Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

To Family, Friends and Fans everywhere:  Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!
May the New Year bring you and yours much peace, health, love and happiness!

Monday, 22 December 2014

WINTER SOLSTICE 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Fear not this dark, dear companion
Luxuriant depth swallows whole
A hundred million questions tenfold
That you carry on your heart but silent
Hidden away for a moment fleeting
Down in this valley of the moon
Rejoice that we are here, sweet shadow
For how shall we truly know light
Now so far away beyond that ridge
Except to cradle her twin sister
Tender as a newborn
Understanding that at least
Our next step leads upward
Toward a racing star
So sing with me, my true friend
A fresh Winter’s knowing dirge
Enfolded in this depth, we’ll go now
And leave behind all fear 

WINTER SOLSTICE 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

DECISION by Bob Paris (A Snippet of Prose Poetry) (c) 12.4.2014

"We arrive on the scene at a flutter of indecision. Picture it. 

Here he is, paused upon a moment of great import. See him teeter along the edge of things. Neither flute nor oxen, nor paw-paw pie. Between and beholden. He can feel it, there in his chest, gnawing a lung and shoving a shoulder against his ribs. He knows that turning back would be simple. Like switching off the stove. Like brushing dust off a shoe. Like saying goodbye. Until next time, perhaps. But here’s the thing. In spite of this lukewarm handsaw wind, he chooses. He steps forward, through the door marked ‘Do Not Enter.’ The circling hawk calls out that nothing will ever be the same again. And that makes him very happy, indeed. Oh, indeed. It’s thus decided."

DECISION by Bob Paris (A Snippet of Prose Poetry) (c) 12.4.2014

Friday, 31 October 2014

Hallow Eve

Wind down all these days on a duskscape
Sung out along hilltops yet dreamt
My heart feels naught but a whisper
Cross clouds filled with moments yet spent
On a dust gathered hallow before me
I search all around these remains
On this eve when departed come calling
Cry thee well my soul’s fullest name
Hallow Eve by Bob Paris © 2014 all rights reserved

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

ELUSIVE by Bob Paris 9.24.2014 © all rights reserved

Them millions of lights flick elusive
For here my gut feelings reveal
An orbit pulsed through
By a sure thing
Won’t wriggle away as an eel
Yea that’s right
You read right
A glittering shimmering electrified eel
That million gazillion megawatt eel
Glides over the brim of us worldly
Deep under the waters in there
And I can see tail flick and vanish
As a whisper trails an echo
Which leads me to wonder
And ponder
And wonder
In ragged and curlicue loops
Which is it what is it
This life we be sweating
Each movement each gesture
A fret or bloodletting
Be it heaven or hell
Or a purgative wash
All over our bodies
Away down that gulch
Does it matter at all
Will it flick yet a jot
There it is there it goes
As the eons do tumble
Here we go yet again
Do discuss 

ELUSIVE by Bob Paris 9.24.2014 © all rights reserved

Saturday, 13 September 2014

THAT VELVET MIDNIGHT by Bob Paris © 9.12.2014

This midnight realm above
Like scattered diamonds
Tossed by a reckless goddess
Over a departing shoulder
Burnt by late summer sun
To fall hither skither
On that rumpled bedspread
Of black
That we call this night sky
Around these alien parts
Forever separated
Forever together
Where Apollo fleets
And Diana quivers
Down to the underworld of Pluto
And away to the far reaches of Aries
Of always and beyond
Under the stern and squinted gaze
Remind me
I forgot which day this is
It happens

Which era
Which lamb are we to slaughter
What alms shall be offered
In deference to pregnant thunder
To threat of everlasting retribution

Avert the flame alighted
This ripened fruit that bursts upon
An exacted altar
What song doth please
The ever shifting realm
Which passage true
Which false

No matter
For above me spreads a diamond scattered
Rumpled cloth
Black velvet yet a moment
Then peach and violet at each edge
Then spectral
And my heart beats on
As does yours my darling
As does yours 

THAT VELVET MIDNIGHT by Bob Paris © 9.12.2014 all rights reserved


Tuesday, 19 August 2014


There once was a man and his dog.
Together, days n’er were a slog.
Be they young in spirit,
Sands fall and they feel it.
Eternal, this bond cuts the fog.
TIES THAT BIND by Bob Paris © 8.18.2014

Thursday, 14 August 2014

AND… By Bob Paris © 8.14.2014 all rights reserved

Hickulous dickulous splay
Field mouse sprints
Right down the fray 

Am I just another
Soul here sent asunder
To live out this herckus array  

Of day upon week upon month
Each year it does tally to sums
That leave me all breathless
And here I pause to catch this
Dear moment a minute
A lunch 

Yet in this I'm thinking
Each heartbeat here pulsing
A fleeting it gives me such pause 

