Friday, April 8, 2016

Brick-Dumb Motherfucker

A co-worker, a woman I'd liked quite well up to then
for her quick mind and ready smile,
said, as we were completing a delivery together,
that she thought
lesbians
only went that way because they couldn't get a man.

She said it as an observation
without any rancor
and without any idea who she was talking to.
Then she looked at me to agree, the way women do.
I thought of my then-girlfriend
and how she knew me like a crow knows its nest.
I thought of her blackbird eyes,
her sure touch and drag race temperament.

"That's not true," I told my co-worker, who remained
unconvinced.
It's death by a thousand cuts, this living on the outside,
but we are warriors--have to be--and we keep on.

Later that day, I read about a transwoman who was murdered
by her boyfriend, who felt
he'd been lied to.
Listen, you brick-dumb motherfucker, I thought,
the woman beat herself up every day,
all her life,
until she found the stupendous guts to live as herself
and living as yourself
is always the stone cold truth.

The next day, some god squad evangelist
told me the bible says how I love is an abomination.
All I know is,
his squeaky clean Sunday jesus
wouldn't last ten minutes--
would be curled up fetal-style in some vestibule by the mailboxes,
sucking his thumb and begging to go home--
if he had to live where we live all the time.
_________

for real toads "women's freedom".

28 comments:

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

absolutely, mi amiga !!!! love has no gender, no bias, no religion. love is love,the connective fiber in all that is.

i'm sorry you were hurt like this but love still loves you

gracias for sharing

hedgewitch said...

These are stories that for so long could not even be told, they were just lived, tragically and brutally sometimes--those who fear and hate and misunderstand kill many things in this world--but here, not the spirit, and not the love that can fight every barrier to be itself, no matter to what end it leads. I especially like the second stanza, which speaks to everything love is --for anyone.

Other Mary said...

Brilliant. I wonder if everyone read this maybe, just maybe they'd get it. Love is not an abomination, and we shouldn't be allowed to make it so. I always wonder why the bible-folk choose that particular edict o be the one to get upset about. I mean, why not usury?

Rommy said...

I remember being very ignorant about these issues when I was young because of my environment. I'm glad college broadened my view of the world and that my kids are being raised quite differently. Gay isn't a punchline to them. It's always just been a part of human experience. Stories like this keep needing to be told. It's what opened my mind eventually.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such an insightful write..!!
Powerfully expressed.

Lots of love,
Sanaa

brudberg said...

We still have a very very long way to go... and there are too many who have never looked at what's wrong with themselves instead of finding error in others (even when there are none)...

‘You see the mote in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the beam in your own eye’.

Outweighs everything else in the bible written about such prejudice... (and I'm not even religious).

ellen abbott said...

why is it so hard to understand that sexuality is not either/or? and why do people feel the need to demonize or otherwise lessen those who aren't? what are they so afraid of and who are they afraid of loving?

Debi Swim said...

"It's death by a thousand cuts, this living on the outside,
but we are warriors--have to be--and we keep on." That is powerful. I've changed my mind about a lot of things in the past few years. I hope I'm getting wiser (and more compassionate) as I age.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I always tell my students: There is a cure for ignorance but none for stupidity. There is no excuse for adults in the free world to render themselves stupid through ignorance... yet still they do.
As for the super- pious, I wonder at all that suppressed sexuality - it comes out in mean and devious ways.

aLeX said...

Best title ever.

I love this:
"I thought of my then-girlfriend
and how she knew me like a crow knows its nest.
I thought of her blackbird eyes,
her sure touch and drag race temperament."

And this:
"It's death by a thousand cuts, this living on the outside"

Crazy-good ending:
"All I know is,
his squeaky clean Sunday jesus
wouldn't last ten minutes--
would be curled up fetal-style in some vestibule by the mailboxes,
sucking his thumb and begging to go home--
if he had to live where we live all the time."

And I agree with Mary's comment:
"I always wonder why the bible-folk choose that particular edict to be the one to get upset about."

Like I'm always telling my husband (who is now terrified of me because I'm such an asshat): We're all struggling with a bunch of shit, and no one's sufferings, or struggles, are any worse or better than anyone else's. (~Only, I use very different language, red-peppering my diatribes with curses). I also like to point out how much even preachers love lesbian porn, so maybe they shouldn't point so many fingers and judge others quite so "hard." ;)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I am on my feet. Standing ovation. LOVE this poem, every shining word. It never fails to amaze me, the things that come our of peoples' mouths. I most love the girlfriend with the blackbird eyes who "knew me like a crow knows its nest." LOVE "But we are warriors". No stronger person anywhere, than a woman striving to be free, and herself, hard as the world makes that. Applause for "the stupendous guts" it takes to live as oneself. You are my hero, kiddo. You could take this poem down Main Street in a parade. Maybe enlighten some folks, maybe not, but it would be damned satisfying.

Linda C. Folks said...

A VERY strong poem, obviously written by a woman who has had to be so. We cannot help who we are, or who we love, we can only live our truth. Well said.

Shadow said...

Live and let live...

Therisa's World said...

As trans-lesbian, Shay, your poem describes the daily battle, I have, with certain people, who don't understand the courage, it takes, to get out of bed, and walk out the apartment door, as myself. Thank you, for sharing these painful memories. Maybe, one day, people will realize the harm and pain, they have caused, with their careless use of words and ignorance.

Myrna R. said...

Aw. I really like what MarcoAntonio wrote. Love loves you.
I like what you wrote too. Your anger is so justified. I commend you on your courage and hope that soon, ignorance will be informed about freedom to love, to be. Thank you for this poem!

Cloudia said...

Thank You Thank You Thank You!

"if he had to live where we live all the time."



Thank You

Susie Clevenger said...

This is so powerful. Too often living one's truth comes with battle wounds. I have my own PTSD from the years I sat in a pew.

rhymeswithbug.com said...

small minds are everywhere

De said...

Powerful, powerful words.
I'm thankful I don't know that "squeaky clean Sunday jesus" (or the hypocrite who served him)-- I only know the dirty feet, pierced hands one who loves everybody.

Outlawyer said...

Hey Shay--I found the beginning with the co-worker especially compelling. I think/hope things are a bit different for this next generation, my daughter marrying the love of her life, another woman, this past June. A wonderful wedding. Take care, k.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Thank you for telling it like it is. Shocking and sobering that there is still so far to go.

grapeling said...

love wins, I hope ~

Gemma Wiseman said...

This brazen truth cuts through social limits and demystifies secret identities. Gut-wrenching drama in a few choice words.

blueoran said...

I'm outside the outside of the proper comment here -- heterosexual dude -- but I can't help thinking that your poetry is both cause and consequence of a hot coyote night heart in frozen sunny suburb USA. I can't tell if the poetry or the sexuality are the means of thriving where sons don't shine--or both--But you do. Suffragette, sing on.

Sioux said...

Dumb. Rude. Clueless.

Sad and disappointing.

Tabitha Bird said...

Well I am glad you are who you are. hugs

Mr Puddy said...

At least no one have to wear cone of shame...tee..heh

Mama Zen said...

Unfuckingbelievable.