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Saturday, June 29, 2019


by Barbara A. Taylor

The Gateways Club scene from The Killing of Sister George (1968) dir. Robert Aldrich.

into this
skip to my lou

I rang the brass bell on that green door. A slot opened. Eyes peered through an open grill. Permitted to enter, we stepped down a steep dark stairwell. In the cellar it seemed that all heads turned to us. As we pushed through the throng and choking smoke to a noisy bar, I watched swaying couples – butch and femme playing out their roles. “Bottoms up!” proffered a lanky woman in three-piece Donegal Tweeds, wearing a monocle. Others wore fancy braces, tuxedos, tails, bow ties or neatly pressed jeans. There was plenty leather, and frills, boas and ballroom gowns: formal, casual, rough, the tattooed and tough. Dusty Springfield blared, got them jiving and twisting. There wasn’t a space on that slippery floor. Indeed, no matter what the tempo, they’d be cheek-to-cheek circling this tiny spot under fluorescent strobes. My friend squeezed my hand. At last, we were safe together, we were happy. Just imagine, hidden here in this Chelsea basement, we felt freely alive, celebrating, back in those undercover days of circa sixty-five.

flying high
as a kite

"Each day demands that I write and that my fingers touch and feel the earth." Free verse poems, renku, haiga, haibun, haiku, tanka, and other Japanese short form poetry by Barbara A. Taylor appear in many international journals and anthologies on line and in print, including Frogpond. The Heron's Nest, Eucalypt, Atlas Poetica, Wisteria, Skylark, Kokako, Modern English Tanka, Red Lights, TinyWords, Contemporary Haibun On Line. She lives in the Rainbow Region, Northern NSW, Australia.