Poem 29 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Reuben Gelley Newman
& the Damage Done

Listening to Neil Young this morning, an unseasonably / warm weekend in February, quiet / month of fever / month of purification / fever fever fever I sit / “The Needle / &” / on repeat forever fever. I know that some / of you / don’t understand, but last night / I went to The 24 Hour / Plays remembering Spencer Cox / (over / 34 years since the discovery of AIDS) / yes, this is a fucking / poem about 00000000000000000000000000

I’m sorry.


by his friends. A tribute / for him. / A benefit, / but such a corporate word slivers / under my skin like the cold / under Spencer’s / sitting hard floor / in raincoat / of living / room / no clothes.

It was a memorial / love / and I / just / a witness, / a 17-year-old gay kid who has not yet seen / read / How to Survive a Plague / The Normal Heart / Rent / And the Band

plays on,


it fucking plays on.


logoReuben Gelley Newman’s poems appear in the Alexandria Quarterly, diode poetry journal, Indolent Books’ “What Rough Beast Project,” and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Teen Writing Journal. A participant in The Adroit Journal’s 2016 Summer Mentorship Program, he is 18 years old, hails from New York City, and is a first-year student at Swarthmore College.

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