Diet Popstitute
aka Michael Joseph Collins
1958 - 1995

Like Mary Poppins or the Wizard of Oz, Diet Popstitute was too exciting and fun to be a real person. Except he was. If he seemed fantastic it was because his ability to free people from the confines of the conventional bordered on magic. When you were in his presence doors to cages you never knew you were in flung themselves open and the laws of nature voluntarily suspended themselves.

Born to an Irish-Catholic, working class family in Pittsfield, Massachussets, Diet came to San Francisco in the late '70s to reinvent himself and was so successful he ended up reinventing San Francisco as well. He began by giving impromptu recitals of his poetry in front of the old Stud. Soon he was manifesting his playful, queer, campy, and militantly avant garde sensibility through The Popstitutes (his performance art/musical group), Klusbstitute (his queer cabaret/night club), and Playstitute (his theater production company).

Diet was a tireless champion of political engagement, sexual liberation, and self-expression. He will be remembered for his love of Dino the dinosaur, pornography, Punk & New Wave, Asian food, and basketball, as well as his generosity, idealism, intelligence, sharp wit (and tongue), and amazing fashion sense. He is greatly loved and missed by all who knew him.


By Richard Loranger

Smashing through the roofbeams, the
imperious Popstitute doth rise:
his hair tiaras in the sky,
his smile unwinds, his mimsy eyes
glitter in the neon night,
Accessoried and manicured,
impeccably attired he
inspects the city sprawled below:
he sees the frenzied mammals in
the streets, he smells the sweetening sweat
of discotheques, he hears the cries
of passion in the living room.
His smile flares into a laugh,
a roar, a mesmerizing and
subaural boom that penetrates walls,
throbs through groins and genetic codes,
and passes in a pulsing hum,
an aria of echoes that
divorce the future from its course.
He lifts his favorite finger and
a thousand lovers come at once.
What city quakes before the grinning
rake? What army mambos to
his sirened song? What chaos blurts
his vision through the urgent murk
of day? What new species stalks
the tender light of cabaret?

Crashing through the roofbeams, the
intrepid sonofabitch doth rise.
He stops, and looks around the room.
The party rages on. He blows
a kiss, and with a bow (no doubt),
he takes his leave, and shuts the door
behind. Thrice a nightbird screams.
Every dancer in the world stands still.
A long silence, a dripping sink,
a paper rustling at the door.
Somewhere unutterably far,
a lone star cracks in the night.
Then someone howls, and everyone howls,
and everyone stands on tables and howls,
and all the radios turn on at once,
every music plays at once,
every song is sung at once,
every hear beats at the same
time--------aurora borealis
hits a million-mirrored moon
and the lights are UP, the stars careen
around the telepathic hive,
every scrap of polyester
comes alive, all the dogs
dance in the streets, all the flowers
bloom in cacophony,
billions of pigeons become balloons
and drift into the light, and for
a moment, everyone can fly.

Mortals Possessed
by Diet Popstitute

rusty ole lamp
emits a barely usefeull glow
thru its artfully
tattered and torn shade
so i light an equally
pretentious candle
listening to more morrissey
singing of yet another sad loss
with anger towards the wretched boss
as i finish for the 12th time
brideshead and then turn to nausea
with words i know too well
in layers of blankets i dwell
smelling the sweet and sorrow
living the hell of details
the eternity of each (damned) hour
designing a glamorously doomed tomb
choosing pictures, patterns, images
for each wall of my pathetic room
feel sorry for me as the wind
might on a rainy night
that says to pity oneself
is the last desperate delight
crying tears for failing health
pride in shame the poverty of wealth
satire the wine of sour grapes
plotting for doomed escapes
enjoy, enjoy, the ghastly play
gloomy decor and disarray
symbols meant to seal the coffin
reapers visit here so often
dark clothing worn upon these days
let shaddows rest amongst the haze
empty spirits not yet distilled
flee from the rising sun unwilled
for fatherland and kingdom come
the stench of flowers in decay
a life of sadness
among roses
dying in beautific poses