Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bomb Shelter

I'll ask you if you think it's possible to love a bomb shelter
You'll ask me why
I'll say it's because that's what I pretend to be
When I feel like the world is closing in on me
My meditative happy space.

To meditate or medicate?
That is the question.

These hands are not my hands
These feet are not my feet
This heart is not my heart
They are the brick and mortar
I bought with my defense budget

This skin is not my skin
It is 7 inches of hard, cold obsidian
To fend off the inevitable irradiation 
of an erroneous environment
You'll laugh at me because you think I'm making a joke about my dick
I'll tell you not to interrupt my existential crisis
It's serious
It always will be

I'll tell you how some days
Every word said over me
And not to me
Whistles like the mouth of a warhead through the air
Reaching terminal velocity until the detonation of impersonal conversation
Explodes all around me
When other eyes register my perimeter and then quickly look away
I feel like the landscape is splintering around me
The bombs go off in my vicinity
Razed by apathy
Barely missing me
Disguising this test of endurance
As a test of luck

I'll tell you how some nights
I can sit in a room full of people
And feel as desolate
As the aftermath of a nuclear fallout
The ruins of my city
Populated by the inevitable irradiation
This erroneous environment reeks
The macabre miasma
the smell of spoiled vintage
And silver aura radiating
Around the halos of skulls long in the tooth
No longer aged and wise
Just decomposing
As our vitality pretends we won't
As our mortality portends we do

I try to ward off the vapor
With the salts and silver smelted in
The enamel of my too short teeth
But they stay rooted in their canals
Guards of show, not of action

Wanting for hands to cover my mouth with
Wanting for feet to walk away with
Wanting for a heart to pump life and color
To differentiate me from this silver haze
I have become a morbid monument
To edify this radiated ruin

Populated by you
Fluent in the language of light and reconstructive criticism
Clairvoyant future demystifying the fog
I stood in like the water
Hanging in the air of a silver mist
Draped around the sullen shoulders of Chernobyl

With all your nebulous swagger
And talks of diplomacy between mind and body
You stand at my barricade
You look me in the eye
Then down at the weeds encroaching on my perimeter
In your presence, the weeds whisper flowers
Forget-me-nots if you’re romantic
Roses if you’re not

You run your fingers gently along roughness of my rocky walls
Spread your warmth on the coldness of my obsidian facade
Press your lips against my door
Reminding me of my mouth
And with it, newly formed I ask you
Do you think you can love a bomb shelter?
You say yes
I've even made it my home.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Heteronormativity Is __________

Heteronormativity is me having to bite my tongue
When my straight white roommate calls some kid a faggot
Over Xbox like the experience of being a queer
Can be trivialized into your momentary frustration
With a game that you're not good at
In fact, that's kind of what heteronormativity is
Being forced to play a game that your not good at
In fact, a game designed for you to fail at
Where the endgame ends up being the ended lives
Of too many people I care about

Heteronormativity is that night three years ago
When I got a text from my best friend
Saying, I love you, but I don't want to live anymore
And the grief and gash of wondering if this
Is the night that he finally follows through
And the guilt and gash of knowing that he didn't
But secretly hoping that he had
Because sometimes it's easier
To let a down dog die
Then watch it get back up to get kicked back down again.

Heteronormativity is when I was 12 years old
And my grandmother told me she was going to kill me
Because she found gay porn on her computer
And that if I didn't straighten up
She would give me to God and let him have his way with me
And by this point even then hearing the word God
Was me being reminded of every verse
Being used to beat me like a Bible belt
And the cruel irony that the black church adopted the same tactics used by slave-owners
To justify the dehumanization of black slaves
The cruel irony of the once oppressed becoming the instrument of not only their own
Oppression, but the oppression of others

Heteronormativity meant learning early on that survival meant laying low
Till I was old enough to move out and carve a life of my own
And even then going off to higher education
To become surrounded by privately educated Georgia boys
Who for all their culturally rich upbringing in Georgia soil
Still have the audacity to say to me
I like you because you don't act like those other gays
You know the ones that make being gay the only part of their personality
And throw their sexuality into everyone's faces
You're a real bro, bro
Excuse me while I go rant about how many girls I've drunkenly had sex with
Because  I convinced them that I was deep and emotionally vulnerable
By giving them all the same mix-tape of sad, acoustic songs I listen to when I run out of

I am tired of being silent
My silence won't save me or you
I am inviting you into a conversation
I do not care if you're uncomfortable
Your discomfort does not preclude you
From the responsibility of opening your eyes
And seeing
At the end of the day I will just be angry and sad
And hopeful and trying to be seen

Heteronormativity is you being able to walk away from this poem
 just feeling uncomfortable
While this poem is the only protection I have
in this fight for a chance at a fair fight.