Death Throes: A Collection of Works from the Gender Outskirts

Sunflowers and Ivory Towers (Slam Poem)

I became a revolutionary the moment I walked out the door

I was wearing a black dress with sunflowers and met every stare

With a “what are you fucking staring for”

Every sideways glance with a lance to the chest

And every sly comment with a comet

Hurtling straight through every bigots breasts

Except I didn’t

I walked out of the door in that black dress

And said nothing to the shooting gallery of looks

And “good natured” jests

So I sat with my friends trying to make the comments end

And the first thing I heard was

“Your eyeliner looks like shit”

And It did

And I’m like “No shit,

You think I didn’t know?”

You had 20 years to practice

I practiced twice in a car window reflection

So that I wouldn't get a full view

Of that mannish outward deception

That which you thought was me


The hate doesn’t stop after the first day

It doesn't stop in night clubs or pride parades or any LGBT safe space

Because the people who view my existence as disgrace

Aren’t all rich white and straight.

There's plenty of gay men and gold star lesbians

Who’d see my head on a spike before joining my fight.

I am an unwilling sacrifice.

And don’t thing the discrimination stops when I get home

See I go to a catholic college that thinks I need to atone

So I have to take out an even bigger loan

To pay of the bigoted bishops for a room alone

Away from these god fearing catholic drones

Always willing to give words of encouragement

Till my back is turned and they throw stones of damnation.

So tell me the goddamn truth.

Those who call yourselves allies, who are you allies to?

You can come to the rallys and share the facebook posts

And publicly support me just everyone knows

Just how “woke” you are

But would you let a trans woman live in your car?


Would you walk her home every night after dark?

Or clothe her, or hold her close

After the bigots chase her down and break her nose?

You can say yes but the answer is “no”

Because so many of us are without a home

We get murdered in the streets

And no one thinks

That its worth reporting on NBC

So when I walk out that door

Each moment is an act of revolution

Don’t Mourn (Swing Style Folk Song)

If someone should follow me home

And take that which to me belongs

I don’t want you to cry every night

But if you must then that's alright

But please take up my name

And string it from banners and sing this refrain


This cannot happen again

We will not stop until the violence ends

You can take us out one by one

But that will not stop us from carrying on

If a man with a badge and a gun

Decides that my life's work is done

Please don’t give in to despair

I know that's hard because you care

Instead, take up this song

And sing it over and over till they sing along


And if I should fall to old age

Remember me well and then turn the page

You have to move on with your life

If you are to continue the fight

But please, sing my refrain

When you topple the palaces and achieve our aims


And if I die by my hand

It's in the hope that you’ll understand

I cry in bed every night

Cause I’m afraid Im alone in this fight

So please remember my name

And don’t let my people feel the same

Song for Marsha P.  (Folk Ballad)

I wanna march down Christopher Street

Ask the people what did they see

On the evening of the sixth of July

Can you tell me how did Marsha die?

She was the queen of the Village there

Livin on the street without a care

If she saw you walking by

She’d always smile and then say “Hi!”

She’d give her last dollar for

Anybody she thought would need it more

You can be sure she’d remember your name

From the first time she saw your face

She was there on June twenty-eight

She threw the brick and set the world ablaze

That's how the movement took its stride

But can you tell me how Marsha died?