The Friday Night Charades of Youth

I'm holed up at the Vermont Studio Center for a month, where I'm working on new poems, fiddling with some half-formed short stories, and marveling at the snow. (Much easier to marvel when I've got nowhere to go, when I'm just strolling through its glitter and waking to find how deep it's grown overnight.) I'm still writing Inauguries, too, and have discovered that those poems might be less about reclaiming language than about documenting the emotional terrain of this strange moment in our history. The poems have often taken a surreal turn, which feels apt--if fact and truth are questionable, I suppose reality is, too. And, especially in recent poems, I can't seem to get away from speaking from a collective voice. Who is this "we" that keeps appearing? As the Magic 8 Ball says, "Cannot predict now; Ask again later."

This moment feels unpredictable, but as Sarah Einstein and Sandra Gail Lambert point out in the editorial note to their online anthology, Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival, this isn't so much an unfamiliar world as "one we remembered well and had hoped was gone for good." Einstein and Lambert assembled the collection of writing by older queerfolk "to recreate the edifices of care and activism that we once constructed for ourselves and then perhaps abandoned because they were no longer needed." I'm grateful to have poems in the anthology; grateful to have made it to the age where I may be an "older" queer; grateful to have had friends, teachers, artists, and authors who gave me the strategies I needed to survive.

And speaking of survival, speaking of age: the folks at Silver Birch Press are running a poetry and prose series on their blog called "Me, At 17," that precarious time on the cusp of adulthood when so many of us learn what it means to outlive our childhood selves. I've got a poem there, too, and I'm excited that the series represents such a wide variety of experiences of that particular time in life. (Happy, too, to see so many LGBTQ authors in the series. Represent!) If you decide to check out the poem, you'll have the extra treat of getting to see what I looked like back in the '90s: Long hair. Penciled eyebrows. Impish glint in the eyes.
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Share on Twitter
Published on February 07, 2017 17:19 Tags: inauguries, lgbtq, older-queer-voices, poetry, silver-birch-press, vermont-studio-center
No comments have been added yet.