The initial poems in Perry Brass' first book, Sex-charge, give you an idea of what this is all about: Humor. Realism. Sex. Romance. Magic. In "The Zero Feeling", the poet recalls 3 am in a bar, when "every man looks so good you can eat the hairs out of his nave;." "Thoth", is an invovation to the Egyptian god who facilitates resurrection. The hysterical "Liz Meets Joan", tells you exactly what Joan Rivers' last words to Liz Taylor were during a momentous and mythical final meeting. Sex-charge itself is a paen to sex as a regenerate force that must ultimately be released. Sex defies control. It also channels energy and ultimately establishes order and calm.
As T.R. Witomski, the noted and often inflammatory writer says, Sex-charge is poetry for people who don't like poetry... it is elegantly written, moving and quite filthy at times." It is also never dull, often piquant, and very poignant.
In Sex-charge, Perry Brass has had to re-invent gay poetry. He has made it honest, sexy, and fun. He has taken it out of acadeics, and returned it to where poetry started: as performance, joke, ritual, incantation, and myth.He uses wild word plays (who can top "Dick Lips Quits the Doody Wops"?) and minces no words when talking about the charms of older men, younger men, or the vices of useless men in politics.
Poetry here is a political act. An act both outrageous and exceptionally tender. Whether he is asking "Do Asholes Get Into Heaven?" or talking about the trials of a New Orleans transvestite bar hooker, Bras has given sex a necessary wink. IN these times when censorship has made our language itself into an act of defiance, the poet here makes sex into an act of identification with another and a merging of the spirits.
Included in the text of Sex-charge are photographs by Joe Ziolkowski. The photographs complement the text and speak to the same inner world of gay wonder and sensitivity.
Although Perry Brass was born in Savannah, Georgia, he has spent most of his adult life in or around New York. In 1969, he joined New York's gay Liberation Front, and was an editor of Come Out!, the first gay liberation newspaper. Later, in 1972, he was instrumental in forming th Gay Men's Health Project Clinic, the first health clinic specifically for gay men on the East Coast. His poetry, short stories, and essays have appeared in many magazines, papers, and anthologies, including The New York Connection, Christopher Street, New York Native, Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, The Male Muse, Mouth of the Dragon, and The Gay Liberation Book. His play NIght Chills won a Jane Chambers Internationl Gay Playwriting Award, and his two-man show, All Men, taken from twenty years of his writing, has been performed in many leading American cities.