Carnival of Aces: October Call for Submissions

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Hey all! This month I am hosting the Carnival of Aces, a monthly blogging carnival centered around asexuality! For more information on this project, see its masterpost on The Asexual Agenda. Tl;dr, a host provides a specific topic to be discussed, and others write blog posts or poems, make videos, etc. in response! Posts for this call for submissions can be sent to me as links in the comments below, or emailed to me at bougic88@uwosh.edu. If you’d like me to post your response for you, send me your text/images/etc., and I can put them up here!

The theme I’ve come up with for this month’s round of the carnival (fairly self-indulgently) is asexuality and poetry! As an aro/ace/genderqueer person who also identifies as a poet, all of these identities are ones I think about frequently. There’s a fair amount of writing out there about asexuality and writing in general, but most of these dialogues have focused on prose works, and fiction, specifically.

My prompt for this month, then, is one that can be taken in several ways. Feel free to write about your experiences as an ace person who writes or reads poetry, or write an actual poem for your submission! If you’d like, share a list of recommendations of poems that resonate with your asexual identity. My aim here is to connect two subjects–asexuality and poetry–that, thus far, haven’t often been written about as two intersecting topics for conversation. 

Some questions and suggestions to prompt you on your journey this month: (Feel free to stray from these suggestions and do something else!)

  • Have you ever read a poem you felt could describe your asexual experience/identity? What was that like?
  • Do you know of any ace poets? What are your favorite pieces of theirs?
  • Have you ever tried to write a poem about being ace? How did that go?
  • Is it difficult to express an identity like asexuality through poetry?
  • Do you identify as an ace poet? How do these two identities intermingle within you?
  • How can poetry describe asexual identity better than prose-style writing?
  • Have you ever read a poem about being ace at a reading/open mic night? What was that experience like?
  • Suggestion: write a poem about being ace! Or anything! Post the result, or post about how it felt to attempt writing a poem of this kind.
  • Suggestion: do a video of you reading a poem! Alternatively, post an audio version on Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

To close, here are a few places I’ve found some of my favorite poems in–check them out at your leisure:

I hope all of you are doing well, and happy blogging!

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Carnival of Aces: Stages of Coming Out

Written for this month’s Carnival of Aces, hosted by Demisexual and ProudThe chosen theme was the stages of coming out as asexual, based on the Cass Identity Model. Following that prompt, I’ve written a prose poem divided into parts based on each stage. Content warning for one brief allusion to sex.

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Cass

Confusion

By my junior year of high school I have my sexual orientation narrowed down to a strict number of options. It is a matter of figuring which one fits best. The options are straight, gay, and bisexual. I cannot be asexual–one of those heartless things to be accepted but pitied all at once; when I was in middle school, I wanted to hold hands with boys. And I am thinking of kissing girls against women’s bathroom walls. And I’ve written at least a hundred, maybe several hundred love poems.

It may just be I want to be gay–to love women sounds an awfully lovely adventure. I only started thinking about girls in the eighth grade, liked boys as early as third. One of my first poems was about a Noah boy’s good blue eyes. I don’t write about the girl Jay’s black feathers hair until junior year of high school; her aesthetic has killed me, but would I love her? What is sex? I think that I know all of these things; I do not.

 

Comparison

Epiphany comes in true bursting fashion, although I take years to get to that one April night. I have spent years and years years staring at the bathroom ceiling. Who do I like more–girls or boys? I decide one night in April, or some other spring month; it is my junior year of high school, to Google the hell out of myself, and stare at naked pictures of cisgender men and women and transgender men and women until I have at last come to the conclusion that I am not particularly in love with anyone. I type I am not attracted to anyone in the search bar, searching. Google asks me, have you heard of asexuality? and offers a website, which sits a moment at my feet before I pick the thing up, marveling at its sides.

 

Tolerance

I find I am not a unique beast. I am not the only one. There is wildness to that discovery. I have ventured finally onto the moon and found it already inhabited. We are all on the moon. I belong to the moon. I have not found my place on the earth but the moon says hello, and I am lifting my hand to wave back.

I still am ashamed of not mooning over Benedict Cumberbatch at our always lunch table; I do not understand his draw and wish that I did; his acting has made me cry, but I disagree with his being. I do not find him pretty. I dress up as Sherlock nonetheless, messing my hair and pulling a new dollar store scarf through its own loop. I think Sherlock is asexual–I idolize him, probably, too much. But I would love to be a man like him. It is a question I have not yet figured out.

I come back to this moment again and again, the older I become. My friends always are talking about their lovers over lunch. I cannot even get myself off. I am so very uncertain.

 

Acceptance

I suppose I am okay with being ace. I am mostly here, all the time, thinking I suppose I am okay with being ace. It is largely a front of pride flag aesthetics. I suppose I am okay with being ace. But I do not know anyone else who does not want at all, not even in the romantic sense. I am not sure if I want anything at all save books. I think I am only capable of loving Patti Smith. Her words are really getting me right now.

I am forever smiling in hopes that it will one day come smooth. I will feel at home in my orientation–

 

Pride

and I do. I would not give my asexuality off to any other person or thing; I am fiercely committed to it. I do not want a lover. I do not want a lover. My lover is a good number of songs on a sweet album. I have no desire and I do not desire to have it. I do not need a lover to live. I do not need a lover to be a professor, raise a thing of offspring, have a home, I can have a home in my own misshapen body as dead as it so often feels. I can form comma splices. My lover is asexuality. My lover is the fact of my lack of a lover. I am in love with my lack. It is a thing I can write about.

 

Synthesis

Writing it all down–I know my asexuality has not synthesized with the rest of me. It has and it has not. I am always alternating stages of acceptance of my asexuality and it depends on the day, whether I love it or hate it. But I would not give it away. It is me although it is not and without it I would not exist although maybe I would. I have no wish to be anything but asexual. I am many things here at once although I am not proud always of all of them at any given time. My gender is an answerless question. But asexuality is an alright word. It works.

I love it. I do not love anything. I hate it. I do not hate anything save the president. I do not think these things will change.

–August, 2018

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It’s Thursday! It’s Thursday, and it’s 30 degrees or something, which is lovely, and I slept in until six minutes before I had counseling! But I think today is going okay.

I don’t know how often I’ll update this thing; I might just end up using it as a portfolio of sorts. But, as far as right now is going, I’m almost to spring break! Which will consist largely of me working on reading/writing for classes, and working on the presentations I’m doing next month, and writing poems for the collection I’m working on. Hopefully! I got the grant I applied for, too, for summer, so I’ll be spending forty hours a week working on a collection of short stories! I’m really happy about that, I think, although it’s easy for me to fall into thinking that it’s not that big a deal at all. But it’ll be nice.

As far as this site goes, links at the top will lead you to things I’ve written that I have posted or published online! I might put some other stories on here, too, come to think of it. Maybe I’ll put up more of my art.

Anyway, hope you’re doing well~