Jason Phoebe Rusch | Two Poems

Passable Transvestites

After Cards Against Humanity

Little did he know he was dating the punchline to his own joke, a girly man with a high pitched voice and long wavy hair and too many feelings and no penis except in her head, except for his clit, little did he know that the night I would come out to myself, after years of not speaking to him, it would be at a party, I’d lock myself in the bathroom hyperventilating- no job no partner no bathroom not mine not now not ever again- and emerge to a living room full of drunk well-educated white boys like me, cards in hand, laughing.

.

Problematic Queer Love Poem

I.
I can’t be your boyfriend,
………….can I be your boyfriend?
Am I genderqueer
………….or just afraid of losing you
to a real man
………….with a penis?
That is a problem
………….-atic and trans-
phobic thing
………….to say, indicative
of internalized
………….biphobia.
I want to fuck
………….many
people
………….women
and men
………….but
you
………….can’t.
You’re
………….mine.
That’s why
………….I’ll lose you.

Me and my red, jealous soul again.
Your soul is blue. A clean color.

You must want
………….someone with a clean soul
like yours, pure.

Not feral, menstrual
………….tear-streaked and bloody
crouching and cruel, ready to lash out
after too much wine. Entirely too much
viscera, too many daddy issues, you don’t want
to carry this slop bucket clanging / at your side.

That is not fair. How can I know
………….what you want?

Perhaps you require only the red
of me, ugly as it is: self-indulgent,
fixated on trivialities, feeling small
things. Maybe I should believe you.

II.
Sitting on the toilet at fifteen, I think: bi-gender.
That is what I am. It is a strange state
of being, willfully unknowing something
knowing / and not, coming while imagining coming
inside another / body.

I am a cowardly queer, shifty, passing and privileged
I haven’t historically
………….loved women
only masturbated to them
………….stared at them like the object
I’ve aspired to be:
………….an incandescent lightbulb,
a necklace with a tricky clasp
………….effortless
not the big-bellied, flat-chested child I was
………….pant-legs too short
socks showing
………….a creature without grace.

III.
………….Still I’m so trite: a feather pen, a boy’s name in a notebook
………….bubble-letter incantation, a Seventeen magazine quiz
………….how can you tell he’s thinking of you?

………….I enjoy wearing lipstick
………….enjoy cultivating my womanhood
………….the space in myself taught to be reflexively polite
………….and soft
………….I would bear children
………….yours,
………….enjoy a man’s hand
………….around my throat
………….claiming me
………….so stake me, love
………….oh god
…………………………………please
……………………..stake me

still I wish for my own stake
………….some of the time
felt shame like a hot blanket when I imagined women riding it
in the bathtub at age twelve
………….and thought, Oh God what kind of freak am I?

Does that justify
………….this poem?
Does that make me
………….real and
enough?

IV.
But of course I cannot be every / body for you, you cannot be every / body for me; souls are slippery like minnows, they have no fleshy handles, there is nothing to hold to pull your soul deeper inside

.

.


Jason Phoebe Rusch has an MFA in fiction from University of Michigan. His work has appeared in The Rumpus, Entropy and Lambda Literary’s poetry spotlight, among others. ‘Dualities,’ his first book of poems, is forthcoming from Hobart’s SF/LD books in early 2018. More of his writing can be found at www.jasonphoeberusch.com.
2017-12-04T09:34:33+00:00 November 29th, 2017|