinating... or you do not. I'm somewhere in the middle but delved into it for my latest Good Men Project essay Trauma and Trump: The Rise of Amish Authoritarianism.

Among my findings: Johannes Schwartz, my ancestor who immigrated to America with his wife Anna Ramseyer (from Mancenans) was married in Belfort, France. He was born in Bern, Switzerland but his father Hans Schwartz is listed as being born in Dampierre, France circa 1766 and died at Saint-Hippolyte. When I have more patience I will try to find out more but that is not today!

LGBTQ+ Amish In the News!


Several important articles have been published highlighting LGBTQ+ Amish, a big deal as this happens very rarely! Torah Bontrager's The limits of religious freedom: America must come to grips with when faith groups limit personal liberty is up at New York Daily News and When Religious Liberty Means Child Abuse via Medium.

* My newest piece for The Good Men Project has been published, addressing Amish historical trauma: Trauma and Trump: The Rise of Amish Authoritarianism. PLEASE NOTE: The Amish man who issued the apology to Israel does not speak for the Old Order Amish, I am told his church is an offshoot. One of the problems within the Amish is there is no clear structure like say the Roman Catholic Church.

It is my hope the Amish (and offshoot branches) address historical trauma to begin healing. As James Baldwin notes: People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

I recently sat down with The Forbidden Apple Podcast to discuss LGBTQ+ Amish issues, which will debut in 2 Sundays!


I also have made a number of short pieces available as Kindle singles including my short story "Amish Road Trip" and "Alpine Suite"! You're welcome!

"Amish Road Trip" eBook!

"Amish Meditation" eBook!

Happy #NationalPoetryDay!

Happy National Poetry Day! It seems timely to revisit Christ in Ukraine, my topical poem mixing homoerotic imagery with the Euromaidan protests, published in my 2014 chapbook of travel / topical poetry ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE (Writing Knights Press) and reprinted via DIVERSITY RULES MAGAZINE:


CHRIST IN UKRAINE

Out of the closet, into the street. 
Vladimir Putin is coming for you.

Tonight Christ walks in Ukraine.
Tonight revolution after the rain.

My lover’s ass shifts under his jeans.
Resolution in his gaze.

 He is so fine in the candle-light.
My savior with his whiskey breath.

Behind his balaclava.

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 During the 2013 / 2014 Euromaidan protests this happened, truly revolutionary! 

Jason Momoa Addresses United Nations On Climate Crisis

#TrumpUnblockElijah


#TrumpUnblockElijah  

"Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman" Nominated for A Lambda Literary Award!

#TrailOfDeath





The Amish, including my own ancestors, were among those complacent in this shameful chapter of history. On their behalf I apologize and I hope the Amish Church will issue a formal apology for contributing to Native genocide.

The Good Men Project: Princess 4 POTUS!


My latest for THE GOOD MEN PROJECT - A look at third party candidates running in 2020 including a PRINCESS 4 POTUS!

The Good Men Project: Amish Gun Control


My latest for The Good Men Project, Amish Gun Control has been published. This piece is about how gun violence affects every community, and touches all of our lives, regardless of faith.

University of Pu'uhuluhulu

I made it to the University of Pu'uhuluhulu yesterday for two classes, a geology class and How to Be A Better Haole and had an amazing time!




From the Heart


I want to write a blog post from a personal perspective, on the foundations of our lives and the evolution of the heart. Heady themes! I never write about the men in my life / heart, I save it for myself - and occasional love poems.

Amish never divorce which means there has been, is and will be many unhappy Amish marriages. As the Church forbids divorce Amish domestic abuse victims have no easily available resources.
NOTE: If you are Amish and the victim of abuse or just want to leave the Amish and have no resources please contact: THE AMISH HERITAGE FOUNDATION.

When I was a child Dad, Mom and I visited one of my ex-Amish brothers in Texas. He brought a prostitute to our San Antonio hotel room. I immediately fell in love with her. She cooed over me, called me sugar and honey and fed me numerous cans of A & W cream sodas from the vending machine. I cried when she left. I didn't pay my brother any attention whatsoever. I never really did and vice versa. Years later he called me a queer and I never spoke to him again.

