Saxifrage volume 34, 2008
Copyright � 2008 by Saxifrage Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, Washington ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Saxifrage Volume 34 Saxifrage is an annual anthology featuring the work of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from Pacific Lutheran University. A volunteer staff of students selected all the work in this edition from 410 submissions. ALL WORKS WERE JUDGED ANONYMOUSLY. Cover photo by John Post, Tomber (see page 50). Flysheet design by Sam Glover. "A Sort of a Song" by William Carlos Williams, from Collected Poems 1939�1962, Volume II. Copyright � 1944 by William Carlos Williams Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation Note from the Editors Saxifrage's thirty-fourth volume has been a grand experiment, both in the form of the book and of Saxifrage as an organization. Instead of two loving editors, this year was split among a faithful team of three; company indeed with Margaret Ellsworth covering the fall term, Jake K.M. Paikai in the spring, and Andrew Lucchesi managing the full year. These three eager heads would not have been enough, however, without the fantastic outpouring of support we've received from the PLU community. The book this year looks a bit different from past years: not only have the physical dimensions been expanded and the number of pages increased, but we have also made strides to include new forms of art that Saxifrage has not seen for a while, or at all. In this volume, you will find an amazing array of poetry, visual art, short fiction, personal essay, analytical essay, and even sheet music. We set out to stretch the borders of Saxifrage, but kindly, and with a gentle touch. Involvement from PLU students, faculty, and alumni has been a constant buzz around the entire operation this year. We were lucky enough to run well-attended open mic' nights both on and off campus, and our second annual poetry slam was a huge success. More than that, however, PLU has come forward at every turn with energetic involvement from first to last--from the splendid pool of submissions to the eager pack of judges. Saxifrage is a publication for PLU, and it could not exist without the PLU community's constant support. You, therefore, deserve our most heartfelt thanks. We would like to offer our thanks to a few key individuals most of all, especially to Solveig Robinson, whose kind direction and expertise have been instrumental to our success this year. Many thanks to Amber Dehne for extending her support and enthusiasm; to Abby Fagan for her brilliance and candor; to Rebekka Esbjornson for her sincerity; to Jen Gray for her constant devotion; and to the Mark, PLU's student-run writing workshop. Thanks to all the people who made this year spectacular. This book is the convergence of many minds, wills, and hearts. We hope you enjoy it. iii Contents 1 3 4 5 6 7 14 15 18 19 25 29 30 31 32 34 39 42 43 44 45 46 47 Rebekka Esbjornson Kolby Harvey Katrina Csonka Jake K.M. Paikai Aubrey Lange Matt Click Kolby Harvey Andrew Lucchesi Jacob Carl Harksen Derek Tilton Jess Lee Jacob Carl Harksen Christina Montilla Joseph Fries Kolby Harvey Jake K.M. Paikai Corinne Holmberg Alyssa Wanner Erika Nelson Lauren Van Cislo Bryanna Plog Jon Post Sam Glover Index Litmus Strip Horse Study Die Arbeiterin Sliver of Sunshine Rigor Mortis Denkmal Eight Ways of Looking at a Penis Soundproof Love Song for L. Audible Hymns The Garden Subject + Subject Noir & Sepia Durian My Father's Twin D-13 Robert Possessed Figure or Lady Dancing Sail Boy Untitled Retrospect Untitled iv Contents 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 57 58 59 60 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Stephanie Agoncillo Vincent Inch Jon Post Caron Anderson Aubrey Lange Audrey King Lauren Van Cislo Jenna Calhoun Joseph Fries Daniel Ahrendt Andrew Lucchesi Jon Post Jessica Lona Corinne Holmberg Joseph Fries Bethel Prescott Jake K.M. Paikai Daniel Ahrendt Tyler Nowlen Contributor Biographies Sally Lightfoot and Sally Lightfoot Forgiveness Tomber Untitled What God Gave Me Lighting Fremont Luxembourg Blue At Seventeen Revenge for the Ghost Cats An Old Thing, British Museum Alphabetically Other Condolence Birds Tied to the Ceiling Untitled The Poet at Nineteen Three Haiku Mother Tongues Speakers' Corner, London Saturday v A Sort of a Song Let the snake wait under his weed and the writing be of words, slow and quick, sharp to strike, quiet to wait, sleepless. --through metaphor to reconcile the people and the stones. Compose. (No ideas but in things) Invent! Saxifrage is my flower that splits the rocks. William Carlos Williams Index Rebekka Esbjornson with thanks to Uncle Al This is a single, leaning streetlamp, a haphazard symbol created to indicate the start of something. This is a piece of table upon which I have written. The wood surface is really plastic. This is an ear, a receptacle of thought, of my mother's lullabies, of touch, of the rhythm of lyrics, of promises and lies, of words and words and words. This is a colorful finger-painting of a family. They number four. The littlest one is quiet. The other three wave outwards to you, smiles on their faces. There are also two cats. These are the ventricles. It's too early for these. This is a carrot, not yet fully grown. I stole it from my mother's garden at age four and washed it underneath the faucet on the side of the house. The leftover dirt tasted gritty and vaguely like the bars on our swing set, which I licked once. The carrot tasted better for being stolen. This is a string of white Christmas lights. I only bought them for the moodlighting. This is the first scraped knee. It hurts less in the afterthought. This is the realization of death over the dinner table at age seven. I didn't sleep for the next week for contemplating the meaning of infinity. This is the speed with which I left my French class, grade six, after giving my entire presentation with my fly unzipped. This is the number of times I've pretended to be someone else to get into someone else's secret society (seven). This is the number of times it worked (one and a half). This is a full-scale diagram (using the technique of pointillism) of what miscommunication looks like. This is a box holding all the different men I have loved--a children's book about an idealistic pig (this reminds me of you, he said), letters (from France, from across the ferry, from just down the block), three burned CDs (one I'd burn, the others I'd like to keep), one hair trimmer, a picture (taken by his mother on the front porch, my smile, then, is forced), a love poem (less meaningful or well-crafted a few years later), a book about war I never read, four ticket stubs to movies (two of which I liked), thirty-seven unused condoms (the original box held forty-eight), a scrabble board, five concert tickets, six empty beer 1 bottles (the brand doesn't matter), two pens (one bent), and a total of ten half-written letters I never sent. This scar, crossing diagonal between my breasts, is from the time I fell off of the swing set--or so my mother tells me. These are my breasts. This is a farm field in the middle of South Africa. I learned of my grandfather's death between rows of growing squash, dry, dusty earth between my toes. The vegetables were thankful for the little bit of moisture mourning brings. This is the approximate distance between point A (me) and point B (you) when we're of the same mind (one step forward) and here, when we're not (two steps back). This is my father's roommate, who once read the entire phone book like a poet at a poetry reading. His cadence rose and fell with each John Smith. This small photograph is a picture of my mother's first child wrapped in a white blanket. Alone, she carried him for seven and a half months, across the summer and into the Iowa fall. His breath left his halfdeveloped lungs two hours after his December twenty-fifth birth. When I was small, I used to imagine he--always on the mantle at Christmas--must be what Jesus looked like. This pile of golden curls belongs to my sister. I cut them off with a pair of blue-handled scissors while in her kitchen. I no longer envy her her Rapunzel. And here, in my hand, is a pillar of salt. 2 Litmus Strip Kolby Harvey I am a gay litmus strip a convenient, little slip of paper (not unlike the slip you made, putting your hand around mine). Precise and modern, like typewriters, microwaves, and Xerox machines before me, I am here to make life easier for you. Bored? Horny? Pick me up. Try me out. Put me in your mouth. Test your saliva, sweet and acidic. Let my patented fibers soak you up, fluids permeating every pore until I'm the deep purple of a ripened bruise (the color that confirms your fears and my suspicions). Don't take it out on me--science is set. Customer dissatisfaction aside, I can't control whether you are acid or base. My results carry no guarantee, and pH doesn't lie. Hydrogen is Hydrogen is Hydrogen. 3 Horse Study Katrina Csonka 13x10 Lithograph 4 Die Arbeiterin Jake K.M. Paikai My numbered arms sift stones out sweet Spring's decaying soil, fresh with flowers and baby limbs. Children and men ground into graphite earth, grey soot in which they write Arbeit macht Frei. und arbeite ich, arbeite ich--stitch marks with my rake into icy Poland's face. When I was four, on a lark, I jumped off a rooftop, thinking I would fly. Now I hold this plough, my insides aching with child-- is it fair to wish my life had ended with a splendid dive? 5 Sliver of Sunshine Aubrey Lange 5x7 Black and White Photograph 6 Rigor Mortis Matt Click The Toyota idles beneath me and the orange tabby lies dead on the road. Sprawled, legs outstretched, it's still, as if dozing languidly, unaware of the steel behemoths lumbering overhead at 45 mph. The furry form doesn't rise and fall with the intake and exhalation of breath. It's stone dead, captured in its last moments of life by the bumper of a speeding car. Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face, Robert Plant wails from the stereo. The words are backed by a full orchestra and Jimmy Page's distinctively distorted guitar. Stars to fill my dream.... I mute Zeppelin and lean back into the driver's seat, hands gripping the wheel. In the ensuing silence I can feel my pulse in my throat. I am 19 years old and I didn't kill the tabby. But I feel somehow responsible for the creature's well-being--or lack thereof. I sit, nausea settling in the pit of my stomach like a lead weight. Cars roll past. A Hummer trudges along, swerving slightly to avoid the roadkill with its mammoth tires. Wouldn't want to get the armored desert vehicle dirty, I suppose. The steel chassis around me shudders with the pseudo-tank's displaced wind. The hazards blink incessantly at the dash. I sigh, rubbing at my eyes. I should move the cat. Swinging the door open, I step onto the road. The fresh scent of new rain on cement hangs heavy in the crisp autumn air. My hands tremble. I sit cross-legged on the living room couch in my pajamas, laptop humming quietly nearby. A blinking cursor on the blank word document scolds me for procrastinating, while the readout on the microwave informs me that it's closing on 2:00 in the morning. A heavy leather scrapbook rests open in my lap, laminated pages gleaming in the lamplight. I flip lazily through, my eyes drifting across grainy photos and faded documents. Newspaper clippings, sharpshooter certifications, letters of recommendation, birth, graduation and death certificates. Sipping absently at a half-empty can of Coke, I linger on a photo: a group of men, dressed casually in ringer tees, denim jackets and wide-brimmed hats. They wear dark aviators, hands buried deep in their pockets as they squint towards the camera. They're the seedy guys who loiter on downtown street corners at odd hours of the night, scruffy faces illuminated with the orange glow of cheap cigarettes. 