Sunday, November 27, 2005

SASOD Events - November 2005

Events during November 2005.

Saturday 5th - Meeting, 5pm at Julian's Sports Bar, Cummings and Sixth Street, Albertown

Friday 11th - Movie night, 8pm, Julian's Sports Bar - CRASH

Saturday 19th - 6pm, gay and lesbian writings , Oasis Cafe, Carmichael Street, Georgetown
Click here to see report Other items are on the blog archives.

Tuesday 29th Nov, - Movie Night, 8pm Sidewalk Cafe, Middle Street, Georgeown - My Brother Nikhil in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2005.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Readings from the Spectrum - Sat 19 November, 2005

SASOD members read from a series of gay and lesbian writings on Saturday 19 November, 2005 at Oasis Cafe, Carmichael Street. SASOD thanks Oasis for their support.

The session was opened with an extract from Alan Moore's Mirror of Love and then followed with a series of poems, some of which are here.
These included one from Stacey Ann Chin - .

Shakespeare - Sonnet 120
We might as well be lovers, the poet seems to say,
since men think us that already.

’Tis better to be vile than vile esteem’d,

When not to be receives reproach of being;

And the just pleasure lost, which is so deem’d

Not by our feeling, but by others’ seeing:

For why should others’ false adulterate eyes

Give salutation to my sportive blood?

Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,

Which in their wills count bad what I think good?

No, I am that I am, and they that level

At my abuses reckon up their own:

I may be straight though they themselves be bevel;

By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;

Unless this general evil they maintain,

All men are bad and in their badness reign

Ghazl No. 10 from the Divan of HafizHis mop of hair tangled, sweating, laughing and drunk,

Shirt torn, singing poems, flask in hand,

His eyes spoiling for a fight, his lips mouthing “Alas!”

Last night at midnight he came and sat by my pillow.

He bent his head to my ear and said, sadly,

“O, my ancient lover, are you sleeping?”
The seeker to whom they give such a cup at dawn

Is an infidel to love if he will not worship the wine.

O hermit, go and do not quibble with those who drink the dregs,

For on the eve of creation this was all they gave to us.

What he poured in our cup we drank,

Whether the mead of Heaven, or the wine of drunkenness.

The cup’s smile and the wine boy’s knotted curl

Have broken many vows of chastity, like that of Hafiz.

A variation on the interpretation of E.T. Gray, Jr.
in The Green Sea of Heaven, White Cloud Press, 1995

From Yaraana - A collection of gay writings from India
Ashok Row Kavi wrote this about a conversations with his Swamis
Ganeshananda and Harshananda when he told them he was gay, in school.
This would probably apply to most of what else we do as Hindus.

The reply from one of the Swamis..
Look, what's wrong is relative. I don't think many rules made by man would be liked by God. They were written by men for men. Just as an example, it is considered good manners among Eskimos to offer their wives to strangers as a gesture of goodwill but it is wrong in most other cultures. Now, can we call the Eskimos uncivilized because of that? Don't get taken in by what others say is right or wrong. Drag everything deep into your heart, study it iwth discrimination and then ask the question - am I hurting any soul through my actions? Can the pain be avoided and if so for what goal? Is the goal worth achieveing?
When you get sound answers for those questions then go ahead and do it boldy and brazenly.
Be like Swamij (Vivekananada) and stop not until the goal is reached. Look you might be one [a homosexual]. Even if you are, so what. Men have loved each other since the beginning of mankind. You are not someone with horns.
Try and sort that out using those three questions I told you to answer. If the answers satisfy you then go ahead and make a life for yourself and fight for what you think is right. But remember then that
what is good for you should be good for all that think like you. It cannot be only right for your, and your right to happiness must mean the least unhappiness for others around you. ______________________________

