Remembering What Never Was (Transgender Remembrance Day 2014)

Constance…I got fed up this year…well meaning cis-gendered people who yesterday and today started talking about remembering “all the poor dead transgendered people”…not because I do not think we should!  God no!  But I got fed up, because since my first one, last year, it seems to me that things have gotten worse and not better in terms of violent assaults, rapes and murders of transgender people.

This poem is my blunt confrontation of that fact, attitude, bent of being.  It is me speaking in the voice of the dead.


*** *** *** *** ***

my face was bashed in,
smooth creamy skin
(lasered free of wiry black blunt hair)
only to be turned
purple ugly and pug,
battered blue
and then torn,
just a rug
yanked out from
under my life
and I
flailing, then
dying there
on the dark brown
hardwood oak floor.

But that’s not good enough
(actually, not bad enough),

There are penalties
for assuming the right to be,
for breathing while transgender…
so you grabbed that
red rusty fire extinguisher
from the dull chrome bracket
over my old pale green and white
deluxe Glenwood gas stove

(the one I used when
I made your favorite
red gravy and mushrooms
over pasta with cheese
and you smiled and said
I was a good woman,
but that was before
you ate your fill
and got bored).

and then you broke
my face against it,
pulped my nose and
broke my dead jaws
as you jammed the blunt end
down my slack throat
and I already
dead and already
flown away

but that’s not good enough
(actually, not bad enough),

To let a transgirl
have a face
in her transgressive act
of saying I Am, well,
as the Dude says
(regal in all his privileged glory)
This aggression will not stand, man!”

cus me, well
I am aggressive,
I am transgressive,
I dared to live,
I dared to cry
I dared to feel and
I dared to fly
I dared…

and died.

my face…bashed
my body…slashed
torn, stabbed and then
raped to make sure
I never rise from the grave,
my flesh thrown in the dumpster
with the rest of the trash
dead or alive,

and then set on fire.

I don’t want you to worry though!
Because everything is AOK,
because Remembrance Day…
because remembrance day,
but how do you re-member me
after I am chopped to pieces
for the heresy of seeking

My name,
recited solemnly,
a legerdemain of modern time and place
masquerading as elegy and tribute to
trans-trouble, torches smoking,
choking and dead.
This mummery murmers
name by name
to appease the lurking beast inside
(such civilized animals)
and I see sage cis-heads
nod slow and I think
of bobble-heads bought
with gender currency and guilt,
bought with blood money
from gory grisly gruesome chests
passed down father to son
since Cain.

you’ll breathe deep,
sigh and toss salt
over your left shoulder
while forking off the evil eye
with your left hand
stabbing like a striking snake
against trans-mystery and tragedy.
And then you will fix your gaze
high on horizons, not even
glancing in gutters where we lay,
still and bleeding in our becoming
and desperate to re-member,
every day, especially those
days where you just
want to forget.


8 thoughts on “Remembering What Never Was (Transgender Remembrance Day 2014)

    • Everyday. And that is my point…one day is far more about a world that sanctions this and their need for expiation.

      I am very adamant about this…show me your horror, cis-gender world with the same kind of reaction you would have if this was happening to those of your own. Make laws and enforce them. Go to the streets and feed hungry hearts. Stop calling us “It” and “Tranny” and “Whore” and “Shemale” or “Shim”, and then walking away thinking that your remark was harmless and clever when in fact it was TNT in the heart of murderous trans-misogynistic men who feed on their own bloody gory ego.

      Last year was my first TGRD…and I was so horrified and saddened that there was one. And then just days afterwards, the new tally continued…which was merely an extension of the old…which at its root is the extension of the horror and outrageous violence against anyone and anything that isn’t white and male.

      I am not giving quarter in this poem…the title flays it open for what it is.

  1. “My name,
    recited solemnly,
    a legerdemain of modern time and place
    masquerading as elegy and tribute to
    trans-trouble, torches smoking,
    choking and dead.”

    So moved by this.

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