Queerer Weather

By Marty McConnell

Poem

Language itself inverts, subjugates, and this means
we don’t have to go home alone anymore. This
is a chair that folds out into a palm tree
and I can’t stand Los Angeles. Language
is the locus of all tyranny. Also, love
offered like water, the mouth giving and giving
before coming to silence, before saying
I could give you all the noise in this body
and still the door wouldn’t close. This chair
doesn’t turn into anything and it’s

my favorite. It’s a chair. You
were born in California and that’s
OK. When I consider what it means to be
a tyrant, I think about the need to chew
seventeen times before swallowing. And how
the food slides down the gullet then, already
part digested, less like itself than radio

static is like music or the news. My friend
has a radio show in Los Angeles and his name
is a word that indicates a rate of speed. In
Los Angeles, one is beholden
to the rate at which the mass of traffic
travels, which is extremely slow
nearly all of the time. I love you,
it’s true, and there are people

shouting about it on the television
with some frequency. They think we
and our kind will usher in a new era
which could be called the tyranny
of choice, and then their grandchildren
will marry dogs or potted plants and there goes
the family tree, so to speak. The language
of fear is magnetic and simple, easily digested
and attracted to itself. We see it
every day. This is Chicago.
The water makes the weather. 

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MARTY MCCONNELL lives in Chicago, Illinois, where she coaches individuals and groups toward building thriving, sustainable lives and organizations. An MFA graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, her work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry 2014, Southern Humanities Review, Gulf Coast, and Indiana Review, and is forthcoming in Southampton Poetry Review. Her first full-length collection, wine for a shotgun, was published by EM Press. martyoutloud.com

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