Here is the thing:
I don’t really spend much time “getting ready”.
I don’t own a brush and because of this some knots have formed. Some, I’ve recently cut out. Some, I leave because the stories are too massive to slice off of me.
I do own a mirror and it reveals the entire length of my body, but it’s more of an acquaintance than a best friend/soul mate. I am often told I don’t match.
I recently learned shoes must match the rest of the outfit.
This is difficult to aspire to when I only own one pair of black converse high-tops.
Oh, and stripes do not match other stripes.
I’m still not quite sure I agree with this one, so I tend to rebel against it.
Next month, I am performing beauty.
That is, I will be singing some songs that have arrived during bike rides, during moments when I am alone and just want to turn myself into a radio or self-contained Broadway show.
I will be reading text: memories, poems, declarations of my own beauty and what is seen.
What is queer beauty?
How do I want my beauty to be seen? To be known? To be heard? To be remembered?
So, as I continue to write this piece, I find myself thinking about beauty a lot .
* * *
I see a human.
This human is dressed in black and piercings and scars.
How do I not notice the scars.
Am I supposed to not notice the scars?
And they are beautiful.
And suddenly it feels like this human has skin made out of mirror-flesh and I can see myself in her.
This human spreads her wings or arms and begins to poem.
I watch her watch us watch her.
And she is beautiful.
I would like to take the power away from this word because it doesn’t sound strong enough or it has too many visuals attached that are not relevant to my version/interpretation of beautiful.
Airbrushed humans = not beautiful.
Skinny bones starved and gasping = not beautiful.
Flesh that is wrinkled or tattooed and painted or pierced. Flesh that is devoured by languages and stories = beautiful.
Ignorance = not beautiful.
Openness to all kinds and removal of all labels to make room for the in-betweens = beautiful.
Recently someone asked me about performance.
Do you normally do that on stage? I wish I wasn’t so self-conscious so I wouldn’t be afraid to do that.
That is defined as performance art/ as my body climbing a naked man, attempting to force him away/ binding him and taunting him/ angrily mounting him.
I don’t often think: I am going to take my clothes off now. It happens because the words push them off or my emotions force them away.
So, I answered:
I’m entirely self-conscious and I believe many people are. But I let go of that once I hit a stage. If I am too worried about my stretchmarks or cellulite, I’d never go nude.
Stretchmarks and cellulite = beautiful.
Or if I waited for my stomach to get flat like floorboards or six-pack of highly defined muscle, I’d never take my top off.
Bellies that are curvy and folded like Victorian fans = beautiful.
This is a continuous language. A discovery that doesn’t end.
Self-discovery = beautiful.
And when that self-discovery never forfeits……when we leave room to re-define and re-name, that is most beautiful of all.
You are the very definition of beauty.
I held my breath while reading, then inhaled deeply in through my nose, sensing your beauty all six ways, so saturated that you reminded of mine. Thank you.