7 Queer Poets You Should Know
BY Daniel Reynolds
November 18 2013 7:00 AM ET
“Queer” by Frank Bidart
Lie to yourself about this and you will
forever lie about everything.
Everybody already knows everything
so you can
lie to them. That's what they want.
But lie to yourself, what you will
lose is yourself. Then you
turn into them.
For each gay kid whose adolescence
was America in the forties or fifties
the primary, the crucial
forever is coming out—
or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.
Involuted velleities of self-erasure.
Quickly after my parents
died, I came out. Foundational narrative
designed to confer existence.
If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not
me, but herself.
The door through which you were shoved out
into the light
was self-loathing and terror.
Thank you, terror!
You learned early that adults' genteel
fantasies about human life
were not, for you, life. You think sex
is a knife
driven into you to teach you that.
Excerpted from Metaphysical Dog by Frank Bidart. Copyright 2013. Excerpted with permission by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Frank Bidart’s most recent full-length collections of poetry are Watching the Spring Festival (FSG, 2008), Star Dust (FSG, 2005), Desire (FSG, 1997), and In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90 (FSG, 1990). He has won many prizes, including the Wallace Stevens Award, and, most recently, the 2007 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. He teaches at Wellesley College and lives in Cambridge, Mass.
- Gay Artists & Artwork From Around the Globe | Artist Spotlight
- California Becomes First State to Ban Gay, Trans 'Panic' Defenses
- Read This Mich. Democrat's Epic Response to Antigay Group's 'Pile of Excrement'
- Outrage After Major Minn. Paper Sells Transphobic Coalition Full-Page Ad
- Bible-Quoting Man Shoots Couple With BB Gun Outside Minneapolis Gay Bar
- S.C. Fans Show Lack Of Creativity, Smarts in Michael Sam Posters