Another of my ex-Amish brothers got married so many times Mom had to start a new page in the family Bible. I was aware of unhappy marriages from an early age which contributed to my phobia of commitment. I hated attending weddings and always did so unwillingly. Dad made me go so I was forced to witness various cousins and relatives traipsing up and down aisles.
If I have attended your wedding, chances are I didn't want to be there, sorry. Still, one thinks about this monumental event from time to time and I proposed once.
"Will you marry me?"
"Fuck no, James... Jesus Christ!"
I have had lovers in my life since I was a teenager but only one long term relationship that would last from 2007 until late 2013 when we called it a day. People evolve and it was a challenge over the years to keep and fight for our Poet / Muse friendship but we did it and survived.


In 2017 I went on a date. He was handsome, suave and intellectual. During dinner he confessed he had reread my book The Literary Party, bookmarked all my social media and was an honest admirer of my work. I was mildly flattered but couldn't get away from him fast enough. As a writer it is always nice to have your work recognized but all of my friends know my position on fame: a total joke. Also my commitment phobia kicked in, right on time!

When I moved to the Hawaiian Kingdom I fell in love with Native Hawaiian men and vowed I would give up my freedom for a kanaka. Of course this was me being romantic, if said kanaka came along I would probably run(!) although I do live on an island now LOL.

My parents had a long, devoted marriage but that was not in the cards for me which I can be thin skinned about. Looking back however I do not regret my love-life choices (well...don't get me drunk!) but I'm still a vagabond today which says something.

I have even been asked out by several gay Amish / ex-Amish men but that was a no as well. I imagined us in an Amish farm house and broke out in hives. Maybe... just maybe friendship can be the foundation and marriage is not for everyone?



LOVEJETS: QUEER MALE POETS ON 200 YEARS OF WALT WHITMAN (SQUARES & REBELS PRESS, 2019)

Dispatch from Hawaii #16: University of Puʻuhuluhulu


Yes, something very special is happening at Mauna Kea!




#ProtectMaunaKea

  Phone numbers for Hawaii Gov. Ige
(808) 586-0034 (808) 586-2211

Say:
-You're outraged that elders are being arrested.

-You oppose the TMT telescope being built on Mauna Kea.

-You support Native Hawaiian people who are defending their own land.

The Long Hot Mad Nights of Summer

And then it was June, and then it was July. The corn grows tall, waving yellow tassels in the sweltering humidity.

CLUBBING - AUG 2000

... and the fireflies come out, winking in the heavy, dark night. I thrash around the bed restless in the heat. Perhaps I should read...or? I find my headphones and tune in to an AM jungle radio station beaming underground club music from somewhere in the UK. Leftfield, The Future Sound of London, Madonna remixes, 90s trance, rave, house, nu-disco, techno soundscapes...

Occasionally an Amish buggy with drunk teenager occupants blasting country-western music clip-clops by... Dad has settled in for the night so I am left to my own devices.
I pick up my well-read copy of A Capote Reader and toss it aside listlessly. It is too early.
I slip out of the house quietly to avoid evening prayers and navigate the interstate. A purple "beater stick" pulses to Faithless' "God Is a DJ'.

The cityscape glitters, laid out before me. Everything I ever wanted.

OUR HAPPY HOURS: LGBT VOICES FROM THE GAY BARS

The hole-in-the-wall gay bar is dark. A few men sit around watching QAF which will revolutionize our culture:


The DJ at Club #2 bathes the floor in neon colors. Shirtless Adonis mix cocktails and pour beer from behind the bar. I am now actually old enough to order whiskey and Cokes. 

AMONG THE LEAVES: QUEER MALE POETS ON THE MIDWESTERN EXPERIENCE

I shuffle on the floor to ATB and escape the clutches of a thirsty muscle queen, losing myself in the music. A known closeted preacher sits on the sidelines leering at me. He sends drinks to my table. I send them back. Back on the floor a stunning Latin dancer contorts to the beat, kissing me slowly to cheers and cat-calls around us...

"Get it bitch!"

"I want in on that!"

Surely I can't be the first Amish man to find this underground world...am I?
He drives us to his high-rise apartment in a flashy European sports car which purrs over rutted city streets. We sit on the balcony overlooking the city. He mixes drinks and plays electronica music.
I watch the late night traffic far below and imagine escaping my Amish life...

When he takes me in his arms I want more... Liberation.

I think about my praying father, my hostile family calling me a sinner and I feel cocky. I want to be in the city's embrace. At home I dive into my notebooks of scrawled poetry on these long, hot mad nights of summer... unbutton the shirt slowly. He likes that tonight.

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