Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Queer by Frank Bidart


Lie to yourself about this and you will
forever lie about everything. 

Everybody already knows everything 

so you can
lie to them. That’s what they want. 

But lie to yourself, what you will 

lose is yourself. Then you
turn into them.                  


For each gay kid whose adolescence 

was America in the forties or fifties
the primary, the crucial 


forever is coming out—
or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.                   


Involuted velleities of self-erasure.                  


Quickly after my parents
died, I came out. Foundational narrative 

designed to confer existence. 

If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not 

me, but herself. 

The door through which you were shoved out
into the light 

was self-loathing and terror.                  


Thank you, terror! 

You learned early that adults’ genteel
fantasies about human life 

were not, for you, life.  You think sex 

is a knife
driven into you to teach you that.

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