Day: June 13, 2009

‘I’m Not a Man’: Harold Norse


I'm not a man, I can't earn a living, buy new things for my family.

I have acne and a small peter.

I'm not a man. I don't like football, boxing and cars.

I like to express my feeling. I even like to put an arm

around my friend's shoulder.

I'm not a man. I won't play the role assigned to me- the role created

by Madison Avenue, Playboy, Hollywood and Oliver Cromwell,

Television does not dictate my behavior.

I'm not a man. Once when I shot a squirrel I swore that I would

never kill again. I gave up meat. The sight of blood makes me sick.

I like flowers.

I'm not a man. I went to prison resisting the draft. I do not fight

when real men beat me up and call me queer. I dislike violence.

I'm not a man. I have never raped a woman. I don't hate blacks.

I do not get emotional when the flag is waved. I do not think I should

love America or leave it. I think I should laugh at it.

I'm not a man. I have never had the clap.

I'm not a man. Playboy is not my favorite magazine.

I'm not a man. I cry when I'm unhappy.

I'm not a man. I do not feel superior to women

I'm not a man. I don't wear a jockstrap.

I'm not a man. I write poetry.

I'm not a man. I meditate on peace and love.

I'm not a man. I don't want to destroy you

San Francisco, 1972 via Exquisite Corpse

R.I.P. Poet Harold Norse, 92

[Image 'https://i2.wp.com/graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/06/13/arts/13norse190.jpg' cannot be displayed]

“Although Mr. Norse is often classified with the Beats, he had already developed his themes and his style when, in the early 1960s, he fell in with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso, just a few of the many writers with whom he formed romantic or professional relationships. A disciple of William Carlos Williams, who once called him “the best poet of your generation,” Mr. Norse found common cause with the Beats in his rejection of academic poetry and traditional metric schemes and his outsider status as a gay man.” (New York Times obit)