The Flirt

The Flirt

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I don’t flirt

unless I mean it

a compliment is not flirting

unless you feel

insecure

a compliment is not a threat

is not a come on

but sometimes

it is another condescending 

patriarchal comment

based on cultural imposed definitions

of what is pretty 

handsome 

acceptable

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so I often say nothing

that might reflect an opinion

it is less complicated

when you don’t have an opinion

you aren’t responsible

for defending it explaining it changing it

I can be a little more open

to what is around me

it is easier to negotiate the traffic

when one isn’t preoccupied

with an inner monologue

about the driving habits of others

I get to pay attention

to what I am hearing 

as opposed to formulating

a response

to what I think someone is saying

by the way

I was flirting

Working with language one learns to say what one means – not that ambiguity or unreliable narrators aren’t useful tools in fiction & poetry – but in conversations with real people ambiguity can be treacherous: ‘That’s not what I meant’ ‘You took that the wrong way’ “I was just joking.’ 

Which can be complicated by the person who hears what they want regardless of what you say, or who reads more into what you say than you mean, or take offence at simple things – “Good morning – What’s so good about it?” “Have a great day – You don’t care what kind of day I have.”

It’s a wonder people have relationships at all with the often unreliability of language itself. To spare one another’s feelings, or merely to be likeable we end up snared by codependency. Rather that saying ‘no – never’ we say ‘not now.’ People say ‘just sex is fine’ while hiding ‘let’s fall in love’ so as not to appear too demanding.

At times we over-compensate to be ingratiating or cheerful. “Nothing fucking rainy day. – Oh, but rain is good for gardens.” You get the subtext 🙂 These are all examples from my life. I learned the ‘don’t flirt’ many years ago. In the queer world sexualizing language is easy & considered sort of campy & clever. A guy I did this sort of word play with took it as a serious come on. I was only interested in the word play & was pissed when I told him that. So I stopped that sort of interaction, unless I mean it.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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