For if I should leave soon
I will make much more room
For those who come after and

And carry on forward
A shadow of genus
Of yesterdays
Rolled on in style

So … 

Hickulous dickulous slay
This ghost of said field mouse displays
Complete understanding
Of life in full standing
Here for a moment  

And …



AND… By Bob Paris © 8.14.2014 all rights reserved


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

BETWEEN by Bob Paris © 8.6.2014

Noble heart yearning soul
Quickened by longing requited
Calmed through acts undertaken
Moved with force as if amplified
By crackling strings that run
To stars and firmament and faraway
Ground of ties to the space in between
Molecule and movement
Wave and particle and arcing light
All that weaves in mighty quiet
These laneways of shimmered stillness
In transit of a single knowing smile

BETWEEN by Bob Paris © 8.6.2014

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Babel Heart by Bob Paris (c)

Adrift on undulant seas and restless
How shall I calm this Babel heart
A millstream runs my head a’singing
Wet mainsail taunt lines slinging drops
Of heavy salted waves that break
Off port and starboard aft and fore
On far horizon calls measured hope
Crack the swells oh leeward bound
As if to know a nimble trace
A peaceful harbor where to put by
Gleamed tranquil treble everlast
Pulse stills through rhythmic ease
And toil and melody and
Clean light and vapour
Cloud draped volcano cockcombs above
This strange lagoon of quickened soul
Of steady rocking nights in slumber
The peace of gems upon deep velvet
Bright days to patch and stow and long
To move to move to move again

BABEL HEART by Bob Paris
23 July, 2014
(c) all rights reserved

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Summer Solstice 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Solstice Night 2014 photo: Brian LeFurgey (c)

Everlast shall summer sun alight
Sustain our dance upon
Twirl waltz floor here assembled
Ancestor dust and breath and hope
Shadow forms alas forgotten
Passed along a road
In chase of grand repute
Gather ash yet swim apace
In strokes along linger trespass
Horizon expands expectant
For this child of tomorrow
Raise a glass
Beat thy breast
Jump yon fire
Sing hosanna
Hesitant twilight yet the forest calls
Shall it storm this eve in light
As the lamb recalls first springtime

On Solstice Night 2014
By Bob Paris
© all rights reserved

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

From the Archives...

Official Bob Paris (c) all rights reserved
August 1995

“The depth of my belief in the power of bodybuilding grew out of my desires as an artist.  I pretended that I wanted grand success as an athlete in some traditional sport, but only because that was what I believed was the right thing to feel.  Great athletes were the good guys and rewarded with adulation and wealth.  Artists generally tended to struggle.  When I discovered bodybuilding, I knew—with the sort of instinct that reveals itself in rare moments—that I could have both.  I could be the artist I’d always dreamed of being and I could be a jock and exert my physical presence in a way that would demonstrate to all the world that I was truly a man.  I could have taken no other sport as far as I did this one.  It is misunderstood, underappreciated , corrupted by petty greed, and considered to be the realm of freaks, but it is also beautiful and thrilling and lifted high above the dull thud of conformity.” 

Excerpted from:  GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris © (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved, ISBN 0-312-16855-1) 

Photo by John Balik, 1983.  © Bob Paris all rights reserved

Monday, 16 June 2014

Yonder Comes Solstice

As the Solstice approaches -- as the existential sand runs down the hourglass, as each beat of the heart echoes, one essential message resounds through the ages:  Grab this moment.  Hold it lightly in your strongest grip.  Grasp it as you would a fragile newborn.  Take it on your heart and into your lungs, this ever-quaking, ever-shimmering bit of sea glass discovered on the shifting shore of now.  So...

Right now, whisper to yourself ‘thank you for my life’ and in the coming hours say ‘I love you’ to at least ten people (or ten times ten times ten people -- and creatures alike).  Open twenty doors for myriad strangers and thank them for being allowed to do so.  Be kind to someone utterly different from you and then do it again and again.  Give a street musician all the money in your left pocket.  Hang up your phone and ask the person serving you a coffee or ringing up your groceries how their day is going.  Kiss a baby.  Watch a bird weave a path through the air you breathe; then remind yourself that this is the oxygen that keeps you alive. 
Embrace the wind and be ever grateful.  After all:  Carpe diem is only the beginning of the story.  You, me and all of us -- we write the rest.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Flash Goes the Sizzle by Bob Paris (c) 2014

