Michael Broder started the HIV Here and Now Project as a poem-a-day countdown to 35 years of AIDS on June 5, 2016. Yesterday I joined some contributors--Michael, Lonely Christopher, Guillermo Filice Castro, Debora Lidov and Sarah Sarai--to read our poems at the Bryant Park Word for Word poetry series in nearby Kinokuniya Bookstore. Michael suggested that I read a poem by John Humpstone from the project.
John Humpstone grew up on Long Island. After graduating from Pratt Institute, he became an interior designer and was one of the founders of Lexington Gardens, a design and garden store in Manhattan. A lifelong artist and writer and a lively conversationalist, he wrote this poem when he knew he was dying of AIDS, and left it behind unpublished. John died on June 23rd, 1996, a few days before his 40th birthday.
The fireflies who drifted on summer's evening
Warm and reassuring dark
And seemed to my young eyes a thousand
Tiny boats afloat on sunset's lapis sea
Called to us still playing hide and seek
To keep night's magic dancing in the air.....
Read the rest of the poem on the HIV Here and Now website.
After the reading I met Brad Vogel when he asked me to sign his copy of my book.