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A Queerification

By Regie Cabico

-- for Creativity and Crisis at the National Mall

queer me    
shift me    
transgress me  
tell my students i'm gay   
tell chick fil a i'm queer 
tell the new york times i'm straight   
tell the mail man i'm a lesbian  
tell american airlines 
i don't know what my gender is  
like me
liking you
like summer blockbuster armrest dates
armrest cinematic love
elbow to forearm in the dark   
humor me queerly   
fill me with laughter  
make me high with queer gas     
decompress me from centuries of spanish inquisition
& self-righteous judgment
like the blood my blood  
that has mixed w/  the colonizer
& the colonized   
in the extinct & instinct to love 
bust memories of water & heat
& hot & breath
beating skin on skin fluttering   
bruise me into vapors   
bleed me into air   
fly me over sub-saharan africa & asia & antarctica 
explode me from the closet of my fears  
graffiti me out of doubt    
bend me like bamboo  
propose to me  
divorce me  
divide me into your spirit 2 spirit half spirit
& shadow me  w/ fluttering tongues
& caresses  beyond head 
heart chakras  
fist smashing djembes  
between my hesitations   
haiku me into 17 bursts of blossoms & cold saki    
de-ethnicize me   
de-clothe me    
de-gender me in brassieres
& prosthetic genitalias  
burn me on a brazier   
wearing a brassiere   
in bitch braggadocio soprano bass   
magnificat me in vespers
of hallelujah & amen   
libate me in halos
heal me in halls of femmy troubadors   
announcing my hiv status
or your status  
i am not afraid to love you    
implant dialects as if they were lilacs  
in my ear  
medicate me with a lick & a like
i am not afraid to love you  
so demand me      
reclaim me    
queerify me

Added: Tuesday, July 15, 2014  /  Used with permission.
Regie Cabico
Photo by: Les Talusan

Regie Cabico is one of the country's leading innovators and pioneers of poetry and spoken word, having won 3 top prizes in the 1993, 1994 & 1997 National Poetry Slams. Bust Magazine ranked him in the 100 Men We Love, and The Kenyon Review called him "the Lady Gaga of Poetry." He won a 2006 Best Performance Art Production award for his work on "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind." He has appeared on two seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam and NPR's Snap Judgement. His work is published in over 40 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution, and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has taught at Urban Word NYC, Poets House, Kundiman, and Split This Rock, and has served as faculty at Banff Arts Center's Spoken Word Program. Regie curates and co-hosts La Ti Do: A Weekly Cabaret & Spoken Word Series. He received the Writers for Writers Award for his work with at-risk youth from Poets and Writers. With Brittany Fonte, he co-edited a collection of North American and United Kingdom queer poetry, Flicker and Spark, a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Nominee for Best Anthology. He founded Capturing Fire International Queer Spoken Word Slam and is also a co-founder of Split This Rock. He was a featured poet at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2016.

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