Inspiration

March 15, 2008

Emanuel Xavier is one of my favorite contemporary writers. I was looking through some poems, just to serve as some inspiration for a piece I’m working on…and I came across this poem from Americano. I wanted to share it with you. If you think this is good, I hope that you will go out and support his work…(this means buy his books!)

Risk
By Emanuel Xavier

Emanuel, you know I love you, but I need you to be more affectionate. I don’t understand why you pull away when I try to hold your hand in public? I know you love me too but it makes me feel insecure. There’s nothing wrong with public displays of affection. It’s important for people to see two men or two women in a loving relationship. Society will never accept us if we hide our love like there’s something wrong with it. You, out of all people, should be aware of this. I mean, what are you so scared about? Do you really think I’d ever let anything happen to you?
I was six when a group of guys chased
what I thought was a girl
toward my stepfather’s parked car
outside our Bushwick apartment
Lifting myself from the back seat
young and curious
Mami rolled up her window as the young man smeared with make-up and blood
banged on the other side of the glass
crying for help
The mob caught up to him
someone pulled him by his long hair
dragged him to the hood of the car
smashing his face into the cold metal
Sometimes, I can still see his eyes
staring back at me in horror
I was introduced, for the first time,
to the words marica and maricón and faggot
It’s so ironic that in your writing and performances, you come across as so revolutionary and strong, but out in public, you’re so private and reserved. People look up to you and you need to take a stand. How could you get up on a stage and read the stuff you write about and then be afraid to be yourself with your lover out on the streets?

I was eleven when two men kissed outside the Manhattan store Mami had just finished shopping in
handing her bags over to me to block my view
blocking the love
Her purchases ending up on the floor
Mami ending up on the floor
pushed out of the way by some thug
Her bags, her body, beneath me
Opening up the view
to see a group of men replacing the two previous
cursin’ and punchin’
kickin’ and spitting’
howlin’ and laughin’
before Mami got up
and shoved me into her breasts to block my view
blocking the hate
Look, it’s not like we have to be on top of each other everywhere we go but it would be nice to have people realize we’re a couple every once and a while. It’s confusing. If this relationship is going anywhere, you need to work on being more affectionate.
I want so much to touch you
fall asleep in your arms
on the back of the bus
huddling together in our own little world
where the bumps and potholes
add joy to the ride
I want to kiss you out in the open
even if it means our brutal death
because our blood will feed the cracks between the concrete
weeds will grow to remind this world that nature
will never be completely destroyed
You’ve survived so much and yet you’re so scared of what people think. It doesn’t make any sense at all. A real man is someone like Stacy Amber that could live his life on a daily basis and not be afraid to walk the streets in a tight dress and high heels.

I was sixteen when a guy chased
what I thought was a girl
toward my trick’s parked car
outside the West Side Highway piers
Lifting myself from the front seat
young and angry
John rolled up his window
as the young trannie smeared with make-up and blood
banged on the other side of the glass
crying for help
The guy caught up to her
before I stepped out of the car
pulled him by the hair
dragged him to the hood of the car
smashing his face into the cold metal
Sometimes, I can still see his eyes
staring back at me in horror
He was introduced, for the first time,
to the words change and revolution from a faggot
I just want you to be a little more affectionate. You can’t keep hiding behind, “That’s just the way I am.” That shit don’t fly with me.
I was twenty-seven when you came into my life
I had never felt more comfortable and safe
with anyone in the world
You were the first to ever challenge me
to realize that sometimes sacrifice
is the only way to salvation
to recognize that true love
requires strength and compromise
If only I had reached out
in public
to hold your hand
Emanuel, you know I love you, but this isn’t working out. I can’t live like this. I need to be with someone who is not afraid to be themselves out in public. It’s really important to me. I want to be able to kiss my lover at any given time. I need someone willing to take that risk.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: