Tuesday, May 26, 2015

queer play                           Cawthra Park

thrashing, scurrying among rose bushes
missing thorns, oblivious to my guiding calls
suddenly sprinkler  jets jut out into the path
I shout for him to run
to be careful in this stream of prickly stems and unadulterated water spouts
austere columns invite a toddlers  twisting in and out of unintended jungle gyms
memorials flanking one side of the children’s water park and the community centre
he runs his smile wider than parental breadth
grins and thanks me for saving him from the deluge
like wild remembered smiles from those columns – the ghosted names of friends who went too soon
playgrounds bookended by a dearth of generational sway stolen from girls becoming women boys
becoming men, becoming women, becoming men - making way
for the hard won play of new queer youth and all they have to say


an effeminate old man walks by the site
where they laughed at large cysts
on the side of a bald mourners head
burying faces in Nana’s seal coat
tears mistaken for bereavement
when shame from childish laughter
at the unassuming comic matrix of skull and tumor-like ball
covered in breeze swept wisps of graying hair
causes them to cry away their wild childish smiles

the soft sleek touch of a dead animal’s fur on their cheeks
as they flank their grandmother’s comforting arms as she mourns a dead sister
mistaking her grandsons’ masked glee for sadness
later they would lie, side by side in broken twin bunks toppled by the raucous
love for the sinew of their nine year old flesh and bone battling against each other
in soft little fist fights and tight wrestling arms

he taught you how to fold toilet paper in squares saving wasted tissue
for other movements  –  gave you courage in the face of his own masculinity
as it outgrew the lifelong femininity of your fey measured gait - sweet lisp of
strolling in and out of family portraits meant for gendered posterity

both boys among strong women managing men among post war tears
and the hegemonic daze of re-established prowess in a different coat
tiny rebels with unclipped claws  – unaware of the clichés that bound them
to the signifying praxis – the lazy laughter of family plots  where dead relatives lay in waiting
to tell the stories - too  afraid to share tales of other traps and snares
mingling among puzzled thoughts that mix with joy and sorrow
circling cavities containing liquid secretions – growth, blister, vesicle, bleb
pelts collated - conger eel, cuttlefish, coral - pups

in raging juvenilia - hormones leaping - they stood by graves to chuckle, weep, then lie
together aptly plying into adolescence – now he cries for unknown pasts -
there beside that dugout respite
from the playgrounds, rolls of tissue, you still long for shadows
of his stylish manhood – him for your minced swagger - one went out of fashion – flushed
through centuries of bodies laughed at through skin and bone
the sobbing  lyric limbs – limp and wan they warned them not to play with verse
but there they went – hopping skipping jumping into manhood - graveside
having left themselves behind . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment