This piece originally appeared in Issue 3.28 (Winter 2016).
A (Soma)tic Poetry Ritual & Resulting Poem
(for Candice Lin)
I occupied a busy street corner in Asheville, North Carolina to bless children with bubbles that will make them queer. Not gay and lesbian, but QUEER! Bubbles of course do not have such powers; bubbles have only the power to be bubbles. Some parents knew that and thought the whole thing was funny and would say, “That’s cool, I will love my children no matter what.” I took notes for the poem.
But SOME parents were not happy about Queer Bubbles at all. “Ooo bubbles, look at the bubbles sweetheart, look at the pretty bubbles.” I would blow bubbles for their kids’ little hands and say, “These bubbles will ensure that your child will grow up to be a healthy, happy, revolutionary Queer who will help rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, racism, and other forms of stupidity.” Parents pulled away nervously saying “Sorry, sorry.” One mother abruptly yanked her blond son’s hand—”C’mon honey, ice cream, ice cream!” The boy cried, reaching for the bubbles as his mother refused to look in my direction, pulling him from the queering of the bubbles. Most parents, though, just said “Sorry, I’m sorry” as they walked away. I took notes for the poem.
The fear of queer will not dissolve with sorry. Asheville purports to be a liberal laid-back city, but Queer Bubbles pulled the veil aside for a closer look. One man said, “Jesus loves you.” I said, “I don’t think so.” His face screwed up and he yelled “YES HE DOES!” Jesus loves the queers, isn’t that nice? And his angry messenger roams the street to tell us so. WE MUST INSIST that a redistribution of wealth always include The Love. How can we be there for one another? How can we be assured that everyone gets The Love? Notes from the ritual became a poem.
Every Feel Unfurl