A habit of breaking new ground

Issue 

A habit of breaking new ground

The Times Of Zenia Gold
By Chris Jones
Black Wattle Press
Reviewed by Michael Arnold

Being at the forefront of new queerground is almost old hat for poet Chris Jones. Chris was involved in the collective that organised the 1978 demonstrations that history has labelled the first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. In the early '80s he was an openly gay union delegate in the Port Kembla steelworks. He helped establish Australia's first queer television broadcasts, Queer TV.

The Times of Zenia Gold is a three-part verse novel that rides at the front of a new wave of queer literature. The poetry is sometimes yummy, sometimes sad, sometimes inspiring. It is always drugfucked, and always proud.

Part One — The Boy on the Magazine Cover looks at fantasies, in all their pain, their hope and their eroticism. It includes the gems "Pan Handling — a teenage romance" and "Loose White Tee Shirts".

Part Two — Another Story focuses on all the deaths in the era of AIDS that have been caused by an even more insipid disease — queerphobia — the deaths in particular from bashings and suicide, which were sparked by the blaming of the AIDS virus on gays, lesbians and junkies.

MURDERED MURDERED MURDERED
NO ONE
should die
of a newspaper headline

Part Three — Elegy and Serenade is Chris' assertion that, while they may blame us, attack us, demonise us, we will never give up on our dreams, our strength, our pride.

Don't let the board of censors
bar you from me
be my boy next door.

The Times of Zenia Gold is dedicated to all demons, to all those whose everyday existence provides a challenge to heterosexist, Christian morality.

do not the demon
fob off
with half truth
fib nor fiction

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