Life After Death
Life After Death : Embracing the Queer Widow
Embracing the Queer Widow
A Selection of Works
Exhibition Information
A Conversation with Dan PillersA Conversation with Dan Pillers
A Conversation with
Dan Pillers
Credits and Links
Click for Details
Chuck Forester
October 20, 2000

You should know
Toad Hall is gone.
Soot outlines the false peak
on exposed raw planks.
Black windows stare 
at a street of grit and homelessness.

I opened its thick oak door
my first gay bar
and had to be inside to know the name.

Before your hire just another Irish pub.
Then you, JR, young men with beards
and smiling chests.  You held 
the breath of brotherhood
and it served daily neat, no ice.
Tequila sunrise never set
and your breakfast drinkers 
called me Helen.

Remaining stolid to the street
it hid and held
incendiary joy
only an observant eye would know.

Until on Sunday 
crowds spilled around the corner
forced outside.  Young heads
and eager friendships,
the visibility of comrades.

In front I picked you up 
to drive through thirteen states
to visit families on both sides.
The lightening storm less hazardous
than family meals.

What was will soon be marking pens,
prescriptions, eye drops, foot supports.
The price of what then was joy
was just a beer plus tip.


Chuck Forester

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Exhibition Info

Life After Death: Embracing the Queer Widow is produced and curated by Dan Pillers / Fagart Unlimited as part of The National Queer Arts Festival 2001.  The project is funded, in part, by a "Creating Queer Community Grant for Emerging Artists," a collaborative project of the Jon Sims Center, the Harvey Milk Institute and the Queer Cultural Center as part of the Gateway Initiative of The San Francisco Foundation. Please see Credits and Links for more information.    Vol.IV No.3 06/03/2001