7 It's an undercover narcotics unit and the year is 1974. It takes me a while, but I spot him, third from the left. Grandpa Tom stands with long hair and a thick, sweeping mustache, one leg resting on the bumper of the nearby surveillance vehicle. He grins, looking strangely like Dad even in his undercover garb. I continue leafing through the book and soon come across a clipping that catches my eye. I pick at the frayed, yellowing edges of the obituary and read. September 5, 1987: Thomas Click, 46, of Tacoma, died September 4, 1987. Mr. Click was born and lived in Tacoma all of his life. He was an eightyear veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a 17-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriffs Department, past President of the Sheriffs Association, member of the Washington State Arms Collectors Association and an active outdoor enthusiast. Survivors include: wife, Gail; daughter Shelby J. Click; sons, Scott T. and wife, Molly Click, Shawn M. and wife, Terrie Click; parents, Francis and Beatrice Click; brother, James W., all of Tacoma; and many special friends. I close the book, slipping it back under the coffee table. The homework for my freshman writing course sits dormant on the laptop screen. I sigh and turn to more pressing tasks. Hospitals are too shiny for what happens in them. Spotless white floors traversed by spotless white people in spotless white uniforms. It smells sterile. Like cleaning chemicals. Like someone upended a bottle of chlorine in the hallway to mask the stench of decay. Wandering into rooms, one finds a grimmer setting. Gray-skinned, sickly people taking their last, shuddering breaths; patients who've spent their last three months in this world wasting away on some thin, inclined cot at the back end of the hospice wing. Jell-O cups and turkey loaf with cold, runny gravy sit untouched on plastic cafeteria trays. I lean my back against the cold, tiled wall, nodding curtly to the nurses bustling past. Aside from the attendants and patients shuffling by in borrowed slippers, I am alone. I stuff my hands in my jean pockets and close my eyes. "Hey." Zach moves up beside me. Just out of middle school, my cousin is nearly as tall as I am. He's 15, just a year younger than me. His hair is a disheveled mess of curly, 8 Matt Click blonde locks. He eases his weight from one skater shoe to the other, hands disappearing within the pockets of his black hoodie. A cast adorns his right arm, the result of his most recent half-pipe accident. I clear my throat. "Hey, man. How long have you been here?" Zach shrugs. "Few minutes, I guess. Dad and Jake are on their way up." He glances towards the closed door nearby, his brow furrowing. "How is she doing?" I shake my head. "I think we're here to say goodbye." The door opens and Dad steps into the hallway. He forces a smile and runs a hand across his balding pate. It's time to bid our farewells. The tabby is cold. It feels like a stuffed animal. Rigor mortis has set in and it remains stiff in my hand, unmoving. It doesn't feel real. It feels like one of those horrible things in a taxidermist's office, perched in some unnaturally epic stance, mouth agape, claws outstretched. No pulse beats against my palm, no warmth escapes the tiger-striped fur as I move it carefully to the side of the road. I lay it on the gravel and contemplate what to do next. It's dead. Really, what can I do? The hazard lights on my Toyota blink on and off, on and off. I rummage through the well-worn chest, my fingers running over the smooth surfaces of the familiar items within. Turtle shells, a rope of bear claws, beads, leather pouches, a sheathed dagger, the hand-carved pipe that still smells of smoke. I breathe deeply, inhaling the sickly sweet scent of tobacco that is at once both comforting and repellent. I set the items in rows on the thick, white carpet, admiring the light that reflects in facets off the surface of the turtle shells. The last item I lay out is long, black and sharp. "Eagle's talon," Grandma Gail says from the living room couch. She watches me, smiling. I nod and run my tiny eight-year-old index finger along the curve. I picture it dangling from the scaly foot of a large bird of prey, scooping rodents into the air. "Will I ever get any of Grandpa Tom's things?" I ask. "I'm sure," Grandma says. "When you're older, maybe." A framed photo of Grandpa rests above the chest. He stands in full SWAT gear, comfortably hefting a deadly-looking sniper rifle. Great Grandma Bea looks tiny and shrunken in the hospice bed. Like 9 a doll, almost. The family surrounds her. Grandma Gail sits nearby with her second husband, Dave. Mom and Dad are there too. Uncle Jim, Bea's remaining son, sits closest to the bed. One long-fingered hand rests on Bea's. His eyes are rimmed red. I study him from my corner of the room, where Zach and I have taken up observant positions. I've never really known Jim. 16 and I still don't know a thing about him. He's a tall man, nearly six and-a-half feet, with a white goatee more suited to a Union soldier than a shopping mall Santa (something he's done every Christmas since before I can remember). The occasional awkward handshake and "Good. How are you?" at family gatherings is really the extent of our relationship. He's a hard man to figure out. I remember my Dad telling me once that Jim kept magnets in the soles of his shoes and that he slept with magnets in his mattress. Something to do with the balance of the body's natural magnetic field or something. His brother Tom passed away five months before I was born. Now his mother lies dying. Dad nods to me, indicating I should approach the bed. I steady my breathing and sidle up, hands folded awkwardly in front of me. Bea doesn't register my presence at first. "Hey, Grandma." My voice is softer than I anticipated, but her whitehaired head turns and she manages a sweet smile. "Matthew," she says simply. "I'm so proud of you, honey." I nod. "I know, Grandma. I love you." I bend down and wrap my arms around her as best I can. She feels so frail, so brittle, like I could break her if I squeezed too hard. I kiss her cheek. "I love you too, sweetie," she says. I shuffle back to the corner and the farewell procession continues. Reaching to rub my eyes, I find tears I wasn't aware that I was crying. "Are you OK?" Mom asks. "You're white as a sheet." I nod and toss my keys on the entryway table, the front door slamming shut behind me. "Yeah." She has her homework laid out on the green suede couch in the sitting room. Mom decided a few months ago that she wanted to be a nurse--a lifelong dream she put on hold for a husband and kids. She's putting me to shame with her straight A's and impeccable GPA. "Are you sure?" she asks. I leave my coat and shoes on as I slump into the yellow chair opposite 10 Matt Click her. "There was a dead cat in the middle of the road," I say. "On 152nd." "I'm sorry," she says, not looking up from the textbook open in her lap. "That's always sad." I nod slowly. "I touched it. Moved it over, I mean." She glances up, blue eyes framed by the reading glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. "You... what? Why?" I sigh and rub my eyes. "I thought it was Diggs. Looked like him, anyways." I lean over and start untying my sneakers methodically. "Once I pulled over and saw it... I couldn't just, you know, leave it sprawled out in the middle of the road." Mom eyes me for a second and nods. "I'm sorry you had to do that." "Yeah," I say. "Me too." It's the day of my high school graduation ceremony. I've received more cash than I know what to do with from relatives I haven't heard from in years. "Save it," Dad keeps saying and Mom is inclined to agree. I'd like to save it too, but that fiberglass replica of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber is awfully tempting. My last present is delivered personally by Uncle Jim. His lean figure seems out of place in our entryway. Maybe because he's never been here before, I realize. Because I see him maybe once every two years. "Hey, Matthew." He grins at me with a perfect set of white teeth and grips my hand in a firm shake. "Congratulations. Can't believe you graduated already." I return the smile. "Neither can I." "Seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the hospital waiting room," he says. "Time flies." I nod. I've heard the story before. "Well, I just wanted to stop by and give you your present," he says. "Oh," I say. "Well, thanks." He gives me a small white box tied with a simple crimson ribbon. A check, I think at first. But it's too hefty. It rattles as I move it. I'm intrigued. I untie the ribbon, remove the lid and dig through a couple sheets of wrapping tissue. "Oh... wow." The object within is long, black and sharp. I run my 18-year-old index finger along the curve of the familiar item and smile. "It was Tom's," Jim says. "Thought you might like to have it." 11 "Yeah, of course," I say, holding the object so the light catches its shiny surface. "I mean, absolutely. Thank you so much, Jim." He nods with a broad smile as I inspect the eagle's talon. "Mom?" We're driving down I-5 on our way home from an orthodontist appointment. I haven't been wearing my retainer and Dr. Smart could tell. Doesn't matter--I know I don't need it anyway. I'm 14 with a perfectly good set of choppers. "Yeah?" She keeps her eyes trained ahead. Rain falls in pummeling sheets across the roadway, blanketing the interstate in a humid fog. "Was Grandpa Tom excited for me to be born?" The question is abrupt. A small smile flashes across Mom's face. She nods. "Definitely." She flicks her left signal and merges after a quick glance over her shoulder. "I remember the last time I saw Tom. Dad and I were over for dinner. He rubbed my tummy and told me how excited he was." I smile slightly. "Really?" "Yeah, really," she says. "Nobody was more excited for you than Tom was." She frowns slightly. "You know, for the longest time, I was sure Tom didn't like me." "Why?" I fiddle with a pamphlet on how to care for your retainer. She shrugs. "I don't know. Just me being self-conscious I guess." We take the Tacoma exit, merging onto 512 towards home. The rain subsides, dwindling into a faint misting that clouds the windshield. Mom levels the wipers down. "On my wedding day, I was standing out in the lobby in my dress, and Tom looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, `You are beautiful, Terrie.'" She laughs. "I got all misty-eyed and he hugged me. That was the first time he hugged me." I nod, smiling. I imagine the man I've only seen in pictures, tears glistening in his eyes, embracing my mom in her beautiful white dress. His new daughter-in-law, about to walk down the aisle and soon to be pregnant with his first grandchild. "When Tom died . . . it was just such a blow," she says. "The family was reeling. It affected everyone." Unscrewing the cap on her bottled water, Mom takes a swig. "You were the gift we needed, the first grandchild on either side of the family. Everyone was there when you were born, Matthew. 12 Matt Click We all needed it, to fill the void Tom left." I sit silently, Mom's words easing into my mind. I've heard it all before, of course. How special I am to the family. How my birth brought everyone back together from the brink. How everyone was there in the waiting room, eagerly anticipating my birth. I wonder if I've managed to fill the hole my Grandpa Tom left behind. I wonder if I ever will. "Tom was a really great guy," she says. Tears shimmer faintly in her eyes. "So I hear," I say quietly. Biblically, my name means Gift from God. My middle name is Thomas. 13 Denkmal Kolby Harvey Digital Photograph 14 Eight Ways of Looking at a Penis Andrew Lucchesi I. The shove of your crowbar between my planks splits me wide--splinters of ancient wood flying loose into the air as nails are freed from their moorings. What's inside? The lid's been closed so long it can't be more than dust. II. The green-aproned coffee boy tries to watch my eyes and not my red flashing beacon, while he hands me my latt�. His strobes as quickly as mine. III. Grab tight to my hairs and pull hard or you'll never make it up my tower-- I let them down just for you. 15 IV. When you unstop my throat and slide your body down, I could be a snake, unhinged and accepting, not knowing if the tail I eat is yours or my own, or if it ends in our joining or my own digestion. V. If ever you can't find me, look to the tall-grass field where I wander. I am Pan; you are the instrument of melody I play so well. Together we make music ring-- my lips to your pipes with only the grass seed to hear our song. I play you one more time before the sun goes down. VI. I'm a little teapot, short and stout, here is my handle, and here is my spout. When I get all steamed up hear me shout: Go, if you're finished, just leave the money on the fucking nightstand. 