i’ve found myself enticed by the thickness
that lay below waist level.
Dragged off to dungeons.
Shitting blood, butterflies, and metal horses.
Called master. Dominated.
a nigger. down-low slut.
fuck toy. pig. pissed on.
Wrapped in loving arms at the advent of misery.
held and kissed passionately.
Fucked violently and repeatedly in the same week.
And never once did I think I was a slut.
“Faggot Jody.” A short story by Crunch.
5:49am was not 10:31pm and Faggot Jody knew that when he rolled his frame towards that awful blue light coming from his alarm clock and he thought to himself once and then again aloud: “Why suffer this shit if the alarm don’t never go off?” and with that Faggot Jody flipped the face of the clock and that blue light down, the sun had not yet begun to dance on the top of Faggot Jody’s bookshelves, nor had it begun to lead the normal procession of dawn and doom into the room but he still knew where things were and could make out how to get them and without even looking Faggot Jody reached for the pills on his nightstand while people yelled outside – some womyn and her daughter arguing about some man that someone was dating – Faggot Jody didn’t really care so he didn’t listen too close, only close enough to know something to gossip about once decent folk were up. “Horse pills” he thought as he swallowed, “I wonder how many punks they died trying to down these shits” he continued, “ . . . bigger than any dick I’ve ever given the pleasure of my lips.” he concluded dramatically and found some music to put on, it was just early enough, in his mind, to listen to Diana Ross without headphones and so Ms. Ross played and Faggot Jody thought about the sun and it’s coming and he thought on outside and how nice it is and his mind found a memory of walking from the store earlier that week and got mad thinking on how wicked folks is and the stoop conversations that went like
“Look at that punk, he think he a woman with his ole’ sissy ass.”
“It don’t make sense to be like that, waste of a man. His mama got to be mad she got some AIDS havin person for a chile”
or the ones that made him scared for his safety. Faggot Jody laid flat in the space of the bed where his dead lover had been and thought on the rumblings in his stomach, where they came from and how hunger felt different ever since he was hipped to the fact that he had caught the virus, hunger felt deeper, burned more, rearranged the inside parts till they felt on fire, wetness formed in his eyes and before Eugene would be there to wipe the tears away and smile, he had held him and told him not to worry about nothing, not the big, not the storms, not the kids screaming “Faggot Jody” at the tops of their beings as Jody switched down the boulevard, not nothing, and Eugene loved him down- Jody knew that to be true- down to the last anything. Gene was a blunt man, straight and blunt like the sex that dangled between his legs, he never measured things to wide nor did he say nothing but what was true for him and Jody knew that, Jody thought on the hospital halls, florescent lights, night setting and weakening pulses- the night Gene could no longer fight and Jody sat somewhere inside himself tending to spaces that needed help and order and he took a pull from his joint, let tears come, dry and come again for hours till the room was lit and the voices of those taunting children could be heard throughout as they walked off to the killing factories, their freedom cries rang rough against Jody’s tears. At some point, he found the mirror and let that image take hold, he studied himself – the parts loved and unloved- standing like womyn perched behind red curtains looking onto silence. Jody rubbed himself once across the chest and then slowly over stomach, to his growing sex and grabbed it. It moved and he sighed, again he tightened his grip and thought about cumming and decided against it, found a pen, and wrote a spell to himself. The room was warm by the time he looked up – familiar shades got trapped in his eyes and Jody stood again, walked around the room once and thought “it’s time I shower.”
Some calm . . .
setting like sun done come upon me
as I find pieces of myself that were kept away for birthdays, family gatherings, and first dates.
They lie tucked under the bath house bed.
My palm, pressed to skin, feels like solace and I feel still
Laying transfixed, still. . .
My eyes find some man being fucked, violently
His head bent low.
and I saw you laying parallel.
Playing majorette with a couple of torn heart-strings.
Twirling about with some other man’s ruined symphony.
You blew smoke- thick like illusion – and sang of worlds where we weren’t prey for White men eager to waste salt on our endings.
Some part of me sat with you back when food was homemade and basons were bath tubs and we laughed at uncle Floyd’s missing teeth
and dirt roads that no one can drive on
and night’s out and even crack pipes
and we laughed.
And thought on how ghetto life seemed easy compared to this numb terror.
Still . . .
Barely understood thoughts: gold bands and dark skin
Hurston and Hughes.
a month of Sundays
pale skin and Betty Gene
insertion and pain
bleeding at the start
and minstrel shows
money shots, towels and still . . .
we all lay under some White man’s gaze.
I knew that during the summer of lost virginities
if I were to allow petals to blossom too unsidedly they would be
snatched, mangled, or torn
So I sat transfixed in front of a screen
His scent drifting in the air above me
His thickness and his voice . . .
I knew that at the end of the summer of lost virginities
I had become a murderer
With endings devoid of salt and dry cocks
And unused hips
His scent drifting in the air above me
His thickness and his voice . . .
And 5 dollars still in my pocket moving in serious moonlight
with a picture of James Baldwin.
Filed under poetry, queer
Fear not bliss let loose from his sheath
or the taste of fire at the start.
Fear not bursting at the seams and lost cries
nor the pounding beat from a frightened heart.
Fear not the treacherous descent into love.
For that is the best part.
The outlines were once bodies
blowing gently on bathroom floors
and empty wash house basons.
