Dusk comes and so do hundreds of hungry gerbils, red-eyed, clawing up the hill again towards the kind of democracy gerbils are forbidden; attend to me even through cramp. For a minute the street shone from Beautiful’s forehead, he couldn’t have guessed the wet cobbles were rays of beans and other enchantments, and the riot squads are restless, they’re storming Soho squats, et cetera, I mean, hundreds of police in full riot gear stormed a squat in London’s Soho, making dozens of arrests and dragging people through the street – for arranging a peaceful protest of the G8 Summit. I mean, “Photo from 26 minutes ago, via @140journos. Crowds are running towads Istiklal Avenue as the police take over Taksim Square.” I mean, Poem S, titled “Is that a Bird in My Hair? Jesus!” reminds me of when my mother removed the hair from combs and burned it lest a bird get a hold of it and build a nest, a phenomenon that makes headaches happen. So I spent Friday night in the Brotman ER. Loads of interesting characters there, like the guy in the waiting room who stabbed himself in the leg to get pain meds, and the woman named Lindsey who was being held “captive” on a 51-50, the junkie who thought he was standing in front of a urinal when he was really in our trauma room, the cockroaches scurrying across the floor, the giant wad of urine-soaked toilet cover sheets on the floor in the public bathroom. And a couple more junkies who needed one last hit of dilaudid before checking into rehab. I mean, “Long before queer theory had become an established means of making a career in academia, I started serving an apprenticeship to a way of being that helped me survive the minor catastrophe and miracle of having been born a girl who was supposed to transform into a woman. I don’t know what else to call it but drag. The label now seems rather opportunistic because of recent developments in politics and the media, but at that time, drag was about a constant celebration of the powers of excess and imagination. Drag let me live the dream of feminine omnipotence. In drag, girls could keep their eyes on the prize. Drag allowed us to feel rich when we were poor. It was about the power of the moment. It was about useless expenditure and wasting time. Queens would put on their drag for one night and looked fabulous, but their riches would turn to rags the next day and they would have to start all over again. Drag took every expectation that this meant that and turned it upside down and spun it around, demonstrating that there was no way to keep anything, especially when it was in language, straight. When someone said, oh, that was grand, it was never certain whether grand was an insult or a compliment. Grand let it be both. It was all about style and delivery. Work was a heavy word in this dialect. You could work someone in and you could work someone out. You could work a piece and you could work a party. You could work together or you could work alone. Drag let us live outside the logic of capitalist accumulation, the logic of success and failure. Everyone could be queen for a day. Drag became a way of protecting myself from the deadly seriousness of my youth.” Now the Taksim protestors are back. There are no other fish in my mouth. “The mark dissolves … it moves between being and nonbeing.”
And the brightness is hidden from me.
Shadows cover the light
Drape it in sandstorms.
My beautiful mouth knows only confusion.
Even my sex is dust.
A minaret, a gun, a blue window. Anywhere a broom sweeps there is dust. Can blue be held in one’s hand? A mouth would do. Gold-helmed and waiting war. A trailing hand in rigid cladding. I like his white hair and blue hat. Inexplicably, we would kick a baby to be near you or give our baby to your hedge fund, for you will never eat another hot dog. He forgot who he was talking to. I make a ghastly caryatid, a people without history, it tightened around me / WHITE called a brick in a bag.
[Note: Sources: Amy De’Ath, “Cuteness is a Landscape”, at Intercapillary Space, 29 Jan 012, “Three in a Boat”, at Signals Magazine 6; JBR; Bob Dylan, “Desolation Row”; JBR; “A Dark Day For Democracy As G8 Protesters Treated As Terrorists By Militarised Uk Police Force”, at Scriptonite Daily, 11 Jun 013, via Amy De’Ath, FB post, 11 Jun 013; Jared Schickling, FB post, 11 Jun 013; Dawn Lundy Martin, “The Stunning Poverty of Unrest”, at Poetry Foundation, via Marthe Reed, FB post, 11 Jun 013 (re Simone White, Unrest); Deborah Rogers, FB comment, 11 Jun 013; Catherine Liu, Oriental Girls Desire Romance, as quoted at aimee louise, 11 Jun 013; JBR (it’s gone back and forth, back and forth); Rosmarie Waldrop, “Object Relations”, in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology Second Edition (ed. Paul Hoover); Marthe Reed, “without boundary”, “Through any blue window”, “Tisci’s atelier”, at EOAGH 4 (“The mark … being and nonbeing” is by Shazia Sikander and is the epigraph to “without boundary”; Day comes … sex is dust is by Enheduanna, “The Hymn to Inanna”, and is the epigraph to “Through any blue window”); Simone White, “Drop a Schism”, “Brick in a Bag”, as quoted in “Simone White’s House Envy of All the World”, at X Poetics, 1 Apr 010]