16 Andrew Lucchesi VII. With our boats tethered together like this, the force of waves can't part us, only drive us harder at each other. The slack and pull of the rope that binds our bulkheads, rising and falling with this mass of cold salt and water, which batters our bodies. We hope there is something of us left enough to float once this rope that joins us snaps and we drift on different currents. VIII. If the sun hits you just right, lying there on your back, maybe your erection can be my sundial and tell how much longer we have left. 17 Soundproof Jacob Carl Harksen In the seat opposite me and across the aisle on this 17:50 train, Dublin to Galway, is a girl with unbelievable hands. They are pale, which suits her, and look like they could speak piano fluently. Thick rings of blues and greens, one of tortoise-shell, slip on all of the correct fingers for these thoughts. She lays all ten of them on the table, as if to say, "I know." One ring falls off. She stands it up on the table and forgets it, letting it roll silently over the edge and onto the floor with a curve in the track. I watch her hands' reflection in my window to guard that I am watching at all, though there is nothing past the window but dark to look at. She either doesn't notice, or doesn't mind, only studies her hands, which flit in front of her face now like messenger pigeons. She checks the plume of her fingers according to the patterns in diagrams open in front of her. Every sign is reversed, not that I know the difference. I hope that they mean "Come hither," though they don't look like the usual signs for that. If she wants to get a drink in Galway, she'll have to speak to me as if I were a child. At Athenry, or some such station, she folds the patterns of speech and secrets them away in her peacoat pocket. Standing, she ties her scarf tightly about her neck. I notice her ring, the tortoise-shell one, on the floor as she begins to walk away. Bending into the aisle on one knee, I hold it up and say to her back, "Miss, I think this is yours." But she doesn't turn, doesn't hear. She steps from the train into the soundproof dark. She looks once to the window, and I, looking back, can say nothing. 18 Love Song for L. Derek Tilton Soprano Hope Doubt 4 S H D 10 S H D 19 13 S ( ) H D 17 S cresc. 3 3 rit. 3 H ( ) D ( ) 23 S a tempo 3 ( ) tutti tempo tutti tempo tutti tempo 20 Derek Tilton = cresc. 29 S 3 H cresc. D cresc. 34 S sotto voce subito H D sotto voce subito 41 S slow cresc. 3 H D 21 48 S H slow accel. D slow accel. 53 S H D a tempo 60 S H a tempo a tempo D lissando G ss. 22 Gli Derek Tilton 66 S Glissando subito H D subito Glissando 71 S 3 3 3 3 H 3 molto rit. = D Very Rubato 75 S subito H D 23 80 S = 3 H D 87 S H D 93 S H D 24 Audible Hymns Jess Lee I. Tilt Cove, Nova Scotia I lost it in the sea. The blue in its eye blended with the deep, and I am sure a lobster found my glass gift. A marble to push across the terrain of his coral reef, past pink anemones and plotting eels. Stolen by my brother, just for me. I didn't mean to drop it but my toes curled with the waves and it slipped from my mitten. The seagull's loud cry frightens me, but it is only my mother's laugh. The wind slaps me as my brother will when he discovers my mistake. He stole it from the shopkeeper with the cracked glass eye. II. Cleaving There was no warning, when the sky split in half, pink shells of clouds torn at their ligaments to reveal a slit of red, boiling beyond the atmosphere. Perhaps I imagined it all. The slit stretched into a vulva and steam came forth as fog, fog in my eyes, fog in my hair, fog in my mind, fog everywhere. I do not scream. I do not move. The beast is upon us I said, and no one heard me. Galoshes, rain boots and a yellow umbrella. Hurry! Your eyes are blind, and death will shimmy past the lock, past the hinge, through the wood and under the skin. The red slit is your throat, pink skin curls back and the jugular spurts its baptism on my hands. Is it sweet? The cock crows once for mercy on its splintered fence post. 25 III. Aerodynamic A terra cotta pot is full of olive pits. Unfinished, no glaze, on the third shelf, by the pink freezer and Formica counter top my mother made my father rip out when he slept with the church secretary. My sister put it there. The pot. Sometimes when we play hide-and-go-seek she goes up to the barn rafters in the hayloft. Sweet straw hangs from her hair and is stuck to her skirt when she comes down holding Jon's hand. She smells different after, like open fields and the slick olive oil in the terra cotta pot made from clay that comes from a swamp five miles from grandma's pottery wheel. My wings have not grown enough yet, I can't fly to the dusty beams to coo with the barn owls. IV. Not I am a guilty woman. Forgive me. I sell myself for one smile. Resist me. I am afraid of drowning. Float me. You have white teeth and a cable knit sweater. Your mother went to balls, and your father wore white tuxedo jackets against the green lawns in the twinkling of thousands of privileged lights. Why doesn't my champagne bubble and fizz when we clink glasses? All I see is the smear on your left dimple, and I want to pull her peony and lily scent from your nose, rip out the cheating bloody matter in your rib cage until the pink champagne claims my arms to hug your broken body and whisper forgive me. I do not belong in silk. 26 V. Thrust I met a cowboy once. He had fuzzy forearms and sat next to me on the bus. His jean shirt was wet with sweat, and the musky scent made me think of cedar and salmon and saddles. We rode to Tillamook together, him singing repentant songs, me staring into those smooth brown eyes. He touched his arm to mine, sunlight against my youth. He raped me in his hotel room. He pushed into me, broke my smile, my vagina. He tied me up with a bar of soap stuck in my teeth and rode me like a mare while my mouth foamed with white suds. He beat me, left me, and the world turned inside out. VI. Bawsey Old Church In a roofless stone church on a wooden pew with a pen and a hymnal. In cursive, I write on thin pages of the aging songbook, thoughts that have nowhere else to go but over eighth notes and harmonies in Adeste Fideles and Amazing Grace. Their simple pattern is my rosary of prayer and I churn through my pain. The thatched roof of the church was the oldest in the land until a vigil candle lit the birch cross on fire. My only roof is a black cloud, so I leave the blessed, desecrated book on the abandoned altar, my offering. Water soaks me through as I run. The hymn book will blossom in the rain. 27 VII. November 18th This is the truth. My father's best friend died in his arms on a snowshoeing trip on Mount St. Helens. He fell down a gully and my father fell down after him to scream his name and battle for what was already lost. This is what I know. My life is not a progression, but a pattern of hiccups that grabs me unexpectedly, rip my chest sideways with their intensity. No matter what I write, you will not comprehend. My cat is stalking a limping mouse outside in the frosted morning. From here I see that the mouse's bleeding leg is half off. She darts through the grass, wounded, but not dead. 28 The Garden Jacob Carl Harksen And what if the hedgerows were concealing a darker border? Green vines grown thick over iron bars-- leaving was never an option. At the edge of Eden picking flowers, her hand brushed something too cold to be living. Her fingers fit through the chain link. The Warden watched from a taller tower while Eve climbed the tree. He laughed concernedly. This one had grown of its own accord. She climbed for a better view, saw the razorwire of rosebushes and past there was nothing-- which was beautiful. The private prison breathed. Adam looked, then laughed nervously, The flowers are lovely though. 29 Subject + Subject Christina Montilla Digital Photograph 30 Joseph Fries Noir & Sepia I sometimes feel like an old silent moving picture, words flashing on the screen and occasionally faint splotches of color painted onto film, flaking away and, leaving it all bare, running through to the fin. the lady, gloriously out of focus, moving lips with nothing to say, smooth and clean and white, Waiting to be rescued and brought back to love and laughter which are, perhaps, too late, for the next film is about to begin: the world revolves in shades of grey round and round, quiet, still, with a faint piano tinkling tunes, notes, scales, spreading, amoeba-like, into silence to reveal, what? I know not, how can I say? Too many questions All the wrong answers. Am I, like walking in a waking dream of shadow, and stumbling over patches of light, fettered in a washed-out world? carried away into the sleeping night, hollow with too many questions and given all the wrong answers, the piano stops playing at the end. 31 Durian Kolby Harvey durian n. \dur-e-en, -e-�n also dyur-\ a large, oval and tasty but foul-smelling fruit from southeast Asia with a prickly rind Your body, hairless and thorny and I can't get enough of that flesh, sweet like custard that reeks so badly of rotten eggs and makes my stomach churn in hunger every time I see it. Ripping you open, peeling at denim, cotton, and elastic band underwear--the smell of you nearly brought me to vomiting as you slid into the back of my throat--I cared only for the sweetness of your alcohol-soaked mouth, your rounded smoothness, stump thighs, scraggly canopy of hair. Your seed. I gorged myself, taking too much too quickly, left only with the juices on my mouth and hand and churning bile in my gut to remind me of a hollow bliss that was never really there at all. I once thought of you as part of the spider's web of nets strung from tree to tree, placed there by agrarian Vietnamese in conical hats to protect passersby from falling fruit, a set of hands to catch the outgrowth of my na�vet� in gentle strands, heaving up and down like a bed in response to the impact of my rapid descent from the safety of arboreal germination. But you do not belong to the lattice-work of fibers, and, like a durian, you came plummeting down, somehow slipping through the mesh, smashing into my face with grating glasses and invasive tongue, each finger a thorn pushing deeper into my arms, into my thighs, down past the waistband of my jeans, until you got what you 32 came for and promptly left to wash away our time together, to make yourself presentable, a wholesome fruit, cleaned and ready to buy for any customer who isn't me. While you sit contentedly at market, I rot in bed, bruised and un-sellable produce after your impromptu and irresolute fall, left not with the taste of sweet custard but only the stench of rotten eggs. 33 My Father's Twin Jake K.M. Paikai I am short, pudgy, and eight years old. My uncle has his arms wrapped around me. I mouth his instructions as he knots my purple tie with green diagonal bands. He is big and warm and tall. The name of the knot is Double Windsor. I mouth that too, and think about the time I went there with my father, once, and to other parts of England, France, and Spain. Not many other eight-year-olds know the difference between aragonio and castilliano. I, like those eastern Spaniards, had a sibilant s too, but that wasn't a concern of my father, or my uncle, at the time. I still like his arms. When he arrived, it was late in the evening. He walked from off the plane like a pirate off a gangplank: his big bag hoisted over one shoulder, grin as wide as his broad shoulders. I was happy--last time I saw Uncle Aaron I was too young to remember. My mother held the left side of her face and then covered her mouth. She could see him, nearing the gate doors. To passersby, she was happily covering a smile or a laugh. Only I knew the truth of her expression, the meaning of the shakiness and of the welling tears. He came toward us; I rubbed my eyes. No beard, the wrong eye larger than the other, and shorter hair. I made a list of his inconsistencies. I still had to stop myself from running toward him and into his arms. I forgot Uncle Aaron's imminent arrival and hoped that they'd made a mistake, that daddy wasn't dead. Couldn't be dead. We arrived home and mom made an obligatory cup of tea, which she said was Irish. She hugged me, then my uncle, and said she was going to bed. I hadn't said much to him yet. His hand was like my father's when he tussled my hair too, heavy. His voice was deep, but lilted on the wrong syllables. This was an impression of the real thing, a ghost that flew from across the Atlantic to our car, our living room, our couch. Mother hadn't bothered putting me to bed. She thought that I wanted to enjoy my uncle's company. I had been excited earlier that day as I ate the food that mom once again got from my favorite restaurant off base, Kebap. I was eating through my d�ner (which I liked mostly because of the way it sounded) and told mom all of the things that Uncle Aaron and I would do together. She nodded and looked at her soup. For days she just sat and watched me eat. She wasn't talking much. Mostly she listened to me talk 34 about things, like what I was building