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.”

Feel

I don’t feel inspired to write. 

But here are words, 

evidence of slogging. 

A pace of clacking 

set to the the 

music of numbness. 

I don’t feel inspired to write. 

I feel a clog in the 

underside of my chin 

and above my left eye 

and probably somewhere 

in a ventricle. 

My therapist once told me

 that these are called emotions 

and I am to sit with them 

and name them 

and feel them. 

They are leaden 

and mucus slimed. 

I don’t feel inspired to write. 

But suddenly I am allowed to feel. 

PTSD

I have PTSD
which does not stand for
Pretty Truly Sucky Drama or
Panicky Trifling Solution Denier or
Performing, Trying, Slowly Dying
but there are aspects
of those things in
every meltdown,
every flashback,
every nightmare,
as I recall the thick coagulation
and the fingers dragging loosely
and the furor
and the passion
and the way a man
turned into a little boy,
curled up in a hospital bed,
waiting for his stitches
no longer yelling
about the bitches
who didn’t love him
so he stabbed himself
once
twice
thrice
and now my brain pan
is stuck with the same scars
that laced up and down his arms,
isn’t that nice.

 

Before the Before

Life turns around quick
because only one moment
separates people from
a “before” and an “after.”
Only one trauma,
one car accident,
one slip up
and your whole life
can change.
And life is a
series of moments
like this,
forks in the road
where decisions
were made
for us
and we have
to learn to cope.
This is where
empathy comes in,
and the more
you know empathy
before the “before,”
the softer you’ll land.

Delirious With Sputum

 

I had a doctor’s appointment.
They gave me antibiotics.
It’s been more than a month
with this sinus infection
but I just kept hoping
I was gonna kick it.
But I’ve been in pain
and I was already there
for something else.
I winced when she
touched my neck.
Later that night
I massaged it,
and panicked when
I felt how incredibly
large and swollen
my lymph nodes were.
As I caressed,
tension released,
and I started coughing.
Delirious with sputum,
I researched
what was happening.
Turns out
lymph node massage
is a thing.
I massaged
until my skin
felt loose.
My double chin
had been storing
extra human goo.
I poked and prodded
the result,
staring at myself
in the mirror.
Was I manlier
with my skin
hanging loose?
And then I pulled
on myself,
enough to
tear my heart,
enough to
rip a seam
where I had
sewed myself together.
I often joke about
being 23 weasels
in a human suit
(It’s supposed to be 24.
Oscar is on FMLA,
he’s working through some shit.
It’s why I limp
unexpectedly sometimes.).
I pulled at the corners
and I saw behind the mask tonight.
The pilot, he feels trapped.

What I’m capable of

I can taste my skull
When the mint begins to rot
At the inside corners
And the edges of my teeth.
I can can feel my tendons
Gently sliding through
Stroking past each other
Buried in the meat.
I can sense my skin
Bristle under the sun
I can feel it augment
Tingle like it’s bugs.
I can think my brainmeats
Writing on these words
Making all new thought heat
Burning just for fun.

My love

You are stitched
from strands of pure gold,
my love,
and all your broken places
show where you’ve been
bruised and bumped before,
that just adds character.
You are twisted silk,
my love,
tangled with an acrobat
of deftly managed
quite queer feelings,
that is how we all maintain.
You are the waves,
my love,
tossed upon the shore
and teased at the surface,
your soft pale blues
that turn to black,
that is because
they don’t know
of your depths.
You are not lost
or unwelcome,
my love.
This forest is filled
with friendly trees
as family.
We are not menacing.
We want the best for you,
my love.