B.Michael wrote this poem in honor of activist Keith Cylar. He recorded a conversation with Keith (audio and transcript forthcoming) as part of a series of interviews with Black and Brown Queer men involved with ACT UP. He quilted them together in a kind of song cycle honoring Keith and three other warriors who deeply inspired him.
The curators of What I Miss? are not convinced that this is B.Michael’s handwriting! B.Michael was a proud leftie and this seems to be penned by a right-hander. If it was YOU, please let us know so we can acknowledge you!
These three pages were tucked away in a folder that B.Michael had brought to an Other Countries workshop, most likely in December 1988.
Per the practice of the standing, bimonthly Saturday workshop, he would have made copies of his poem for distribution to workshop participants (see version A). Then he would have taken notes on folks’ comments (see version B), and then rewritten it, incorporating their feedback (see version C), which appears along with B.Michael’s other writing here.
On version B, B.Michael jotted the date and address of what sounds like a New Year’s Eve gathering. Did you attend either this workshop or that party? If so, please let us know!
“PUT YOUR HANDS UP!
THERE’S BEEN A ROBBERY / RAPE / DRUG DEAL / FIRE . . .
© B.Michael Hunter 1987