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Submitted on
March 25, 2013
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(Contains: sexual themes and strong language)

G is For Gay

(There are two poems in this deviation. I suggest reading the Artist's Comments first this time.)

Gay Marriage Glosa

“Why must we love where the lightning strikes
And not where we choose?
But I'm glad it's you, little prince,
I'm glad it's you.”

—“The World Well Lost”, Theodore Sturgeon

You fumble at my shirt’s too-tight top button
(not the first button of mine that’s stymied you)
The photographers are laughing at a room
full of boys who together can’t pin on a boutonnière
Others resolve a crisis with the flowers
the sort of last-minute non-drama we both dislike
Someone tell us it’s time (I cannot remember who)
saying, “Everyone important is here.”
Thinking of my mother, my heart-rate spikes
Why must we love where the lightning strikes?

The groomsmaids gather
pairing up with their partners
You and I are dressed alike
(black tuxes with dancing tails)
We line up, the music changes tone
everyone hits all the right cues
Upfront, my dad’s alone
Why do we see ourselves
from others’ gnarled views
and not where we choose?

They’re all staring at us (at Us!)
but your voice is as loud as we practiced
when we get to the important lines:
“I do” and another “I do”
Next, by far our most public kiss
and I forget to hear my father wince
Then come congratulations
and “you two really belong together”
but I don’t need to be convinced:
I’m glad it’s you, little prince

We take family photos
while guests get into the booze
Guests and drinks and dancing
make a ceremony a wedding
After, we take our friends out
to our favorite greasy spoon
It’s joyous and surreal, because
I never thought I’d end up
with a man, it’s true.
I’m glad it’s you.

My Lover is Like a Ghazal

We spend on rentals, venues, caterers, bartenders, but I just want to hear him say ‘I do’
nearly as much as hear myself say it, front and center, loud like a soap opera cliché: “I do!”

I see him naked for the first time by accident in a dorm shower while brushing my teeth
we get wasted together and wrestle, a foreshadowing he doesn’t think is very gay. I do.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my roommate gives to me - one orgasm on a futon
and on the next, most awkward of morning-afters he wonders if want him to stay. I do.

He reads a wedding guide aloud as I drive through cornfields to my grandparents’ house
it all comes together. He rolls his eyes when I give him the ‘let’s fuck’ smile, the way I do

I am going crazy over nuptial minutia, and he shakes my shoulders: “Ross, remember
I love you,” and it gives me the endurance to make it far enough to hear today’s ‘I do’s
This is my contest entry for ^Beccalicious's "Two Poems" contest (the grand finale to #CRLiterature's Week of Poetry Forms at #projecteducate).

There are two poems in this deviation, both from a strict form. For the theme, I chose my recent wedding. And both forms start with g and are about gayness and the word 'gay' is in the title and in the second poem where lots of things rhyme with 'gay'. So it's like, meta.

The first is a Glosa, a form that has a 'head' text (a quatrain chosen from another source) and a 'body' made up of 4 10-line stanzas, each of which ends with a progressive line from the 'head' text. Typically, the 6th and 9th lines also rhyme with the final line. If your 'head' text is metered it's typical to keep that going in your poem, but that wasn't an issue here (I tried to keep line length for each stanza similar to the closing line as a nod to this rule). The quote--from a ground-breaking short story, barely published in 1953 (!!!) because of its 'gays are people' message about love--was on the back of our wedding program. We used a passage from the short story as a reading during our wedding ceremony as well. I recommend the story (and Sturgeon's awesome early science fiction writing in general). Writing a glosa was odd--I haven't written a 40 line poem in a long, long time. I also added in some more rhymes and off-rhymes than the form strictly called for, because 1) it felt right, and 2) =TheSkaBoss scared me with a comment about how poetry should always rhyme that made me reflect on how I hadn't written rhyming poetry in a long time.

The second is a Ghazal, a form excellently explained in this article of awesome by `tiganusi. I tried to include all the basic elements, including a refrain, rhyming word before the refrain, a doubly-rhymed intro couplet, a similar line length/emphasis, couplets that stand alone as individual mini-poems, and my name in the last couplet. The title is a capital-punishment-worthy pun referencing, derp, Song of Songs 2:9. Like a ghazal should be, it's pretty horny. Writing a ghazal was also odd--it's an unusual form to my (probably hopelessly Western) ear. Trying to give the refrain new energy reminded me a bit of writing a sestina, although I don't know how well I succeeded in that here. (Also the formatting looks ghastly on smaller screens because of the ghazal-standard long lines. Ugh.)

Questions for Critiquers:
1) Which is better? Why?
2) Does putting the two poems, both of which are about my the same thing and yet very different, together add anything to either? When the contest is over, would it be wiser to split them into two deviations? (EDIT: Post DD, I think these are going to stay together. As ~AyeAye12 pointed out, "maybe they should be kept together, almost in a matrimonial fashion, no? ;)")
3) Is the glosa too long-winded for its content? The form calls for 40 lines, but do you think it should have more 'content' to fill those lines?
4) Is the ghazal too abrupt? Would adding one or two more couplets tell the story more fully, or would that diminish the intensity?
5) Was including my name in the ghazal too tacky? I could replace "Ross" with an endearment and still fit the form requirements, but something like "Babe" actually seems to mean less to me.

Edit: Normally I don't like preview images, but here it felt appropriate. Our wedding photographer nabbed that shot as we were coming back in to the reception, getting announced. Fistpump yeah.

