Yearn

We have passed down the bloody inheritance of a nation buried stifled gagging on hope without action, watching with apathy
for the apotheosis of man, drawing nonexistent lines between darkness and light
for the ones who conquer to create the world in their image and live, domesticated, docile
for children defiant ignorant soporific, protesters who occupy nothing and lose the poverty of the world in the nation of elite

This is the legacy we carry in our memories, painstakingly etched in whirling color mapped out across our skin, a broken history remembered in coded pictograms
for the punks, and potlucks of quinoa and roadkill, five kinds of salad and vegetarian chili
for meticulous signs, posterboard hung above the dining room table, delicately detailed children’s fingers sweetly spelling fuck the police
for the whiskey nights, libations poured into the earth for the dead, the dying, the walking hopeless unable to rest
for the ones we learned to love once they were gone.
for one hundred shades of faded black and backpatches whirling past on rebuilt bicycles
for the sweaty mass of writhing bodies, guitars out-screaming shredded vocal cords and wayward elbows finding tender flesh to bodycheck
for the hands pressing in and pushing back against the melee, air damp with unwashed memories clinging to the skin of a thousand familial strangers

This is the reason we are, to be, the juxtaposition of desperation and futility wrapped in language dead from overuse
for the miners and the hippies, for explosive frustration, domestic terrorists living in the trees drinking rainwater and piss
for the quiet nights in a West Virginia churchhouse where the floorboards creak and the trees rake the windows like scraping nails
for the permeating fear of moonshine men come to teach us a lesson binding us together clinging with sleeping fists clenched around knife hilts
for the probing, silent darkness of Blair, lost in the shadow of draglines and GEMs
for the solitude of the mountaintop standing defiant, lonely by the guillotine
for the bodies of decapitated ranges scraped clean for the crime of existing
for the reclamation sites, the golf courses and Wal-Marts and jail complexes built on the bodies of giants
for the winding switchbacks and unmovable boulders and unnatural orange No Trespassing nailed to the trunk of a dying sycamore tree that informs us that this land is possessed

This is the rage that makes us watch too hard, stand too close, shoulder to shoulder and back to back against the drunken nights
for the men afraid who wield their cocks like weapons,
for those who write off PC language and personal space
for those who laugh at rape jokes without seeing the wary way that women walk down the street when men follow too closely behind,
for the mothers that teach their daughters how to carry keys between the crevices of their fingers
for the violated prostitutes, forced and coerced, who are told they were robbed, but could not be raped
for the ones who must ask how lesbians have sex, who write it off as just foreplay and impudent innocence
for a nation where women learn the trade of bodies and commodities as prepubescent whores to a pedophilic world

We taste the metallic bloodprice of language stolen
from the throats of backalley boys, high femme queens and stone butch he-shes
of queer boys with cunts fucking in backroom bathrooms
of angry dykes and bloodstained pigs, bandana’d rage and anonymous glass smashed and exalted, fleeing and stripping soot-stained clothes
of potheads and junkies and meth eyes racing down the highway, laughing courting danger at oneforty outracing death and leaving the skin clinging to bone afraid of being left behind
of adrenaline voices screaming, hoarse and choking on leftovers lost over angry skies and violent nights,
of thank yous and pleases for unbalanced appeasement for the words that people died to claim

This is the birthright of our blood in kerosene words metallic blazing infinities
for lips on clits and tongues in asses and flailing limbs and hair matted down with sweat and friction,
for the myth of the female orgasm turning women into legends
for god in invocation of climax bursting forth from swollen lips
for pregnant men and chicks with dicks and the weary anger of a fetishized existence,
for bodies and boys and women and men  and places where they overlap,
for the red scare of viral blood, 5000 funerals of positive martyrs
for Stonewall, for survivors
for the tattooed queers who have known the end of steel toed boots and baseball bats
for the language claimed with bloodprice paid, metallic when we open our mouths and scream the names of those who died
for naked nights and dead philosophers, for Kierkegaard and Agamben, Nietzsche and Derrida, ambiguous theory caught between the legs and bedsheets of elicit affairs,

This one is for you
the ones who watch with burning eyes, the ones who know the cost of breathing and being and fight the need to pay the world for the pleasure of existing

This one is for you
the boys who steal lipstick and write SLUT across their chests walking the hallowed streets of downtown without dropping their eyes

This one is for you
the in-betweens, the both/ands and the either/ors, you wanna know which hole to fuck they say, you wanna pay me for the pleasure fuck you in one breath

This one is for you
the ones who walk, one foot down in front every day, who crawl from the garbage and apartments with no heat and the warehouses and the undersides of bridges and stand defiant, blazing eyes and half cocked smiles.

This one is for you.

For the endless night of a Louisiana dawn before the light breaks across the bayou,
where the sun strains and the neon lights burn a little brighter in sleepless eyes,
where we carried our weariness from the Quarter into Midtown, delirious and heartsick, and we laughed with hopeless resignation as the streetcars began to run,
where we walked the crooked sidewalks, half drunk and ecstatic, stumbling laughing pissing through the broken windows of downtown buildings
where we held hands, fingers clasped, interdigitated lives flowing from one to another without boundary or form, the careful carelessness shredding the barriers between bodies and we thought about what it would feel like to lay in the street and make love

and so we lay in the street and made love, because we thought it together and we shared one mind and our bodies felt every touch the mind could fathom to contribute and we climaxed together as the sunlight tore through the cobalt sky, and the womb of the earth wept a bloody sunrise

and we stumbled home from the shattered night, exhausted and broken,
where there is freedom in losing the minor intricacies of self in solidarity, safety,
where family is born at six am dawn, three pairs of eyes blinking familiar and weary in the growing light,
where the neon lost its fight, bowing in defeat to the triumphant sky and winking itself to sleep,
where we lay exhausted and intertwined in infinite complexity, posing for Escher’s postmortem portrait

drifting, boundless, resting in fragile memory.

 

Note: This was written for a class on Beat literature and assigned as a mimicry piece to Ginsberg’s “Howl”. Also, the way WordPress does its alignment doesn’t work with how the piece is suppose to be aligned, so that may make reading a bit harder

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