Official Bob Paris 2014 all rights reserved

What amount shall life amount
Through what clear pool to dive
This full accounted jumble intrigue
This purview sinew retinue salute
Grand view to view this view
What a view
Glorious O glorious O glory glory
Alliteration alteration incantation exclamation
Should do can do will do
Getter dunn
Astride this mountain highest
Sing exception chant exception
Oh exalted vantage point
City burns upon that hill
Along horizon tinted salmon
Cumulus doth flow apace
Mackerel ozone skitter skitter
On this altar shared with Isaac
By buy bye abide
Quiver hand yet hesitates
Or shall adhere remit awaiting
Anoint awake will not escape
Yet not on time or is it is it
Everlasting everafter evergiven evercraven
All embraced yet not arisen
Et fruition beyond beyond
Beyond beyond right here unfolded
The hoarsened chant a shriveled bellow
And yet and yet and yet again
Bounds around this too too mortal flash
Acclaim profane exclaim attain
Amounts again to what
'Flash Goes the Sizzle'  by Bob Paris (c) all rights reserved
photo by Brian LeFurgey (c) all rights reserved

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Second Life of Old Trophies

Saturday Morning
Midsummer, 1994

“I still had the whole trophy from my Mr. Universe win.  It was more substantial than usual: A brass, art-deco, funnel-cloud-shaped, covered vase, mounted on a teakwood base.  Only the little physique man mounted on top was plastic, so I kept it around.  Not displayed.  Collecting dust in a hall closet.
Official Bob Paris all rights reserved
The one from winning the Mr. Southern California was a silver-plated champagne bucket with the title and year engraved on it. It sat on the corner of my desk. Since it easily held fifty or sixty pens and pencils, it had some utility.
The sliver-plated punch bowl from winning the California Muscle Classic was outside in a flower garden, filled with carefully selected, smooth agate stones and being allowed to go old and mossy, because I thought it looked English or French or something.  That one was getting the best second life an aging trophy could ever want.” 

Excerpted from: GORILLA SUIT © by Bob Paris (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved  ISBN 0-312-16855-1) 

Photo by John Balik, © Bob Paris

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

MY DAY by Bob Paris (c)

Another day begins
In six am light
Along a bank of lucky windows
Portholes of my exile in paradise
Motes waltz at gravity’s edge
Trees echo the gossip of robins
Deer by the woods savor yard daisies
Half hidden down the end of the drive
Along the forest draped road
School bus inhales young laughter
A retriever gobbles perfumed air
Beloved human towed in exultant wake
I leave the womb warmth
Descending toward life
This life
This grand and full bloom drawing in and out
Of sloughing off and growth anew
Bob Paris official 2014 all rights reserved
By Bob Paris © 5/28/2014
All rights reserved

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Am I to paddle the same canoe
In manhood as in youth
Shall I remain always back there
In heart and memory and voice
Unchanged still
Floating on an easy pond
Bent to what unfolded
Scattered yesterdays before
Will I evermore play
With my childhood toys
Official Bob Paris all rights reserved 2014

Or do my eyes see here
Further on
Much further on
A place beyond limitation
Past conforming to the rebellion
Of a bygone ghost
Does not life move
Sweet as a tumbling mountain river
Toward the ever shifting horizon
Of today

(c) By Bob Paris
May 7, 2014
all rights reserved

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Spring Equinox 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Behind shuttered eyes
Another winter fades from view
Life springs in this meadow
While swiftened mind
Conjures buzzing splendor
Daydreamer heart overflooded
Nightdreamer soul cuts its path
The pregnant restless river
Pulled down to the sea
Seeking mingle
Fresh with salt
Fir and cedar stand in stoic witness
Bud and blade
Nettle and daffodil
Revel in their fleeting

Photo: Brian LeFurgey ©
Spring Equinox 2014 © by Bob Paris

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Excerpt: GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris (c)

Rediscovering the Accidentally Discovered


Late Spring, 1977 – Southern Indiana 


“Cummin’s Book Store was in downtown Columbus.  They had the best newsstand in town.  I went in one afternoon looking for the latest issue of my favorite backpacking magazine and ran across a copy of ‘Muscle Builder’ on the shelf.  On the cover was a picture of some guy named Schwarzenegger, doing an exercise with his gigantic arm up over his head and a straining grimace on his face.  His sweaty, dark hair hung down in his face, and he had on a light-colored tank top, and the arm and hand that weren’t over his head was grabbing on to a bench of some kind, the fingers squeezing into the brown leather, fingernails white from the pressure. 

photo: Art Zeller 1989 (c) Bob Paris all rights reserved

I began to pore through the pages, devouring the pictures of these guys training and showing their tremendously muscled bodies, bursting out of T-shirts or without shirts on or flexing on a beach with mountains in the background…According to what I could tell…these men occupied a terrific kingdom all their own, out in California.”
Excerpted from: GORILLA SUIT © by Bob Paris (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved ISBN 0-312-16855-1)

