By: Fred Daou
Anorexia has been my home for so many years. I’ve waited, honed in on my skills to let go of anorexia.
Letting go of my anorexia is akin to my getting undone by locutionary positions. “You can do it, Fred!” The personalisation of anorexia marks a break in my life: broken bones, shallow politics, ever shifting tears. I’m no longer lost. I’ve been empowered. Anorexia has not beaten me.
The masculine metaphor of “beating” is fruitless when the coroner examines my body. But I am no longer living dead. I’ve broken free from the constraints of heterosexual monogamy. I love myself. I make love to myself. My fat undulations are a mark and naming of my prowess as a trans, fat, disabled man.
Indeed, I’m not quite human. I am difficult. The difficulty of articulating my position comes, I think, from times of repression and depression. Admittedly, I’ve learnt to let go by osmosis, like an octopus whose slinky legs are cut off by a razor. I’ve bled and bled and bled, splattered against walls and ocean floors, colonies and epistemicities…I’m not quite human.
I blend academic and technical language with unintelligibilities, such as “epistemicities”. The result, I feel, is abjection, grotesque, convoluted, messy assemblages…Difficulty is articulated by my already difficult language, diction, and prose. I’ve felt shame because of my writing. Maybe I’m too repetitive. Maybe I belong somewhere else. And belonging, as discussed today, is born of hard times.
Hard times are difficult. The locutions that come out of my mouth are mired in shame. Shame and shaming are two distinct processes that sustain difficulty. Locutions tie in with difficulty when they become utterances, named. With that in mind, guilt accompanies shame and shaming. This complex of emotions speaks to the politicisation of emotions. Difficulty can be conceptualised as the locutions that are not quite there in the present. This affective disjuncture is layered by emotions, feelings, and the messy. Mess is difficult to deal with because it is about locutions, utterances, speech acts, and namings according to spatio-temporal mappings and coordinates. Locutions can be hard. They are limited.
With my blood on paper, in print and online, I try to use laypeople terms to get my point across, convey meaning. The unintelligibility of my writing reflects histories of repression, where I do not have a voice and become voiceless, unheard. Yeah I’m abject, I’m fat, I’m disabled, I’m nonbinary. I’m something else, old, Arab, ugly. I’m part of a project with pieces around metamorphosis. Sometimes I can be a beautiful butterfly, and many times I reach that point of freedom. The liberation that I purport is actually embodied and felt by my very workings, critical intersectionalities that inform me and my vision of the world and a better life. Better life is not marked by pinkwashing, inclusion, “diversity”, and other apparently trenchant modes of expression. It is in life and death that I come to the fore as a vitality awaiting dissemination and insemination. I am a flower.
Flaunting My Flaws
By: Geoff Burke
Arguing my cause
Like bleeding wounds wrapped in tight gauze
I know everything that is wrong
I even gel it into a song
Then tragically I take the turn
All possibilities will now be burned
I accept my flaws for all to see
Brandishing a defense that allows me to flee
From the brooding gloom of responsibility
No need to listen or comprehend
Always amounting to the same end
At least I was able to hold my head high
Accusations I just deny
My excuse is simple and fun
I know my faults then point the gun
So have no fear
In guilt’s direction don’t steer
and let all the others go shed a tear
By: Marina Burke
The jaws of my flaws
keep eating me away,
bit by bit.
I never quit.
The tail of mistakes
when I fail
is dragging along the way.
Is it really that seen?
I doubt it, it is just your dream.
I am awake –
even when I break,
I am able to survive.
As you can see I am still alive.
I channel all my imperfections
into my resurrections.
Like a Phoenix,
I am burnt and reborn,
through the curtains
of my storm.