Editor Bryan Borland introduces readers to this new journal by announcing that Assaracus has “no formula” other than that all poems are authored by gay men, a “place for our poetry to dance with its own kind.” Poems are preceded by bios documenting writer’s credentials (poets who are both quite experienced and first-time in print are included in this premier issue), and the poems reflect much diversity in style, tone, and approach. Shane Allison contributes a spare “Dream” of bare single lines, “Used to / wonder / late at night // Boxers / or / Briefs”). Jay Burodny contributes a sense poem all in italics, “A Needy God.” Raymond Luczak contributes a prose poem, “Six Gallery, San Francisco: October 7, 1955.” Matthew Hittinger contributes a long poem of couplets, “A Bus Journeys West”:
of a trip headed
West, way from the city we must pass,
the city where we
split, peanut shells cracked, sandwich crust littered,
grammar choked and dust.
There is plenty of sex. There are plenty of relationship traumas. There is plenty of yearning, desire, and longing. There is plenty of self-doubt and also much self-confident strutting. There is plenty of brash language and plenty of poetic musing. And there is even marriage: “Leroy Williams proposed to Titus Williams / But Titus Williams married Russell Wilson,” concludes “High School Epthalamion” by Allison.