with my Legos or what I wanted to see next at the movie theater. Uncle Aaron sat down on the couch, drinking his tea, one of his legs crossed over the other. Again, wholly unlike my father. Daddy makes an L with his legs; Uncle makes an S. In my mind I said s and sat in the armchair opposite from him and stared. We looked at each other for a good while before he broke the silence. "So Kiddo," he said, putting down the tea, "how you doing?" He had that air that all the adults around me had. Since my father died, they addressed me as if I needed fixing. As if to say I'm here for you. "I learned the colors today." "Did you now?" he said. "Auf Deutsch?" He uncrossed his legs. His elbows were now on his knees and his eyes were level with mine. Nervously, I jutted my head toward the ceiling and sang the song I was taught in school. "Ich liebe gern die Banane, und die Banane ist gelb. Ich liebe gern die Banane, und die Banane ist gelb. Sie ist oben gelb, sie ist unten gelb, sie ist oben unten gelb gelb gelb!" I motioned the movements, which was something like a slapping game with a fish. I looked back down to his eyes and I could tell he was going to talk again. "I know the other colors too. Ich liebe gern der Apfel und der Apfel ist--" "Whoa there, I get it, I get it. How much German do you know?" "I know some French and Spanish too. Je ne voudrais pas la glace means I do not want the ice-cream and me encanta means nice to meet you." He got up, which made me nervous, and sat on the coffee table between us. He was inches from me, so I sucked in my knees and put my feet on the furniture. I wrapped my arms around them, and looked down so I could see my stomach. His laid his heavy hand on my shoulder. "Hey buddy, what's wrong?" Instead of answering him, I jumped up and ran out of the room, up the stairs, and shut my door hard, as if to mean I'm barricaded. He didn't press the issue and I went to sleep. 35 The next morning I awoke to my uncle already dressed. He was wearing a black suit with a dark blue tie. I peered into the kitchen and saw that he was wearing my dad's fuzzy blue slippers and didn't say a word. My mother was sitting in the kitchen too, in her pajamas, sipping on a coffee cup. She saw me hiding and looking at my uncle and shook her finger at me, then smiled. I walked in, therefore, with my shoulders dropped, wanting to have stayed there a little longer to observe his movements. I could see the remnants of a half-eaten English muffin and a dirty spoon. I slumped down into my seat and my mother passed me the glass pitcher of orange juice, which I poured for myself, as taught, using my napkin to wipe the brim, returning it to the table with two hands. Before I could say anything, like good morning, my uncle beat me to it. "Good morning kiddo," he said, putting a plate on the table. I hadn't ever seen such a dish before and looked at my mother inquiringly. "Oh come on Mr. I-can-speak-German-French-and-Spanish--you've never seen a croque-madame?" "A croke-a-what?" He saddled the chair between my mother and me the way a good little boy shouldn't sit in a dinner chair. "I lived off of these on my semester abroad in Paris. That was the last time I saw you, when you were just two, and your mom and dad came to visit me and we went to the countryside. You liked these then." "I did?" I smiled. My mom smiled too. "Oh yeah. And that was with packet hollandaise. This is the genuine article." I grabbed the open-faced sandwich and bit into the runny yoke, thinking how cool my uncle was and how he said things like genuine article. After a long breakfast, we stood and began tidying up. My uncle helped me dress and showed me how to knot a tie. "So then you just pull it through." We both stood in the bathroom, before the vanity. He undid his tie so I could follow him step by step. His tie was the perfect box; my tie had knotted into something resembling a shoelace tangle. He sighed and said before he went back home that I would have to learn how to do this properly. Wrapping his arms around me, he showed me one more time. 36 Jake K.M. Paikai My mother yelled for us to come in to the foyer to put on our shoes. My mother wore a solid black dress with the pearls my grandmother gave her. She wore plain black flats. I ran down the hallway, my uncle after me, slipping and sliding down the stairs in our dress socks. As we made it down, both heaved over from reindeer games, there was a ring at the door. My mother opened it to three large men in dirty white shirts and dickeys. They had thick German accents, workers from off base. "May I help you?" my mother said. It was clear these men were unexpected. My uncle had stepped from behind me and toward my mother, as if to bolster or defend. I observed. "Frau Kelly? We're here to pack up your things and bring them to the army shippers." "I'm sorry, I didn't know you were coming today. We're just about to step out." The man closest to my mother was the leader and spoke again. "Really Frau Kelly, we need to get this done today. You will have received adequate notification and had ample time to reschedule. We're here on the order's of--" My mother was now distressed. "We're on our way to something, we can't stop to--" "We can pack up things while you're gone, if you just show us what you need for the next week or so." "I haven't got time now, I need to go now!" She crescendoed into a scream that shook my bones. The men looked weary of her, and my uncle stepped in front of her. "Today's her husband's funeral. His father's funeral." The man turned sad, took off his hat, and nodded. He whispered to the other two. I can still recall those pointed vowels and jagged syllables. I knew they were talking about me. About us. My mother turned and cried into my uncle's shoulder as he shut the door and the men walked away. I stood back and watched them, another specter, not unlike the books children read--Here is mother, here is father. They are standing in the doorway. Do you see them? Don't they love each other very much? 37 There are twenty-one gun salutes and speeches from adults I do not know to come, each one saying how much we loved him. How could they ever know? I run from my spot and wrap my arms around my uncle's leg, determined to make this ghost, this memory, last as long as possible. I lied. That night, when he touched me and I ran, I couldn't sleep. I lay in bed for a while. My window faced the alleyway and was low on the wall. If I slept just right and craned my head just a bit, I could see through the spaces of the houses across the way the faint lights of the airfield. They flickered while I blinked my sleepless eyes. I decided to face the ghost. I crept out of my room into the hallway. My body was warm, but my feet and toes were freezing. I clenched them tightly and hobbled down the dark hallway into the living room. The window blinds were closed, but lines from off of the streetlamp etched the room with just enough light to give things discernable shape: couch, coffee table, lamp stand, uncle. I stood above him; he had taken off his shirt and had tossed the blanket off while he was sleeping. His face was a knife that cut into my memory and forced me to make distinction. Had my uncle not been my father's twin, then my father could still exist in all those things they tell you to make death easier for an eight-year-old. These are flowers. Here is father. These are bumblebees in your stomach. Here is father. These are the hairs rising on the back of your neck. Here is father. In the streetlamp light, I saw my uncle and my father was dead. I grabbed the blanket, wrapped myself in it, and shimmied into the space between my uncle and the edge. I used my back and rear to force him back and accept me into his arms. I acted as if he hadn't woken up, but I knew he knew it was me. I closed my eyes and he rubbed my hair and hugged me tight around the waist and kissed me on the back of my head. His heavy breath was on my neck and in that moment I knew that I wasn't holding onto my uncle's arms, as much as he was holding onto mine. 38 D-13 Corinne Holmberg A dusty bar in eastern Wyoming where we used to dance to neon music that no one could hear but ourselves and God is now closed and will not open again. Someone with more power than we unplugged the jukebox, turned off the lights, and went home. I called you once, but they said you weren't home, as if your home was ever Wyoming. When I tried again, the phone was unplugged: they'd gone and taken all of your music. I'd wanted to hear you play it again, that song about finding the way to God. The last time I saw you, you said that God was the last straight highway on the way home. No turn signal was required, but then again, every road's a straight one in Wyoming, so you pass the drive with country music and wait for the heavens to be unplugged the way that same old jukebox was unplugged. And maybe that's the true nature of God: giving or taking away your music. Anyway, I stopped believing in home so I left you alone in Wyoming, thinking I'd come back and see you again, and we'd listen to Bob Dylan again because the TV was always unplugged in that small apartment in Wyoming where your neighbors put up signs about God and how He was coming to call us home. They used to complain about our music. 39 You said they didn't understand music. Now you won't say anything else again because that stupid, flat ground is your home. I can't even tell you that they unplugged the neon sign that said FEAR ME, THY GOD. It was the tallest sign in Wyoming. It wasn't just your music they unplugged when they sent you to make your home with God. I won't see you again in Wyoming. 40 Robert Alyssa Wanner Digital Photograph 42 Possessed Figure or Lady Dancing Erika Nelson 8.5x11 Acrylic on Paper 43 Sail Boy Lauren Van Cislo Digital Photograph 44 Untitled Bryanna Plog Digital Photograph 45 Retrospect Jon Post Composite Photograph 46 Untitled Sam Glover 28.5x22.5 Monoprint 47 Sally Lightfoot and Sally Lightfoot Stephanie Agoncillo Digital Photograph 48 Forgiveness Vincent Inch Digital Photograph 49 Tomber Jon Post Digital Photograph 50 Untitled Caron Anderson Digital Photograph 51 What God Gave Me Aubrey Lange Digital Photograph 52 Lighting Fremont Audrey King Digital Photograph 53 Luxembourg Blue Lauren Van Cislo 54 Digital Photographs 55 At Seventeen Jenna Calhoun My father said the bulbs in the back yard would break through their shells of brown onion paper and germinate in that hard frozen ground, so I fed canna lilies organic matter in the black dirt, scratching top soil with nail whites during planting season. It stayed there, closest to my skin that fall when girls were buying glimmer high heels, dresses that gave away the curves of calf muscles, purses matching painted lips. Girls in department stores looked like my mother. I found black and white boys in her yearbook, the slanted cursive ink strokes that hugged spaces between rows of smiling admirers. Everyone loved her long hair in 1976, her russet skin dark unlike the rest. She was no grey Connecticut skirt. I wanted and waited for the apples of my cheeks to turn while I made a list of parts I would wish away: two sliver thin lips, white hands covered in earthy patches, the dirt clinging to wet skin under each fingernail. 