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Michael Bronski is an American critic, activist, and writer, best known for his 2011 book A Queer History of the United States. Bronski's lover was Walta Borawski from 1975 until Borawski's death from complications of AIDS in 1994. Although both lived in Boston at the time, they met on June 23 at the Club Baths in New York. They made their home in Cambridge MA, for 19 years. Walta Borawski was the author of several poetry books including Sexually Dangerous Poet and Lingering in a Silk Shirt. "Walta loved Pride. Pride was music, balloons, drag queens, cute men, and spectacle. Today, gay people fight to get into the army. Drag queens are a mainstay in movies and television. It is still hard for me to think about going to Pride." --Michael Bronski. Bronski is currently Professor of the Practice in Activism and Media, in the Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University where he teaches classes on LGBT Studies, film, and American radical politics and culture. A Queer History of the United States won both a Lambda Literary Award and a Stonewall Book Award in 2012.
Together from 1975 to 1994: 19 years.
Michael Bronski (born May 12, 1949)
Walta Borawski (October 15, 1947 - February 9, 1994)
Anniversary: June 23, 1975
Trying to Write a Love Poem (for Michael Bronski)
By Walta Borawski
Since most of my words go to describe
loves that fail, tricks who come & go,
it's no surprise I have no poems for you.
Shall I, trying to write one, say: You
are the man who stole white lilacs from
Harvard to help me find spring in a
dull season? Or that three years ago we
met in a bath house in New York City, strangers
making love in the shelter of sauna & steam?
Would it be too silly to say I like to think
we're Leonard & Virginia Woolf? Don't worry --
I'll not tell which of us is Virginia. But
if I suffer a total breakdown after trying
to write you this poem -- & if you
drop all work on your next essay to
put me together, take care of my cat, they'll
know. Meanwhile, you should know that
when I see aged couples clutching each
other walking quick as they can from
muggers & death -- I see us. & that if you
die first, someone will have to, like they
would a cat without hope or home, put me to,
as it's sometimes called, sleep; & though you
don't believe in heaven, & taught me how empty
& odd my own plan for it was, I imagine we've
already known it -- at the baths, in your
loft bed; in stolen lilacs, in each stroke you
give my cat, my cock; & though I'm agnostic
now, I never question why the archangel who
sent down the devil is called Saint Michael.
Copyright © 1997, Walta Borawski.
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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