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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Jameson Fitzpatrick - Poem in Which Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me

I make the train.
And get the job
and pay my rent on time
and don’t get too drunk and don’t send a text
I shouldn’t and always use a condom.

The car does not make an illegal left turn and I do not have to brake hard to avoid it and I do not fly off my bike and flip several feet in the air and I do not land thinking not on my face not on my face hard on my right arm and I do not break my elbow and a mean orthopedist does not tell me I have to move it anyway or risk losing my range of motion and I do not have to teach while on Percocet which is harder and less fun than you might imagine.

None of my friends ever kill themselves.

I never even meet one of them, because I’m never admitted to a psychiatric hospital, because I never try to kill myself, or say I will, or gesture to repeatedly to prevent someone from abandoning me, which, I’ll never learn, is what a therapist I’ll never meet refers to as a “communication tactic.”

In this poem, I don’t even fear abandonment.

Jacques never leaves me, or, I never meet Jacques.

Or we fuck once, or we fuck a few times
but love never enters the building.
Love, in this case, is the bad thing,
or the absence of kindness in the face of love;
so in this poem, wherever there is love
there will be kindness and where there is no kindness
there will be no love.

I don’t hate the feeling of a man inside me, or, there are never any men inside me in this poem and also never any expectations. I am taller and more masculine and everyone who wants to fuck wants me to fuck them.

Another man I love with a French name never pushes me down into the cold concrete of a stairwell  and fucks me dry, without a condom. If he fucks me at all, it is tenderly, in an expensive hotel where I do not learn to like it again because I never stopped.

I never offer to suck the dick of the boy I am sharing a hotel room with on a high school trip and he never insists on fucking me and I never say yes and I never say “stop” or can’t remember whether or not I do and this question does not haunt me because it never happens.

When I’m sixteen, a middle-aged man next to me at the opera does not touch my knee and it does not terrify me how much I like it.

I’m never a teenager at all, if it can be arranged. I see the car coming and don’t make the left turn.

My parents never:
keep booze in the house,
name me after it.

There’s still pot in this poem, but I smoke less of it.

I don’t have to keep stopping and starting
to get high and masturbate; this poem pours out of me, easy,
like conversation with strangers at a bar, even when I’m sober,
which I might be sometime at one of the bars in this poem.

There’s nothing I don’t want to write
about. I love writing.

I love my body.

I’m not gay in this poem, or it is not hard to be gay in this poem. Stet—it’s been useful, because it’s been hard.

But not so hard, I’m not forced to come out in the sixth grade, at least—not to my parents, because I never get reported for writing something obscene about Justin Timberlake on an AOL message board, and not to everyone else, because it isn’t so apparent to them already.

In middle school, none of the boys ever follow me around in the hallway between classes, lisping. I don’t have a crush on one of them and he doesn’t ask me out as a joke one day when everyone is hanging out by the picnic tables before school and I don’t find myself somehow relieved that I know it’s a joke the whole time because falling for it would have been way worse.

Phil Bruno doesn’t write an essay for AP English our senior year of high school which is both a personal attack on me and on gay people more generally. He doesn’t read it aloud in front of the entire class and the teacher doesn’t let him finish and I don’t gather my things and walk out. If he does, and I do, I don’t walk straight out of the school without stopping to look at anyone, I go to the principal’s office and raise hell and maybe make a YouTube video about it that I parlay into some small fame. I don’t feel embarrassed about how many times I’ve let him copy my math homework.

In this poem, I get revenge
only from the people who owe it
to me, who is no one.

On Halloween, when I’m nine, the co-pilot of a Boeing 767 en route to Cairo does not crash the plane into the Atlantic Ocean sixty miles south of Nantucket, just into international waters. If he does, my father’s parents aren’t on board. If the investigation falls under Egypt’s jurisdiction, they don’t lack the necessary resources and ask the US to lead it instead. The US authorities don’t determine that the co-pilot seized the controls, did it on purpose, but can’t explain why. There’s never a second, conflicting investigation, because the Mubarak government doesn’t insist this isn’t true. I never know my father as the child this happens to.

Two years later, I don’t ejaculate for the first time at summer camp, at the hands of a boy who is a year or two older, who I didn’t know before this summer but knew of because he’d gotten kicked out of my elementary school for bringing in a beebee gun. I don’t pretend to be asleep the whole time because I am afraid of him but also afraid

I don’t want him to stop. I don’t tell
our counselors the next day because I don’t know
how to feel about it but recognize it as familiar,
the first bad thing that was done to me, and now
neither of us can stay. I don’t feel guilty about this, for years.

And the first bad thing,
much further back than that,
is not my first memory, or
what I understand to be the first
because over time I have
smoothed and perfected it
like a stone in my palm.

Here my hands are empty.
Here it never happens, so I don’t have to tell you about it.

