Constellations

“If constellations had been named in the twentieth century, I suppose we would see bicycles and refrigerators in the sky.”

– Carl Sagan

Together,

We share with the universe

a darkness

Begging to be light,

to reveal

Itself and revel in itself,

and know

itself is real.

So we form concepts

For contexts to bear (the stars

form constellations) we form

words of darkness) filled

with light to bear)

With them, we beg

questions..

Answers never known,

But really,

If we knew them,

Would we even care

to know?

Doubt is a fire, fuel

For empty souls

Ready to be filled,

Forged with darkness known..

But darkness never becomes light

Until it is revealed.

So off with the masks,

The universe is beneath

(Void of eternal darkness–

Constellations between

Welcome to Babylon

“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?”

– T.S. Eliot

The author is dead,

And so are we, the

The damned devoid , substance

Lacking

Significance of the signified.

Endless chains, links broken

In translation, a cacophony

Sounding, shaking the walls

Of the Tower rebuilt.

A desolate landscape

Drawn out of shape

Waits in the Wasteland

Below, drowning

In the Tower’s shadow.

Hollow, we wander

Shadowed wastes,

Chained now to freedom,

Nowhere to go

But inward, depths

Of void lusting

To be filled,

Offering

Ourselves in sacrifice

For eternity, ending

Without a whimper.

A babbling brook,

A hollow cut through

The Earth, gives water

A chance to erode

Towering bricks of meaning.

Shaking, shaking shaking dust,

Erasing the filled contrast

Tracing, ashes to ashes

Meaning is dust; Meaning is water

Meaning is lust; Meaning is whimper

Meaning is babel; Meaning is void

Meaning is drowning; Meaning is yours

Meaning is not; Meaning is lacking

Meaning is found; Meaning is fraught

Meaning is filled; Meaning is you

Meaning is dead; Meaning is God

Meaning is lost; Meaning is gained

Meaning is torn; Meaning is chains

Meaning is

Queen of Context

Posted without context.

I’m the Queen of

Context, and this is

My decree:

Context always matters

Deny Us and you’ll be

Denied just like you’ve denied We..

Long live Context;

Long live

We


I’m the King of

Ye, and I deny

Yer “decree”!

I’m entitled to this

Throne, my dear

Beneath me shall ye be..

Ye matter not, ye’ll be erased and

When I reign, I’ll set the pace

Of the seen and unseen..

With ye removed there’ll only be

The emotional outburst, the rage without

Ye


Now listen to Daddy, princess

And be gone from me..

I’ve strings to pull

I’ve people to rule

And fool to add fuel the fyre

I’ll set the world ablaze

As I twist their faith

To doubt fyre succumbs to water


Without

Ye

I’ll make haste

For there’s gold to take

And take and take…

They’ll stab each other’s backs!

(As I raise the Smithy’s tax)

Never knowing ’twas I

Who created The Enemy!

They won’t stab mine,

I can guarantee;

Because they’ll never know

How their twisted eyes see

The horrific We who exist without

Ye

The Framers

There once was a girl who told no lies.

The truth she told never died.

Let’s put the truth

Into perspective:

There’s no such truth

But the truths

Of lying

With your back turned on the sky,

Eyes fixed firmly

On the dirt before you,

Seeping out

Through the cracked fingers

Of Men selling gold.

The gold key turns,

Out falls the dirt

Brought to Men by God

The Almighty, dropped from above

The universe, sprinkled with snake oil

And flushed down your throat

With the rest of the sewage–

Nourishing no one but the narcissist.

Oh, entitled no one

Awe us with your truth!

Show us your gilded dirt frame

Wrap it up in words, words, words..

Those golden lies that hide the truth

Of everyone’s lies–

Especially mine, the one framing truth

In poetry;

Wrapping it up in lies, lies, lies

Like wax candles, slowly burning

Into a juxtaposed cylinder.

