They are just words

10346226_10154143966525133_7734919823050218072_nTonight, I will be heading out to 71 Gramercy to be a part of Revelations, Niccolo Cosme’s collaborative art exhibit. The exhibit is Niccolo’s way to celebrate and honour the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I know that the IDAHT was last May 17 or something like that, but Niccolo was still finishing his pieces and getting the logistics together.

He had asked a couple of his friends to contribute to the exhibit and while several people will be reading pieces related to the theme, I was asked to read something I would write specifically for the show. Truth be told, I was frightened. I have never written about stigma and discrimination before and I didn’t know if I could. I’ve never experienced it. I wouldn’t know how to do it.

So I wrote a monologue, a personal experience of a person who is devoid of homophobia based on my own life. At the end, something powerful I hope happens as I have something planned. I also a wrote a poem after many days of thinking about it.

I showed both to Niccolo and he chose the monologue.

So, tonight, I’m performing the monologue. I’m nervous as all hell and scared. I’m not a performer. I’m more comfortable as a writer. But here goes nothing.

So, I decided to put down the poem I wrote specifically for the show here. It’s my first time to write about homophobia, discrimination, and stigma. It’s meant to be a spoken word piece, more than just a poem. It’s meant to be said aloud. It’s meant to be performed, that’s why I was lax with the structure and form.

***

They are just words

Faggot, fag, queer, homo, cocksucker

They are just words

But they are sharp

And they cut us open

And it’s not just blood

That trickles out from the wounds

Not just our organs – heart, spleen, liver, lungs, brain –

But flecks and tiny pieces of our souls,

Scattering on the floor,

Fallen stars

And we heal only to be cut open

Again and again and again

By your words

 

Pansy, dandy, sodomite, fairy

Just words, just sounds that form in your mouth

Released and never heard again

Unless they are said again

And they are – over and over again –

And the sounds that are formed in the mouth

Like thunder waiting in the clouds

For a lightning bolt to strike

But they start in the mind

And it ends inside of me

And it rips me open and it tears me to shreds

Words that are like grenades, like bullets, like bombs

Words like

 

Dike, queen, fudge-packer, lesbo, tranny, fairy

Cocksucker, carpet-muncher, faggot, fruit, sissy, she-male,

Freak, freak, freak

Just words right?

Just sounds, just syllables, just letters

And are you always so careless with your words?

How often do you say “I promise,” and “I love you”

And “sorry” and “I’ll never do it again”

And how often are they true?

And how easy are these words to say out loud?

And they are just words and we just take them

No matter how much of us bleeds out into the world

Leaving trails of star shine in cross-crossing patterns

Across the city streets

And from above you will see the geometry of your hate

And our tenacity and our will to push on

 

They are just words

Try “love”

Try saying “tolerance”

Try “human beings”

Try

Say something

Say something else

Say something we haven’t heard before

 

2 thoughts on “They are just words

  1. I’m just a random reader of your blog, but i wanted you to know that the power of your poem made me a little less cynical and a little more hopeful about this world. Thank you 🙂 i hope this evening goes well.

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