It is January, the month of resolutions. You have resolved to become one of the people that drinks spinach, owns multi-vitamins of the non-gummy variety, and does yoga at six in the morning. You are here because you want to be, or so you keep telling your bleary-eyed self as you walk into your first class at Namastay Awhile, desperately clutching a large coffee with only one sugar, please, thank you very much. You are going to be healthy.
Slipping off your sandals at the door, you wind through the maze of oiled, humming yogis to an empty spot, unrolling your brand new mat with a sticky thwop on the studio’s hardwood. The unforgivingly acrid smell of never-been-used plastic wafts around the small room. You receive sympathetic smiles from experienced yoga students who are secretly cursing the New Year, waiting for the thicket of resolution-makers to be weeded out by laziness so they can again practice comfortably.
The yoga teacher stands at the front of the room, smiling cheerily through a haze of incense. “Alright, class. Let’s start with some deep breaths.” You realize you have forgotten to take the tag off of your sports bra, and the cardboard starts to dig into your rib cage.…
At the funeral home, sad figures murmur
patting one another on the back, gently
the way we soothe children
gripping each other’s hands, reluctant to let go
then moving on to the next
as if underwater
in no hurry to say good-bye
to our casketed friend
his cooled hands folded, a crucifix on his chest
a still life framed in black and white,
a boxed gift nested in tissue paper.
And why stop there?…
There was a time when LGBTQ narratives and theoretical lenses had no place in the world of literature and academia. It wasn’t until the late 70’s and early 80’s when queer theorists began to wrestle firsthand with the social forces that silenced them to begin with. From then on, the queer voice extend into contemporary literary fields and provided the world a challenge to the set social norms. Contemporary literature of the 2000’s has greatly dealt with postmodernist themes and actions of deconstructing the modernist systems of their predecessors. Perhaps one of the biggest themes of postmodern contemporary literature is the explication and progression of the domineering force that is patriarchy and toxic hypermasculinity. But how exactly are these writer’s utilizing postmodernist literature to reveal the oppression of this topic?
Junot Diaz’ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and Stephen Beachy’s Boneyard are prime examples of contemporary literature that wrestles with solidified social structures that have oppressed outsider personas who behave outside of gender expectation or don’t fit the discourse. Each of the character’s in this article is queer to some degree or form and are struggling with self-discovery and finding a sense of belonging in a society where they have essentially been “othered.” Diaz’ Oscar is straight but “weird” (queer) in the sense that he falls out of place in terms of social expectations of male behavior; Bechdel’s memoir provides an illustration of the queer woman’s struggle with identity; and Beachy’s queer novel uses genre and traumatic prose narrative to completely deconstruct patriarchal and hypermasculine modes of power in typical queer literature style.…
A glacier, then this.
A mangled mind is nothing
compared to the ice-graze on this rock.
All the people who ever stood on it,
even the ones who threw themselves off,
all the scars that they humped to get on top
are nothing compared to ice-melt.
Some of us worry about ice melting,
about what it means. Here, they say
if the ice didn’t melt, there’d still be something
to throw ourselves off, something to marvel at.
‘At least that’s something,’ they say, not knowing
how else to respond to a mind so mangled
it would take a falling glacier
to finally scrape it clean.
– Emma Croker…
The first one was a Swiss tourist in the back of a nightclub. I am sure I knew his name at one point but I certainly don’t know it now. I had been talking to Italian men all night, warily, because I am frightened of Italian men. The Swiss man, in fact, had taken my arm and gently pulled me away from the eager grasp of one such Antonio from Rome and offered to translate the man’s loose Italian. I am sure I shook my head in evasion of this offer, but he did it anyway: “He said you shouldn’t be talking to him. You should be dancing with me.” I’ll admit it; I was charmed. Mostly I just wanted to feel like someone’s for the night, so I chose to feel like his. Later in the night, after things which occurred in the back of the nightclub were over, he asked me where I was sleeping. I felt alarmed by the bizarre question, which was really just a function of the language barrier between us. I told him I didn’t know. It wasn’t so far from the truth, anyway.…