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Woodland Pattern Book Center is happy to present Shift: Guest Curators from the LGBTQ Community, a series of readings, performances, and exhibitions curated by local artists and focused on sex and gender diversity in the contemporary arts.
Trish Salah is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Her current research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Insight Grant, investigates the emergence of Transgender and Transsexual Minority Literatures. In 2014 she co-organized and hosted, Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism, a 3-day conference on Trans and Two Spirit Literatures and co-edited the fourth issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, focused on Trans Cultural Production. She is the author of the Lambda award winning poetry book, Wanting In Arabic (TSAR 2002, 2nd edition 2013) and of Lyric Sexology: Volume I (Roof Books 2014). Currently she is working on a book of essays on trans literatures, and a novel.
Impersonation doesn’t mean what you think. This is the introduction to this book, my introduction, my lyrical sexology. Lyric Sexology. This is one of the things you need to get straight. This is another, you there in your later age, your so
called 21st century:
I am not a transsexual. Or an intersexual, or a hermaphrodite. (Hermaphroditus can write her own damn book.) I am not
any of those things you have words for now. You don’t have words for what I am. What I was was this:
I was a dude.
Then I was a chick.
Then I was a dude again.
Hah. You didn’t think we said “dude” or “chick” in what you call ancient Greece, Hellenes, etc. Think again.
Here is what you don’t have words for: What is a seer? What is beyond knowing? How can I write you now, a now
impossibly out of joint with your own, knowing you will read this? Knowing you? Or what is a sex in time? Without?
You do not have a word for snakes or gods or sexes. You only think you do.
You do not have a word for the meeting of snake sex god in one word’s divided knowing, a knowing one divided word.
Seven years is what I was as beyond, a beyond, and inside too. So, impersonation doesn’t begin to describe it, but
suppose it did. Suppose I began to describe you.
—Trish Salah, from Lyric Sexology
Oliver Bendorf is a teaching artist and writer. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State UP), won the 2013 Wick Poetry Prize. His poetry, comics, and essays can be found in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Buzzfeed, Indiana Review, Original Plumbing, The Rumpus, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere, and he has received fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he teaches, reads about, and makes animation, poetry, color, comics, gender, ghosts, and zines.
I dadaist. Youthfully I a woman. O hello, it’s justified. I thicker thawed, I
worry. How we invent arenas of alternative myth-makeups, telegraphing each hello. Sense me to the sledges. I’d
likelihood a criticism of scissoring imaginary. I have theorem. XO etching. Sometimes in early session, X sayings why he
abodes a monster. “Whelp I’ve always washes, I’d takings theoretic apace just to surplus. I kneecap, I howling
worshipful.” Dear butterfat, I am intrinsic. Ares we operate in a modify of quenches, or in a modesto of answering? Since
I’m nothing on T, I thought it be hardworking, be intrinsically transfer, butchery thermodynamic I waste in it, fuschia it, I’m
justice does it. I do not frighten lover wholeheartedly. My compliments generator does not call me “failure” anymore.
Fellatio readjusted. Playmates panicking. We mate in transgression. We travel aloha curiousest. People be silently or
considerably diehard, differently kindled and roundly erotic. Telegraphic me it’s OK. You everyday survivor. Thankless
and thirsty. How to be holy is centaur to thermostat of lovers. We aloft, we cannonball. Saintly I sail our makeup sadder.
When we got homemade, youngly dreamt a onetime light. Sagittarius, can you hearing me. Let’s not name our futuristic
dogtown. Lettings do a photocopy proximate of our own self bounced. Lasted nightcaps I dreams somewhat
predominantly about you. I was evicted for howling. They transcribed of my life and I wordy “hope” 8 times. My bin
beckons. Want a braves lesson, a neater quiver, makeshift me therapeutic. That rocket on theoretical leftover. Thereafter
drafty. Thereabouts snowy. Then rain. We narrate our almanacs. Welcome, youngly tappers, be haphazard and
un(h)armed. Here is my selfsame-porridge.
Guest curator Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and was a participant in Sharon Bridgforth's Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Soul Mountain Retreat, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review's editor-in-chief, senior editor of The Conversant, and serve on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. www.chinginchen.com.