He called like he usually did, his voice sexy and deep, not hysterical, which
he can sometimes get when something’s on his mind, something I have to
ferret out , burying my muzzle in the shit of his psyche.
He said we couldn’t have dinner, that he was broke and, ‘some people have
to work,’ implying something about my life.
He said that I was fine, but, ‘a little too much’ and wondered if I wouldn’t
be happier with someone more complex, more my ‘speed.’
And I said no! No! Simplicity is my goal, what can I be? What would you
like me to be?
“Nothing.” he said, and hung up.
He Said, He Said
Excerpt from a poetry reading with
Harold Norse, 1986.
(c) Rob Goldstein 1986-2017 All Rights Reserved
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
and I read part of a monologue by ‘I Am Not a Man’ called The Scorpio Club. ‘Bobby’
Both pieces take up questions of masculinity.
‘I am not a man’ is 1970s gay liberation merged with the peace movement
is about a frustrated group of boys who want to be men in a culture that says they’re sick and deserve to die. The Scorpio Club
They turn their anger on
Charleston’s formidable drag queens.
Portrait of Harold Norse by Jim Breeden
I Am Not a Man by Harold Norse
El Club Escorpión
The Scorpio Club by Rob Goldstein
(C) Rob Goldstein 1986-2017 All Rights Reserved
The Very Best of Cat Stevens
Oh Very Young – Cat Stevens
Bobby and the Vice Squad There was only one queer bar in
Charleston. It was hidden on the darkest alley behind the
Old Slave Market. Guys had to kiss the doorman the first went to the Stardust to prove they was
queer. Some of us boys would dance on the big stage behind the bar when the drag queens wasn’t doing a show.
The first time I went to the Stardust I was 16. Momma brought me so I didn’t have to kiss no one.
She led me into the bar by the hand and ordered me a Pepsi.
Then she dropped some quarters into a jukebox and played
Respect, and I said: “Hey Momma. Let’s dance!” Well she hauled me up on the stage and we danced while the other queers gawked.
I was too young to get into the Stardust without Momma, so I had to sneak in if I wanted to go alone.
There was this one
dyke named Roxie. She sometimes worked the door. She was so butch she could guys the kiss test. Sometimes she’d let me in.
But if the
vice cops came to do a bar check I’d have to hide in the lady’s room or get “discovered” and throwed out. Sometimes the vice cops would come and not do a bar check; they’d take some money and leave.
Sometimes they’d come and watch the queers from the doorway.
Three straight white men with mean smiles.
One night I was out and dressed up for a party and this vice cop stops and orders me into his car.
“Whatcha doin’ out all gussied up?” he asked, “
solicitin‘?” “Sellin’ yer ass to the
fags!” he replied. “Oh that ain’t what I’m doin'” I said. “My Momma says I gotta dress right to set a good example for my sister!”
He drove me around town touching himself and asking me about dealers: “I bet you’d like to turn that little Sister of yours into a drug addict!”
“No sir!” I said, “I hope she turns out to be a
drag queen just like me!” I guess we wore each other out.
He pulled over and let me out.
He flipped his wrist at me and drove off.
(c)Rob Goldstein 1985-2017 All Rights Reserved