My femme poem is in the new “Chicago IRL”

Photo: Cover of Chicago IRL issue 3, featuring three people of color dressed in toga-style sheets. Photo source: Google ImagesGuess what? Guess what? Guess what? This blogger’s work is featured in the latest issue of Chicago IRL, a queer Chicago collaborative zine of culture and class(lessness). Issue No. 3 features work from 25 contributors in the fields of poetry, prose, photography, collage and illustration. After its debut at Chicago Zine Fest on March 10, the latest issue will be available at Quimby’s Bookstore, Chicago Comics, Women & Children First and online.

But what did I contribute to Chicago IRL? Nothing other than “The Femme Poem,” which I have posted below for your reading pleasure. You can also listen to me read an older version of it in the podcast from the latest installment of All The Writers I Know.

The Femme Poem

I spotted you from a mile away.
You’re a big, thick butch with a
big, thick book,
big, thick glasses,
big, thick boots,
and light locks peeking out from under your knit cap.
You may be a sapphic stereotype,
but in my straight girl disguise,
I slip right by your queer eyes.
My fancy frocks, gratuitous glitter and tamed tresses
are more drag queen than queer scene.
I may be putting the femme back in feminist,
but still, everyone expects
me to be a cute, complacent kitten,
when I’m really a ferocious lioness,
tied up in all the trappings of my purposeful—
not compulsory—
It’s why my own family doesn’t recognize me.
It breaks my heart;
it rips me apart.
They’re the only home I know,
and just like so many of them,
I’ve got no where else to go.
And everyone underestimates
the power of my perfectly polished pout and it’s perceptive pronouncements.
But really,
the biggest mistake anyone could ever make
is to not take
a fierce femme fucking seriously.
And don’t get me wrong—
I’m not complaining.
I’m just explaining:
I don’t have it better or worse than my siblings,
it’s just different and that’s okay.
Dissent is what makes our family so beautiful anyway.
So keep on celebrating—
not appropriating—
every single sequin.

8 thoughts on “My femme poem is in the new “Chicago IRL”

  1. Pingback: My femme poem is in the new “Chicago IRL” | QClick Radar

  2. Pingback: Zines, zines and more zines: My Chicago Zine Fest adventure « Stuff Queer People Need To Know

  3. Pingback: Chicago’s first transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex pride « Stuff Queer People Need To Know

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