Poetry: Three Queer YouTube Poems for Friday
Turns out YouTube is good for something other than keeping current on the latest viral and music videos. Who knew? In fact, it’s possible to find some incredibly moving (if tragically overlooked) spoken word poems, if you’re willing to do a little digging. I’ve been known to spend entire hours down a YouTube rabbit hole, watching poet after poet blow me away with his or her words. So I’ve done the digging for you and below are three of my current queer-themed favorites to help you pass the time this Friday.
While I’ve already espoused my fanboy love of Stacyanne Chin in a previous post, these are some recent-ish finds (for me – the poems themselves are not necessarily new). While the themes may be diverse, I realize the characteristics of the poets themselves are not (my personal preference is for female slam poets, sorry). But that’s where you come in! Offer up your favorites in the comments below and we’ll feature them in a future post!
“Ashes” by Andrea Gibson
Gibson is considered a goddess among slam poets. This particular piece was inspired by the story of a gay soldier who was burned to death for being queer. Its power is further augmented by a soundtrack provided by queer folk musician and TNG favorite Chris Pureka.
“The Magician is a Drag King” by Marty McConnell
McConnell is a favorite poet of mine who often works in series of poems. This particular piece is from a series that uses the tarot deck to tell the stories of individuals whose sexuality lies outside of the mainstream. It is a defiant and swaggering celebration of gender performance and identity. (Note: Language NSFW.)
“Boy” by Jeanann Verlee
For the straight ally perspective, I turn to Verlee, who wrote this poem as a tribute to her gay brother and their hardscrabble youth. (Note: Language NSFW.)
**Bonus** “The Hierophant’s a Bear” by Marty McConnell
In honor of it being MAL Weekend in DC, here’s a quick poem also from McConnell’s tarot series that celebrates the hairy among us.
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