The Body Electric (thebodyelectric) wrote,
The Body Electric

Unabashed: artifact of life

There was a time in my life that "Golden Queer" was the most honest piece I could write. Suffice it to say, it is not just a poem. It may not be a masterpiece or great art, but it would be wrong to edit or change it post-Juniata.

I can tell you why it is the way it is. Just like I can try to explain why I am the way I am.

The poem itself shows how strong and forceful I thought I had to be. I came to Juniata out. There was no dithering about for me, as I'd done that already for 3 years in high school. Most of the students weren't ready to hear from me when I first showed up. The students at Juniata did things to people they didn't like, ranging from general exclusion/lack of comfort to tearing down every single gay flyer they could find to slashing tires/beating. Don't worry, though, they never got punished. I was a visible marker that they hadn't won.

I slogged my way through Juniata, in spite of getting in to my very-expensive dream school. Rather than dropping out and surviving in San Francisco. I stayed in a place that wasn't right for me. I became an educator about all things not-straight (apparently including birth control/protection). When you are so directly an educator from your own life, before you've experienced most of it, you lose yourself. You become more of a parody than real.

Why, in my senior year, would I write a slightly less-than-image-y poem with a (uh-oh) direct message? Because nothing I did ever lost the context of being The Gay One. And I'm damn good at direct messages.

I was just happy that most of my self survived. Really, spring semester of my senior year I had plenty of friends, a lover present, could entertain at my home, felt like I had a place for the first time in 3.5 years (but you can really add high school to that too, so 7.5 years). For the first time, the joy in my queer, little life was louder than the din of the bullshit going on around it.

I still can't do that. To this day, I have not found enough freedom and joy to scream and sing over the crap of straight-people-with-excuses, the grad school psyche, and people with no similar experience.

It was the only time in my life I've ever written poetry. Maybe 10 poems still exist from that time, and only 2-3 were ever submitted to Kvasir.

I never promised to be a genius or master-poetician.

There are some poems that scream from your gut to be written when you can best hear them.

And some times, you just can't hear them because they're muffled by elections, anger, general confusion, and lack-of-enlightenment.
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