“Profane Androgen” by Brody Parrish Craig

Brody Parrish Craig

PROFANE ANDROGEN

in seven days I go under the knife
to sing with better angels & my brain
full of if & and & but & yet he says

at best my peace of mind is eight-fold
pathological on my ninth draft
I swear I’ll call your cat-tailed bluff

your animalistic logic out in a flatter line
I’m flattered by the thought I’m flawless
as a diamond in the scruff tonight

I cradled a cat & cried I waited on the cliff
hanger jaw lined with mouth with curse
with light at the end by the ear by the tunneled

crotch or crock of this case could be closed
but no I’ll never slice the ribs or ribbed drawers
open for a lesser man let us see if I am full

of shit or full of moon hang-nailed with prep
ositional disagreement in my gut
punch my proactive

man chimerical

i’zed the noun
for binded
secondary sex

characterized by shirtless
backward thinking test
less the testosterone

is some singular word
for being more than

chemical peeled belle
or peal of bell that damned

last call that talks my body red
ringing & wringing night red-lettered

red-lettered I rose up
undoctored in the office

red-lettered I recover
the spelling error
in my name

red-lettered I will shell
out fear of change
& several grand

congrats

for your small
fish sharper-image click
bait miracle the husk

y voiced critique that says
shhhhe saw right through assigned

the assignment for today is to drag
race in your division do you sport

or spot each other’s manhood
pinstripe or pinterest any suitor’s
sutured vow for once

upon a time I dreamed
that eunuch was a big
boy word for sleep or weak
remind me we are in it deep
& antiquated bow out now

know that a cross eye
or a fire-side eye
chat about my smile
will always be inherently political

and still inherited politically
I sometimes disrobe
the vigil of my shirtless
as the fishermen boat us
around the bend
of gender beg
disclose the subject
matter of this reform
school sentence now

because in seven days
the outer circle
of my body
will disperse

& no salt circle
will drive my
slug-gun arm
from pitching
it to ya real good

because the nurse asks
will I work my way down
after the required breast exam
because the room asks will I risk
it all to die circled in the feed
of faces, tooth & nail & lace
& lace-up sneak ’er in

the surgeon generally declares the patient virtuous

Poets Respond
May 8, 2016

[download audio]

__________

Brody Parrish Craig: “This poem is in response to the publication of ‘Sacred Androgen’ in Antioch Review. As a trans-man and a poet, this publication impacted me deeply. The essay that appeared in Antioch Review was strongly transphobic and not representative of what I personally see as my expression of gender, transition process, or need for medical transition. The piece that I have written attempts to reflect the anxiety and frustration that this article induced in me while simultaneously playing with language and queering language in a way that I feel embodies my personal thoughts on gender.” (website)