Funny Business by Mikko Harvey
I wonder if later I will forgive myself for having denied my loved ones demonstrations of my loving them. I was too busy demonstrating myself to the universe. I was too busy turning strangers into sites of worship. I was so, so busy considering the symbolism of the fish's boiled eyeball as it sat there on the platter. I was feeling uncomfortable in the presence of the wide smile of the holographic customer service associate. I Googled what delphiniums are. I took my shirt off and rolled around in the yard, pretending to be a little worm while actual worms were rolling around in the yard and I actually crushed one to death.
Technicolor geek. Slow reader. Main social presence: @firstname.lastname@example.org / josh.tel/@josh
I try to post a poem every day.
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Queer Earth by Jess X. Snow
"Sexual expression is permitted only within marriage, between man and woman, male and female. Anything else is an abnormality and is against nature." — Pope Shenouda III
You speak of nature as if you invented it. Or gutted it & used its bones to fashion a white castle,
to keep you safe from all the animals you refuse to see.
Tonight, each grain of soil, each blade of grass, each droplet of blood is a time machine. Each cell
rewinds you four & a half billion years back in history. We were once genderless cells splitting our own bodies—
in two—now growing gills, fins and feet. 65,000 queer & trans species.
It's always mating season on planet Earth: look at the way leopard slugs
make love: upside down from trees—two penises coiling into orchids. A penetration
so mutual—it is worthy of bioluminescence.
Look at the way bonobo monkeys resolve conflict: queer polyamorous sex in the morning, evening, and afternoon.
Look at the penguins mating for life, warming the egg of another mother with the heat between their bellies.
When an oyster produces a perfect pearl: they transition from male to female. For crustaceans, gender is a border
that does not exist. Do you hear the orchestra of dolphins? Masturbating against the seabed, penetrating
each other's blow holes, as if this human history never began. If our love defies the logic of your biology,
then what is queer pleasure if not heavenly? Is this queer ocean not the tidal waves roaring
within your bloodstream? Is this queer Earth not the same carbon that birthed your flesh?
To be queer, Earth, and alive is to be hunted & marked wild. A beast banished from heaven,
a bleached coral reef, a jungle clear-cut, a planet domesticated like cattle, and butchered in the hands of machines.
Yet, our queerness is an ancient persistence. So tell me: we be against nature.
& our bones will remember— we've been queer for 3.6 billion springs,
summers, falls & winters. & even after your infant empire
collapses into dust, we will still be queer.
Coping by Audre Lorde
It has rained for five days running the world is a round puddle of sunless water where small islands are only beginning to cope a young boy in my garden is bailing out water from his flower patch when I ask him why he tells me young seeds that have not seen sun forget and drown easily.
From the Chrysalis by Emily Dickinson
MY cocoon tightens, colors tease, I'm feeling for the air; A dim capacity for wings Degrades the dress I wear.
A power of butterfly must be The aptitude to fly, Meadows of majesty concedes And easy sweeps of sky.
So I must baffle at the hint And cipher at the sign, And make much blunder, if at last I take the clew divine.
Fragments of Sappho, by Anne Carson
105A as the sweetapple reddens on a high branch high on the highest branch and the apple pickers forgot--- no, not forgot: were unable to reach
105B like the hyacinth in the mountains that shepherd men with their feet trample down and in the ground the purple flower
The Woman in the Moon by Carol Ann Duffy
Darlings, I write to you from the moon where I hide behind famous light. How could you think it ever a man up here? A cow jumped over. The dish ran away with
the spoon. What reached me were your joys, griefs, here's-the-craic, losses, longings, your lives brief, mine long, a talented loneliness. I must have a thousand names for the earth, my blue vocation.
Round I go, the moon a diet of light, sliver of pear, wedge of lemon, slice of melon, half an orange, silver onion; your human sound falling through space, childbirth's song, the lover's song, the song of death.
Devoted as words to things, I gaze, gawp, glare; deserts where forests were, sick seas. When night comes, I see you gaping back as though you hear my Darlings, what have you done, what have you done to the world?
HeLa by Jericho Brown for Henrietta Lacks
I won't die. I keep white men up at night. I come from the deepest basin they know. They want to watch me grow so they took me from Mama. When they hold me close, it's always so cold, but when Sister came to see me the other day, she kissed me & called me beautiful & I was warm again, like it always was with Mama, just for a little while. Yemoja olodo awoye Yemoja...
I—two, one hundred, three million, legion, spawn of gall, glory of silt gone sour—make the slack-jawed bow & wish they could drink from my ever-after. Now these men have brought women friends to look at me. They say I'm getting stronger every day. They want me to tell them my secrets, but I don't know what they mean. How can I explain who I am if they can't see, after looking at me? They call me HeLa. Healer. Mama would be proud to know we got healing in us. I hope she understands I didn't want to go... Yemoja Orisha Orisha Yemoja fun me lowo. Asé. Asé.
little prayer by Danez Smith
let ruin end here
let him find honey where there was once a slaughter
let him enter the lion's cage & find a field of lilacs
let this be the healing & if not let it be
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean— the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Earth, My Likeness by Walt Whitman
Earth, my likeness, Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there, I now suspect that is not all; I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth, For an athlete is enamour'd of me, and I of him, But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth, I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.
We Two Boys Together Clinging by Walt Whitman
We two boys together clinging, One the other never leaving, Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making, Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching, Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving, No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening, Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing, Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing, Fulfilling our foray.
I Hear It Was Charged Against Me by Walt Whitman
I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions, But really I am neither for nor against institutions, (What indeed have I in common with them? or what with the destruction of them?) Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard, And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large that dents the water, Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument, The institution of the dear love of comrades.
Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone by Walt Whitman
Roots and leaves themselves alone are these, Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and pond-side, Breast-sorrel and pinks of love, fingers that wind around tighter than vines, Gushes from the throats of birds hid in the foliage of trees as the sun is risen, Breezes of land and love set from living shores to you on the living sea, to you O sailors! Frost-mellow'd berries and Third-month twigs offer'd fresh to young persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up, Love-buds put before you and within you whoever you are, Buds to be unfolded on the old terms, If you bring the warmth of the sun to them they will open and bring form, color, perfume, to you, If you become the aliment and the wet they will become flowers, fruits, tall branches and trees.
For Him I Sing by Walt Whitman
For him I sing, I raise the present on the past, (As some perennial tree out of its roots, the present on the past,) With time and space I him dilate and fuse the immortal laws, To make himself by them the law unto himself.