for baltimore

 

 

Collage by Naima Woods
Collage by Naima Woods

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it’s like all our bones // with their marrow and sliver // are made invisible // and our mouths are turned to hands // and instead of bodies we’re seen as shadows // and then it surprises you // when we throw our shades // throw our whole heavy weights // against the windows // and make the glass scream

 

Incisors

Dentist working on a patient

His eyes are brown. Hazel, when it’s bright, when light floods the  room overlooking the park. They remind you of your father’s. He looks vaguely like him all around. Face: fleshy, honest. Skin: brown. Eyebrows, both thick and sparse at once, taking up a lot of room on his face, without actually being heavy, each hair declaring independence on its own patch of skin. Pioneers, frontiersmen. Under the eyes he has bags and you wonder what a dentist’s assistant lies awake worrying about when all he does is hold instruments of pain for someone else to inflict, isn’t his whole job to scrape coffee off your teeth. Fleshy moles. Your dad had them too, dotting his neck, and this guy shares your abomination. You get yours lasered off. Insurance doesn’t kick in a dime.

You are attracted to him. Men who remind you of your father always draw your eye. When you were a kid you tried to get a glimpse of his dick a lot, but he wasn’t really the kind to parade around naked like your mother. You saw it once, shriveled, hairy, beautiful, but there was no satisfaction in this because by then he was already sick and his eyes were yellow and he looked fuzzy and confused and he’d just forgotten to button up his striped pajama bottoms after he’d peed and there was a spot of yellow urine on his pants and this wasn’t how you’d wanted to see his dick. It had looked nothing like yours.  Continue reading

September 19

Peter Hujar, Brooklyn Basketball Court, 1976, Courtesy of the Peter Hujar Archive
Peter Hujar, Brooklyn Basketball Court, 1976, Courtesy of the Peter Hujar Archive

 

A man who I thought was just very sleepy and whose sleepiness really intrigued me like wow I’ve never been that sleepy on the train that I was slumping over like that: Well he turned out to be drunk or I assumed he was drunk. He began vomiting into his hands. He didn’t seem sick to me until that outburst of fluids.  Continue reading

Excerpt—Time is Not A Line: Conversations, Essays, and Images about HIV/AIDS Now

Speak, 2011, Ted Kerr

Artist Carlos Motta asked In The Flesh contributor Ted Kerr to guest edited the third issue of the We Who Feel Differently journal, which is a sporadic online publication addressing critical issues of queer culture, featuring analyses and critiques of international Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer and Questioning politics from queer perspectives. 

Entitled, Time is Not A Line, Kerr’s guest-edited collections of essays, conversations, stories and images explores the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic now, looking at PrEP, nostalgia, the role of women in the crisis, and the current state of activism.

Accompanying each text are images by a variety of artists, many of whom are members of the Visual AIDS Artist Registry. The images should be seen not only in relation to the text they appear with, but as artistic expressions in their own right.

Below we excerpt Kerr’s introduction and provide links to the journal’s articles. Visit the We Who Feel Differently online journal by clicking HERE

In 2010 a version of David Wojnarowicz’s video Fire In My Belly was censored as part of the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Around the world artists, activists, along with galleries, museums and other art organizations responded by screening the video for free and sharing it widely online, hosting public discussions about David’s work and career, and organizing protests. In New York there was a march that started at The Metropolitan Museum of Art with people waving placards, chanting, and creating spectacles through their manner of dress and action. Within the crowd were people wearing masks of David with his mouth sewn shut drawn from the video Fire In My Belly. As powerful as these masks were, they struck me as being counter productive. David was being silenced again—even in the grave—oppressed by a government he understood as being implicit in his death, and we were joining him by being muzzled. To truly honor David, to fight for and with him, shouldn’t we have been chanting through masks with the mouths ripped open? Talking to some of the protesters I understood that they were trying to represent what oppression felt like for them. The protest was well covered by the media and the conversation about the censorship was sustained through out the run ofHide/Seek (helped in large part by artist AA Bronson asking that his work, Felix, June 5th, 1994 be removed from the exhibition out of respect for David and his work). Continue reading

Whiskey Blue interviews Ponyboy

 pony1

If you go to Vancouver and say the name Ponyboy in any queer or artistic circle, it’s likely your fellow queers and artists will know exactly who you’re talking about. Drag king culture thrives in Vancouver. Since arriving on the local (and international) scene, Ponyboy has elevated a tradition built on amateur nights in seedy lesbian bars to David Bowie-worthy glam rock performance art. Here Whiskey Blue* talks with Ponyboy about how it all began and how it’s all still going.

WB: How did you first get into drag?

Ponyboy: In 2007 I moved to Vancouver from Ladner (deep in the surburbs of Vancouver) and started bartending at Lick, Vancouver’s now-defunct dyke bar. The manager at the time was quite supportive of community folks coming in and throwing their own events, often one-offs and fundraisers, so when my birthday rolled around in January of the next year, I proposed doing a benefit party for Greenpeace. A good way to draw a crowd seemed to book entertainment, and although I didn’t know the first thing about drag, the manager put me in touch with one of Vancouver’s ‘veteran’ kings who could help connect me with local performers and book the show. (This king, Sammy Tomato, ended up designing an event poster for me as well which turned into a wonderfully unexpected crash course in event planning.) Sammy ended up daring me to perform in the show myself, and while I was totally nervous and had no idea what I was getting myself into, I accepted the challenge. I kept it a secret from all my guests, even my girlfriend at the time. The event ended up bringing out quite a big crowd, we raised $700 for Greenpeace, everyone loved the show, and a month later, Sammy approached me about teaming up (along with Majik and Edward Malaprop) to start a new monthly drag king night. We had our first “Man Up” that March.

Continue reading