Bobby and The Scorpio Club

This is my third post based on a Spoken Word performance with Harold Norse in 1986.

Click here for one and here for two.

This time Harold Norse Reads ‘I Am Not a Man’ and I read part of a monologue by ‘Bobby’ called The Scorpio Club.

Both pieces take up questions of masculinity.

‘I am not a man’ is 1970s gay liberation merged with the peace movement
and feminism.

The Scorpio Club is about a frustrated group of boys who want to be men in a culture that says they’re sick and deserve to die.

They turn their anger on Charleston’s formidable drag queens.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Portrait of Harold Norse by Jim Breeden

I Am Not a Man by Harold Norse

Digital photograph made in virtual reality to illustrate a teen aged boy named Bobby
El Club Escorpión

The Scorpio Club by Rob Goldstein

(C) Rob Goldstein 1986-2017 All Rights Reserved

Scan of the Cover of The Very Best of Cat Stevens
The Very Best of Cat Stevens

Oh Very Young Cat Stevens
Community Audio
Internet Archives

 

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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

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Harold Norse and Rob Goldstein: The Jewish Community Center, 1986

In 1986 I had theatrical monologue named Bobby
in local production.

I didn’t know then that Bobby is a dissociative  alternate.

I recall when I performed sections of the monologue Bobby took
over but I considered it getting in character.

In 1986, I gave a joint reading with Harold Norse at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center in San Francisco.

The reading was Harold’s way of validating my work as a student.

That night Harold had a touch of laryngitis.

He brought a tape of his reading his translations of Gioachino Belli and
used it when his  voice tired.

That part of Harold’s taped reading of Belli and my performance of
section seven of  ‘Bobby’ are in this post.

I’ve also included my opening which was a reading from OttoKernberg’s Borderline Conditions  and Pathological Narcissism which, I used to
illustrate  the way the academic language of psychiatry targets gay men.

To provide context, in 1986 being a gay identified writer was a radical act, more so because  the AIDS epidemic had caused a backlash that had not peaked.

Harold Norse reads from his translations of Gioachino Belli

Rob Goldstein reads from Otto Kernberg’s Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism.

Rob Goldstein reads section seven of Bobby, The Summerville Lights

A scan of the slyer and announcement for a 1986 joint reading of Harold Norse and Rob Goldstein

Rob Goldstein 1986-2016 (c) Rob Goldstein 2016 All Rights Reserved

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Bobby and The Queen of Hearts

I had a rich friend named Mickey whose Mom lived in New York.

He’d go visit her every other month and come back to Charleston
with a copy of the Village Voice.

I read the fags in Greenwich Village was forming up an army to fight
fag bashers.

It suddenly hit me: if straight can bash queers, queers can bash straights.

I was still pissed about that guy trying to shoot me at Battery Park.

I told Mickey what I was thinking and he said. “Let’s do it!”

We each strapped wide spiked belts around our waists.

Then we drove out to a tore up old convent and loaded the trunk of Mickey’s  Impala with bricks.

That night we did a slow cruise around the Battery. 

We watched a couple of known fag bashers enter the park.

Mickey swished by himself into the darkest part of Battery Park and when they followed him I snuck up and BAM! They got it with bricks!

We did that every day for a week and that Summer the Battery was safe for faggots!

 Artist: Eclair Acuda Bandersnatch
Eclair Acuda Bandersnatch


There was only one gay bar in Charleston.

It was lost in a back ally behind the Old Slave Market.

At the Stardust gay folks got married.

An alcoholic ex-priest named Mother Rachel presided.

One guy wore a gown and the other wore a tux.

At the Stardust the Queen of Hearts Drag Pageant was a major event.

Drag Queens shopped for weeks and scandalized every dress shop on King Street.

On the big night the butch dykes wore three-piece suits and their wives wore gowns.

Mother Superior was always the emcee and he’d open every show with a report on where the vice cops were lurking that night:

“The Greyhound bus station is just hoppin’ with Vice! So ya’all be careful–OK?”

There was this one drag queen that always lip synced “My Life.”

At the end of the song he would defiantly sing in his real voice: “This is myiiiiiiiiii life!

Then he’d rip off his wig and fling it into the audience.

At the end Mother Rachel had everyone in the bar joined hands and sang, “There’s a Place for us.

RG (c) 1985-2017

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