Fair warning mobile user: the formatting in this one is complex and probably won’t look as good on your phone.
GLASS VASE CELLO CASE
for the song by Tattle Tale
I cannot whistle over the rim of a bottle, which is why
I play the drums and not the flute. I have never had a dream
in which my body is made of melting sand
but maybe I should start. I dream in ooze and rot
and acid. Girlmeat turned boymeat turned wound. Fill me
with star and paper, or spit and ash, or flower and more dust.
I don’t really care what. I told you I like being filled up. Like it
when you hit me. It’s the fear of not being able to handle it, the relief of discovering
I can. Take it, I mean.
Nothing so exquisite as raised fist
and knowing I’m worth the effort of impact.
The winter I turned thirteen, I thought I was a lesbian.
So I listened to Tegan and Sara, and sat through
every episode of The L Word, just to be safe.
is important. I can’t hold my breath in water. Can’t stand
the feeling of liquid on my eyes. I’ve watched But I’m
A Cheerleader with every romantic partner I’ve had.
Lying in bed, holding hands. I’ve watched it at least
ten times. It feels like coming home, but good.
I could have been a good lesbian. I’ve read the Sappho
(trans. Carson 2003). But the violets died in my lap.
There’s no space for cellos in the percussion/woodwind binary
and frankly there’s nothing a cello can do that a bass and a viola
can’t. But bassi and viole aren’t as sexy as sobs.
What’s so good about sounding human? I’ve held
hands with enough humans to know
it’s nothing new.
Queer curation is queer creation, I say, about to watch
the same movie for the fifteenth time. This is barely a joke.
Do you ever read so hard into a text it feels like you’re the one
PERHAPS I AM NOT MY BODY AFTER ALL
Edward Sapir writes that
All grammars leak. That is, description approaches
(but cannot touch) the sum of things that are and are not.
I have no language sufficient
to tell you where the seal is
not enough. I listen
for pause. For gasp. For beam
of light. For filtered wave telling more
about what it’s been through than where
it began. I want something I can bottle,
something to put on my shelf and look at
when the rain comes. I want something
to contain. Maybe what I’m looking for
is a no thing. Give me creation before
the shudder, eukaryote before the split. Teach me
the infinite set of sentences containing no word at all.
the gelatinous lump
of shrug, of
away. a socket
and a skimming
stone. too round.
wore itself down.
now you are as
red as glue. I mean,
the problem is outside of you.
Push the handle down and lean back.
There are two pulses and the rest follows.
She was inside me
as the natural outcome
of two people wanting
to be in the same space
at the same time. That is,
she was there and then I
was there. That is, she moved
to make space for me, and I
did not return the favour.
I am lifting the soft skin formed
on the surface of milk
left out to dry
a) My bone structure disagrees with my bones.
b) I would like a bloodsack with less blood, please.
c) The heel of a palm has so much space for pain.
I am still trying to push the lens away.
Andrew Kirkrose Devadason is a queer transgender Singaporean poet and student of linguistics and literature. His work has appeared in journals including Cordite Poetry Review and PERVERSE.