Poems by Ellen Catherine Scherer
You’ve been asking me what is this “XYZ”
when you should have learned the alphabet when you were 2
when all you needed to know was that her name was Shannon
and you thought her sparkly purple sandals were pretty.
You liked her
and it didn’t matter she was different from the other girls you used to like.
It didn’t matter
because you were not her and she was not you.
The year is 2017-
and it’s still possible to be “too much” of yourself.
I’m not talking about arrogance.
It’s time for some honesty,
I love women and I love men, too-
especially the gentle ones.
I’m sorry you’ve fallen victim.
You’ve heard too much about your friend Shannon,
whose legal name was still Shawn
until 22 years of persistent protest
transformed to progress.
you heard she had the shit kicked out of her in 6th period shop class.
you saw her fuchsia nails resting so out of place on callused fingertips.
that you had to forget that she used to be called he
and that you have been best friends
all this time with you none the wiser.
I’m sorry you had to endure all of that.
THERE ISN’T MUCH TO DO IN SUBURBIA
four sets of angsty hands let loose-
only started by clinging to mommy and daddy’s
liquor bottles age 14.
too young to purchase whiskey
but old enough to discover how it tastes
on puckered lips, dimpled cheeks
& the tiny one’s nipples.
what better to do than stow away
in her basement while above,
her irish-catholic parents watched cnn.
split a freezer-burned fish fry & munched mindlessly
over the premature gasps that leaked from downstairs
four sets of anxious hands let loose-
tied around each other in a technicolor wrestling match
as the vodka depleted. the tiny one watched too hopeful
while the others entwined their string bean thighs & bony elbows.
she brushed another girl’s shoulder with cranberry stained lips
held her there. hummed a silent tune for her.
On Wednesday, December 13, a launch party event will be held at Mohawk Place for a new book published by BlazeVOX Books featuring some of Buffalo’s top poets. The 7pm event will showcase a number of live readings from poets that were selected to appear in the publication.
Featuring readings by:
- Janet McNally
- Joe Hall
- Eve Williams Wilson
- Rachelle Toarmino
- Paige Melin
- Julio Montalvo Valentin
- Tom Dreitlein
- Nathanael William Stolte
Musical performances by: