PUBLICATIONS | ARCHIVES

Selected Stories, Poems, Articles, and Miscellany by Alex 🌈🇺🇸

Photo: a stack of old, hardback books
Photo: a stack of old, hardback books
Book Stack | credit: Suzy Hazelwood | Pexels

Main Stories

Published Poems

Selected Articles


AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Photo of the author at age 28 sitting at a table in the law library studing
Photo of the author at age 28 sitting at a table in the law library studing
The author, a mere child at 28, in second-year law school | from the author’s collection

I’m new on Prism & Pen. This is my way of saying hello to Prism & Pen’s and Medium’s interested members. I hope it will be an entertaining and insightful introduction to a man who’s been on the planet a long time and has a chest full of adventures, triumphs, and defeats to relate.

Thanks for noticing.
Steve Alexander (alxfyv.Medium@gmail.com)

Some Biographic Facts:

I’m a retired attorney. (The lawyer is the short-tempered, surly, mealy-mouthed, little SOB on the other side.) I love the English language. I love writing. I was a word mercenary beating up horribly on horrible people. Society not only approved…


Writing | Quality | Perfection

“Don’t Try to Be Perfect!?” Whatever Do You Mean?

Image is a closeup of an older typewriter that had a ribbon and keys that struck it. A page of white paper is in the roller with the one word “Perfection” typed on it.
Image is a closeup of an older typewriter that had a ribbon and keys that struck it. A page of white paper is in the roller with the one word “Perfection” typed on it.
Perfection | credit: Nick Youngson | Alpha Stock Images (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

In his article 100 Day Challenge For New Writers, Dr Mehmet Yildiz challenges new writers to follow several goals and gives several tips to increase their success. He urges them to produce an article a day for 100 days. One suggestion he offers to help make that happen is:

Post regularly. Send at least one post per day for the next 100 days. This is a crucial point. Don’t try to be perfect.

Don’t try to be perfect!?

I’m afraid I must disagree.

I can’t help trying to be perfect. I don’t know how not to. It’s hardcoded in my DNA. It’s been a prominent…


Poetry | Love | Gay Love | Unrequited Love

The Language of Love Is the Language of Vulnerability

Two gay men in a wood; one giving the other a ring.
Two gay men in a wood; one giving the other a ring.
In Love | In Lieu & in View Photography | unsplash

Saying, “I love you,” is a scary thing. It should be. One should be frightened to one’s toenails. One should have no wits about oneself, they having fled on hummingbird wings out the portal. One should flutter in dread as rapidly as those wings.

To say “I love you” is the ultimate vulnerability; it’s an exposure to rejection, devastation, and betrayal.

But that very vulnerability is the best thing about loving. It is the most profound treasure one can vouchsafe to another.

A quarter-century ago, I gave that treasure in a poem to Ray, who crossed my path on his…


>>"Do you always read ...?"

For others' articles that appeal to me or interest me, I scan most all the comments and read many with care, especiallly where, as here, I've taken the trouble to highlight passages. For my own, I read every comment, but, lamentably, that's not a burdensome task. There are far too few for my preferences. (More about that in a bit.)

>>"Do you write ...?"

Again, when I'm interested. I don't write "nice job," or "great article." That's what claps are for. And, no, I don't reflexively clap 50 times every time. …


Don't try to be perfect!?

I can't help it. I don't know how not to. It's as integral a part of me as my love of men. It's hard coded in my DNA. Like my sexual orientation, it's been a noticeable part of me since I can remember.

In Philadelphia in the early 80s, I was with a small law firm of 18 or so attorneys. My mentor was the firm's number-two man. He came to me after about six months and said, "Alexander, there's such a thing as being too perfect. It's more important to get it done and…


You toss that line off so blythely it hurts.

"He" brought "his" husband.

You say it so smoothly, as if it's a right thing, as if it's 'the' right thing.

I am sad and happy, angry and envious at one and the same time. For the first sixty-two years of my gay life (1953-2015), no one I ever knew could have safely said such a thing. That you did, here, in writing, with no apparent concern, struck me like an open-palm slap to the face. I can feel my cheek smart even as I write.

My sadness, anger, and envy…


POETRY | RELATIONSHIPS | LOVE and DISMAY

Reminiscences of 1970s San Francisco

A lightly bearded man in a white T-shirt stands leaning slightly forward. His pecs, biceps, and shoulder muscles show nicely.
A lightly bearded man in a white T-shirt stands leaning slightly forward. His pecs, biceps, and shoulder muscles show nicely.
Male in Studio | James Barr | Unsplash

He Dreamt of a Marlboro Man with a Childhood Scar Thrusting Inside Him

My third and last year in San Francisco was my last in law school, 1978. It was May. School was out. I had my law degree but not yet a license to practice. For that, I would have to pass the California Bar Exam. It was demanding and back-breakingly punishing. It was notorious for its high failure rate. It was coming that July.

I enrolled in a preparatory course — seven grueling weeks, ten hours a day Monday through Friday, six hours on Saturday. Plus three hours of essays to write each evening. There were perhaps 200 in my section…


RELATIONSHIPS | REGRET | FATHER AND SON

These Are Two Potent Memories of Our Fathers, Good and Bad, Present and Absent, That We Carry with Us Day by Day

Sabana Grande and Steve Alexander🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸

Alex🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸

Retired litigator (word mercenary). Voracious reader. INTP. Liberal(!) Democrat. Spiritual Atheist. Complex. Gay. Top writer in LGBT+ alxfyv.medium@gmail.com

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