FORWARD by Bob Paris

We ask
Shall strength derive
One moment mere
One blink
Shadow flung
Cry prayer plea
Heart tipped to overfill
Surge swiftened
In a course
Beyond supple breast
Past bellow
Beat beat flow
Ebb tide wanes
Flames alight
That far horizon
The one just there
Before us
After us
And in this instant
Once more
My fellows
We rise and go
FORWARD by Bob Paris 3.1.2014 all rights reserved
Photo by: Brian LeFurgey 2014 all rights reserved

Thursday, 20 February 2014


Friday Evening, Midsummer, 1994, Seattle 

“I once loved the sport of bodybuilding.  In a strange way I still did.  It frustrated me and at times I hated it, but for sixteen years I tried to balance love, frustration and hatred while watching both the sport and myself change.  Convincing myself that I’d outgrown this obsession was impossible.  One simple truth held us together: bodybuilding had saved my life.  It was a guardian angel who found me at seventeen hazarding seas of inner struggle without a compass. 
I had the luxury of distance, remembering those struggles that had led me to want to be big and strong, but I couldn’t run from the truth of what had happened along the way. My frustration may have grown into hatred, but the love came first. It began simply. I found authentic purpose the moment my hands wrapped around a cold iron bar. All else fell away and my spirit knew it could do anything. I built my American dream one repetition at a time. That much could never be taken away.”
Excepted from: GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris © (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved, ISBN 0-312-16855-1)

Photo by Art Zeller, 1989 (copyright © Bob Paris, all rights reserved)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Balance

“We are no longer at a time when we can hold our desire for freedom and justice at bay. Those who would try to stand in our way can yell and scream all they want, but we cannot go backward. Perhaps we may experience setbacks, but even in setbacks we can find experiences that will lead to greater freedom. One usually learns as much, or more, from mistakes as from successes.
photo: Brian LeFurgey all rights reserved
To experience freedom, though, we must be willing to fully accept the delicate balancing act between rights and responsibilities. There cannot be one without the other. The very notion of freedom conjures for some images of license, of being able to do anything, at any time, without effect or consequence. The universe does not view this as justice or a high spiritual truth, but as selfish and the opposite of true freedom; license is, for many, a jail cell. The freedom we seek lies deep within our own heart and it is through the eradication of fear that our hearts move toward justice. It is less important to have our rights on paper than to believe—fully believe—with every ounce of our hearts that we all deserve to have equal rights...”

Excerpted from: GENERATION QUEER (pp.46-47) by Bob Paris (Warner Books, © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9)

Today is the Day

“When the mystical enters, our surroundings become completely irrelevant. We can be in the busiest city or on the remotest farm, but when it happens, when we turn around and understand that those who use God to condemn us are more lost than we ever thought we could be, when we see that we have more gifts than we ever imagined, then the magic of our lives can truly begin. Let the cynics call us fools, the self-proclaimed saved call us sinners; that’s nothing except fear spea...king through the mouths of the scared.
Bob Paris all rights reserved
And we must turn our backs on fear. To do that we must, without apology or hesitation, turn our hearts toward love – love of others and more than anything else love for ourselves. The mission is: start now. Take everything you’ve ever been taught about who you are and begin to filter it through your heart. If your heart is hard (and given everything that most outsiders must fight against, who wouldn’t have to fight to keep their heart soft and warm?) begin today to turn it around. Today is the day.”
From: GENERATION QUEER by Bob Paris (Warner Books, © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bob Paris on OPRAH -- Where Are They Now?

SAVE THE DATE: This Friday (Feb 21st) I'm on OPRAH again.
She now has a show on OWN called, Where are They Now? The segment picks up from when I was first on the show back in 1989, right after coming out in the media, and then updates to my current life. We taped at our house and around in the nearby woods and on the beaches. I talk candidly about my activist years and the abrupt, simultaneous end of my bodybuilding career and relationship; of isolating myself in the aftermath; and then meeting Brian; his battles with cancer; our move to Canada; getting legally married; my current writing life, and much more. While I haven't yet seen the finished segment -- fingers crossed -- I trust it will be good.

So, please pass the word. Check your local listings, etc. Let me know what you think. And thanks again for all your support!

Cheers and Namaste,

 'BIG HAIR' By Brian LeFurgey c.1999 (all rights reserved)


Saturday, 15 February 2014

HOLD by Bob Paris

Give me one moment
Just one
Where time lingers
For a while

Eyes dancing you say
Which moment
And why
Pray tell

My reply races
The length of my arm
I hold it out
For you to see

Geese cry out above
Bay shimmers
Wind kicks
We smile

Photo: STILL WATERS by Brian LeFurgey 2014 all rights reserved

By Bob Paris
1.15.2014 all rights reserved

TWO by Bob Paris

Here is a mountain
It rises and calls my name
There beats in me
A river
Does the fork ahead caul
Two minds
One seeking shelter
From driven rain
From hunger

The other
Facing always
And ever

By Bob Paris
2.13.2014 all right reserved