Review: The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination by Sarah Schulman

Every queer in this country owes it to themselves to read this book. I am not an academic, but am a queer writer and an artist. I loved this book and am so glad I bought a hard copy, because I’ll be rereading it.

I have not read such a transformative nonfiction book since reading Pat Califia’s “Public Sex” in 1994. This book is invigorating. There are so many sections that I loved; when she wrote about the dearth of lesbians in literature in chapter six, it was both a knife to the heart and a cry to battle.

This book was short enough not to intimidate me with academia, yet just the right length to compel me to buy Schulman’s new book, “Conflict is not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair.”

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Review: Me and My Boi

boiMe and My Boi (edited by Sasha Green) is an anthology that is hot and definitely worth the read. I bought this because god knows, there aren’t enough butch/boi/transmasculine couples written about in smut and I’d heard that this anthology contained a few. Butch/femme and femme/femme smut is awesome, but what tipples my nipple and floats my boat is butch/boi/transmasculine couples.

The stories with masculine couples were Sinclair Sexsmith’s “Five Blow Jobs”, Dena Hankin’s “Teamwork”, and Victoria Villasenor’s “Resurrection.” Of these three, “Five Blow Jobs” was the only one where the protagonists were hot for one another because they had similar gender presentations (they’re Daddy/boy), rather than despite it…and yes, it was tres hot. I love a good blow job description. “Teamwork” was about two long-time friends who unexpectedly hook up, and “Resurrection” was about a butch with a femme at home, but who has a penchant for seducing bois for sexual relief.

There were quite a few submissive bois, which was charming. I grew up in Iran, so was surprised by and attracted to Pavini Moray’s “Nisrine”, Inside for its sensuality, the lovely submissive boi Miki, and portrayal of a Persian dyke (!).

Please….give us more smut with butch/boi/transmasculine couples!

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Perfect Book to See any Urban Dandy Through the Apocalypse

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This incredible DIY book has instructions on making and fixing everything to see an urban dandy through the apocalypse, including over formulas for 10 hair pomades and products to keep you looking swell, spray starch to keep your shirts crisp, how to make a built-in ironing board, wax floor dressing so your home smells clean and fresh, smelling salts for when you have a spell, and silver polish to make sure your tea service is up to par.Then there’s even instructions for such butch home chores as electrical repair, wall-paper hanging, and concrete step-making. I highly recommend this practical and amazing book!

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Sexual Pleasure in Fiction (Cleis Press)

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Look for my post on Cleis Press’ blog on incorporating sexual pleasure into fiction. What would the iconic dyke coming out novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, have looked like if detailed, lascivious sex was included? What if Molly and Loeta’s night together didn’t end teasingly with “And I soon found out”? In Molly’s torrid affair with Alice, sex was described as, “Alice steamed and shook and sighed…she loved being touched and she loved touching back”, but I longed for a more visceral description of sexual pleasure and bodies, instead of this delicate hint. Sensuous yet explicit sexual guidance would have soothed many a baby dyke’s nerves and provided affirmation of her sexual self-worth. Internalized homophobia would begin to dissipate.

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Untitled (Orlando, June 12, 2016)

#1

I am trite. Nothing.
Today is divided into those who say “Orlando” and see the past,
And those who say “Orlando” and see the future.
Will the word “pulse” ever be the same?
A slithery kind of sexy feeling.
And people in my office,
People talking about summer vacations,
And beach novels and bottle of wine,
Like nothing ever happened. Ever.
Me, I’m nothing.
Listening. A walking target.
My sacred heart. Oh Mark, you know what I mean.

#2
It’s like this, you see.
At night you look up. Look up,
You see shining stars in the sky,
Rising dancing higher, so far up,
From Orlando on up like swirling,
Rising bloody clouds from the dance-floor,
Until stars cover the heavens,
Heaven has been covered with death,
I avert my eyes because the sky is too bright,
The blood falling, falling,
Back to earth, watering my anger,
With their lives

#3
Who names the stars?
I need to talk to them today,
Tell them to get cracking,
Because we need to do some renaming.
Now

#4
You!
I live in a house made of your secrets,
I walk barefoot on the rugs,
Woven of your shame.
I choke on the dust that rises,
Rises, covering my skin,
I breathe in your fear.
I have promises,
I am holding you hostage,
Even if holding sounds gentle,
It is not love,
It’s not.
You live in my anger.

#5
No matter how much I ever tried,
I’ve never passed for something not twisted,
Never passed.
Thursday, June 16th 2016:
I’m at work today,
A lump of raw meat,
In my office writing this,
While my office-mates are oblivious.
“Electronics attract dust” spoken, ebbing in and out,
Their words filter into my room.
I watched the gun control filibuster last night,
Knitting, knitting for my life,
A spool of rainbow wool unfurling in the night.
And the self-absorbed young queers on twitter,
With their selfies and dim gloming,
Tweeting ‪#‎queerselflove,
Damn them, wake up!
Walk outside of yourself,
The world needs you and you need it,
But you sprinkle glitter on it and call it a day,
Turning from your elders.
And I’m still a gimp,
A walking target,
Rags falling from my flesh, I stoop,
Losing my wallet, my keys, my thoughts,
Losing so much as I walk into the night.

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