You Must Have Been a Sensational Baby, I Said

More cuts from the 1986 reading with Harold Norse at
San Francisco’s Jewish Community Center.

In this post Norse reads, ‘You Must Have Been a Sensational Baby’ .

I owe these performance tapes to my best friend, Kit.

Kit showed up and recorded all of my performances, even when he
was sick.

 I’ll Be Seeing You – In Memory of Kit –

The sketch of Norse is a scan of the inside cover of my copy of his
collected poems, Carnivorous Saint.

I describe  the night I bought Carnivorous Saint in a post I wrote
about Norse for Pride Week 2016.

Heroes of the Revolution: Harold Norse

Portrait of Rob Goldstein based on a photo by Nina Glaser.
Portrait of Rob Goldstein based on a photo by Nina Glaser. I wore black for most of the 1980’s as an expression of mourning.

You Must have Been a Sensational Baby








I’ll Be Seeing You – In Memory of Kit –

At Harvey Milk Plaza

My best friend Kit was a bit of a twit before he got sick, but
he was brilliant and passionate about gay liberation.
Our friendship was based on mutual geekiness.

Kit tinkered with a Mac or a Tandy while I wrote poetry and
listened to Pattie Smith through my headphones.

It was the third year of the AIDS epidemic.

We sat over coffee at the Cafe Flore on a bright
Mediterranean day in San Francisco.

Kit opened his backpack and pulled out a small computer.

It looked like a large calculator.

Kit said that HIV had not infected all gay men.

He suspected that HIV was sexually transmitted, but at that
time no one was certain.

We both knew many men who had died and even more who were sick.

Kit wanted to know what they had in common.

He questioned a small sampling of men and now he questioned me.

I.V. Drugs?

I hate needles.

Poppers, acid?

I hate acid. Poppers smell like dirty feet.


I don’t drink.


Yes, please.

Then Kit asked me about sex.

Most of it’s icky, I replied.

Kit turned the computer around and showed me a bell curve.

It peaked in the late 1980s and declined in the 1990’s.

Kit said that what looked like new infections were actually
old ones that had advanced to end stage AIDS.

He explained that the virus had already infected most of the men in our age group who were going to die and that as they died the cases in our age group would drop.

Kit said that I would live and he would die.

Two years later Kit was diagnosed with AIDS and two years after that he died.

Kit took his own life when AIDS took his eyesight.

He had survived three bouts of Pneumocystis.

His skin was covered with Kaposi’s lesions and the lesions invaded his internal organs.

The last time I saw Kit I took his hand and told him that I was
going to miss him.

He replied that he loved me so much he’d haunt me.

We laughed together one last time and said goodbye.

Kit had introduced me to Billie Holiday.

He said that she sang from her soul.

This song is for Kit:

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday – I’ll Be Seeing You
Community Audio







17 St. Phillip Street – An Introduction

This is an introduction to a story tentatively titled 17 St. Phillip Street.

The central character is named Bobby.

Bobby is what I was called as a teen and is also the name of one of my alternates.

What makes this story different for me is that 17 St. Phillip Street is a Bobby story told in third person.

Bobby usually tells his stories in first person and the stories are based on real events.

The primary reason for this belated introduction is that I realized that Bobby lives in a different world from the world of the average 19 or 20 year-old in 2016.

Our culture is shaped by the Bobbys of the World and those who oppose them.

Bobby belonged to the youth culture of the 1960’s.

This was also known as the Counter-Culture.

Cannabis and mind altering drugs were a huge part of this culture as were the politics of the Civil Rights Movement and Feminism.

By 1972 Gay Liberation added a new dimension to what was acceptable for young people to explore.

It was a moment when nearly everyone under the age of thirty was a ‘little’ bi-sexual.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Lou Reed – Transformer

Bobby was a street kid as were many of the anonymous founding members of the Gay Liberation Front.

Street culture in 1972 consisted of kids of all classes, some of them were middle class kids who were slumming and some were like Bobby; looking for a way out.

The gay community of 1972 was also not a LGBTQ community.

Everyone on the wrong side of the sexual norm was a sexual outlaw and gay meant everyone.

These shades of differences didn’t emerge until gays became aware of the differences in the way the majority treated lesbians and gay men, gay men and transgender people, or men who are effeminate.

Bobby ‘came out’ in 1969 just before the Stonewall Riots.

The older men of the gay community in Charleston were more identified with gender stereotypes and the stereotypes of all gay men as effeminate.

It was typical for gay men who were ‘out’ to call each other she and sister.

In Bobby’s world sex had no consequences.

Venereal diseases were easy to treat.

There was no AIDS.

Women had contraceptives and the Youth Culture of 1971 practiced Free Love.

Jefferson Airplane

Bobby has struggles that are unique to him.

He does not know that he has a dissociative disorder.

He is privately confused about gender and sexual orientation.

And he loses time without knowing it.

I realized that before I could continue with the writing I needed to set and clarify the context of the story, for myself and for the reader.

17 St. Phillip Street Part one

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten