GQ Challenge: Day 27

The Genderqueer Challenge is here.

27. Write a poem about being genderqueer.

I’ve actually already written a few poems about being nonbinary, but I’m not posting them here because they’re actually pretty good and one day I might actually have the guts to try and get them published somewhere (and a lot of places count personal blogs as ‘previously published’ nowadays, which they don’t like). So instead, I’ll write a new one especially for this challenge! (It’s going to be unedited so please don’t be harsh on me! Edit: As I’m writing it, actually, it’s starting to seem like it’s got nothing to do with gender at all, but I promise you that it does and I might explain it afterwards. Oh also — I am terrible at titles so it’s untitled, as pretty much all my poems are.)

There’s many different kinds of Peace.
The usual kind is quiet, waiting;
Tranquillity preempts them.
You never see Tranquillity without Peace.

I do. I see Peace on their own, isolated
From anything that could break them.
Peace only stays strong when there’s nothing to test them.
So they believe.

Isolation isn’t a good bedfellow, truly —
Not for something so based in humanity.
Others can break them to the point of war
But only Peace themself can bring about their own destruction.

There’s a kinder type of Peace
When they befriend Acceptance.
Acceptance brings a light to Peace’s eyes.
I don’t like to see Peace without Acceptance.

She’s a slippery one, Acceptance;
She emerges from places you’d swear she couldn’t fit in,
Refuses to enter your home on dark days.
Peace entreats her in and smiles when she crosses the threshold.

There’s a simpler type of Peace
Curled together with Love.
They never speak to each other;
Somehow they still manage to listen.

There’s a whole form of Peace
When they bring their friends together.
Tranquillity gives Acceptance the perspective she needs;
Love brings them all together despite their differences.

Peace doesn’t need Isolation with such good friends;
There’s no need for protection when they have friends to care for them.
No need for war when they’ve already won.
That’s when I get to see another kind of Peace — Freedom.

I simultaneously like this poem and don’t like it, but I’m going to be brave (or, from your PoV, have already been brave) and share it with you anyway.

As for how it relates to gender, obviously there’s a couple of different pronouns usages in there, mainly just for the fun of it after I realised that personified things should be allowed to use the pronouns they wanted to rather than ‘it’. But the actual reason it is related to gender is because it’s related to how I feel at the moment with my gender or rather, how I don’t feel.

[Side note: is it bad form to explain a poem? I’m not sure whether I should just leave it open to interpretation or not. I guess if you want to always be wondering then just don’t read this!]

I’m feeling really chaotic at the moment. I want people to accept my gender, and near-constant misgendering from family is making me feel very itchy. I just want it all to go away — I want peace. The tranquillity kind. But to get that tranquillity, I feel like I need to be isolated away from anyone who could misgender me or invalidate who I am.

Thankfully, I know that isolation is not good for a person, so I need to find another path to peace. One way of doing that is through acceptance. Originally I meant personal acceptance, but acceptance from other places would also give me peace too, so maybe I should push for others to accept me as I am rather than being too afraid and trying to isolate myself.

The other way of finding peace is through love, I think. Whether that’s noticing the love I get from people who do accept me as I am, or understanding that the people around me still do love me, or going for that cliche of ‘learning to love myself’ (which, while a cliche, is actually very important and hard work!), it can help me to take that step towards peace.

However, the best way to get to peace is to tie all those things up in a bow and use all of them. If I do that, I figure I’ll be free from all the worry and stress I currently have.

Spelt out like that, it’s probably not as poetic!


2 thoughts on “GQ Challenge: Day 27

  1. “Side note: is it bad form to explain a poem? ”
    Well, it depends, I’d say. Some people think authorial intent matters in interpretation, while others just enjoy interpretation as mental masturbation, and don’t care at all about what the author has said. (This is true of interpretation of all forms of art, not just poetry.)

    I don’t know as much about poetry culture, specifically, but, personally, I appreciate the explanation and context because I’m terrible at symbolism and conditionally bad at metaphor, so if it’s not explained I usually only see the literal part. (Maybe that’s part of why I care about authorial intent: my own interpretations aren’t interesting enough to obsolete it.)

    Also, I liked the poem. Thought I should probably mention that.


    • Thanks 🙂

      Yeah personally I like to have some explanation so that I don’t just get the literal part too. I think my assumption that it’s bad form must’ve come from English lessons at school or something (because ‘obviously the poets don’t explain it but literally all the literary critics say it’s this and you better be able to work that out or you just don’t get poetry’ is the overarching theme I got from those lessons) because I went to a writing residential last week and literally everybody prefaced their work with at least a small explanation of what was going on, and it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve been to that sort of event, so? It’s weird that I’ve kept that idea despite going to poetry events for like 7 years.

      Liked by 1 person

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