Focusing on the needs of those with a lighter burden to bear is not “objective” or “pragmatic”, but it is a confirmation of historic societal prejudices that say that some lives matter more than others, some lives are too “complicated” to be worth caring for, some oppression are just too entrenched to change.
— C.N. Lester, Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us
Hello, poets! I hope you all are doing well. It’s been a difficult time period for all of us. While many of our governments’ response to the pandemic has been despairing, the resistance movements and protests against systemic racism give us hope. When we talk about resistance, we need to talk about pride as well. As many of you would know that June is celebrated as the Pride Month (it has its own capitalist mores and market value), we can still use this as an opportunity to celebrate and learn/take inspiration from lgbtq+ poets.
As a queer person, these writers have helped me reclaim my voice, take the space due to me, and grow comfortable in my skin and identity. I hope that you will be open-minded and receptive to gaining new insights about gender and sexuality and questioning the stereotypes and antediluvian definitions. If you have a question, you can share it in a comment and I will answer to the best of my capability or refer you to a writer/article for a better understanding.
Let’s start with a passionate poem from one of my favourite poets, Audre Lorde. I have shared her poems before but I just cannot help but share this one too:
Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
rigid as mountains
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain.
And I knew when I entered her I was
high wind in her forests hollow
fingers whispering sound
from the split cup
impaled on a lance of tongues
on the tips of her breasts on her navel
and my breath
howling into her entrances
through lungs of pain.
Greedy as herring-gulls
or a child
I swing out over the earth
over and over
I have been reading Saeed Jones’ Prelude to Bruise since last month. This is one of the poems that stood out for me:
In this field of thistle, I am the improbable
lady. How I wear the word: sequined weight
snagging my saunter into overgrown grass, blonde
split-end blades. I waltz in an acre of bad wigs.
Sir who is no one, sir who is yet to come, I need you
to undo this zipped back, trace the chiffon
body I’ve borrowed. See how I switch my hips
for you, dry grass cracking under my pretend
high heels? Call me and I’m at your side,
one wildflower behind my ear. Ask me
and I’ll slip out of this softness, the dress
a black cloud at my feet. I could be the boy
wearing nothing, a negligee of gnats.
Here is a video of Alok Vaid-Menon performing a poem that made me damn emotional (their book Beyond the Gender Binary is out now):
This is Anmol (alias HA) and I welcome you all to the Tuesday Poetics. For today’s prompt, I invite you to take inspiration from the poets and poems shared here. You can write a poem about pride, gender fluidity, sexuality, protest, et al. or you can just pick a line from one of these verses and build your poem around it (duly quoting the poet and the poem). To make it even more open, you can also write about the continuing fight for equality and the realisation of the aspirations of the marginalised communities.
Once you have written and published your poem, add it in the linking widget down below. Do not forget to visit others’ links, read their poems, and share your comments/thoughts.
Also, I have some news. This is my last post/prompt with dVerse and I am glad to have been a part of this platform. I will be seeing most of you elsewhere in the blogosphere.
For now, I look forward to reading your poems and I wish you all a hopeful and kind week ahead.