Carrying war wounds
and lifetimes of “I’m sorry, you know I can’t love you like that.” or “What we got is real”.
reaching to cradle one another.
Pulling at skin,
holding each other as they dance about.
Struggling to make sense
out of lifetmes of having hearts at the bottom of shoes
or floating in the tips of condoms
or singing love songs to themselves
while pretending that fingers are some dream lover’s dick thrusting violently.
Wrapped in a cold embrace listening to pretend voices that sound similar to their father’s-
Longing to be apart of the chorus of “I love you’s” present at some family gatherings.
And in some intentional way. . .
lusting to subvert that love
with cock rings, gags, and whips.
They exist in some wet nexus trying to crack light
and see how big the moon is
and how soft skin is
and what human looks like
So I am going to embark on the daunting task of posting a poem a day for National Poetry Month. Each entry will have the number of the day, followed by “30″ because that is the total number of days in the month. We’ll see how this goes. Todays poem comes from a Queer Vietnamese American that many folk don’t know about here. His name is Ocean Vuong and much of his poetry holds a quiet passion, a still kind of power. Much of his poetry highlights the lived experience of the gender oppressed as well as the immigrant and Vietnamese perspective, which is something very new and very exciting to hear. As a poet, I constantly take inspiration, not only from the past, but also my contemporaries. I salute the courage, passion and strength of Vuong. This particular poem is called “The Masturbation of Men” and touches on so many levels: from talks about patriarchy and it’s effects on men to abusive house holds. Enjoy.
The Masturbation of Men
After he beat my mother,
my father went to kneel in the bathroom
until we heard his muffled cries
bellow through the walls.
And so I learned: when a man
climaxes, it is the closest thing
A kind of forgetting – the face
twisted in its exorcism of animal,
the body shuddering
from the shock of release.
And if this is the remedy
to our masculine miasma, then forgive
the ones who sit in blackened booths,
confessing to screens lit
with impossible bodies, forgive
the priest who remembered
to remove the rosary,
forgive also the man waiting
in shadows, his hands itching
for the curves of a body
but decides to turn home, crawl
into cold sheets and reach down
into the warm exhale of his sex.
Because the only power we really have,
is the immediacy of pleasure: to close
weary eyes, rediscover the heartbeat,
and like stupid boys, flee towards
I woulda thought my coming to you was obvious.
That you would understand that I came here purpose.
Bringing you flower shapes and warm shades.
And I know, I am not some dream lover.
I cannot offer much.
This thick body cannot move as you would like.
These hands not as experienced. My tongue not as well versed.
And for these reasons I sought to understand you more.
Bare your abuse and make compromise.
But I am no longer interested in defining my love as something to be struggled for.
Something to be endured through.
For me love, our love is something of wonder and beauty.
Not a death march.
I do not want to go through hell for what we have.
To say “look at all I have said and done and put up with.”
That is not love for me.
And if it is for you, then I am here on my knees
to stay away from me.
My world is down . . . broken back alleys,
old closed down juke joints,
and jesus shacks boasting bodiless symphonies.
I am women perched behind shades,
Staring out into poverty-stricken silence.
Love sought to live here once with the lunatics.
But now my world is four blocks of undiluted pain.
Where crying has long since been outlawed
Because it would be too redundant.
Filed under poetry, prose
It must be magic. I spent the later part of my Saturday going through various parts of West Oakland with my friend ChakaZ, each one unraveling like a paining. Already in an altered state once I got into the car, I decided that this night would be a “good one”. I didn’t care how many hipsters were on the floor, we would go in and let have. 10 minutes of explaining my non-profit volunteering and the beauty of Black community later and we were outside of a small café that promised to have a banging funk party on the inside. Before we left though we exchanged other tales. She told me of her mystic night, full of beautiful womyn, men who looked like Basquiat, affirmations and some serious moonlight. In exchange I spoke about the novel I plan to write and together we hatched small schemes of art and revolution. Indeed the place was full of hipsters inside and not the best funk music one could find. However, I am learning to let life lead you. In no time one of her co-workers showed up and along with his friend we took the floor. The rest of this tale is far too long for me to type and I’m ok with that because this was just an introduction. I haven’t written on here in a while and I wanted to come back, with a poem. This night was very important to me because I have been very upset lately about my positioning in life and failures to live up to certain things that are expected of me as well as situations that are beyond my control and always have been. I recently broke down and cried about all of this and another friend, Sycorax, began to talk about what we owe ourselves. She spoke about how we have always lived with ourselves and that we owe the child in us a piece of happiness. That resonated very deeply. This poem is dedicated to my Saturday night, and to new beginnings. Lets see where this will lead us:
SOME SERIOUS MOONLIGHT
It feels odd to speak of things in the abstract after they have happened.
Like saying your love is a shawl that I wish to wrap myself in and prance with.
Or how I wish a friend would lower himself deeply into me.
Hold me and heal me.
And it’s especially strange to think that in a world where bombs drop so frequently.
Where starvation is commonplace.
Where millions don’t see light.
Where the rich desire to strangle all our useful labor from us.
Where I can grow 23 years and not recognize the sound of my own voice.
In this world it figures strange that I would have such joy in one night.
That your shoulder would mean peace
Your laughter bring solace
Indeed it is a strange and abstract thought to ponder
That in a world like this I would be blessed with a friend like you.
Carrying some serious moonlight in your eyes.