Burned At The Stake

Burned At The Stake

this is not 

what I started

not what I expected

I didn’t ask for it

I don’t know how to stop it

no one does

<>

yet I get blamed

from so many sides

that push me to be

responsible

for being born male

for being born white

for being gay queer nonconforming

<>

if I don’t use

what ever entitlement I have

to advance the agendas

of those who fault me

I remain an enemy

but that is fate

my lot in life

<>

it doesn’t matter

who burns me at the stake

they all have legitimate reasons

who am I to complain

I’m getting what I deserve

not what I asked for

I’m not sure at what age I realized I wasn’t good at fitting in. Perhaps it was when I was 8 or 9 when my Dad began his move from Manitoba east across Canada, finally settling in Cape Breton. We hopped, skipped & jumped from place to place, including a few months in Wales with my mother & her family, for a year or so – staying in some places long enough for me to go to school for awhile. I was a frequently dislocated child.

Even when we settled in Sydney there were moves from one neighbourhood to another, one school to another. It was an adventure at the time but I really had no choice, I couldn’t stop it. I meet kids with stable living conditions – some living in the houses one of their parents were born in. I arrived there with no history & only the family I had was in a house new to us.

I did try at times to fit in, finding playmates to hang out with, joining in laneway baseball games – I even had my own baseball glove, joined cubs, boy scouts, went to the YMCA – none of which turned me into a butch boy. I wasn’t a great joiner – which really hasn’t changed.

I was, without realizing it, resistant to the insistent heteronormative inculcating that was the agenda of these things. This is what boys do, this is what girls do. I was mocked by gym teachers, parents of the kids I hung out with, even my own Dad, for not fulfilling these agendas. Blamed for not cooperating – for not living up to my potential – for not eagerly participating in things that were for my own good, things I didn’t start but didn’t know how to stop. 

I survived nicely & happily – occasionally got burned at the stake of public opinion but that is the lot of us abominations unto the face of the Lord & those who turn that righteous face in the directions of their choosing. In the end I’m not sure what I was asking for then – some sort of emotional guidance which never came. What I did get is the self-acceptance I deserved, which is better than being burned at the stake.


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Acceptable Fit

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas. This is #7 Not to ask for more than one upper robe and one lower robe in case of loss of the three robes.

Acceptable Fit

if you don’t ask

you won’t get

no one says no

if you don’t ask

 

I felt

I was never the man

my father expected me to be

I was never the man

I saw on TV

in movies

I would never be up to scratch

I would always be less than

all those guys who were real men

I felt

I would never be a real man

that the sweaty rough-and-tumble garb

of that sort of pride

would never be mine

even if I wore that garb

it would a costume

a disguise

to hide my heart

my butt

not the man I was

someone who strives not to be defined

contained

except by choice

so I lost

the comfort of the acceptable

 

I felt was was never the man

my father wanted me to be

not that he wanted me to be like him

but to be the man he wanted to be

I was never asked

if his expectation was a good fit for me

 

I wasn’t aware

that I could say no

or that once I started to choose

the definitions

that I hoped would suit me

that I’d have to constantly be adjusting

to make the shoulders fit

to make the pants crease properly

but by losing the comfort of the acceptable

I found the ease of being me

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