Category Archives: semi-fiction

The Last Christmas Tree

After Thanksgiving Christmas trees crowd the sidewalks of New York. On the corner of Fulton and St. Felix Streets the holiday franchise has been run by Laurent and Amy, who have transported evergreens from the northern forest of Quebec for the last six seasons. We spoke in French with their accent a provincial Quebecois and […]

SHADOWS OF THE COMBAT ZONE by Peter Nolan Smith

In the late 60s lower Washington Street was anointed Boston’s Combat Zone for sex and sin. Working-class drinking dives became go-go bars named the Naked I and Two O’Clock Lounge. Gay clubs like Jacques and The Other End flourished freely in the alleys. Porno theaters openly screened XXX-rated to enthralled men and the cops ceased […]

GUNS GUNS GUNS by Peter Nolan Smith

American boys loved guns in the 50s. Plastic weapons lay gift-wrapped under the Christmas tree. Our movie heroes slaughtered the country’s enemies on the silver screen and TV cops performed gun ballets on prime time. Guns were good for the country and America was good to guns. Armed with air rifles my older brother, our […]

GAY AT HEART by Peter Nolan Smith

My family left Maine on a sunny June morning in 1960. At the end of the street the deep blue of Portland Harbor shivered with the first kiss of summer. Lawn mowers buzzed across the green lawns of Falmouth Foresides and black-yellow bees zigzagged between my mother’s flowers. They wouldn’t be hers tomorrow. “We’re done,” […]

THE MEANING OF PURE by Peter Nolan Smith

In the summer of 1995 my baby brother died of AIDS. I sought solace for Michael’s soul the Orient seeking solace for Michael’s soul by visiting the holy sites of Asia. I lit candles before the Buddha in Chiang Mai. I circumnavigated Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple. Despite a lifelong disbelief in religion this pilgrimage comforted my […]