I love WALTER BECK: poet, POLARI writer, LGBT activist. Part Hunter S. Thompson, part rock and rolla in Amish country and all around literary revolutionary. Indiana: be proud. We need him.
Readers of the AMONG THE LEAVES: QUEER MALE POETS ON THE MIDWESTERN EXPERIENCE anthology will undoubtedly remember his provocative work as well as WRITING KNIGHTS PRESS' readers. I recently spent my birthday catching up with some reading including Beck's new poetry chapbook
MENTHOL SLIM ONE-TWENTY BLUES.
Of course it's brilliant and even, at times, funny (Customer Portraits) take on American life and politics loaded with razor sharp observations. America: be proud.
We are forgetting how to live
And slouching towards existence.
he warns in How the Story Ends. I really enjoyed his Old Skin Transformation:
I miss the guys,
The bars, the protests,
The pickets, the press,
The booze and the action,
I miss this storied past,
Only because it used to be
This is blue collar life skewered with relish and on the front lines.
Is it worth it
To watch your world close in?
He asks in Sales Floor Killing Blues. And in The Register's Shadow, movingly:
Would they believe
That I used to walk tall and proud
In the wilderness?
We Americans cherish our freedom fighters and activist - artists and in these revolutionary days it is good to hear Beck's voice, on the front lines. Where else? Thanks Walter.