October 13, 2005

Femmehood, depression, and appearance

So, there's been a lot of talk around Harvard about queerness and appearance: how much does the way you present yourself reveal who you are (ie, whether or not you're queer, and if so, what type o' queer you are)?

As Quench's resident grumpy femme - and also its resident vocal lunatic - I've been especially conscious of my appearance lately, especially as I a) start a new relationship and b) try and get my depression under control. The way I look, I'm coming to realize, almost always sends a message, often one which means more than how I act.

Like this one.

I wear my sadness

I wear my sadness on the sleeve
Of my oldest threadbare sweatshirt.
I wouldn't be caught dead in it
If I weren't somehow dead already.

I wear my sadness on my feet,
Cobbled into flat, frumpy shoes.
It follows at my heels
When stilettos' proud clack would be a lie.

I wear my sadness on my scalp,
A wig of my own hair, slick or matted.
It takes energy to make anything shine,
And I won't waste what little I have.

I wear my sadness like a shroud,
Covering my body, but not veiling my face.
So no matter how much I smile for you,
I will wear my sadness on my sleeve.

-M.E.
13 Oct. 2005

1 comment:

icarus said...

as another of quench's vocal femmes and resident grumpy lunatic...

i want a shirt that says
S T R A I G T L O O K I N G

because i am but i'm not
straight, that is.

and i have darkeyes inside and out
and i've broken too many tears out of girls because i have too many inside

because there is again always that thing inside you that eats you as you stuggle to breathe and your bones get sharper & heartbeat frantic & fingers narrow shoulders fragile stomach darkplace of what can't be tears.

because it's been there since i was 12 and read a book about a rape in wartime japan & couldn't breathe for three weeks & somehow it never went away. and the funny thing is, i can't remember the book, but i remember the darkeyed girls & their poems and i remember that red night.

electric brain.

i am electric brain.

and STRAIGHTLOOKING
and SKINNY
and MOODY
are not real words.

her name was ____
and she grew in the spaces between my teeth and the way that i hated my hair
she rises from the dirt with her red hair "and eats men like air"

femme is the best word i've had in a while. almost as good as icarus lady lazarus iris.