57 Revenge for the Ghost Cats Joseph Fries I was young to go on the Warpath. The Grey Coyotes and Brown Serpents were my enemies. I took charcoal from the dead fire-pit and painted my face and arms. The fire of the sun burned into my bones. The crickets chanted the war dance as I sharpened my spear. A sparrow hawk circled overhead, singing. The ghosts of the cats whispered in my ear, all taken and slain. The wind hid, not daring to whisper through the melting hot air. My feet slid through sharp sand, a faint trail through grey brush. A hollow in the hill. Something brittle, white. Bone. A skull, some ribs, part of a leg. Coyote. I raised the skull up, howled. I shook my spear at him, saw him sneaking through the night, stabbed him, stabbed the ground. I slipped a rope through his eyes, tied his skull around my neck. I stalked through red rocks, sliced my feet upon them. The sun baked down, I was dry as a wind blown husk. There, coiled, sleeping. He heard me, raised up his arrow-head, tongue licking the air. I danced to the music of his rattle. I sang of him waiting, waiting, to strike from hiding at a passing cat, I struck him. Speared through his neck, raised him up, my flag, my war banner. I danced vengeance, danced the sun down for the Grey Coyotes and the Brown Serpents, pounded my eleven-year-old feet for the Ghost Cats. 58 An Old Thing, British Museum Daniel Ahrendt Digital Photograph 59 Alphabetically Other: An A to Z Introduction to Queer Language, Culture, and History Andrew Lucchesi Having been a member of the queer community for a few years now (I use the term queer community with great reservation because of the unique, varied, and often disjointed nature of the sub-groups within that community), I have managed to learn a thing or two. I know, however, that the subject of queer culture is daunting for some, especially those who are just beginning to explore it. This dictionary is meant to introduce just such a person to what I see as the basics of queer language, history, and culture. American Psychiatric Association In the history of the contemporary gay-liberation movement, there are a few events all queer people (and all straight people who have an interest in queer culture or history) should know. On 15 December 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Before this historic decision, homosexuality was described as a mental illness "primarily in terms of society and of conformity with the prevailing social milieu."1 It was this prognosis--fueled by an extremely homophobic psychiatric community--that motivated the use of procedures like electroshock therapy and lobotomy in an attempt to "cure" the afflicted individual.2 Protesters stormed the 1970 APA convention; they made it clear that homosexuals were no longer going to sit idly by and be diagnosed as sick. It was one of the first major victories of the newborn gay-liberation movement (skip to Stonewall to learn more about that movement's beginning the previous year). Upon review, the APA board found that the previous assessment of homosexuality as a disorder was not based on strong scientific evidence. Homosexuality was omitted from the DSM III, printed the following year. Bisexuality and Biphobia There is still a prevalent opinion in both straight and queer culture that bisexuality--like the unicorn or the g-spot--is mythical. The New York Times printed an article titled "Straight, Gay or Lying: Bisexuality Revisited," in which a study was presented attempting to prove that there is no such thing as bisexuality.3 The concept of a non-binary sexual continuum, ranging from exclusively possessing same-sex attraction to 60 exclusively possessing other-sex attraction, is not a new one. The Kinsey scale, which was developed in the 1940s by Alfred Kinsey, rates people from 0 to 6 (exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual, respectively). Most people fall somewhere in the middle area, which might best be called bisexuality.4 There is a great deal of confusion concerning bisexuality from both straight and queer people. Because they are sometimes attracted to the other sex, bisexuals can never be wholly gay; they have the ability to have socially acceptable relationships in a way other queer people don't. Bisexuals are not, however, exclusively attracted to the other sex, which means that sometimes they appear to be queer. I believe binary sexuality distinctions are too cumbersome for something as fluid as sexual attraction. The battle still rages, however. Are bisexuals really gay and just don't want to admit it? The Times seemed to think so. Coming Out A concept that is often difficult for straight people to understand completely is that of "coming out of the closet." George Lakoff and Mark Johnson were correct when in their book, Metaphors We Live By, they claimed "that most of our ordinary conceptual system is metaphorical in nature."5 If this is the case, then there is good reason why so much weight is placed on the metaphorical closet. The problem is that the metaphor of coming out of a closet is an over-simplified one; nobody simply turns a knob, pushes a door, and walks from straight to gay in one mighty step. The coming-out process has a different number of steps for different individuals. I will model the concept using my own experience. The first coming out a person does is usually to herself. This is often spurred by what I call an "acknowledgment of difference," wherein the queer person first sees that she is not like those around her. For me, this happened at about twelve or thirteen. Other stages of coming out include coming out to friends, coming out to family, coming out at work, and coming out at school. The problem with the closet metaphor is that it doesn't point to the complexity of the coming-out experience. It is not simply that one comes out and is out in all ways; one has to keep coming out with every new group of people or new situation. See Outing for more information on how people "out" themselves or how they are "outed" by others. 61 Dyke Dyke is a term often used for lesbians or especially masculine females. A word of Old English origin, the first reference of dyke cited by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) dates to the 9th century CE. Here it was used to mean "a long and narrow hollow dug out of the ground."6 To find an indepth entry on dyke as applied to lesbians, I consulted the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (RHHDAS). It suggests that a probable etymology of dyke can be found in the French word morphadyke, which is a dialectic variant of hermaphrodite. The RHHDAS defines the word as "a female homosexual, especially if aggressive or masculine in appearance and mannerisms--usually used disparagingly."7 The word dyke is one of the strongest examples within queer culture of a reclaimed epithet. For example, it is tradition that every Gay Pride parade begins with the "dykes on bikes." Though it has been reclaimed from within the lesbian community, it still carries too pejorative a connotation to be used lightly. Even as a gay man, I would probably never refer to a lesbian as a dyke . . . not to her face. Evangelical Christianity One does not have to follow the news or do much research to understand the views of most conservative evangelical Christian organizations with regard to homosexuality. Pastor Gil Rugh published a book called Homosexuality: A Biblical Perspective, in which he addressed what he called "the Christian perspective" on "the forgotten sin."8 Rugh goes on to cite numerous biblical passages, from Genesis to the Letters of Paul, in support of his claim that Christian morality is being subverted by liberal society. Though the view that homosexuality is sinful is supported by a number of Christian sects, there are, however, a number of churches that accept all persons in their midst. Much of the argument boils down to the distinction between choice and innate state. See the entry on Zygote for more discussion on choice versus innate state. Fire Island Fire Island is a small barrier island off the coast of New York. Since the mid-19th century, it has been a vacation spot for gay and lesbian people. Oscar Wilde visited in 1882; during the forties and fifties, wellknown gay personalities like Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Benjamin Britten also visited the gay resorts there. Fire Island became of 62 Andrew Lucchesi most importance to gay history in the years following the Stonewall riots (see below). It was in this time that gay men and lesbians (though always more of the former than the latter) flocked to the island, forming almost exclusively queer communities.9 As vacation spots, these were the places many gay men would go for anonymous sex, often with many different partners on each visit. It was here that the post-Stonewall sexual freedom was played out; it was also that sexual freedom that helped to spread HIV so quickly among the gay community of the seventies and eighties. Fire Island represents more than just a place where gay men went to vacation and to have sex: it represents an image of promiscuity and recklessness from which the queer community has been trying to recover ever since. The Gay Agenda The mysterious "gay agenda" has been described by many people in a variety of ways. Many groups who ally themselves with conservatism or conservative Christianity have claimed that there is a general plot being played out by which queer people are attempting to damage and subvert the morality of society. In the historic 2003 court case Lawrence v. Texas, sodomy laws were struck down by a six to three majority. Writing in dissent, Justice Scalia offers a definition of what he terms the "homosexual agenda." He explains it as "the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."10 Scalia continues to explain how this agenda is to blame for the court's ruling in favor of repealing the sodomy laws. There are more alarmist versions of the gay agenda touted by many conservative groups; some go so far as to suggest that items on the agenda include removing laws against pedophilia, granting privileged status to queer people, forbidding heterosexuality, destroying the church, and instituting a communist government in America. As a queer person, I have yet to be shown this agenda, though I go to the mailbox with hope every day. Heterosexism and Homophobia There is an important difference between the terms homophobic and heterosexist. As one can easily see from the ending phobic, homophobia has to do with a fear of homosexuals. The word was first used by a psychotherapist named George Weinberg, who accused his contemporaries of an irrational "dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals."11 It 63 is still popularly used to refer to people who are made angry, violent, or offended by homosexuals or homosexuality. Heterosexism can be loosely defined as a belief that heterosexual values are universal, that they should be privileged above others, and that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality.12 It is difficult to argue that American society isn't heterosexist (or heterocentric, which is a word used interchangeably with heterosexist), but it is not always overtly homophobic. There is a distinction between these two terms that is very important to discussions of prejudice and bias with regard to sexual orientation. Homophobic comments and actions are often motivated by extreme heterosexism, but not all heterosexist people show homophobic tendencies. Intersex, Transgender, and Transsexual All three of these distinctions are related to issues of gender and sex; they are also often confused. Intersex refers to a person who is born with ambiguous genitalia. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have suggested that intersexuals "may constitute as many as 4 percent of births."13 If this is accurate, on a campus of approximately 3,500 students, about 140 could have been born with some form of intersexuality. In the past, doctors would perform surgery to "correct" the ambiguity--usually assigning a female sex to the child. The saying goes, "it's easier to dig a hole than to build a pole." There have been movements, however, to stop this practice, by organizations like the Intersex Society of North America, which claims that the nonconsensual surgeries do more harm than good.14 Transgender is a more general term meaning anyone who falls outside traditional gender norms. It is usually used to refer to someone whose gender (as in man, woman, or neither) is in discord with that person's sex (as in male, female, or intersex). Transsexual, however, is only used to refer to people who are seeking or have undergone sexual-reassignment therapy or surgery.15 Transsexuals can be transgendered; not all transgendered people are transsexual. Get it? Within queer culture, where issues of gender queerness are more prevalent, there is much more openness about these issues. A favorite phrase I have heard my friends ask is "what's your pronoun?" Sex and gender issues are particularly touchy in the straight world. New people to queer culture should try their best to understand this complex and unique part of the queer community. For a more detailed look at some sex and gender particulars, see XX/XY. 64 Andrew Lucchesi Jail Sodomy laws in the United States have been, until very recently, largely a state affair rather than a federal one. Twenty-one states, including Utah, Montana, Florida, Texas, and Michigan, held that certain types of sex acts, even when performed in private between consenting adults, were illegal; included on some of these lists are oral sex, anal sex, and vaginal intercourse performed in prohibited positions (many of these laws forbid straight couples, even if married, from participating in these acts). Gravity of the crimes, like specific rules and regulations for prosecution, ranged from Florida's misdemeanor rating (with a penalty of up to sixty days in prison and a $500 fine) to Virginia state law, which