Jameson Fitzpatrick - Fuck the Police

I did once.
One of them,
in his car.
Before I knew
better, so before
I could write
ACAB in snow
on the hood
of a parked
cruiser. OK so
we didn’t fuck,
not really, but
we came. He
shot like a
water cannon.
He looked like
a cop: square
-jawed, soft
-bellied. He
was a state
trooper, some
-body’s husband.
OK it was
his wife’s car.
It was the
year before the
year of all
the shootings, so
a year of
shootings I just
didn’t hear
about. OK so
I should have
known better,
he was married,
that was the
draw, not the
cop thing but
maybe I’m
lying to myself.
Every faggot
adores a fascist
etc. OK so
it was Dana
who wrote ACAB
on the cruiser,
in the snow.
OK so he
still texts me.
Once a week,
more. Haven’t
seen him in
four years, still
the one-way
chain of hey
hi hello yo
—OK so yes
a few times
he’s caught me
cock-handed and
I’ve sent a
pic. He wants
to know when
we can meet
again but the
answer is never
or, after abolition.
And even then.
I know a
woman, a friend
of a friend,
who dates a
cop and she
doms him, puts
her hand in
him and calls
it subversion.
We judge her
for it, for
the dating not
the fisting but
what does he
give up, when
he lets his
hands be the
state’s hands.
What did I
when I let
them touch me
and got off.

Jameson Fitzpatrick - I’ll Never Be Beautiful the Way Certain

I’ll never be beautiful
the way certain men are beautiful:
the tall boy at the protest everyone wants a picture of,
who is the tall boy in all the pictures later.
But I prefer imperfect men: short
like me, or big-toothed, with a belly.
Having sex with too beautiful a man makes me
crazier than I am already
when I make myself ugly willing
otherwise: nails at my skin till
it’s ruined, a field picked of its flowers.
Not the least beautiful thing.
But to say I’m more beautiful than some
would be proving something,
which the beautiful people I speak of never do.
They are their own evidence.  
In college, I used to talk about beauty in therapy
in terms of Occupy Wall Street, as an inequality:
there was the 1 percent and there was the rest of us.
Beauty was easy the way money was:
not, and somehow all the more difficult
for my relative beauty and relative wealth.
I was stupid in college.
What I saw at Zuccotti were people sure
of their own importance, which they were, sure,
but—they were important.
Now I don’t go to the protest
to feel beautiful, I go because putting my body there—
even if I suspect my body there is unimportant—
feels more correct than the alternative.
More right. Not right dancing the other night,
with the mustachioed man
hard in hand already
when he turned me around and I knew
he wanted to fuck me,
which ruined it, the idea alone.
I’ll never be beautiful the way certain
women are: my friends,
and women I see on the train on their way
somewhere, women who might take a man
when they want, women who can.
I could have been a good woman
if I could have been a girl.
But then beauty might have been
a bigger problem, as men make it for women,
unless still I’d have been better at it,
performed better
under that set of expectations.
I’ll never be a good man.
I’ll never be as beautiful
as the Corpse Flower even,
the one in bloom in the Bronx
people flock to take pictures of—
I’m one of them, though I am not one-half
of one of the beautiful straight couples
or one of the beautiful age-appropriate gay couples
or the beautiful young lesbian couple
who are never not holding hands.
I’m not there alone, to be fair.
I’m with a man who loves me
—but not how I want it,
not the never-not-holding-hands way—
a man whose most beautiful years are behind him.
His Most Beautiful was more than mine,
which might also be behind me,
though what is behind me is of no use
to anyone, though men like to touch it
and tell me what a shame it is
not to be able to get in.
If just one thing about me
I will not change
were different—taller, more man,
more woman, a bottom—
my body could be beautiful, I think,
as a painter stands before their work
searching for the source
of their dissatisfaction.
I know better than to believe
fixing my face would fix anything else,
but— Let me return to the analogy of money:
it never belongs to you,
so there’s solace in spending it,
as my sadness might be softened
looking down at my long, long legs.

Jameson Fitzpatrick - Tenderness

Yes, I was jealous when you threw the glass.

 

I wanted the shattering against the wood-paneled floor for myself,
to be the sudden diaspora of its pieces across the apartment — and last night

 

when we fought, I wanted you to hit me so badly I begged.
And the other day walking past Renewal-on-the-Bowery,

 

when one of the men smoking unsteadily outside
called me a faggot, I thought: Good. People get what they deserve.

 

Then I wished I were more like Jesus — capable of loving
all people and all things always, capable of nothing

 

but love. I waste half my wishes this way,

 

wishing to be virtuous. The rest, well,
I don’t have to tell you, do I?

Jameson Fitzpatrick - I Woke Up

and it was political.
I made coffee and the coffee was political.
I took a shower and the water was.
I walked down the street in short shorts and a Bob Mizer tank top
and they were political, the walking and the shorts and the beefcake
silkscreen of the man posing in a G-string. I forgot my sunglasses
and later, on the train, that was political,
when I studied every handsome man in the car.
Who I thought was handsome was political.
I went to work at the university and everything was
very obviously political, the department and the institution.
All the cigarettes I smoked between classes were political,
where I threw them when I was through.
I was blond and it was political.
So was the difference between “blond” and “blonde.”
I had long hair and it was political. I shaved my head and it was.
That I didn’t know how to grieve when another person was killed in America
was political, and it was political when America killed another person,
who they were and what color and gender and who I am in relation.
I couldn’t think about it for too long without feeling a helplessness
like childhood. I was a child and it was political, being a boy
who was bad at it. I couldn’t catch and so the ball became political.
My mother read to me almost every night
and the conditions that enabled her to do so were political.
That my father’s money was new was political, that it was proving something.
Someone called me faggot and it was political.
I called myself a faggot and it was political.
How difficult my life felt relative to how difficult it was
was political. I thought I could become a writer
and it was political that I could imagine it.
I thought I was not a political poet and still
my imagination was political.
It had been, this whole time I was asleep.