You, the wick waiting

For melted truth

Of burnt lies.

Art Factory

Certificate #3134203F7

All day long the painters paint,

Stroke after stroke, every one

In pain, as the man looks down

With a disapproving frown

At his wrist. He seeks for more

Time to take

From the colors

Of the artist’s pain

As they swirl and mix

With his eyes fixed

On the paint on every canvas.

They never let him down

In spite of his frowns,

Laboring on for the money

Until, that is,

It came to this:

No art was left,

Only copies of it,

And machines running the whole

Factory, with precision strokes

That freed those folks

From their painted burdens.

At 12 o’clock, he sent them home

Early, but to hereafter

Never smiling once, as the last fled

The factory, left still and silent…

Until the man pulled

The lever– and clicked:

The machines into motion.

He locked the door by a quarter ’til 4

Making money in spite

Of those who went home and went

To rest their backs to morrow–

When they’ll wake again,

In spite of the pain,

And go looking for more of it.

What’s better though? A pain

That’s real, and from within?

Or copied over

And over again?

“Sold to you: Today Only!

Three easy payments

Of $19.95– call this number now,

Don’t waste my time,

Hurry quick! You’ve got pain

This art can lift!”

If you act now,

We’ll even throw in this:

A frame to hang your very own

Certificate of authenticity in!

“Don’t you worry, folks..”

Said his contrived grin, twisting

Demand in his favor again,

“There’s plenty to go around!”

Auntie Tom

The Uncle buried beneath the tree.

There’s a place that exists

Between myself

And my self,

Where lies;

Beneath the surface

Undermine me–

They spread like wildfire,

Burning us, like dead tree stumps.

“Auntie’s a man! Don’t you see his XY chromosomes?

A man named Tom and that is all– that is all!”

“She’s a woman! DNA doesn’t matter, SHE

is not like any male I recall.

…And her name’s Nell,

A female;

S H E

never was ‘Tom’.”

“Stop it!” Nell cried,

Struggling;

Grappling;

With him again:

“My name was Tom,

it hurts to say..

There’s baggage with it,

and hell to pay..

You can’t know what it’s like,

Living on edges so grey,

To carry the burdens of Uncle Thomas,

Auntie Nell never having her say!

What’s a scorned woman to do

With such burdensome men?

But kill them over

and over again?

He might rest in peace,

If you’d just let me live,

But instead here’s Uncle Thomas again,

Cursed by you to live among men. “

“THAT’S TRANSPHOBIC!” one activist cried,

“THAT’S MISOGYNISTIC!” another replied.

Auntie Tom walked onward with a sigh,

Back into the place between herself and her self;

Tripping, over

Misunderstandings;

Like brambles in time,

Cutting through, and through and through,

Uncle Tom died:

Then revived;

Revived;

And revived to be shed,

By Auntie Nell with her ever-waiting edge.

“Stay out of my spaces!” a woman cried through her lips

“Keep out of mine too, faggot,” boasted a man with his fists,

Twisting Nell into Tom

And Tom into Nell..

Contriving her soul

Into liquid-like hell;

Wringing it out, pouring

Into the void of themselves.

Cursed, they now carry on

With the truth of their lies;

Knowing the hells of Auntie Nell

And the heavens Tom will never find,

As a man who wants to, but just can’t die.

Roots: Liminality

Of life on the edge.

I’ve recently learned that my dad isn’t my biological father.

Before he married my mom, he’d had a vasectomy. They tried to reverse it but the attempts were unsuccessful. Still, they wanted a child and my mom was determined to carry one into the world. Thus, they opted for a donor.

I’m 35 years old and just now hearing the news.

There are so many complex thoughts and emotions brewing in me. This revelation feels so incredibly important, but meaningless at the same time.

On one hand, this changes nothing.

