the mutilation of the corpus which bore me
Academic writing raises questions and answers them, with an aim to be definitive. Personal writing tells a story but raises no questions. Hermaphroditic writing raises questions … and ends paragraph with questions marks?
Hermaphroditism is not just between, it is more. It’s at the hard cold margin and way way outside it all. Place.
In classical mythology, sex-changers always end up male. They’re not me and they’re nothing to do with me. Tiresias was liminal, that’s what the scholars saysee. I am not your limnes, damnit. I am no one’s limnes!
I don’t think hermaphrodite is the right word after all. Herm. [strikethrough]
[Dionysos, breaker of boundaries]
[minotaur section unfinished]
Sit down and shut up, I’ll tell you a story.
The minotaur has been running into walls in the labyrinth for years. It’s dark and she doesn’t know the way. He’s got no ball of string. Ze’s never seen anyone else, though it smells their breath and feels their eyes and stumbles over their deep footprints in the mud. The minotaur has never seen.
[outside of labyrinth finally sits before pool, sees reflection in pool stares at self until fades away (Narcissus). The landscape has a little piece of minotaur in it now]
dionysian minotaurian brokenlabyrinth writing that’s me see it that’s me
Back off, mythographers, stay away! Don’t come any closer! I’m warning you!
listen to me!
I can’t write my body on the world as I want to, because I will always be read as a woman. If I write what others can read, if I present myself so that I am read as, at least, a queer woman then I will not be writing my self, after all. I can only write myself through words. Literally writing myself through words.
I can only write myself through words, and there are no damn words.
I hate the word ‘lady’. I hate how groups of females get addressed as ‘ladies’. This is my seventh year of single-sex education, and I have been in groups referred to as ‘ladies’ many times. I hate it. I might once have been a girl of sorts, questioning g?rl, an uneasy woman, but I have never been a lady.
I don’t like the name I’ve been given, and I can’t find a better one. Do you know how much this hurts? Do you know why this hurts? I don’t understand why it hurts, to be misnamed. You do this to me. You do this to me. Someone does it, anyway. Someone. And it can’t be me!
There aren’t any words for what I am, not real words, that just anyone would understand. Woman, girl, boy, man. Boy is the only word I like at all, but that’s not me either. The rest, throw them out, throw them out, throw them out. I’ve got no use for them at all. I’m never what they have in mind.
I’m not in the wrong body. I’m in my body. I’m in my right mind my mind mine. You read me and you place me wrong.
Hard to place. Can’t give you directions to the place where I’m standing. I’m still in the closet because you can’t speak me see the place I’m at you’re so far away around an unturnable corner. I kill myself each time I write myself and you don’t see me. Suicide of the author. Are you watching?
Open only to Jewish and Muslim women.
Don’t look! I can’t tell you this, I won’t. I’m leaving it out. This is expurgated. Do you see? Expurgated. You won’t see, so I won’t say. To be revealed and unseen, nononononono. My body is harder to see than my mind you can’t see it I won’t write it not for you who won’t see it.
This is a letter to the world which writes me everyday a letter to you and you write me everyday you write me down
I want to be a child. No you can’t see what I mean by that I won’t let you see you can’t see and I won’t let you!
Are you listening to me!?!?!!!?
angry and stuck and angry. Stuck here angry.
thank you gstein thankyou andy for seeing first
watch me do this!
I'm drinking for the first time in ages I'd missed the taste and I'd forgotten I liked dancing when’s the last time can’t even think of it and I've missed this too though I'd never known it before a whole entire commercial establishment full of queers lesbians the people whoever they are who will meet them in a lesbian bar on the wednesday before thanksgiving and first time out drinking in america always drank in other countries now on my own turf my own and ours and it's closer to my turf than just about anywhere else. Pockets. Bastions. Nooks and crannies. Here we are. They’re not quite like me but close enough so much closer to enough. Here we are.
Girl, look at this!
Ohgod, don’t call me that!
What should we call you? Kid?
I don’t know.
The first gay person I ever knew is dead. The first lesbian I was ever friends with is a man and overhead in the dining hall today nothing to do with me but someone else knows that Things Have Changed.
