Jonathon Qualls - Mark's All​-​Male Thanksgiving

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Every Thanksgiving Mark made his all-male Thanksgiving dinner.
Where men cooked the turkey and men made the cranberry sauce without nuts, ‘cause men don’t like nuts.
But the stuffing was manly and the finger-bowls ditto
and ditto, the pureed sweet yams.
Very manly when Mark made his all-male Thanksgiving.

Bill Sherwood was present, he wrote and directed “Parting Glances.”
A movie for which Mark raised the money, in which Arthur invested
and the Thanksgiving crew
put money in too.
Steve Buscemi was featured, his first time on screen,
and you knew you were watching a star.
God, he was great… but he wasn’t at Mark’s all-male Thanksgiving.

Remembering this is sort of like Grandpa remembering his shtetl.
It seems to take place so so long ago
in the past.
The memories last but fade.
What a community we made.

Diplomats, poets, opera guys, guys dressed in leather britches.
Some paunchy, some starting to bald, some were awful
and some were okay,
in a non-threat’ning way.
Mark the lawyer wore flannel — he comes from Wisconsin.
The handsomest guy wore a tie.
That was Arthur, sweetly decent, funny and living.
I met Arthur when Mark made his all-male Thanksgiving.

And the excellent movie that Bill Sherwood filmed
was his first and his last,
since, alas, the boy passed.
Arthur still when he smiles, he makes my heart flutter.
We think it’s been twenty-two years.
I wrote this song to not forget Mark’s all-male Thanksgiving.
It’s been so long since Mark made his all-male Thanksgiving.
Where we gave thanks.


from Elegies: A Song Cycle (Studio Cast Recording), released September 11, 2016



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