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Back Then by R.Kane

Updated on July 12, 2012

Coming of age in the 1970’s.

As always, it was a simpler age.

We thought that every STD

could be alleviated at the city clinic.

I was *complex rock, button fly Levis, and flannel shirts.

Owned one pair of double-knit pants.

Didn’t buy them, just somehow they were mine.

Disco so pervasive in the gay community, four-foured to death!

No business like show business sung by Ethel Merman

To a disco beat, this had gone too far.

Fucking in the bushes was quite a hoot,

On a Minnesota river bank or atop a San Francisco hill.

Marathon sessions at the bathhouse in an MDA state,

a room waiting with just a call for a little drug bribe.

How many sex partners, I just didn’t count.

Don’t regret it, just look back and wonder.

Drugs were a gift until angel dust made me crazy.

*CJ6 became much too familiar,

Put me in the*queen tank I learned I needed to say.

Lost everything, I use that experience still.

Found love in a sex closet on New Years Eve,

Did the till death do us part with him,

sans the marriage that dare not try to be.

I still miss him in the quiet moments in my life

Watched so many die so young.

I stopped having sex at all but couldn’t keep that up.

Made me edit my sex practices with severity,

and thankful that I haven’t had to share their fate.

Who knew dick of death could be a literal term.

Seemed a disappointment I didn’t play with all the hottest guys.

As some of them were the first to succumb,

I know now what a blessing it was that they passed me by.

R.Kane ©2005

A.K.K. Richard Kane

*Complex rock is now called prog rock or progressive rock

*CJ6 is San Francisco county jail #6

*The queen tank is reserved for homosexual males


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    • rkane3 profile image

      Richard Kane 5 years ago from Oakland CA

      It's probably my most autobiographical poem ever. I did it as part of a Gay men's poetry writing group called "Guy writers" in San Fransisco.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      So Tragic, and yet well-written!!! If this is based on your life, I am sorry for your losses. Life is too short and we need to live it to the fullest!! I hope one day soon there will be cure.