Becoming

I am
becoming
satisfied
with the
idea of
myself,
the way
my brain
maps my thoughts,
the way
my body
maps my responses,
the way
my journey
maps my future.
I am
who I am
becoming
who I am,
an ouroboros
phrase
that you
can jump in
anywhere
and to all
those who
share the
slightest smattering
of shared humanity,
I say to you,
walk with me
for as long
as our paths
travel together,
and our travels
will be that much
lighter and brighter,
for I will always
welcome a fellow.

Grief Pickles

On the days 

when I forget 

to eat anything 

but my 

weed laced oatmeal, 

sometimes I still have 

Grief Pickles. 

When my depression 

or my disordered eating 

grabs a hold of me 

and prevents me from moving, 

I can lift a Grief Pickle 

to my mouth,

the temptation

to feel again

too great. 

In a moment, 

the tiny sweet gherkins 

yield to my teeth, 

meaty matter crumbling 

into itself 

along the structures 

that created it, 

and I remember 

my Grandma. 

I remember 

every Saturday night 

when she would 

consider it 

something special 

to break out 

a frozen pizza 

and some 

potato chips 

and some 

tiny sweet gherkins. 

Not a balanced meal, 

nothing like her 

homemade roasts 

or goulash 

but she thought 

it was special

(probably because 

it took less work), 

so I thought 

it was special. 

I bite into a 

Grief Pickle and 

I remember 

my Grandma, 

who kept the house 

at 76 degrees 

for two years 

after my 

Grandpa died, 

never thinking 

that she could 

change it to 

what she liked. 

I remember 

my Grandma, 

who played 

strategy games 

as if she didn’t 

quite fully 

understand 

everything 

she could do 

to screw 

other people over, 

until the time came 

that she didn’t quite 

understand 

strategy games 

that deeply at all, 

not for the benefit 

of others

 or herself. 

I remember 

my Grandma, 

who would 

subtly rib 

on my weight 

by suggesting 

things like, 

“perhaps you 

should check 

the weight limit 

on the chair.”

I remember 

my Grandma, 

complicated, 

human, 

trapped 

just the same 

in a society 

and a family 

with such profound 

generational trauma 

that we don’t 

speak of emotions 

much less feel them. 

I remember 

my Grandma 

on the hospital bed, 

looking lost and tiny, 

a wrinkled fetus 

abandoned in the 

slow gradual breakdown 

of the prison 

that holds 

our consciousness. 

I remember 

my Grandma’s 

hand, small 

and soft and spotted. 

I take another bite. 

Unfinished Daddy Issues Poem

My father says I can’t be a man because I express too much. I’m a slave to my emotions, and I’m using a gender transition to stuff my trauma. 

I feel. 

I sit. 

I process.

and everything I make is steeped in emotion, every drip of paint or drop of ink or flash of flame or cut or weld or arc is sacred feeling encapsulated in a single moment on canvas or metal but then 

I feel.

I sit. 

I process.

and I abandon those loving harsh moment of truth in closets because they are past truths and they are therapy and they exist for me. 

Human Contact

d2101730-fc48-41f1-8e93-2c780a95d6a8I need 

human contact

as if I was 

a person 

or something

it’s a 

radical idea

I’m not 

used to it

I’m so 

used to 

these pits 

and cages

and walls

and institutions 

that I 

forgot I 

was ever 

Really

Meant

To Be

A Person

I dunno anymore

where the edges are

I can’t find what I’m

still holding onto 

and I’m grasping at

the tears 

and the frays  

and the holes

and the grays

and I am 

very much 

alone 

inside 

myself

but then again, 

so are you

and maybe 

perhaps

it’s possible 

to reach 

across the divide 

of the 

human consciousness 

and 

simply

Touch

Growth Work

I’m learning a lot about both making art and processing trauma. 

You have to trust the process above all else. 

It won’t look pretty at a lot of stages but you are doing the work and that’s what counts. 

It’s the layers of tiny details that build up to make a whole image. 

If your system doesn’t account for mistakes, your system is broken, not your work. 

At any moment you may see what you are working on and declare it beyond repair, but ultimately it is you who decides when you are finished so the only way for it to stay flawed is to stay unfinished. 

