photo of the day 1/5/2012. photo © Mark I Chester
"Ritual" from the series 'City of Wounded Boys & Sexual Warriors' 1982
I am posting this photograph in honor of Ian Young's birthday. You know, I had a secret crush on Ian for many years. He was young and handsome, he wore a leather jacket with a beard and glasses and he wrote poetry. And not just any poetry, but homoerotic poetry. And I loved the name Ian. So Scottish, so manly and yet a name borne by many writers and artists. All of that fits a kind of very romantic fantasy.
Years ago, I asked him if I could pair one of my favorite poems of his "Lions in the Stream" with a photograph of mine of an 'excited' young man bound in a rope web for a personal greeting card. I was shocked that he said yes and I imagine that it might be the most unique pairing of that poem that anyone has asked him to do. It may not be something unusual now for a gay poet to put out books of gay poetry, let alone anthologies of gay poetry. Even having your own press might not be so much of a stretch now. But it sure was then and with it Ian published and promoted his own work and the work of other new gay poets. Of course he has accomplished much more than that, but this is just a little salute from a secret fan who has always held him in very high esteem.
I am posting this photograph because I know that Ian believes in sex magic. But whether you call it sex magic, or you call it radical sex like I do, or leather, I think there is a common core of deep passionate sex that goes beyond sex into ritual and spirituality. This image speaks to that ideal of what a man in leather conjures when he opens his heart at the same time that he makes his dick hard. Something beyond himself. Something more. Something dark, deep and mysterious. Happy Birthday, Ian! :)