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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                233
                Out of classical Greek and Latin roots, I grew the syllables of homo-
             masculinity the way that Walt Whitman grew his linguistics in Leaves of
             Grass. The great “Gray (and Gay) Poet” Walt Whitman, a born homomas-
             culinist, was peerless in designing gender-related language and rhetoric.
             Influenced by Plato’s ideal of love, Whitman wrote, at the heart of Leaves
             of Grass, his Calamus poems singing of man-to-man love, often referred
             to as “the Calamus emotion.”
                Whitman’s disciple, Allen Ginsberg, also a born homomasculin-
             ist who fetishized frank virility, worshiped his own circle of masculine
             straightish men including everyone’s favorite endowed hustler, Neal Cas-
             sady;  the handsome Jack Kerouac (who could be played on screen by
             look-alike Daniel Craig); and his longtime lover the not-quite-gay Peter
             Orlovsky. Nevertheless, the poet Ginsberg, whose personal sexuality
             acknowledged a new assertive kind of radical masculinity in lovers, did
             not coin for the Beats or for gay America any new word for the homomas-
             culinity to which, in concept, he knelt.
                Ginsberg’s famous “blues,” which I experienced with him when he
             landed in my lap in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was the source for the series
             of many of my Drummer articles titled variously, “Cigar Blues,” Prison
             Blues,” and “Castro Street Blues,” capped with the novel, Leather Blues.
             At that time of the National Poetry Festival (1973) in nearby Allendale,
             Michigan, my sex-connection to Ginsberg was our mutual friend the
             poet, Thom Gunn, but Ginsberg’s grooming (he was an appallingly
             unkempt Walt Whitman) and his horrible squeeze box got in the way.
             “Allen! Enough with the noise, already! I understand your masochistic
             nostalgia de la boue, but take a fuckin’ bath!”
                When the Beats gave way to the Hippies who gave way to the gays, I
             was impelled by the push of Stonewall and the rush of Drummer to coin
             several words to write my reportage, and that gonzo journalism — docu-
             mented in the internationally known Drummer — led to an invitation to
             join the “Queer Keywords” conference.
                Other participants in the “Queer Keywords” series included Rich-
             ard Meyer, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, University
             of Southern California, author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and
             Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art; Robert McRuer, Asso-
             ciate Professor, Department of English, George Washington University,
             author of Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability; and
             Niall Richardson, Lecturer, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK,
             author of The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman, and, pertinently, “The
             Queer Activity of Extreme Male Bodybuilding: Gender Dissidence,
             Auto-Eroticism and Hysteria” in Social Semiotics, 14:1, 49-66, plus “Queer

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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