Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 1 • Spring 2002 • Poetry


Daniel W.K. Lee

Inside the spaces between books and becoming
must be matchsticks of revolution
for how else could a phoenix be kindled
in me? You have scribed a bloodless tale
of sidelining the measures
of manhood to decorate my back

sprinkling a mandala toward this shoulder and back
around the place where sighs rise, becoming
venerations in strummed measures
of tenderness. Men loving me is not revolution
but your wanting is, for your tale
recounts my return to soot, of kindled

curiosities on separate sojourns: mine reinvented with kindled
dances of a Hindu annihilator, yours back-
bent and unsure through a thousand plateaus. Fairytale?
Not until you are becoming
(striking down past selves like thunder, a revolution
flaring as flint kisses steel and sovereign measures

decimate the malison of being). A lifetime measures
weakly against seconds of a naked smile kindled
without traces of loss. Disrobed, yours sends a firebird into revolution
around your reserve like a reckless suitor back
to gain an unready hand. If nothing becoming
nothing is the folktale

of the unremembered, have my efforts already been forgotten? Should a tale
with heavy measures
holding a bold note bent on becoming
my consort not be sung or kindled
even as I burn, my heart will not gape astonished, nor will my back
erode when the sands of your mandala blow in revolution

against my need. My arms for counterrevolution
are this fire and pen to continue this tale
from the span of your back
to the cliff of my left shoulder which measures
fondness like a thermometer in your quietly kindled
sun. But sometimes at night when becoming

mighty fizzles, and revolution is hummed without measures,
I ask your tale to keep me kindled
then back will I descend into ashes of becoming.

Daniel W.K. Lee is a New York City-based artist and writer on a one-man mission to restore the great love and appreciation for love poems. His work has appeared in Masque: A Journal of Queer Expression, ShoutOut Magazine, spoonfed: amerika, Vice, Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America, and Fourteen Hills. A retired go-go dancer / stripper, he now volunteers his talents as the Editorial Content Manager at HOOK -- a non-profit outreach project for, by, and about men in the sex industry, and as the writer of "The Brady Diaries" at Amateur Bastards.

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