Saturday, September 29, 2007

saturday's word: queer

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fernando botero, melancholy, 1989


unusual, abnormal, or unexpected

slang for fake or counterfeit

‘to queer’ [something] is to ruin or derail it

derogatory term for a homosexual man

for the past twenty years, ‘queer’ has been preferred by many as an all-inclusive term for bisexual, homosexual, pansexual, asexual, + transgender men + women, + all other individuals, homosexual + heterosexual, who deviate by choice from prescribed sex or gender norms

scottish ‘queer’ ‘off center’—germanic ‘quer’ ‘oblique’—proto-indo-european ‘twerk-‘ ‘to twist or wind’

synonyms: bizarre, curious, deviant, eccentric, fag, faggot, freakish, funny, idiosyncratic, kinky, odd, outlandish, peculiar, perverse, perverted, sick, strange, weird

“so we are taking off our masks, are we, + keeping
our mouths shut? as if we’d been pierced by a glance!

“the song of an old cow is not more full of judgment
than the vapors which escape one’s soul when one is sick;

“so i pull the shadows around me like a puff
+ crinkle my eyes as if at the most exquisite moment

“of a very long opera, + then we are off!
without reproach + without hope that our delicate feet

“will touch the earth again, let alone ‘very soon.’
it is the law of my own voice i shall investigate.

“i start like ice, my finger to my ear, my ear
to my heart, that proud cur at the garbage can

“in the rain. it’s wonderful to admire oneself
with complete candor, tallying up the merits of each

“of the latrines. 14th street is drunken + credulous,
53rd tries to tremble but is too at rest. the good

“love a park + the inept a railway station,
+ there are the divine ones who drag themselves up

“+ down the lengthening shadow of an Abyssinian head
in the dust, trailing their long elegant heels of hot air

“crying to confuse the brave ‘it’s a summer day,
+ i want to be wanted more than anything else in the world.’”
--frank o’hara, homosexuality, 1954

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