This story is part of TQU’s ongoing project

Shifting Traditions

Call for submissions is open until December 31st, 2019. We’re looking for fictional and biographical work, written, film, picture or audio submissions. WE WANT TO EXPLORE MOMENTS AND PLACES WHERE SHIFTS IN TRADITIONS TAKE PLACE AND TAKE A LOOK AT HOW WE DEAL WITH THEM.

Poem I don’t want to write

by aabbchot aabbaadd aabbswallow

illustration by Jespa Jacob Smith

I’m trapped in my silence,
I don’t tell anyone about my alarm,
I know why I am in this situation,
thoughts constantly recur, remind me.
I’ve developed and actioned plans,
they worked briefly and now aren’t,
I’ve done what I know to do,
I have no more ideas, plans, actions,
I’m emotionally paralytic.

There’s a train wreck building,
its on its way to mangle me,
I know its coming,
I am powerless to stop it,
I am helpless, humiliated, abandoned.

I’m frozen out of substantial social life,
anticipating negativity gatekeepers,
I’m ready to counter attack,
my physical body is performing,
my optimism, openness exhausted.

I’m functioning physically,
exercising, swimming, bushwalking, photographing,
cooking, cleaning, gardening, housekeeping,
shopping, buying boots, shirts, food,
getting car serviced, parts replaced, re-registered.

I’m eating chocolate too often too much,
watching lunchtime mind numbing free to air T.V.,
don’t feel hungry skip meals,
see other people’s imperfections,
chase wild noisy birds in nearby trees,
have brief empty moment of sense of achievement.

There are always practical things to do,
I am physically busy,
busyness anaesthetises terror momentarily,
it’s an illusion, a mirage camouflaging chasm,
I’m about to cartwheel into.

It’s not about being Gay,
It’s not about being a man.

It’s about not being able to get paid work,
It’s about my savings evaporating,
It’s about the prospect of not being able,
to pay basic living costs,
It’s about the inevitability of being homeless.

I’ve made hundreds of job applications,
I’ve worked all my life,
for the first time in my working life,
I am about to have no dignity, no self regard,
no social status in my own country,

It’s about being a lost, defenceless vulnerable beggar.

poem i don't want to write illustration
Illustration by Jespa Jacob Smith

Aabbchot aabbaadd Aabbswallow is an Australian Queer man. Lived and worked all over. Flown around the globe. Recently moved 800 kms north to coastal border New South Wales / Queensland. Lives at the river 2 kms from ocean beaches. Getting to know local beaches, rivers, creeks, mountains, valleys, Artist and Artisans Markets and people. Would like to learn to sail. Likes most intelligent culture and social engagement. Writes short stories, poems, polemics when stimulated. Appreciates friendly articulate constructive critiques. Contact welcome.

Jespa Jacob Smith is a DIY-visual artist and poet. Their work focuses on transitional and surreal situations as well as language and the way we try to use it to bridge the space between each other as well as ourselves and our thoughts. Their art and poetry is informed but not limited to experiences of gender and trans oppression, marginalisation, privileges and depression. They have been featured in various DIY publications. They have shown their video art and performed poetry on a few occasions in the UK, Canada and Germany.

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TOGETHER FOR QUEER DREAMS

Transnational Queer Underground brings together and supports diverse queer voices. Art, music, film, writing or activism – we believe that we’re all in this together and we can only grow strong if we support each other.

If you find joy and value here – let us know.

Donating = Loving

Make a donation so that we can continue to find and publish the most interesting queer perspectives for you.

Support queer art & activism ❤︎

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