“The Wennequin and the Ghost”: A Pride Month Poem

Greetings from Justicea! 

Today’s post is the second in a series of five original Alphabet Communities poems that I will be sharing with you on Wednesdays throughout Pride Month. Like last week’s offering, it addresses the male aspect of my gender-gifted identity.

First, the poem. Commentary follows.

Poem: The Wennequin and the Ghost
(What It’s Like)

Like a mindless wennequin, she.—
A frame on which to hang
the latest fashion.  A visual display,
posed and poised.  Window dressing
in the world’s most departmentalized store.
Frozen.  Immobile.  Showcasing
neither wit nor will.  Set upon a stand,
taking no stand but to try to withstand
the hollow ache of the immutable
plastic which shapes her.

Like a bodiless spirit, he.—
A force deprived of Nature’s plain. 
A splanchnic lava of will and want
rushing through every vein of the Earth.
Manic.  Driven.  Relentless to flush out
that clot which dams the flow of the world’s
collective perception at its core, rendering
him implausible, inconceivable.  Mute
motion.  White noise.  Undecipherable,
indiscernible his echoless consternation:

“I am here!”
“I AM.

And I, who live at once these two
half-lives that equal both
not one whole, of inertia
still and moving mingled, mock
and mutter my fate’s decree:

The lot of a wennequin can be no more;
That of a ghost cannot be less.

© Justin DeForest 2012
(Male Gender Identify of Justy DeForest)

About Today’s Poem

“The Wennequin and the Ghost” looks at my experience of gender identity dysphoria from two different perspectives: The wennequin in the first stanza represents the experience of my femele bulk lacking a feminine gender to drive it. The ghost in the second stanza represents the experience of my masculine gender lacking a male body to drive.

Gender Identity Dysphoria

At those times when our gender and our bulk are not in sync, we gender-gifted individuals, like those who are transgender 24/7/365, can experience the mental and emotional discomfort of gender identity dysphoria. And as I have XX shape (Justiceans don’t call them “sex” chromosomes) but find myself in masculine gear at least twice as often as in feminine gear, I experience this brain-bulk disconnect quite a bit!

Using Poetry to Address Transgender Reality

As an educator by profession, I am always happy and willing to answer to the best of my ability–and from my personal perspective–any questions that people have about transgenderism and genderfluidity. As a diversity poet and performance artist, I like to use the concrete imagines that similes and metaphors provide when giving group presentations to my cisgender sisters and brothers in order to facilitate their understanding, as much as is possible, of the reality that we, their transgender-spectrum siblings, experience as we move through the world.

I first performed this poem at a presentation on transgender identity that I gave to the Philadelphia Ethical Society in August 2017.

Next Wednesday’s Poem Share 3

Worldwide Rainbow Pride

I will have another original Alphabet Communities poem to share with you next Wednesday when I will honor our Transgender sisters.

Until next time,

Peace & Siblinghood,

Justy DeForest,
GFJ Blogger


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