Here are some poems by Lee Thorn to get you started.


the full moon
orange and smoke smudged
as I start out
white and lightly
ink stained
as I come back

not so much passing
through the clouds
as being fondled
by them

very willingly


Torture Chambers

all the fucking nightmares:
grade school, junior high,
high school, college,
the army, the war, Home Depot

how did I survive all
that shit? how did I
survive ANY of it?

especially KNOWING they
were nightmares when I
was in them

god, the percentage of life
that's just rancid shit to
be somehow gotten through

and then you compare your
life with all the others
you know and it's been a
fucking picnic, you've
been getting away with
murder, most other sorry
schmucks have had it
even worse

the sticky fucking
wretchedness of it all


couple nights ago
I hear strange popping
sounds outside my house

what kind of critter
is that and what the
hell's he doing?

from my front steps I
see a very impressive
professional fireworks
show a few miles to the
west, and I can hear
some cries from the
crowd coming four, five
miles across the
empty desert


Junior Cruiser

so I'm in the library
(what is it about queers
and libraries?)
and this kid -- maybe
13, 14 -- is following me
from floor to floor and
he finally starts talking
to me, asking what I'm
looking for, offering to
help me find stuff with
his laptop

and I'm thinking that
the only way I'm going
to get away is to leave
the building

he follows me out.
stays a couple steps
back until I get to my
car and he comes up

"look kid, I know what
you want and the answer
is no."
"something wrong with me?"
"no. you're hot"
junior cruiser blushes
"but I don't want to go
to prison"

"for real?"
"for real twice. you are
hot and I don't want to
go to prison"
he's beet red

I put my hand on his
shoulder, squeezing it
enough to make him quiver
and bring my face down
to his cheek.
with my lips just brushing
his ear I whisper
"prison food sucks"


striding toward
the straight line of dawn

the second I cross it
I'll have a shadow
100 feet long

hawking Milky Ways
that cartwheel slowly
through space

thinking of coffee


penny postcard of a
naked black man who's
just been tortured
-- gaping wounds --
(hands tied in front
of his genitals for
decency's sake)

he's about to be
hung before a
festive crowd

the most striking
feature of the photo
his expression of
total disdain


only one small bug
on the trail this morning
but how relentless!


I think I'm so smart that
I can't believe nobody cares
what I think. I have to
keep re-convincing myself.
you'd think my vast collection
of rejection slips would suffice

but I keep asking why isn't
anybody saying this? why isn't
anybody saying that? why isn't
anybody saying that conservation
just masks overpopulation (and
thereby encourages it)?
that immigration lowers wages?
that corporate media are
that masturbation isn't
necessarily a substitute
for something?
that the government knew
the bankers were stealing --
knew it for years?
that the government knew
the wars were just for
profit (knew it from day one)?
that being drunk all the time
is almost as boring as being
sober all the time?

I've got to stop trying to
save the world. first of all
it ain't gonna get saved.
second, if it is gonna get
saved it won't be by some
perverted poet. it'll be
by some mystic religious nut
vegetarian asshole running
around in a fucking



I go to the local
art house and see
these old prune-faced
ladies who look so
sweet and neat and

and just from their
wrinkles and the fact
that they're there
I know they've done
drugs, kinky sex,
marches for other
people's rights, war

I know more about
these old sisters
than their grandkids
know (unless their
grandkids are history

I know that they
read books that have
nothing to do with
self-improvement and
I know that not one
of them would ever
say "very unique" --
not even if you put a
gun to her head



the building blocks
of life: time, booze,
sex, art, boredom,
space, quiet

the distractions:
passive stuff,
obligatory stuff

nominally members of
the same species,
you fill in the blanks

John Lee Hooker
"Am I cool?"
it makes him laugh
he says it again and
laughs again

it deeply tickles
him to think of
himself in relation
to the concept


Game On

I went up there years
and years ago when the
little town was perfectly
empty but not at all

not so much as a broken
window or an overgrown

someone was taking care
of it but I didn't see
a soul

then, late one night,
a couple weeks ago, way
across the wide valley
and halfway up the
mountains, I saw a small
ball of light -- the
mine apparently reopened
and the town re-occupied

I pictured kids with
their trikes on concrete
driveways, lots of new
pickups, barking dogs,
wash on the line, lawn
mowers put-putting

I'd go up there just
to have another look
if it wasn't such a
long drive


Saturday Morning

I'll be eating my
strawberries and whipped cream
about half an hour before
first light, and drinking
my pinot grigio (god I love
that stuff --especially
the ones with the twist-off
caps) and eating my buttered
baguette toast with blue
cheese in olive oil mashed
into it (Julia Childs would
smile -- she was something)

and immersed in these
pre-dawn delights my twisted
little brain runs about four
miles of desolate Utah
highway past me -- no
rhyme or reason

munch munch slurp slurp

and then, crazily, it runs
about six miles of desolate
New Mexico highway, every
curve, every pinon tree,
all the white and yellow
lines and dashes

so why in the world would
those stretches of road
have stuck in my murky
gray matter?
munch, slurp
and why are they being
played back at this
particular pre-dawn hour?

the radio says,
"the tables are empty,
the dance floor deserted"

ain't we got fun


I wonder what JFK and
Marilyn talked about

I know that Tennessee
Williams thought Kennedy
had a nice ass and that
the wardrobe man on
thought that Tony Curtis
had a much nicer ass
than MM

Gore Vidal impishly
told JFK that Williams
like his ass, which
tickled Jack no end

and Marilyn told Tony
about the nasty little
dresser (they were close
to the point of confiding
to each other about whose
cocks they'd had to suck
to get into the business)

reading books DOESN'T
make you a better person,
but you don't get this
stuff from TV, not even
the History Channel

K of M: Tennessee Williams
likes my ass.
M: Oh gracious! Arthur
K: What about you?
M: I don't think Ibsen
has anything to worry
K: I mean your ass.
M: Tony's is nicer
according to the
K: Maybe so, but Tony
doesn't have your tits.
M: You're sweet.