RUAN-JI, lover of XI-Kang
In days of old there were many blossom boys --
An Ling and Long Yang.
Young peach and plum blossoms,
Dazzling with glorious brightness.
Joyful as nine springtimes;
Pliant as if bowed by autumn frost.
Roving glances gave rise to beautiful seductions;
Speech and laughter expelled fragrance.
Hand in hand they shared love's rapture,
Sharing coverlets and bedclothes.
Couples of birds in flight,
Paired wings soaring.
Cinnabar and green pigments record a vow:
"I'll never forget you for all eternity. "
Chapter 93 of The Book of Han (THE LEGEND OF THE CUT SLEEVE)
Dong Xian, whose moniker was Shengqing, was a native of Yunyang. His father Gong was an Imperial Investigative Officer. He gave Dong Xian the job of attendant to the Crown Prince (who would become Emperor Ai). When Emperor Ai ascended the throne, Xian remained in his entourage. A little more than two years later, he was making a report outside the palace hall – he was beautiful and narcissistic - when Emperor Ai saw him and remarked on his manners and looks. He recognized Dong Xian and asked, "Isn't this the attendant Dong Xian?" Dong Xian was summoned to speak with the Emperor, who made him an Official-in-waiting. This was the beginning of his favor.
The Emperor then asked after Dong Xian's father, and the next day he made him Mayor of Baling and 光禄大夫. Dong Xian's favor increased daily and he was made Manager of Horses for the Imperial Attendant Carriages. He often rode in the same carriage with the Emperor when the Emperor went out. In the palace, he was always around the Emperor. In the space of 10 days to a month, the Emperor had bestowed upon him riches worth many tens of thousands. His honor and power shook the entire court.
He was often with the Emperor, whether standing up or lying down. Once, Dong Xian was napping across the Emperor's sleeve. When the Emperor wanted to get up, Dong Xian was unaware. The Emperor did not want to disturb Xian, so he truncated his sleeve and rose up.


– so gently! – and stole much more, my life as well.

And there, all promise, first his fine eyes fell

on me, and there his turnabout meant no.

He manacled me there; there let me go;

There I bemoaned my luck; with anguished eye

watched, from this very rock, his last goodbye

as he took myself from me, bound who knows where.
If, through our eyes, the heart’s seen in the face,

more evidence who needs, clearly to show

the fire within? Let that do, my lord, that glow

as warrant to make bold to ask your favor.

Perhaps your soul, loyal, less like to waver

than I imagine, assays my honest flame

and, pitying, finds it true – no cause for blame.

“Ask and it shall be given,” in that case.

O day of bliss, if such can be assured!

Let the clock-hands end their circling; in accord

sun cease his ancient roundabout endeavor,

so I might have, certain-sure, – though not procured

by my own worth – my long desired sweet lord,

in my unworthy but eager arms, forever.
What in your handsome face I see, my lord,

I’m hard put to find words for, here below.

Often it lofts my soul to God, although

wearing, that soul, the body like a shroud.

And if the stupid, balefully staring crowd

mocks others for feelings after its own fashion,

no matter. I’m no less thankful for a passion

pulsing with love – faith, honor in accord.

There’s a Fountain of Mercy brought our souls to being

which all Earth’s beauty must in part resemble

(lesser things, less) for an eye alert to truth.

No other hint of heaven’s here for our seeing,

hence, he that a love for you sets all a-tremble

already hovers in heaven, transcending death

Walt Whitman
When I heard at the Close of the Day

(No. 11, from ‘Calamus’)

When I heard at the close of the day how I had

been praised in the Capitol, still it was not

a happy night for me that followed,

And else when I caroused nor when my favorite plans were

accomplished was I really happy,

But the day when I arose at dawn from the perfect

health, electric, inhaling sweet breath

When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and

disappear in the morning light,

When I wandered alone over the beach, and undressing, bathed,

laughing with the waters, and saw the sun rise,

And when I thought how my friend, my lover, was on

his way coming, then O I was happy,

Each breath tasted sweeter and all that day my food

nourished me more and the beautiful day passed well,

And the next came with equal joy and with the next,

at evening, came my friend,

And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll

slowly continually up the shores,

I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed

to me, whispering to congratulate me,

For the friend I love lay sleeping by my side,

In the stillness his face was inclined toward me, while the

moon's clear beams shone

And his arm lay lightly over my breast and that night I was happy

Still here

I’ve been scarred and battered

My hopes the wind done scattered

Snow has friz me, sun has baked me

Looks like between ‘em

They done tried to make me

Stop laughin, stop lovin stop livin –

But I don’t care!

I’m still here!