The other day, the whole structure of gender just stopped making sense, and I wondered why I acted the way I act. But then it reasserted itself … said a friend one of the few tall people I’ve ever been attracted to but she’s not too skinny she looks good in a dress and she looks good when she cross-dresses too
I can’t change the world. I didn’t change how she saw the world or herself. Did I? I don’t care. I don’t care because I’m writing.
Why is that only now do I admit that one of my favorite smells in the world is the smell of my own menstrual blood right up there with the smell of the air when it has just begun to rain the smell of the air when it has just stopped raining but this mine my body makes more sense now I see it I see it I can tell you that much now I see it the first thought that crosses my mind when I see the blood a surprise as always is that it’s such a beautiful color like poppies my favorite flower which don’t grow in the american northeast but I’ve seen them in california and israel so I know that red I’ve seen that red I’ve read that red it’s my red.
You learn to read slowly, but you do learn to read eventually. I learn to speak you learn to see. Slow.
Now read this my body what you can see of it anyway I’ll show you in a mirror so you can see around the corner look over my shoulder into them mirror:
in the box
boxed in the closet hide
hidden shadow under the fold
lean grin leaning
grinning lean in the mirror
i see it you don’t
you don’t see i won’t tell
won’t tell you
you can’t know
in the box you aren’t in the box i am
in the box with ambrosia
ambrosia and me in the box ambrosia
jerk jerk ambrosia jerk jerk ambrosia
you don’t see what i’m doing
fine what fine
the time ohtime ohfine
ambrosia time gone and past
and time and go and to the fine
and to the and to the fine and to the fine
you didn’t hear me
good for the shame no name don’t tell
maybe if the life tell
maybe to tell
want to tell maybe
i won’t say won’t say wont wont wontwantwant
is that it’s this
this is it
what i couldn’t do didn’t understand
doing it being it feeling it
in the crick straight crick for once finally
finally lee lee lee side in the lee
of the storm of the rock of the wall in the lee
this space fine time this fine finally fine
thankyou gstein this is where i hide my body
the place you showed me gstein
you broken the prose
not the punctuation
no more of that
corseted bra'd held precision
work harder, as hard as me
it is hard ambrosia
But I’m not sure that I even know what I’m saying.
trust it go on with it coming fine just fine all
fine coming go
with it go come
let it let it
hide outside there here
hide folded out inside you
hide hid hidden hid was hid long ago hid long past long past
in past with no word place for the
guide it out of the body hide hidden box
ambrosia guide it out ambrosia jerkambrosia guide it out
no eyes don’t think of eyes don’t look for them don’t think of them
no eyes flying eyes round about
not seen not unseen
guided body out
out with the jerkambrosia
out out fine out fine dry day out
in the light
no name never name no name
but place here with the ambrosia place
before the mirror
leaning in the grinning mirror grinning lean
ambrosia below grinning
grin sweet delight jerkambrosia
body my body jerk ambrosia ambrosiabody
body my ambrosia body mine
seen or not mine at the place where it is
signed or not signed in the place where it is body
embodied body ambrosia body body seen
by me mine by me
my eyes my words in the mirror grin
thankyou Andy you spoke it first I saw you
so I see me you in the mirror with me I saw you first
you saw yourself so I could see you
and see me
you spoke yourself from a distance
no ambrosia without your sight my ambrosia body
never saw it before your sight
Don’t imagine a book, unless it’s a very messy and large scrapbook with strings leading out of it, body parts and bodies pasted in, videos and images and sounds, conversations and tensions and thoughts. Your thoughts. My thoughts. The provocations challenges fears arousals blindnesses sights.
You. You write part two. Go on, do it. Write me. Write me.
The end of all human societies writes ‘The End’ and closes the book and throws it on the fire crackle crackle glow crumble ash the end no one to see
So, is this herm writing? What I want is to write as an academic, but to learn how to leap the gap which that tradition of writing makes to gape between the scholar and the object of study. The scholar hides from zirself. I want to see myself, at least. Even if no one else does, I need to know where I’m standing, so that I can measure the distance between myself and the object.