Get rid of the body

June 21, 2020

The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body pursues its own ideas – for my body does not have the same ideas I do.

Roland Barthes
The Pleasure of the Text

Goddess…

April 26, 2020

Her body, swaying like a serpent’s –
her hypnotic eyes,
ravenous and alluring,
cunning and secretive.
Her lips,
dark red, an infinite temptation,
dripping with the blood of her enemies.
She was whole; she was a goddess…

Anon

He’s almost weightless. When he enters me it hurts and my pain belongs to the subterranean world, primitive as the clay. His body is slacker than I expected, a small paunch begins at his waist and settles in a downward parabola to his groin. His pubic hair is red. His erect penis is a surprise although I had imagined what they would feel like, read about them, seen them represented on toilet walls and magazines. I didn’t see it before he entered me, but afterwards it is small and sticky and amusing. I want to touch it but I don’t dare. I don’t know the etiquette. He is twenty or more years older than me. This is sex.

William Wall
Grace’s Day

GOD, his tasks

December 15, 2019

Please, let’s reconsider
God’s expectations of pleasure.
How we are lepers
in our colony of want.
How we would murder
our child in exchange
for our own small death.
A drop of iodine in a bath
becomes a gauzed elegy
for how we can’t help but love
who we want to save.
In a train station I am wife
to hundreds of men
who have feelings
about their bodies.
God wanted pleasure
to be a dead clam
that doesn’t open
in boiling water.
A slick body that hides
itself between the hinges
of duty and need
until it wastes away as a wrinkle
on the stretched skin
of a life.
Once we were so wet
we glistened
whether there was light
or not.
When God called
our bodies territory
we became terror,
we became the story
that every child
in their monstered
sleeplessness never wants
to be real.

Meghan Privitello

Fever

November 23, 2019

I am the fever that lights your passion
the fire in your night
the storm capsizing your body…

The first time I was really able to envision femininity as a kind of power was while watching Paris is Burning in college, encountering the world of drag for the first time. The knowledge that my femmeness was something I could put on and take off, something I could play with and shapeshift into, made me feel so in control of it, and made me feel powerful for choosing it. The ability to alter our images and to play with the way that we present our bodies is a fundamental queer and femme superpower[…]we think that we understand ourselves and then use that understanding to write poems about our bodies, but it’s just as common in my experience to have written poems about my body for five years and then be like, Oh, that’s who I am?

[…]

I mean having a body is such a fucking trip, you know? The other day I was talking to Danez Smith, and they were like, Ugh I hate having a body, I wish I could just be a presence — which I totally sometimes relate to. But also, the body — our materiality — is the only way that we know how to exist in the world.

I’m always drawn to the language of the body because that language, which I was born into, has completely determined how I’ve been allowed to imagine myself. The first time I ever made a chapbook of my poems—printed at a FedEx and stapled together — I called it Women Only Write Body Poems, which is a joke that I still find funny. But for better or for worse, it’s a job that women who write have always found themselves doing.

But despite some of the poems in the book, I don’t actually think that the total transcendence of our material forms is what I’m after, because that also seems like a way of checking out of the whole problem. I think that I want to learn how to live in a dynamic and fruitful and sexy relationship with the body.

Franny Choi
Queerness, Cyborgs, and Cephalopods: An Interview with Franny Choi
Paris Review 21st May 2019

the land of dreams

August 27, 2019

in the land of dead dreams all shout — “yes, yes! no, no! more, more! stop this, stop that! do this, do that! do the fandango, do the bunny hop.

in the land of dead dreams there are shameful body aromas and different customized body styles.

in the land of dead dreams, everyone is equal, until someone punches
the clock enough to get a gold star, then they are allowed to keep punching the clock until they die.

in the land of dead dreams, hope is a commodity exchanged for desire exchanged for good will exchanged for a thousand free minutes on AOL.

in the land of dead dreams everything counts; three strikes—your out, second in line, a one-in a million-in-one, 7.8 % on all non-food items, $10.00 co-pay, 6% annual interest compounded daily by the hour or by the minute, each and every second of each and every day the clock ticks and your heart beats faster and faster . . . there’s something in the basement . . . the lights don’t work. . . . there is a gurgling sound . . . you know you must go into the darkness of the basement, alone . . . . .

in the land of dead dreams kingdoms are constructed on or in excrement, cigars, and telescope steam.

in the land of dead dreams . . . no that’s somewhere else.

in the land of dead dreams you have different clothes and special foods for every different occasion, and all the streets are the same name with the same gas station gourmet coffee gift taco shop every three blocks.

in the land of dead dreams, there is “the new white meat” for brighterwhiter bones and bigger badder teeth.

in the land of dead dreams, to get to the super bowl is what life is all about . . . that, and a good cold one, ay?

in the land of dead dreams there are endless options all based on one true-false questionnaire given at birth.

Kari Edwards

TRAVELERS IN EREWHON

August 23, 2019

You open your
Dress on the dusty
Bed where no one
Has slept for years
An owl moans on the roof
You say
My dear my
Dear
In the smoky light of the old
Oil lamp your shoulders
Belly breasts buttocks
Are all like peach blossoms
Huge stars far away far apart
Outside the cracked window pane
Immense immortal animals
Each one only an eye
Watch
You open your body
No end to the night
No end to the forest
House abandoned for a lifetime
In the forest in the night
No one will ever come
To the house
Alone
In the black world
In the country of eyes

Kenneth Rexrothe

No

August 15, 2019

I do not know how to say no.

I am so tired of being
Left open
Bleeding on the sidewalk.
Staining the white carpet
Staining my new lace panties I wore just for you.

You say:

Don’t you know you are only good for one thing? Don’t you know you are only worth something when I want you? When my cock is hard?

My body: a piece of raw meat for you to devour like a hungry dog.

To be a woman is to never ask for dessert even if you want it.

I have etched these words into my skin, bled them out, swallowed them with no water.

Yes, yes, yes, smile, smile, smile.

I was never taught to say no.

I am so tired of being treated less human and more dinner buffet.

so tired

All I can say is yes.

Becca Lansman