Dream as Paul T. Rogers

Artefact: Interview with Paul T. Rogers, written by Glenn Person in Christopher Street magazine, issue 76, May 1983.
It’s been warm for a week
Warmer than usual
Paul is dreaming of redemption
A place to come back to and

There’s a booth in the back corner of the diner where he met with the journalist
On Sixth Avenue
South of Canal Street
It’s a busy place
Busy creates distraction
A noise of bodies and trajectories that hum around him
A swirling of sweat and auras
Loud languages
He sits in the booth with his book
Liberated from the State library
Cracked open on the orange melamine
Knowing that God is occupied with these other noisy souls
Their lives lived out in the so-called free world
Messy and unconscious
Beacons for attention

Paul is good at hiding
Wouldn’t let his photograph be taken for the article
Breathing in sharply at the notion of his face reproduced
His eyes, nose, defiant jaw looking out from the newsstands
A copy saved by a meticulous queer
Left behind, piled in a stack
Brought to a museum a decade from now
In the years that are coming
And that Paul won’t see
Remaining here instead, hidden
Safe in this time-stub
May-days of ‘83 
Those neat piles of Christopher Street
Posted forward in the future
Unpacked, itemised, re-boxed
Waiting an indefinite period of time
Forty years, maybe
To be pulled out and
Xeroxed and xeroxed
By a stranger’s ink-stained fingers
No Glenn
No thank you
I’d rather not

This place
Hot with the smell of fat
And then the few blocks surrounding
East, down to the river
To stare across the water at Jersey City
The Colgate Clock circling around the hour infinitely
Never moving past midnight
This choice
It’s a decent redemption
A little known fact to taxpayers
A neglected pocket somewhere outside the hustling
Beyond surviving
A time-place to ease down into
Before September
Before going beserk
Before blood hits floorboards
Before DNA mutates
Before the Penguin edition
Before his son takes his wallet, the dollars
Before the city falls apart, lovers vanish
Before the heat scorches Central Park dry
Before the avenues empty of souls
Skies clear
Then ash
Falling and falling

He'll take it, this being here
Doing what he wants to do
That's fine, too