Visionary – Holidays, Spirit and Me: Spirit(s)

This is the fourth and final in our series of pieces on the theme of Holidays, Spirit and Me.

When Pleasure asked me to write about “spirit, the holidays, and me,” I didn’t know (and still don’t) that I would have anything much to say (without being completely cynical). Over the next few weeks, I meditated on my somewhat tumultuous relationship with spirit and ended up writing several short fragments, several of which, I collected into the poem, “Spirit(s)”. I hope you enjoy it! Love you, siblings!!



Sugar le Fae

Sugar le Fae
Sugar le Fae

Meaning “to breathe” in Latin,
cognates of spirāre include:

respire   to breathe again
inspire   to breathe into
expire    without breathing

and, of course, from spīritus,
spirit   breath.

He and I are reincarnated
spirits of little old ladies
who speak what they think
who dye their hair purple
who smoke and drink
and don’t give a shit
what other people think.
Who are we to argue fate?

Listen to “Spirit in the Dark”
by Aretha Franklin
and tell me that
“getting the spirit”
can’t mean in the same breath
“touching God”
and “in the mood.”

When one of my best friends
finally got approved for her
knee osteotomy, we kept
our spirits up over her winter
recovery by making silly
videos of us singing Christmas
carols in wigs and dresses.

Years later, no longer needing
a walker, she could finally
accompany me to the faerie
mountain, where in faerie
tradition, she named herself
Felda Spirit and was welcomed.

Just last week at a teddy bear party,
I played impromptu duets with Blue-
bird, who, topping my Heart
and Soul, turned every note blue.
Spirit can perhaps be conjured,
but tastes best when it’s not lured.

Sugar le Fae (aka Zach Matteson) is a poet, teacher, song writer, photographer, and Radical Faerie. Dozens of his poems have been published by journals in the States and Canada. He currently resides in Nashville, TN

Visionary – Holidays Spirit and Me: The Christmas Heart

This is the third in our series of four pieces on the theme of The Holidays, Spirit and Me.


Doug Emerson
Doug Emerson

The Christmas Heart

Doug Emerson

I believe I first really got in touch with Spirit on Christmas Eve 1982. My roommate, a handsome man with such unbelievable eyes that his nickname became Blue, or Your Royal Blueness, and I were trying to manage to make it through the season. Money was short and friends were dying from AIDS. It just looked dismal.

Blue came home Christmas Eve in the afternoon with an unexpected bonus from his part time job. That led to the development of an event that became legendary. It began simple enough, we went to see if we could score a Christmas tree cheap. While we walked we chatted about how we could somehow give all of our friends a memorable holiday.

The scheme was hatched. I was sent to get champagne and snacks. Blue started calling friends with an invite our “First Christmas” party. By that we meant guests showed up at midnight to a party that was the first one on Christmas.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]About 4am, all of my beautiful brothers began to go home. Blue and I were ultimately left exhausted cuddling on the couch. [/pullquote]

We didn’t think we could pull it together and when it was midnight had come with no visitors, we had resigned ourselves to drink until we were out of our minds with cheer. Then the door buzzer went off. The first of over 60 men entered our small apartment to share love, humor and memories of friends here and gone.

About 4 a.m. all of my beautiful brothers began to go home. Blue and I were ultimately left exhausted, cuddling on the couch. Holding each other in that wonderful embrace of love and companionship that touched the spirit and gave the room a wonderful special feel and light.

That was the night that I really understood the meaning of family and the spirit that touched each of us that blessed night.


Doug will be spending this Christmas in Atlanta, GA. He hopes to share time with GSV family and renew and expand the circle of love and service. And says, “I continue to be grateful to you all in allowing me to shine.”

Visionary – Holidays, Spirit and Me: Uh oh, It’s Majick

This is the second in or series of four articles on the theme of The Holidays, Spirit and Me


Uh oh, It’s Majick

Whispurring Pussy (Joe)

I remember when it was magic…

Joe Kiser
Joe Kiser

The time of year for which days were marked off the calendar. There were two of these times-of-year.  Summer break and Christmas. Now I’m not talking about the Twelve Days of Christmas countdown. This was different. As I sit here today, I can honestly say that I do not know what other little boys got excited about around Christmas. Perhaps watching football games with their dads.  Perhaps going hunting with their dads.  None of that for me. For me, the countdown was to the day my mom and I pulled out the boxes of Christmas decorations and began turning our mundane living room into a magic kingdom.

As time pushed me into the realm of puberty and eventually adulthood, I found a bitterness for the Holidays. Oh, the magic is gone. During this time, I often found myself depressed and feeling very alone. I now know it was, in part, bi-polar depression. I was also struggling with the self-acceptance of being a  gay man.  During this time, I dreaded the Holidays. I longed for a way to escape, a way remove myself from life for two months or so.  I hated seeing family during this time. I felt guilty for not feeling happy.   I began to resent the Holidays.