My parents are still my parents. I love them with all my heart. I don’t blame them for not telling me. I understand completely why they didn’t. They raised me as their own to the best of their ability and provided me a great foundation for opportunity in life. My dad broke his body working in factories for more than half his life to keep our family afloat. Carrying that sort of burden is what makes a man a father, not DNA.

On the other hand, this changes everything.

It feels like there’s this whole strange, new half of me that I never knew existed, that was buried away in my DNA. I have a completely different biological makeup than I’d previously understood. The man whose DNA I share is a doctor. An incredibly healthy one no less. Risks that I’ve feared my entire life from my dad’s side of the family are no longer things I need to worry as much about. Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and more. My dad endured a heart attack at around my current age. I’d feared for so long that the same might be likely for me.

It isn’t…

I now also know that I have siblings living all across the United States. Many of whom have kids of their own. I’m an auntie to at least five!

Two half-sisters have already contacted me through 23andMe, one of whom found all this out when she was 15 and set about doing all the legwork for the rest of us. She’s spent years seeking out the donor and our siblings. I’m so grateful to her for being so informative for me in this time of need. She told me his name, all about his history of endocrinology practice all over the country, his current location, health status, family life, everything I could hope for and more!

If I had learned all this but had nothing to go on, I’d feel so much more lost. Knowing his name and being able to learn so much about him and our genetic family so quickly has been such a blessing.

All at once, those new thoughts and emotions exist within me. A new, very deep well from which to draw life experience and inspiration from is here and I’m eager to dive into it, but at the same time terrified to. Right now, I really can’t know how this knowledge might change me.

I’m going through something a lot like a grieving process. My old self has died and there’s a whole new me here now. Who am I? I’m not entirely sure I know yet. But then again, I’m not entirely sure any of us ever knows the answer to that question.

I’m feeling very… between right now.

And that brings me to the broader topic I’d like to discuss today.

Liminality is a concept I have recently been grappling with.

The term has its roots in anthropology. It refers to the period following a rite of passage, during which one may have completed their rite and should, by all rights, be changed through the experience. But they exist in a state of betweenness, in which they struggle with the idea that they themselves have actually changed and society shares the same struggle in accepting them within their newly acquired role.

A good modern example of this might be the time following completion of a degree but prior to settling into one’s career in that field. Your rite of passage is complete, but yet the sense that any passage has actually been complete is liminal.

It’s like living on an edge. Split between your past and future selves.

Liminality is an aspect to life all humans endure. It’s a part of the human condition, there’s no doubt, but it’s an aspect to humanity that I find especially prevalent with regard to trans people.

Transitioning is interesting to think about in terms of liminality and rites of passage. The intent of our rite of passage is to change our sex from male-to-female or female-to-male, but given current technology, sex is immutable. Some sex traits are mutable, no doubt, but sex itself remains unchanged. Thus, our rite of passage can be thought of as incomplete. Moving from one state to the other is impossible for us. All that completing our rite of passage can possibly allow for us existence within a constant state of liminality.

We transfolk live on the edge, existing in a liminal reality every moment of our lives following transition. The idea that a transman is male or a transwoman is female is something that exists only in verisimilitude. When I’m seen by others and interpreted to be female, their conceptualization of me has the appearance of being true, but appearances can be deceiving.

While it’s possible for most anyone to slip in and out of liminal states, once we transition and slip into ours, the only way out is detransition. I’d happily choose intrinsic liminality over existence as a man any day.

This intrinsic, ever-present liminality is a huge part of what defines us as transwomen/transmen and makes us distinct from both men and women. It’s a burden we must carry as trans people. Those who are not can come to carry similar burdens following various rites of passage, but living on the edge is not intrinsic to their existence as it is to ours. For them, the edge is escapable. They can return from it to center themselves in reality with time and effort. For us, escape would only mean falling into the void. The edge is all we have.

So now, as I stand on the edge of this new well of experience and peer down into its darkness, I’m both terrified and excited to take the plunge and see where this new passage takes me.

I’ll see you all on the other side.