classified sodomy as a felony deserving a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. In 2003, however, the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that sodomy laws were a breach of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which offers equal protection and "due process" rights to all citizens. Texas police had broken into the home of John Lawrence, where he was found to be having sex with a man named Tyron Garner; both men were arrested for violating Texas sodomy law.16 With the Supreme Court's decision to strike down sodomy laws nation wide, "non-traditional" bedroom conduct between consenting adults was officially none of Uncle Sam's business. It was a very important moment in recent queer history. Kink Culture There is a wide range of acceptance within the larger queer community of what I term the kink culture or fetish culture. Since sexual-minority status has long been defined based on the sex practices one participates in, it is perfectly logical to me that queer culture also has this focus--it splits itself along the borders of what one does in the bedroom. Leather culture is probably the most used term for queer fetish culture. In his essay "Leatherdyke Boys and Their Daddies: How to Have Sex without Women or Men," C. Jacob Hale, a female-to-male transsexual, gives a detailed analysis of a few aspects of leather culture.17 The leather community has an important and visible role in both gay male and lesbian society, though it is still marginalized to a large extent. In many ways, the focus on sexual freedom prevalent in the post-Stonewall generation helped to fuel the creation of this tight-knit and assertive part of the greater queer community. There are leather prides, leather conventions, leather bars, leather dungeons, and even leather balls (by which I mean dance gatherings, in case there was 65 confusion). Kink culture is an important part of queer culture, one which is likely to remain so. Lesbian Lesbian is a word meaning literally "of or pertaining to the Isle of Lesbos,"18 which is an island in the Greek archipelago on which Sappho, the great lyric poet, wrote. The OED first cites it meaning "a female homosexual" as early as the late 19th century. The word history for lesbian is relatively straightforward, so I will take this moment to explain about an aspect of queer culture the average straight person might not know. Queer culture is exceedingly divided along gender lines. The misogyny of straight culture is just as prevalent in the gay community, and this has caused a great disunity in the queer population.19 Gay culture, to a large extent, is dominated by men. An easy way to see this is to look at the terminology used for the culture as a whole. Gay, queer, and homosexual are all words that were originally used for men exclusively and were only later adapted to be used for women; dyke and lesbian have never made that jump to universality. While many queer issues and cultural traits seem focused on men, that is not to say that other members of queer culture--lesbians, bisexual people, gender-queer people--are not important. While the different queer camps do not always mix well, few people would claim that a lesbian is less queer than a gay man. Just because we don't always get along doesn't mean we aren't all on the same team. Metrosexual The OED offers a definition for metrosexual that reads, "A man (esp. a heterosexual man) whose lifestyle, spending habits, and concern for personal appearance are likened to those considered typical of a fashionable, urban, homosexual man." This word first appears, according to the OED, in the early 1990s.20 I will take this moment to address the general subject of metrosexuality. Metrosexuals are the bane of gay male existence. There is a lot of security in being able to identify someone who might be a dating prospect on sight, and, because of metrosexuals, it is much harder to be sure you're not wasting your time. Neither pristine hair nor clothes in either spendy or flashy fashion are enough to identify a person's sexuality. Gay or metro? Do we really need it to be any harder than it already is? As the lines between heterosexual and homosexual stereotypes blur, everyone takes a step toward androgyny. The principle makes me proud of where 66 Andrew Lucchesi we've come as a culture; the practice makes me wish the breeders would just wear signs. Nellie Nellie is a less commonly used word that, as a noun, means an effeminate gay man; as an adjective (nelly) is used to describe the effeminate quality of a person. I mention nellie as an example of queer language that is leaving the lexicon. The language of queer culture changes quickly--as it does in all parts of culture. Though the RHHDAS traces nellie, an American variant of a French pet name (spelled the same), back to 1916,21 it has joined words like fairy, homo, swish, friend of Dorothy, and many others in working its way out of common use within the culture. Outing Here we come to a sensitive subject: how a queer person outs her or his self, and how a queer person can be outed by others. Outing is derived from the metaphor "coming out of the closet," which is discussed above. One of the primary defense mechanisms for queer people, when they are in situations that seem unsafe or unfriendly, is to "straighten up" or to act "closeted." This is a skill most queer people have to some degree; it is simply a reality of living life in a heterosexist culture--you learn to pass. There are times, however, when as a queer person you want to make it evident that you are queer. This is where outing comes in. One can either out one's self by expressly saying that one is queer, or one can take more subtle means. "Dropping hairpins" or "dropping beads" are terms used to mean either intentionally or unintentionally (respectively) dropping hints about one's sexuality.22 One can also be outed, which is when another person either intentionally or unintentionally reveals one's sexuality. Not only is it a social faux pas to out someone without permission, it can be dangerous in the wrong company. There is power in being able to control who does and who does not know your sexual preference; the loss of that power can be very upsetting. Pride Gay Pride is used to mean one of two things: in one context it can mean the feeling of self-appreciation for one's sexual or gender orientation and support for the orientations of others--in another it could be the parades and events meant to promote that feeling. The first Gay Pride parades were 67 held in 1970 to commemorate the Stonewall riots of the previous year. Though the Pride parades in cities like New York and San Francisco are the most well known (and are truly gargantuan in size), there are Prides held all over the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. It has been estimated that over 45,000,000 people participate in Pride events worldwide every year.23 The parades, marches, and celebrations are usually held during June (the month of the Stonewall riots). In the state of Washington alone there are Pride celebrations in Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, Bremerton, Spokane, Yakima, and two separate events in Seattle (not to mention all the near-by celebrations in British Columbia and Oregon). Some claim that Pride is simply an excuse to throw a big party and act irresponsible in public--neither nudity nor outrageous behavior is unusual at Pride parades. Queer According to the OED, the first recorded use of queer was in 1508 meaning "strange, odd, peculiar, or eccentric in appearance or character."24 In the early 20th century, it became associated with gay males as both an adjective and a noun. Until recently, queer had always been pejorative in connotation; there have been recent moves, however, to reclaim this epithet. Queer is used within the culture itself and within academic institutions in a more general sense than simply pertaining to gay men. Within the queer community, queer can be used to refer to people who are bisexual, lesbian, gay, polyamorous, transgender, transsexual, or even straight (assuming the person is far enough from traditional gender or sexual norms). Queer has become an all-inclusive umbrella term for anything outside the realm of heteronormativity. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary notes that while the new, more neutral or positive usage of queer is preferred by academics and younger people, there are still "older gay men who fostered the acceptance of gay in these uses and still have a strong preference for it."25 As a younger person, an aspiring academic, and the leader of numerous queer-involvement organizations, I love the universality the word queer gives. Like any group title, however, it is subject to change as the group develops. Gay is on the way out; queer is on the way in. Queer theory. Queer literature. Queer issues, people, and districts. Queer everything. 68 Andrew Lucchesi Racism Queer culture, though it makes large claims of universal acceptance, still contains a great divide between the white queer community and the communities of queer people of color. In a collection of essays by black gay male writers entitled Brother to Brother, Charles I. Nero writes about his experience as a black gay man. He says, "because of heterosexism among African American intellectuals and the racism in the white gay community, black gay men have been an invisible population."26 This experience is not unique to black gay people, however; I can't count the times I have been asked if I was into "ethnics" in the same way one might be "into" leather or other fetishes. Arthur Flannigan-Saint-Aubin, in his essay "Black Gay Male Discourse," explains how "Dominant [white] gay men's identification as gay men does not entrain their identification with gay men differently positioned within the power structure. Moreover, white gay theory and practice pose themselves as universal, the essence of gay."27 The result of this is the creation of a sub-culture within the queer community that is less respected, less observed, and fetishized. As a dear black friend of mine says, he can't be fully black because he is gay, and he can't be fully gay because he's black. Stonewall On 28 June 1969, the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar whose clientele consisted mostly of lesbians and gay men (primarily people of color). During these raids the police usually arrested people who were cross-dressing or who didn't have ID cards; the raids were a common occurrence at that time in New York. Different stories circulate as to who threw the first punch, but at 1 am, a riot broke out between the patrons and the police. By the end of the first night of riots, hundreds of protesters (both from the Stonewall and from the surrounding neighborhood) were throwing rocks and bottles, chanting, "Gay Power!" as riot police attempted to calm the situation. Over the three separate nights of rioting that week, the modern Gay Rights movement was born.28 This is my personal telling of the story; other tellings vary drastically. Stonewall was the single most important event in the history of gay culture; one cannot have a clear understanding of that culture without having some understanding of Stonewall. A presumptuous claim, I know, but I'm not the first to make it. 69 Twink The word twink is very common in modern gay slang. A twink or a twinkie is an attractive young gay white male in his teens or twenties.29 The etomology of twink is hard to track down; some people think it is based on the Hostess snack food Twinkies. While it was originally used to describe teenage, blond, vacuous bois (a variant spelling for boy used by many twinks), it can be used to describe any younger gay man. Think of it as the gay equivalent to chick. I've been called a twink once or twice in my life, though I don't feel that the term fits well. Twink is a term that many, including myself, find pejorative. Twinks can be found at the dance clubs every night. Twinks have tragic, short-lived relationships by the barrel-full. Twinks have perfect bodies--or at least make damn sure it looks like they do. Just like their sugary namesake, the twink is all fluff with no substance. While it's nice to feel attractive, I'm not sure I'd like the baggage that goes with the title of twink. It is, however, a word that has been in the gay lexicon for a number of decades, and it probably won't be leaving soon. Uranian Uranian is a term for a homosexual that is based on ideas adapted from Plato's Symposium. The term became popular during the Victorian era in Western Europe with the revival of