I began the process of coming out as a gay man in my thirties.  I experienced anger from family members for coming out. I was told I was selfish for coming out, that I was being influenced by the devil.  Holidays became even more difficult. There were times I refused to visit family during the Holidays.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]And with this new-found self-appreciation, I have found, dare I say it, happiness. Happiness within myself.[/pullquote]

Today, my bi-polar depression is well managed, thanks to those fine folks at Pfizer pharmaceuticals.  And with lots and lots of therapy, I am downright happy to be gay. I am gay in every sense of the word. I am 51 years old and have the highest sense of completeness that I have ever had. And with this new-found self-appreciation, I have found, dare I say it, happiness. Happiness within myself.

I no longer dread the Holidays. I find joy in celebrating the Holidays with my family of choice. I now spend time with my biological family without dread.  Though some of them continue to struggle with my being gay, I now know that struggle is theirs and not mine. I have begun to regain a sense of wonderment, a sense of hope.

If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.


In mid-December, Whispurring Pussy will be vacationing with Santa in Key West for some last minute naughtiness. Upon his return, Whispurr plans to spend the Holidays with family and friends lapping up vast quantities of Egg Nog while watching his favorite Holiday classics ‘Home for the Holidays’ and ‘Sordid Lives’.

Visionary-Holiday, Spirit and Me: Fully grounded


We asked some GSV folks to write whatever came to mind on the theme of “Holidays, Spirit and Me” and share it in Visionary. Jason Buchannan, Doug Emerson, Joe Kiser, and Sugar le Fe agreed. Jason’s poem is the first of these contributions that will be posted on each on the Wednesday’s in December.


“Like most of my work, the topic of spirit and self is apparent, but the concrete (holiday, Thanksgiving) has been heavily abstracted.”

Fully grounded

Jason Buchannan

Jason Buchannan
Jason Buchannan

She speaks to me of grounding, like I need it,
all wrapped up in shrouds and veils
of otherworldly mysteries and delights.

Living without limits takes more
discipline than my airy whims suggest.
The hounding of those voices of reason
in every niche like wind through cracks
in the old wooden door on which
we model the future from our past
do not deafen these ears.

Your Old World malice and refuge
across seas glittering arrive on me
wet and washed out, like this mother
was made to make you her children.
Take her, take me, take this
and that bristle pine down and shelter
your selves on land that isn’t yours.

Maybe these stones remember,
and if we but lower our resonant tones,
we’ll be swimming in their heart songs
cold and slow like the night sky, moving.

Maybe this Old World dream like rain
soaks into those older bones, receptive
to the altercating alterations of melodies
pregnant in the whispering of trees.
When we open a space between,
does that synapse give us life,
or is that vitality found in the death of form
in the trails we blaze through Her?

I am open; I am closed.
I am the window you can’t latch.
I am the curtains billowing,
drawing your attention, distracting
you from yourself to find you.
I am the wind, rippling
the objects you’re strung taut against.

So what anchors my divine vessel down to solid earth?
What orients my constant maiden voyage?
I am the welding of worlds. The crux of creation.
Sound, light. Silence, shadow. I am everything.
And being so drunk on all of existence,
where is my firm footing? What is my next step?
My compass ion, charged with universal meaning
I readily recreate constantly.

Is there solidity on my course? When I leave the Earth,
am I still walking my path? When I return,
am I where I always was?

She says, bend your knees. Send your light down
through the legs, and through your coccyx.
Make that pyramid and send your sacral stream
straight through into Mother. Feel her
heat your heart like blanket love,
and let Spirit above surrender you. This, she says,
will ground your path and center your soul.

But will this sufficiently join Jai’s spirit to the Earth
and keep him from losing himself in the ethereals?
If this doesn’t work, find another. If that doesn’t work,
keep searching. You will know by the way it feels.
Trust your body’s sensations. It knows love,
even when the mind fails to recognize.
Really feel your flesh again for the first time in ages.
It is there; you exist.



Jason can be found organizing young adult resistance movements that work to reclaim self and divinity in Raleigh, NC, when he’s not working in consumerism with plants.

2015 Fall Conference: Variety Show

Dear Brothers,

Thank you for registering for the upcoming 2015 GSV Fall Conference, positive anticipation is rising daily. Can you hear the drum roll? The rustle of yards of fabric?

We in the entertainment committee certainly can, and are inviting you to sign up for the 2015 talent show. Performance art is a form of healing, of growth, of sharing and bonding with brothers and as the conference theme suggests, this may well be the wildest show ever!

Cami Delgado
Cami Delgado

Some of you are visual artists, not performers. We’re looking for several visual artists to do signs announcing the different acts. Can we count on you? Let us know.

For the performers, the sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board of the Commons Room (behind the dining room). Please sign up ASAP to assure a spot and please keep in mind the following:

  • Acts must be no longer than 6 minutes. After that, a swarm of stage faeries will make you disappear, it won’t be pretty…we promise.
  • Attending rehearsal is mandatory; no act can appear without rehearsal.
  • For piano accompaniment, please send your sheet music to David Berger in advance [email protected] and schedule one-on-one rehearsal time upon arrival.
  • If you’re using a musical track, please present it to the sound tech at rehearsal.
  • Acts work best when enhanced with costumes, props, music, and movement. Keep this in mind as you prepare your material.
  • Freedom of expression requires that both performers and audience keep an open mind and a sensitive heart; we ask that everyone be mindful of this.

See you at the Mountain!