Gusher – Christopher Stephen Soden

James Dean stepped up and stepped
out early in his voluptuously tragic
career, proclaiming bi-sexual
inclinations to the press in the 1950’s:
“Why go through life with one hand
tied behind your back?” And even if
you never heard that now
notorious quote, it didn’t take Freud
to decode the tenderness he showed
Plato in Rebel Without a Cause
or dangerous need he shared
on the Ferris wheel with Abra
in East of Eden. Pissed and despondent.
Defiant fringe-dweller who ached
for other men and women with ferocity,
equally prone to romance,
or havoc. It wasn’t until the filming
of Giant, though, that he realized
the exquisite expression of undistilled
Dionysian celebration. Irresistible
poison of degeneracy. As Jett Rink,
ranch-hand at The Reata, buttoning
sheepskin coat against the merciless
cold of west Texas. He measures his
plot, walking boot heel to toe, rigging
a primitive wooden tower to house
his insistent, chugging drill. He keeps
vigil to his scrap wood contraption
as if he were a priest in a stone temple.
Eventually, something roiling beneath
layers of rock and fossil, clay and loam
reaches the shaft of his derrick and he
climbs, hoisting himself up and up
’til he reaches the crest of that miraculous
conduit, black syrup dense and pitchy
as liquid night, and Dean welcomes this
downpour of infernal bliss, stretching
his arms to receive a baptism
of careless, criminal love.


Christopher Stephen Soden is a native Texan. His poetry collection, Closer was released by Rebel Satori Press on June 14, 2011. In August 2010, he received Full Fellowship to Lambda Literary Foundation’s Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices in Los Angeles, California. In 2007, his performance piece Queer Anarchy received The Dallas Voice‘s People’s Voice Award for Best Stage Performance. Christopher received his MFA in Writing (Poetry) from Vermont College of Fine Arts in January of 2005. He teaches and lectures on craft, theory, genre, literature, and publication. He writes poetry, plays, performance pieces, and literary, film, and theatre critique. He currently writes theatre critique for The Examiner, Pegasus News, and A + C DFW. His honors include: Distinguished Poets of Dallas; Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion Series, Founding Member; and President and President Emeritus of The Dallas Poets Community. He was a finalist in the 4Th Unity and LSU Outworks Drama Festivals as well as a finalist in the Robin Becker and Refined Savage Chapbook Contests. His work has appeared in Resilience; Collective Brightness; A Face to Meet the Faces; The Q Review; Ganymede Poets: One; Gay City 2; Assaracus; Polari Journal; Poetic Voices Without Borders; The Texas Observer; Sentence; Borderlands; Cafe Review; Off the Rocks; The James White Review; The New Writer; Velvet Mafia; Poetry Super Highway; Gertrude; Touch of Eros; Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians; Windy City Times; ArLiJo; and Best Texas Writing 2.

Contact the Editor.


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