It = Self or Pronouning Around

nuitLanguages frees and it confines, it is flexible and unyielding. Emojis are replacing words. I’m being asking what pronouns I want to be used when I am introduced at a poetry event. If I chose ‘he’ am I triggering those who find gender specificity oppressive, offensive & restrictive. Will my ‘he’ appear not hip, appear deliberately obstructionist & insensitive.

08ochair01I am gratified that this asking happens – that more & more the taking for granted of the rigid gender forms is being broken down but our language hasn’t been able to keep up with change. I was told it was okay to refer to someone as ‘a person’ but not as a ‘man’ or ‘woman.’ Person frees them of sexual definition but acknowledges them as human.

Many are opting for the non-specific they, them – even Facebook allows people to chose gender neutral pronouns, at least in North America. As the trans community develops a stronger voice more attention is being focused on the use of language to allow inclusivity, to allow non-specificity as well if the that is what the person wants. 08ochair02I grew up with others questioning my gender & my sexuality. Are you a boy or are you girl? I sported long blond hair in high school & got tormented because of that & my fashion sense. I never doubted that I was male, but it was clear I wasn’t a sporty guy, merely someone who didn’t fit in & didn’t work too hard at fitting in either.

It’s been easy for me to stop genderizing people in conversation, in face-to-face meetings. Personally it makes little difference to me but I respect that gendered language matters to those that feel it confines, assumes things about them that aren’t true.08ochair03When I decided to brand myself as I experienced how unwilling some are to accommodate anything that deviates from the norm. There is this expectation of a ‘real’ name – one host reading from the open stage sign up said to the effect ‘I don’t understand what this name is so I’m skipping them.’ I didn’t get to perform (nor did I ever go back to that series). Some will drop the .ca or use my ‘real’ name as if I hadn’t signed on with my brand. So I know how taxing it can be to change pronouns or to create a non-genderized name & have people balk at using it.08ochair04So even if people would feel I am mocking them I’ve taken my personal pronoun a step further. I perform as whenever I can get hosts to accept that. I now use ‘it’ when asked what my preferred pronoun is. Something that frees me not only of gender but being confined by humaness.


Black Bile

now that I see you

you are not all that attractive

not that well hung

yet there’s something about you

that I can’t resist

you aren’t that funny


or even show any generosity of spirit

it must be that air

of toxic masculinity

that draws me in

like so many people

I find that your machismo

can’t be denied

can’t be contained or controlled

your willingness to go balls to the wall

fuck everyone’s opinions or feelings

has a persuasive quality

I wish the placating

‘you can’t be like that’ sayers


they lack the sex appeal

of your full steam ahead

make no apologies

for anything

if your dick isn’t perfect

you fuck away without regard

because you know that’s

all anyone really wants

they long for the powerful thrust

of that toxic masculinity

they are eager to die for your attention

they may be critical

but you know

that secretly in the depth of their hearts

they wish they had the magnetism

that drives the black bile of your sperm


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

ants out of my pants

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