The fact that I’m a gay, white, cismale who may symbolize the patriarchy for many of the poets at Capturing Fire is something I’m willing to live with (& usually ignore) to be present with so many vibrant, political active & articulate performers of all races, genders & countries. I’m also of an age where I don’t feel the cost of getting my money’s worth has to be my health – so I took my time & got to the day’s events when I got there, much later than when things started.
books in DC
First up was Cupid Ain’t Shit hosted by J Mase (as a side note if my hair could hold colour I would let it grow). A flock of lines: white supremacy wants it to be nice, hates it when you make people uncomfortable, makes enough space for you not to get ahead – answering your dangerous question – singing & sucking like a bullfrog – this pie has all its fingers in you – cops smell like chlorine clammy whores – I told him I’d be free all week, he said he’d see if he had any time – when I open my mouth is silences you – I was so blind I thought I was being reasonable – resents me behind closed keyboards – the truth will out itself – sometimes sex is better downwind of the dumpster – you were happy & then you blamed me – words stay after the bruises are gone – I used to think coming out would make you better – coming out of the closet implies that I was ever in one – when darkness has so much to say – the Atlantic calls me by name – I don’t need maps of where I went wrong – somewhere between conversation & deconstruction – his tongue a fire, safe – I like to pretend I don’t live alone – they learned to spell by diagnosis – it makes more sense to you to know what lies between my legs than my name – afraid that rejection will lead to aggression – write things into existence – this is for the kid everyone knows but no one knows his name (or gender) – one place made by stealing another – to the tune of the money trail – I am the mother of a verbal revolution.
the future of publishing
There was a ten minute breather before Barbra Erochina’s Wrestling God & Girls – which was not a look at WWF female wrestlers – but at her experiences with religious repression & sexual awakening. A rough draft reading of her one-woman show. A breaking of lines: laughter ricochets around the room like bullets off a steel wall – even my toes were curling with God – I am the daughter of secrets at 3 a.m. – our intimacy was scripted by religious pamphlets – I want her to welcome Me into her heart – as we pray for his soul I taste his shame on my tongue – I din’t expect my body to take over but it does – autoimmune disease is part genetics & part trauma. This was an engaging, intimate performance that drew us all in quickly & held us to the end, even if, like me, we had no religious upbringing background. Whether we know it or not we all struggle against the phobia people hide behind religious cant.
the print is melting
Another breather before sitting in on ‘Adesia’ hosted by Venus-Thomas Hinyard (who had to quit his job to get time to host). Here are some bones scattered from the pieces presented: accused of using our oppression to get free things – Bible verses used to beat our sense of self out of us – I want to keep my hair natural like Eve because Eve didn’t have a comb – I tried to fit my Dad not a poem last night & I think I killed him – if I die before I wake don’t try to resurrect me in a three minute slam poem – our scars come from the same exclusions – we sit between silences – danced agains and again till we remembered who we were – I elected a new Führer – a demiurge with demi urgency – you are the aggressor since you reported it – asks if you got infected on purpose – there never was a ballad as visceral as torch – old songs become new hymns – I hate that education is not free – they adjust the noose & tell us the higher we swing the freer we’ll become – to have access to freedom you have to obey the rules. Powerful, frank & no-holds-barred performances that were inspiring to experience. Plus one of my fave obscure singer Dakota Stanton got name checked in one piece.
the future of publishing in Toronto
There was more to happen but my butt said I’d heard all it could absorb for one day. I went to back to my hotel to rest, planning to get out for the wrap party but drifted off to sleep. Such is the life for an aging, gay, white, cismale who may symbolize the patriarchy (so get over it).
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