rogue white boy takes on chicago, culture, love
‘Sun Shy’ by Dresses is my new jam.
I’ve been trying to reach you.
You’re hard to get a hold of.
There’s a busy tone each time I pick up the phone
and I find that there are often times when I just wish
just wish I would not pick up the receiver
would not dial at the tone
would not leave a detailed message
would not listen to your voice saying
Have a great day.
How much I want to know you
how much I want to simply have you be
to have you live fully, here
to allow you be free.
I feel as though you’re atrophied
you’re a muscle that hasn’t been used
you’re a hole that should be full
a silence at the other end.
Hey you, please pick up the phone.
You see, I want you to breathe like I do
I want you to hear the cacophony I’m making
and turn it into symphony
to take my heart and make me live again.
The more I call and hear the muted rings
the more I wonder whether to call at all
and whether to talk to me
I might merely need to breathe.
It’s as though I’ve heard your voice before
A thousand dreams ago
A thousand encounters ago
A thousand hateful words ago
When your voice rings out, there are those who hear it
As a clarion call, a voice in the wilderness,
Crying out to make way
To straighten our paths
To abandon our pride and walk humbly behind
To follow you
As the shepherd awaits
Your voice is cold
Solid and unyielding
Firm in its insistence that who we are
And what we do
And that our souls must be changed
Transformed into something new
As though we are lost
And in darkness
But you carry the light—the only light—and have climbed the
Mountain before us and seen the other side.
But your voice it carries
The voices of a thousand million men
Its words reverberate with a thousand different strands
Of things that I once believed to be true
And with words that have been said about me
About who I am
These things have all been said before
To the lowly faggot in the ditch
To the dance ball queens
To the white bread American
Trying to find a place where they belong
In a world that would not welcome them
Your words, they were said at Stonewall as the queers
Were thrown against the ground
And then fought back
Your words, they have been said
To a thousand million different selves
In a thousand million souls
“I am evil,” they say
“and so is this world
and every day I must be cleaned
and if only it were as easy as taking soap to my heart
and scrubbing her white;
if only I could be well again
if only I could feel this savior rising
if only I could be rid of this leprosy.”
Your words are not your own
But they have been said in your own heart
You know them too well
You know them,
you believe them about yourself
And you grasp them because the world you live in
It is built upon them
They are your gospel
They are your foundation
And they are spoken every night in the dreams that run your brain
They are the nightmares you speak to yourself
When you think no one is listening
Your “Repent, believe”
Is “You, you’re scum, agree”
Your “Turn, come round”
Is “You’ll never be clean”
Your “I do this in love”
Is “You don’t even know what love is.”
You are the ghosts of my past to haunt me
As I begin to challenge its songs
You are the belief that I am Sisyphus
As I begin to move this boulder
You are the specter of who I was
The script that I once read
The story that hangs in my dreams
The narrative that once read me
The fiction that I regarded as truth.
You are the ephemeral that leaves me quiet.
But I will raise as your voice recedes
And I will take my place
And I will kneel before my God
And I will remember:
The one whose blood I drink
Is one whose words were not these
But instead whose blood was spilt
By those who speak them.
I worship a God who was victimized
And then lived to sing a new song.
And it is this God’s song that I now sing.
— Michel Foucault, “Friendship as a Way of Life.” Le Gai Pied.
“Then she sat Rachel on Santa’s lap and I took the picture; which supposedly means, on paper, that everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be. That everything is snowy and wonderful. It’s not about the child, or Santa, or Christmas, or anything but the parents’ idea of a world they cannot make work for them.” DS