THERE ARE ONLY 16 GENDERS

I have a very serious (read: prodigiously silly) gender poem out in Cordite‘s TRANSQUEER issue. You can read it here.

Do check out the rest of the issue if you have the chance – there are some beautiful poems in there, especially from the late and great Candy Royalle.

REQUIEM FOR MEDUSA

New poem out in Hermes, REQUIEM FOR MEDUSA, and a recording of me reading it. This poem was the judges’ choice winner in the “word” category of the USU Creative Awards. If you swing by Verge Gallery in the next week or so, you can pick up a free copy of the edition.

 

REQUIEM FOR MEDUSA

He does not look directly at you,
your murderer, fearful that one
unprotected glance at your body
will strike him down. When the
sword falls upon your long neck
his gaze is turned aside a little as
if from shyness, tinged perhaps
with disgust at the monstrosity
of your form, or shame, not for
himself but for the anathema of
your existence, looking only at
your reflection. You do not give
him the same discourtesy. Your
alien eyes, gold and slit-pupilled,
are fixed on him the entire time
you are dying. The shape of him
young, lithe, feet planted firmly,
all leather and bronze, one long
red line of blood interrupted by
splashes of your own blue-black
ichor. Mirrored shield held aloft
like Atlas burdened with the disc
of the heavens. He dims as your
vision falters, brilliance dulling,
blur of blood and light and dark,
the shadows deepening as your
own shade departs the cave, not
for the cold hell of Tartaros but
for the rivers of the dark-haired
god who accepts all equally and
whose kingship over everything
under the earth extends already
to you and your serpentine kin.
Behind you in the mortal realm
the husk of your corpse turns to
ash as he seizes your skull by its
hissing roots, affixing your head
to his burnished shield, his own
reflection fixed forever in your
nacreous pupils, the gilded killer
entombed, ill omen to future foe.

 

 

On the movement of bodies, or, the transgender celestial

I have a poem in the latest issue of Voiceworks, #111, Riff. This poem is a lot of things: a love letter, an exercise in surreality, and a conversation between binary and nonbinary forms of trans identity. It draws on ancient Sumerian, Greek, and Egyptian astronomical theories, including those of Anaxagoras, Anaximander, Aristotle, Empedocles, Thales, and Ptolemy.

You can buy the issue here.


 

my body is a disc floating on an endless ocean

gently orbiting the distant island of your body

 

daylight reigns over my body and night over

your body black and absent of suns or stars

 

you are an immense vault studded with tiny

points of perfect light in which i am enclosed

 

the surface of my skin is much colder than

yours which is formed out of blazing metal

 

your body is a binary system while my body

continues to resist all binary classification

 

i am growing into a great old oak tree whose

questing branches twine around and into you

 

my body is no longer capable of sustaining life

and yet is still capable of sustaining your body

 

i retain my own field of gravity which is several

times heavier than the lighter gravity you exude

 

i am suspended in endless space watching you

plummet inevitably into a vast and infinite void

 

your body is a chariot wheel of mist-shrouded

fire encircling the hollow cylinder of my body

 

my body revolves not around the sun as initially

thought but in fact revolves around your body

 

the death of my body approaches rapidly but i

have every hope that your body will live forever

 

i am constructed from four elements while you

are formed of a single fifth and mythic element

 

you are a quintessence of luminiferous aether and

i simply consist of classical earth air water and fire

 

your existence is a scientific marvel while i am

considered to be a mathematical impossibility

 

my body is doubted by philosophers of antiquity

whose texts questioned the veracity of your body

 

unbeknown to many my body is not a flawless

sphere like yours but rather very slightly elliptical