Frustrated with the employee recommendations in a local bookstore, I looked for unfamiliar names that weren't faced out. I picked up Cedar Sigo's Language Arts. I enjoyed the way he wrote about himself and his life as a Queer Indigenous American man without making it feel like Other. I'm appreciative of all the poets and writers who have championed Othership, and it's important but, at my most optimistic, I'd like to think all our lives contain moments that shouldn't be othered. Moments where our identities strongly exist but aren't the focal point of the narrative.
See how my queer thoughts, in this instance are strikingly similar to your non-queer thoughts? See how I am not white but I have struggles that even the most clueless dead white dude from the nineteenth century had? These are the things I'm enjoying right now. Cedar Sigo does this really well.
For the month of December's interactions, I'm going to try to not write about the specific parts of my life that I feel I keep coming back to. Writing them feels too easy, and, perhaps, for the moment, I've exhausted all I can from certain relationships.
While I'm hoping not to get meta about it, I thought I'd start with a poem declaring the things I'm forbidding myself to write about for a while.
Before we can move on Let us give what is owed to the conversations we are tired of having but which have brought us to where we are today The things we should not explain on any more pages or microphones that might intersect with friends and loved ones who know already christ
Here is the drawer of tangled charging cables to phones that should never be plugged in again
Ryan who has now been dead almost as long as he was alive All dead boyfriends All unfaithful boyfriends All objects of desire who we have written more words about than we have spoken words to No more lovers as planets No more religious imagery for men who worshipped themselves enough to not need any more followers No more staring wistfully into the age gap No more color commentating the slow parade of men whose objectification makes us feel better about current loneliness
No more talking about loneliness to a room full of people No more lines that attempt to impress audiences with how we columbused loneliness No more loneliness in a room full of people
No more speaking for a tribe no one has been elected leader of No more explaining how to live life as if we have any idea what we're doing
We need to turn our heads away from where we came from Not our backs No more using our past to explain our ignorant present No more building gingerbread houses of self-awareness to ensnare gluttonous audiences
No more no more
Rest the i that glides over speedbump and writes experienced mountain climber on its resume Rest the narrator as victim Rest the raspy confessions The way we paint ourselves as monsters we've claimed to have slain Rest the sword in our own backs They are the weapons of illusionists
Let us now consider the future as if it will actually happen to us As if the past happened so long ago there is nothing new to learn from it As though our history was intrinsic Not forgotten Not ignored But common knowledge Let us not assume it is common knowledge let us make it common knowledge before we move forward
Let us move forward like a tide being drawn to a welcoming moon
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.