Tornado: Poetry by Hank Trout

Tornado 1

Tornado 2a































Hank Trout edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. His published writing has ranged from gay “smut” (his term!) to literary criticism of William Blake. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-five-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. He read two of his pieces at the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco last June. “Tornado” is his first published poem.


  1. Thank you for this amazing poem. My brother John B. Rutkowski died of AIDS in June of 1988. He died in Burlington, VT cared for by his amazing friends/loved ones until the end. Unlike many young men, he had a choice of whether to be cared for in the end, by family or friends, and he chose his dearest friends/ex-lovers to see him through this horrible time. He also lived in San Francisco in mid 1980s as epidemic was rearing its ugly head. We lost so many beautiful young men… no one who wasn’t touched by it could even ever believe it. Such a horrific time filled with so much love too. Thanks you for publishing this important poem. Peace. Mary E. Rutkowski

    • Thank you for your kind words and for your story, Ms. Kandel. I’m happy that “Tornado” touched you. Peace.

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