In (Rainbow) Light of Recent Events


No, this is not a coming-out post. Amidst church bells ringing and waving rainbow flags, I would like to address the issue that has made almost everyone gay over the last couple of days (including the White House, the last place you would think of as queer): marriage equality. This is how I started the first chapter of my dissertation which I wrote last year:

With the majority of the American population now endorsing same-sex marriage, it is highly expected that in a few years time, marriage equality will be nationwide.

In a few years time. There is a rather long journey of my involvement in the gay rights movement and I have evolved on the issue, much like President Obama has over the course of his presidency, but in different, if not almost opposite directions. How so? Not long ago, I shed tears of joy and waved all of my spiritual rainbow flags in bliss as I celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, in the summer of 2011 while wishing upon a star that I get to see marriage equality in all 50 states during my lifetime. Two questions now come to mind: what makes the gay rights movement the fastest growing social movement in the US and why did I not shed one tear at the news?

A few years ago I argued in favor of same-sex marriage in front of a committee, using arguments from the other civil rights movement, when interracial marriages were illegal. It was a turning point in my life, both personally and academically, which curved itself to yet another turning point (which marked my departure, however temporary, from the academia), when I argued, again in front of a committee, against marriage equality and against a discourse centered on marriage rights. And this brings us to the kernel of my brief political rambling.

What is so sacred about marriage if you have to get married in order to get this and that benefit (specifically health care benefits that are countless)? What is so sacred about marriage if while your partner places a diamond ring on your finger as you recite your heartfelt vows a boy in a dress is harassed and beaten to death mid afternoon in a nearby neighborhood? Where is the sanctity in rejoicing over wedding cakes and rainbow glamor while the abandoned gay son is roaming the streets or while children roam the streets in search for food and shelter? LOVE WINS. LOVE HAS WON. JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED. Whose love for whom? Whose justice? Continue reading



(c) Fairy Doll by Barbara Agreste

I spot a wrinkly doll with a turquoise appearance catching her breath.
She is silent and sits naked in her cupboard,
Occasionally glancing out of it for something,
And never leaves her cocoon.
As she stares politely, my figure turns pale,
An empress she is and knows we are nothing,
An empty disguise with a full throne,
She rests commanding among her toys.
As she smiles, the whole world she poisons,
In flesh she engraves, with needles she weaves,
And alphabetically arranges her victims.
But why is she there? What is her crime?
She invades me from within with her smirk, and I forgive her mild intrusions. Continue reading

On Poetry


I have not always had a love affair with poetry. As a child, I found myself forced to memorize verses and rhymes I did not understand nor liked or wished to understand. I was not fond at all of dead Romanian poets (who all happened to be white men, though this did not ring any bells at the time); in fact, I hated them and whatever they had to say, which almost always included something about the weather, the moonlight in the lover’s (always a young girl) hair (almost always blonde). I was somehow under the impression all poems had to deal with romance or else they weren’t classified as poetry. They did not speak my language, I did not speak theirs. I was a stranger to poetry and had all intentions to remain so. I have rediscovered poetry many years later, when it was revealed to me that poetry is more, far more than what I had previously thought. I found a cluster of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, dimensions, and layers and felt like a kid in Wonderland thinking: “I can wonder, but can I play too?” Poetry can be about playfulness and introspection, it can degenerate into candid nightmares and infinite madness and it can melt into nebulae and plain distorted fantasy.

Here are some thoughts on poetry which I find inspirational and which do not seek to define poetry, but rather to expand it: Continue reading