My name is John Vick. I am gay and went to school in small town Oklahoma in the late 1970s. I’m sure things haven’t changed. Bradley Manning needs medical care - outpatient, and largely for the certain PTS he surely is left with after the brutal way he has been treated.
I’m from Minneapolis. I used to write a lot of poetry - including a lot about Pvt. Manning. I came out in a small town in Oklahoma decades ago, but I know the drill - and I went into the air force ultimately to get away from the south, and “become a man.” All to my detriment, as I was discharged for homosexuality under Reagan. I am truly Brad Manning in a lot of ways. Oklahoma confuses a young gay man as to self-image, gender role, everything. All is challenged and it is frankly near unbeatable.
I wrote this a couple of years ago:
VISITATIONS WITH MANNING.
In the heat of industrial paint and steel, the dungeon-master
knows “innocence” on sight.
As in queer boys?
Wind blows through skyscrapers, to ghetto high-rise kitchens
filled with smells of fats,
A way of saying, “yes” by saying, “no,” while ceasing moral support.
A way of controlling
by diminution of humanity.
A grown man thrown away. Lifted up.
As a transitive, “culpable” follows “conning” in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Such is the way
of a promise
of heroics with perturbational heterosexuality.