#poetscorner is a feature in which poets share a poem of theirs and discuss the inspiration behind it.
Modes of masculinity, and their peculiar fragility, have been on my mind a lot over the past year. I feel increasingly isolated from depictions of a mainstream gay culture, though not nearly so distanced as I am from normative depictions of maleness. Manliness seems to be entirely predicated on men being unlike women, or how women are thought to be. It is hard to cling to a concept which seems centred around a void. I watch other men, carefully, and try to understand how this hollowness becomes so pervasive as to be a presence all of its own.
there’s a boy in one of my classes
who plays bravado lit student –
not a byronic hero,
but the kind of person who would have been a Texan jock
if he’d had a slackjaw and muscles,
and not a fondness for Hemingway –
regardless, he’s still pugilistic in his prose,
and earnest –
he says words like ‘shitty’ and ‘blowhard’.
but his foot taps in panic when he speaks
under the framework
of his cheaply-constructed chair.
is this the me I would’ve been?
Toby is an aspiring writer from London. He was once told at a party not to say that he was an aspiring writer because ‘who the hell isn’t?’
This piece is a part of Season V of PTL which is run in association with: All About Trans.
We encourage all of our readers to donate to this season’s organisation: Gendered Intelligence.
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