Don’t give up until the work is done. 

Did you think the work was done? Think again. There’s fresh ideas to be had. 

You will never be pleased and nor should you. The brilliance of growth is that it is unsatisfied. 

Pride in craftsmanship shows and people are drawn to the light of vulnerability. 194A6857-7BE9-4736-9E94-AEDC26DB9D60

Shameless Self Promotion

 

Please check out my Kickstarter!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iamzine/i-am-who-i-am-becoming-who-i-am-lgbt-zine

If as my friend you’re counting on me to get published copies of the zine and planning on throwing me cash sometime, instead of supporting the kickstarter, I would like you to consider that every purchase on the kickstarter will directly buy me more copies that I can hopefully sell for more income. Additionally it helps me with my planning for how many copies I need. Your dollars go further as an investment this way.

Also it’s a little above fully funded right now so there’s a good chance I might be able to add another set of pages.

I guess to put it another way, if you buy on kickstarter you’re also helping buy copies for two strangers. Sort of. Or you not taking away a copy from a stranger. I dunno. I’m bad at this.

A Poem for Dr. Ford

“I feel like I should be imaginary.”

I stop myself before I send the text. I can see that it’s not a fair thing to put on someone else and besides, underneath the words, I feel something else stirring.

Some people like to say that some emotions are secondary. As an example, you may feel angry that your cat knocked over your grandfather’s ashes, but what’s really under there is sadness and a feeling of guilt that you hadn’t put them somewhere safer.

Oftentimes this is illustrated with an iceberg. We can see those secondary emotions in the visible portion of the iceberg. Behaviors that come from it are obvious. But the true emotion is lurking underwater, invisible to the naked eye.

So in this vein, an emotion that gets expressed by “I feel like I should be imaginary” is like a klaxon alarm for the ship captain. There are big things coming. Listen to these feelings.

The void is calling.

As a trans man who has been raped, during this battle over Kavanaugh I feel like my voice is needed but I also feel obligated to pass the mic to women.

Every day my emotions eat my insides into a raw goo. and I find I’m held together by spite and optimism.

So I will listen to my voice, and I will listen to the void, for they give me warnings about what I need to work on next.

I will not fear speaking, for one more voice among millions is how the world is shaped by the resonance.

Here is a poem for Dr. Ford.

Viscerally
in the mucosa
of the brain stem,
somewhere in the
lizard brain,
I get it-
and I hope
she finds peace
from the memories
while we all
get to live in
the retraumaery
and the harsh grim reality
that speaking her truth
barely slowed
them down
except now
more of us see
and with
that knowing
comes action.

Words of Wisdom

My Very Wise Friend said 

“If your family 

demands you perform 

what they perceive 

as your You-ness 

in order to be 

part of the family, 

that’s not family 

and that’s not love.”

My family has struggles. 

Every one does. 

I think we battle 

more about 

my You-ness. 

See I can’t restrain my me-ness 

and all they seem to think about 

is imaginary penis 

while my brain attempts to run from all 

of these problems with expert fleetness 

but really could I be less

Worried

Ashamed

Real

if I wasn’t truly here 

or am I pretending that my absence 

is a problem solving algorithm 

when the question posed 

by the riddle was always

“How do you have your best life?”

and the answer to the system 

was never supposed to be

“Tap out, give up, it’ll only get harder,”

but instead the lesson was

“FIGHT. Fight and YOU’LL GET STRONGER.”

Taste

All the glass 

you’ve ever touched

to your lips 

comes cascading up, 

a facsimile of 

bad decisions 

made into sharp flesh, 

and you’ve 

never wanted anything 

more in your life. 

You touch your mouth, 

gently, 

to your silica doppelgänger 

and you taste your sins 

and lick your lips 

and beg for more. 

The glass begins to crawl inside, 

chunks cascading around 

your reaching tongue. 

Sucking air, 

running it over the 

crumbled bits of 

tempered glass 

that have taken root 

in the sockets 

where your teeth 

used to be, 

you wonder how 

everything will all 

fit together with 

this new reality. 

Inadvertently, 

you CHOMP.