classicism. In Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde, Michael Matthew Kaylor discusses the uranian poetry written roughly between 1890 and 1930. The word Uranian hearkens back to a Greek myth that Plato alluded to in his Symposium; the myth, an alternate account of Aphrodite's birth, claims that the goddess was born without a father or mother. She was simply a child of Uranus (the heavens).30 It is Uranian Aphrodite who is associated with the pederastic love tradition in the ancient world. Paul Monette wrote in his memoir, Borrowed Time, about the search for a gay history. "[A] gay man seeks his history in mythic fragments, random as blocks of stone in the ruins covered in Greek characters, gradually being erased in the summer rain."31 It is valuable to queer culture to have a history to point back to. Some people found it in the Greeks; some in the Native Americans; many are forced to simply make it themselves. The Voice Can queer people, specifically gay men, be identified by their voices? I know many people who would say yes. Arnold Zwicky discusses the 70 Andrew Lucchesi possibility of extensive linguistic study in this area in his essay "Two Lavender Issues for Linguists." Zwicky explains the logic of the voice, saying, "since people are in fact quite good at discriminating the sexes on the basis of speech alone, it follows that dykes and faggots should be detectable by a disparity between their appearance and their speech, or in fact merely by contradictory signals in their speech."32 Picking out the voice is just one of the elements used in the infamous "gay-dar" (or 'dar, for short). I don't have much doubt that there are distinguishable gay male vocal traits but I have a hard time understanding how they could be universal. Gay male culture has an innate ability to both mock itself and internalize stereotypes from both inside and outside of gay culture. Having watched gay men come out, and hearing the vocal change-- raise in pitch, difference of pronunciation, and many other traits Zwicky suggests33--I believe that much of the voice has to do with social conditioning rather than biology. If gay men alter their speech patterns to resemble those of women, and if a young man wants to identify himself with gay culture, then he will probably make efforts (conscious or unconscious) to fit that description. Is there a voice? Perhaps there is, but the gay community is far too varied to ever get it pinned down definitively. Weddings My friend Lisa's marriage was one of the happiest days of her life. She and her spouse stood with friends and family on a Hawaiian beach as the sun rose. They both wore orchid leis and exchanged the vows they had written. Rings were designed by one of their closest friends. It was not a legal marriage. The right for same-sex couples to marry has been at the top of the "gay agenda" since long before that term even came into use. In the United States there is no national legislation with regard to same-sex marriage; it is still largely a state affair. Only a few countries recognize the rights of same-sex couples to marry: the Netherlands, Belgium, France, South Africa, Spain, and Canada are among the countries with such laws. Civil union laws are allowed in many states in the U.S., though civil unions do not have all the rights and obligations of legal marriages. Washington State, for example, recently passed legislation to grant civil unions rights related to next-ofkin status and child guardianship.34 Most gay rights groups are unsatisfied with civil unions, however. Why can we not marry in our own country? The battle is still being waged. 71 XX/XY As you learned in the Intersex, Transgender, and Transsexual entry, there is a great deal to know about issues of sex and gender. Though it may be more information than is truly needed for an introduction into queer culture, history, and language, I would like to explore some more detailed issues with regard the sexes--all five of them. Anne Fausto-Sterling's article "The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough" was published in the March 1993 issue of The Sciences. She explains how even though modern medical science has begun to accept intersexuality in infants as something not demanding immediate correction, chromosomal classification of binary sex is still the primary means of sex identification.35 Fausto-Sterling coins a number of terms for what she argues are the five major biological sexes. Male and female are obvious-- they are persons born with either XY chromosomes and two testes or XX chromosomes and two ovaries. Male pseudohermaphrodites, whom she calls "merms," are born with male chromosomes (XY) but have a vagina and clitoris (though they do not menstruate). Female pseudohermaphrodites (ferms) have ovaries and two X chromosomes, though they also have external genitalia that look more male than female.36 True hermaphrodites, whom she calls "herms," have one ovary and one testis, either of which may or may not function reproductively. I include this entry not simply to show that there is a world of study being actively done in issues of sex and gender but to illustrate that issues of transsexuality, transgenderism, and intersexuality are not only a matter of psychology; hard science is involved. The body is more complex than science is prepared to classify--how much weight can we really place on society's insistence on a black-and-white system of binary sex? Male or female? Yes. Yellow-Brick Road Yellow-Brick Road is a slang term for the "gay lifestyle,"37 but I will use it as an opportunity to explain one of the most unique and identifiable aspects of queer culture: camp. Camp is a way of describing an action or appearance of something as exaggerated, ridiculous, or (as the stereotypes would have it) fabulous. It started being used to describe extravagantly mannered gay men in the 1920s.38 Camp revolves largely around a "playful incongruity"39 between the archetype or stereotypical norm and reality. The strongest example of camp is played out in drag kings and queens: men and women (sometimes transsexuals) dress as exaggerated caricatures of the 72 Andrew Lucchesi other sex. The effect is often a mockery of the rigidity of gender roles. The Wizard of Oz is a camp classic not because it is obviously gay but because it is ridiculous, fabulous, and offers stereotypical archetypes in a self-mocking way. Judy Garland's camp appeal has long been a part of gay mythology (there are even theories that Garland's death, days before the Stonewall riots, spurned the crowd into action). If (as it did for one reader) my subject title brings to mind Elton John's famous song "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," that may be a helpful way to think of camp. Think of the obnoxiously bright outfits and giant sunglasses he wore in the seventies and eighties. Very campy. While an understanding of camp is not essential to understanding queer culture, it will certainly get you a long way in understanding the more flamboyant elements. Zygote One of the greatest debates between those who support the rights of queer people and those who do not is the question of choice: is same-sex attraction a choice or some innate quality of the individual? Since the early nineties, genetics has been used to suggest a possible explanation. Studies have shown that there may be a commonality among gay men (I have not found an abundance of material on similar studies done with females) within the X chromosome (if it has not been clear to this point that gay issues are usually viewed by society as male issues, this should help to drive the point home).40 Genetics is not the only answer offered, however. Some say hormones are responsible for same-sex attraction.41 Others claim that brain structure or the thalamus is responsible for sexual preference.42 There are, of course, still a number of psychological explanations that offer developmental answers for homosexual tendencies. There are plenty of theories but not much agreement. Could it be genetic? I wouldn't rule that out. The larger question most people tackle with on the issue is "did we choose this `lifestyle'?" I can only answer that question for myself. Did I choose to be attracted to men? No. Did I choose to be a member of the queer community, with all the history, prejudice, bigotry, solidarity, uniqueness, and pride that comes with it? Yes. I could have remained closeted all my life, found a wife I couldn't love, and played the part. Many people have. I chose to be an out gay man; I did not choose to love men. Knowing what I do now about being queer in this heterosexist world I live in, would I choose to be gay? Yes, I honestly think I would. 73 Notes Wayne Besen, "We're Not Crazy," The Stranger, 21 June 2007, 17 � 18. Christopher Boorse, "Homosexuality Reclassified," The Hastings Center Report, 12 (1982): 42 � 44, 28 June 2007, JSTOR, Pacific Lutheran University. 3 Loraine Hutchins, "Sexual Prejudice: the Erasure of Bisexuals in Academia and the Media," American Sexuality Magazine, 15 Aug. 2005, 28 June 2007, http://nsrc.sfsu.edu/ MagArticle.cfm?Article=475&PageID=0. 4 Hutchins par. 17. 5 George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago P, 1980). 6 "Dike, Dyke," Oxford English Dictionary, 26 June 2007, http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/ entry/50064029?query_type=word&queryword=dyke&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_ type=alpha&search_id=6eEl-RccJ5q-9204&result_place=1. 7 "Dyke," Def. 1, Random House Dictionary of American Slang, 1st ed., 1994. 8 Gil Rugh, Homosexuality: a Biblical Perspective, (Lincoln: Indian Hills Community Church, 1994) The Evangelical Christian Library, 27 June 2007, http://www.ccel.us/. 9 Jeffery Escoffier, "Fire Island," glbtq: an Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture (glbtq Inc.:2004), 25 June 2007, http://www.glbtq.com/ social-sciences/fire_island.html. 10 John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner V. Texas, No. 539 U.S. 558, 26 June 2003, 26 June 2007, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invo l=02-102#dissent1. 11 Vern Bullough, "Homophobia," glbtq: an Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture (glbtq Inc.:2004), 28 June 2007, http://www.glbtq.com/ social-sciences/homophobia.html. 12 Bullough par. 5. 13 Anne Fausto-Sterling, "The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female are Not Enough." Race, Gender, and Sexuality: Philosophical Issues of Identity and Justice, Jami L. Anderson Ed. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2003), 33 � 39. 14 Susan Stryker, "Intersexuality," glbtq: an Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture (glbtq Inc.: 2004), 29 June 2007, http://www.glbtq.com/ social-sciences/intersexuality.html. 15 Susan Stryker, "Transgender Activism," glbtq: an Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture (glbtq Inc.:2004), 28 June 2007, http://www. glbtq.com/social-sciences/transgender_activism.html. 16 Jamie Pedersen, "Lawrence V. Texas." The Stranger, 21 June 2007: 43 � 44. 17 Robert C. Hale, "Leatherdyke Boys and Their Daddies: How to Have Sex without Women or Men," Social Texts 52 (1997): 223 � 236, JSTOR, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma. 18 "Lesbian," Oxford English Dictionary, 28 June 2007, http://dictionary.oed.com. ezproxy.plu.edu/cgi/entry/50132050?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=lesbian&fi rst=1&max_to_show=10. 19 Suzanna D. Walters, "From Here to Queer: Radical Feminism, Postmodernism, and the Lesbian Menace (or, Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Fag?)," Signs 21 (1996): 830 � 869. JSTOR. Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma. 28 June 2007. 20 "Metrosexual," Oxford English Dictionary, 28 June 2007, http://dictionary.oed.com. ezproxy.plu.edu/cgi/entry/00341728?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=metrosex ual&first=1&max_to_show=10. 21 "Nellie," Def. 1, Random House Dictionary of American Slang, 1st ed., 1994. 22 Julia Stanley, "When We Say `Out of the Closets!'" College English 36 (1974): 385 � 391, 1 2 74 Andrew Lucchesi JSTOR, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, 26 June 2007. 23 Linda Rapp, "Parades and Marches," glbtq: an Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture (glbtq Inc.: 2004), 29 June 2007, http://www.glbtq.com/ social-sciences/parades_marches.html. 24 "Queer," Oxford English Dictionary, 20 June 2007, http://dictionary.oed.com. ezproxy.plu.edu/cgi/entry/50194683?query_type=word&queryword=queer&first=1 &max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=2&search_id=x0qM-2E2bQX5310&hilite=50194683. 