EDIT 2: A DD! Thanks so much; many :heart:s to ^neurotype and *xlntwtch!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-08-20
From the suggester: Two words are the source material for this timely and terrific short piece. G is For Gay by *ShadowedAcolyte ( Suggested by xlntwtch and Featured by neurotype )
(( Right, well, here's my Critique. Review. Thing. I hope this is fair. First, I'll comment on your formatting. I know, I know, to some people this may not be important, but when work has the formatting of their poems like you have done to your poem, it really makes me think that the author has taken time to make their work beautiful. Often, this reflects into the text and simply proves the point that the author has made beautiful work. This case is like that for sure.

I'll start with the first poem, though, for reviews. I'll have to state first that poems are not my forte. My forte is prose. In either case, I happened to love this work enough to review it as such. Speaking of prose, and by extension the word 'story' - this poem definitely tells a better story than most. It feels like I'm reading a story I've read before. This isn't a bashing on originality - far from it. It makes me think and relate perhaps. (Although I'll just state that I've never been married in my life so perhaps those weren't the best words to say. Whatever, they've been typed now.)

I feel sympathy for the characters getting married - the absence of the mother. The wincing of the father. The ignorance of those blinded by homophobia, perhaps, or blinded by the ignorance displayed. It reminds one of a society twisted by hatred. Why? Why do people have to hate each other so? It's a strong impact that this poem gives, and it's a beautiful if slightly saddening impact. Bittersweet, if I'm using the right words.

The second poem, though, seems rather jarring to be placed directly after the first. The first is a beautiful union of two people, joined by the law rather than a church. But suddenly it's going to a poem about love in a very physical way, rather than the romantic love. Perhaps like... the custard touching the peas, for an example. (I happen to love both custard and peas, just like I love both of these poems. But it seems rather odd to combine both and I'd really rather not have a pea in my custard even if I support the pea and I support the custard. I have no idea where this point is going. Gah.)

As for the questions... I prefer the first. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I love the imagery more in the first. There's just something about the normalcy of it and the way it reflects today's ignorance that I really like.

I think after the contest you should split them, yes, but perhaps link them as 'two in a series' or something? Like to mark them as distinctly different pieces, but set at the same time, maybe?

Thanks for making me understand the difference between a Ghazal and a Glosa though, ha. I think the glosa's fine from a non-expert's opinion, but if you feel like there should be more, go right ahead - Writer's Intuition is a powerful thing. As for the ghazal... yes, it seems a bit abrupt. I guess it reminds me of when my writing style had like... one or two sentences per paragraph. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. ALWAYS. I think adding a few more couplets would do well here... perhaps more leading up to you two getting together, perhaps? Seeing as it goes rather suddenly from the first time naked to the orgasm on a futon.

I don't think adding your name is tacky, mostly because I barely know you, but this is your poem - if it's more endearing to have your name, keep it in there! It's personal stuff, after all. A term such as 'babe' almost makes the words sound hollow. That's not really what you're going for, is it?

Also the reason why the originality was the lowest of the 'stars' is more of a fault on my end. Perhaps it's because of all of these kinds of poems I'm seeing so soon after gay marriage becomes legal in some places, which after a while gets less original, but it doesn't mean your poem was UNORIGINAL. I thought it was quite original and for a serious review that's one of the highest originality scores I've given.

I apologize in advance for any confusion or headaches this post delivers. I tried to make myself somewhat understandable for you. xD ))
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hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm learning so much about you reading your DD poems. I think this one is by far my favorite. As far as which of the two poems is my favorite ... gosh, that's hard, but perhaps the second, just because I love the evolution of your love story. :heart: :hug:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Re-reading these myself gives me a bit of a smile.
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem! I showed this one to my best friend off-site--you know, the one I wrote my DD micropoem about--she's pan, and she loved this as much as I did.
RosaryOfSighsx Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
I love this. From the beautiful photo of you and your husband (love his cheeky smile and your fist pump! Shows so much personality both of you), to the humour and the heartbreak throughout. I love the 'little prince' title you gave him, it's understated, and I think that speaks worlds.
This little lesbian hopes one day it'll be legal in her country to have a little princess :aww: 
Congratulations on your nuptials, every happiness to you both. And two very well put together, funny, sweet little pieces :) 
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
It wasn't legal for us at the time; we had a ceremony and reception and started wearing rings without a change to our legal status. Legal recognition came later. Thanks very much for the kind words. I hope you get that wish someday.
RosaryOfSighsx Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013
:aww: Wonderful of you to do it first! I'm so glad you were able to have your union be legalised later (and how sad that it should have to be). Thank you! :hug:
Xswiffy Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I love this part: 

I see him naked for the first time by accident in a dorm shower while brushing my teeth
we get wasted together and wrestle, a foreshadowing he doesn’t think is very gay. I do.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my roommate gives to me - one orgasm on a futon
and on the next, most awkward of morning-afters he wonders if want him to stay. I do.


but I definitely think they are two different poems, the Ghazal and the Glosa, and should probably not be lumped together.

Putting in the name "Ross" immediately made me think of Ross from F.R.I.E.N.D.S., lol. Not a good image for me. But I think it's your poem and you should do what means most to you!

Also I really liked the title.. it's what drew me in to reading your poem off of the browsing page.
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
Thanks for the commentary, and the kind words.
Beccalicious Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013   Writer
I loved this the first time and glad Priya picked it up on the DD front! Congrats :D
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
Thanks so much!
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