25 "Queer," Merriam-Webster, 20 June 2007, http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/ dictionary/queer. 26 Charles I. Nero, "Toward a Black Gay Aesthetic: Signifying in Contemporary Black Gay Literature," Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, Ed. Essex Hemphill (Boston: Alyson Books, 1991), 229. 27 Arthur Flannigan-Saint-Aubin, "`Black Gay Male' Discourse: Reading Race and Sexuality between the Lines," Journal of the History of Sexuality 3 (1993): 468 � 490, JSTOR, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, 28 June 2007. 28 Andrew Matzner, "Stonewall," glbtq: an Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture (glbtq Inc.: 2004), 27 June 2007, http://www.glbtq.com/ social-sciences/stonewall_riots,2.html. 29 Robert L. Chapman, Ed. "Twink," New Dictionary of American Slang, (New York: Harper and Row, 1986). 30 Michael M. Kaylor, Secreted Desires: the Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde, (Brno, CZ: Masaryk UP, 2006), Masaryk University, 27 June 2007, http://www.mmkaylor. com. 31 Paul Monette, Borrowed Time: an AIDS Memoir (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988). 32 Arnold M. Zwicky, "Two Lavender Issues for Linguists," Queerly Phrased (New York: Oxford UP, 1997), 21 � 34. 33 Zwicky 31. 34 Christine Vestal, "Civil Unions Spread, But Gays Want to Wed," Stateline.Org, 31 May 2007, 29 June 2007, http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=212354. 35 Fausto-Sterling 34. 36 Fausto-Sterling 35. 37 Andre Koymasky, "Glossary of Gay Slang Terms," March 2005, 28 June 2007, http:// andrejkoymasky.com/lou/dic/y.html. 38 Maurice Westmoreland, "Camp in the Works of Luis Zapata," Modern Language Studies 25 (1995): 45 � 59, JSTOR, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, 25 June 2007. 39 Westmoreland 47. 40 Robert Pool, "Evidence for Homosexuality Gene," Science 261 (1993): 291 � 292, JSTOR, Pacific Lutheran Univerity, Tacoma, 27 June 2007. 41 Rosemary C. Veniegas, "Biological Research on Women's Sexual Orientations: Evaluating the Scientific Evidence," Journal of Social Issues (2000), 25 June 2007, http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0341/is_2_56/ai_66419866/print. 42 T. J. Taylor, Twin Studies of Homosexuality (Trinity College: 1992), 28 June 2007, http://www.tim-taylor.com/papers/twin_studies/index.html. 75 Condolence Jon Post Digital Photograph 76 Birds Tied to the Ceiling Jessica Lona Out of the hair on my head, I am trying to construct a bird's nest. In bed I lie coffin-still waiting for birds, arranged on velvet, in flowers, like brown Victorian photographs of the dead. My lids are folded over my eyes, and my hair folded over that so no birds will know I'm underneath. I collect twigs and wool and flower petals, and knit them in. In the morning I untube toothpaste over me, and rub it in to make my nest bigger, and so birds who come in to inspect get stuck, and can't leave. I walk around railroad tracks, where I know I won't find birds, until whatever was keeping me warm isn't anymore. I sit sunken-ship in a porcelain tub and keep my nest out of the water in case a bird came in without making any noise, and got stuck there, and couldn't leave, without making any noise, just like I do. 77 Untitled Corinne Holmberg Digital Photograph 78 The Poet at Nineteen Joseph Fries I'm not afraid to close my eyes at night. Vichy. It rains like a cow pissing, the river flooded, caf�s underwater. Later, when the waters have receded, the decorative cabbage will grow to enormous proportions and tower over me. Will a giant rabbit come to eat it? I'm not afraid of what my dreams will show me. I say, je n�cessite... no, this is not correct, j'ai besoin de... yes, correct, so after three months of comic books and gibberish I can hear again, I can speak at last and the girls all wear skirts over their pants and the guys all smoke. I saw some things I would like to show you: Les pertes en Iraq ont mont�... click, la violence dans les banlieues... click, le pr�sident Bush dit que... click, les terroristes Corses ont attaqu�... click, le tremblement de terre en Turquie tue... click, � Paris on trouve des morts du chaleur... click. The broken glass. The cars on fire. As I walk back from the lyc�e the rain starts, and I have never seen it like this and I go down to the river to watch it raining, raining, they say il est fou, celui-l�, but I like the rain. The cabbage drinks it down, glou glou glou. 79 Three Haiku Bethel Prescott Editors' Choice seeds of lies-- how many poppies sown today? far-off cars-- the sound of a river no longer here he's very worried about his bald spot-- she hasn't noticed. 80 Mother Tongues Jake K.M. Paikai Hebrew The zippered teeth on the pages of my grandfather's tattered war-time haggadah peeped at me from across the table as my grandmother punched her fist into the slippery cavity of a fat, spring chicken. There wasn't much left to do-- the charoses mashed up in a bowl, the marror picked clean, right out the garden. I watched the z'roa roast and the leg burn black and brown; the crispy tanned egg spin on its plate. I tugged her apron and she wrote the words, backward, in residual chicken blood from right to left. I mouthed those alephbets, unaware of the blackened teeth that came before. English I sit outside and imagine the other names for things, the lost eddies of the tongue that were resigned for other epithets. I make myself Adam, and see the warbling birds and name them something else, and delight in the new names I conjure. See that old dog? He knows how deep the yearning lies, to bark out the old forgotten syllables that our predecessors gave up. I don't. I write their new names in the air, and hold a candle to their new beginnings: each of us, if we could be new named, would reach back into our histories and find the moment where it all had changed. 81 Speakers' Corner, London Daniel Ahrendt Digital Photograph 82 Saturday Tyler Nowlen While others down shots and swivel hips to shallow beats, my house gathers with popcorn and blankets to watch porn. This one scene, this girl, she begs for a "long, hard cock" like she's not at work--she writhes in pleasure as her panties are pushed into her ass by a man with barbwire tattooed around the base of his penis. The tattoo on his right ass cheek reads, "EXIT ONLY." We never see his face. After all of this, after her moaning and screaming, after the man stands and delivers his d�nouement across her face, the video keeps rolling, and for 15 seconds she stares at the camera, at us, and finally does not know what to say. 83 Contributers STEPHANIE AGONCILLO is in between the lines and every so often runs with the crowd of neat penmanship. In a matter of [several hundreds of] days, she will be a chef, doctor, rock star, or photographer... but likely a condensation of all. A chefoctorockstographer. (And she still enjoys road trips with her best friend.) DANIEL AHRENDT is a sophomore majoring in Music and Communication who needs to get his act together and about an hour prior to writing this decided he really likes Outkast. Seriously, damn. CARON LEIGH ANDERSON: communication major with minors in Studio Art and Religion. She loves the outdoors and wishes to be a travel photographer. JENNA CALHOUN is a whole lot of woman and a whole lot of bad dancing. Watch yourself! MATT CLICK died in a freak chemical explosion, but was rebuilt by military scientists. He is now the ultimate crime-fighting machine and robotic warrior for truth, justice, and the American way. In his free time he likes to write, watch movies, and play tabletop games. KATRINA CSONKA: I am currently a senior, graduating this year with a BA, emphases in painting and drawing. Though my future career is still undecided, I hope to one day be a part of something truly amazing. REBEKKA ESBJORNSON is practicing resurrection. JOSEPH FRIES speaks in x�chitl in cuicatl, flower and song, and this is his method of going beyond that apartment in the City of Death. He realizes that he is not himself but is actually the shadow walking beside him who knows that c'est bien plus beau lorsque c'est inutile! SAM GLOVER is the color red. JACOB CARL HARKSEN is going somewhere else now. KOLBY HARVEY is the kid at elementary school skate night who had to rent 20-year-old roller skates, due to roller blade ineptitude. A burgeoning 84 linguaphile and avid moviegoer, Kolby currently aspires to return to Berlin, where he will have his every need taken care of by a strapping, German lad. CORINNE HOLMBERG would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to Rick Barot for convincing her she's not an awful writer, to Jake Paikai for yelling at her until she submitted something, and to Ethan Demarest for his quiet solidarity when it comes to the writing of things. VINCENT INCH is a Junior at PLU this year. He is currently pursuing a music major and has interest in anthropology. His interests include Seattle nightlife, local music, and not getting his work done. (AUDREY KING, an identical twin, is utterly consumed by Art, Seattle, Tattoos, and Espressos. She is often found sipping a coffee while deep in thought about where her life is going to take her. "live in the moment, the rest will take care of itself." Amen. Yay!) My name is AUBREY LANGE and I want to be either an artist or a biologist when I grow up. If neither career works out, I'll sell a kidney and buy a cybernetic eye. Who needs a career when you can melt things with your laser vision? JESS LEE is a cultural experience. JESSICA LONA, what have you done? ANDREW LUCCHESI is myriad things: sharply attuned to the differences between vowels; looking forward to selling his possessions and going to grad school; a luminous, semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end; more thankful than he can say for being involved in Saxifrage. C. MONTILLA stops in the middle of the street, smiles and continues walking when the sun peaks through the clouds. She thanks you for being you. ERIKA NELSON has nothing to say that hasn't been said before. 85 TYLER NOWLEN enjoys art much more than he enjoys artists. He would like to thank his cat, his queers, and especially Michael for leaving behind his pornographic DVD Soaking Wet Cotton Panties as it was instrumental in the creation of "Saturday." Tyler would also like to remind Michael that Soaking Wet Cotton Panties is still around if he so cares to retrieve it. JAKE K.M. PAIKAI sees the smoke of his own breath: echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch, and vine. He would like to thank his mentors (Brenda, Angie, Sharon, Elaine, and Annekathrin), his loving friends and family, his housemates, his devoted professors, and his loving sister Melinda, to whom he owes a large portion of everything. BRYANNA PLOG is surprised to find herself living in the states again. Don't worry, it will only be for spring. Until she is off traveling again, she plans to enjoy the rain, work to try and pay off her new camera and find somewhere around Tacoma that sells real muesli. JON POST is 18 years old. He began drawing on walls at a young age, but eventually found his way into a darkroom. The smell fascinated him. He enjoys watching clouds float through the sky, eating croissant aux fruits, and finding inspiration in the obscure. Visit him online at: jo-po-17.deviantart.com. BETHEL PRESCOTT, a Psychology major who dabbles in art and civil disobedience, is still trying to figure it all out. DEREK TILTON attempts to compose music that fits somewhere between his need for self-expression and his desire for audience understanding. He hopes most of all that people will get what he is attempting to communicate. He also hopes that you will like his music and ask him to write you something... LAUREN VAN CISLO, an amateur photographer majoring in French and English, is exceedingly proud that she didn't confuse the two languages in writing this bio. En plus, elle aime prendre des photos de choses estrang�s. Oops, spoke too soon. Good thing photography transcends language. ALYSSA WANNER quotes, "If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." --Mary Engelbreit 86 Editors Margaret Ellsworth Andrew Lucchesi Jake K.M. Paikai Staff Annette Alfonsi Grace Cummings Rebekka Esbjornson Abby Fagan Kevin Fortune Jen Gray Jacob Harksen Punky Hartsell Kolby Harvey Chris Hunt Whitney Rose Levis Jessica Lona Keegan Maharaj Stevie Pearce Bethel Prescott Chereda Shaw Jason Skipper Lace M. Smith Nathan C. Thomas Sondra Tripp Salom� Valencia Daniel Wilson Advisor Solveig C. Robinson Saxifrage was set in Georgia and printed by the Johnson-Cox Company of Tacoma, WA.