“1930’s Butches Referred to Themselves as Stallions” – Lyric Essay by j/j hastain

Lesbian Bar in Paris - George Brassaï, 1930's
Lesbian Bar in Paris – George Brassaï, 1930’s

“1930’s Butches Referred to Themselves as Stallions” is one of four mini lyric essays by the inimitable j/j hastain in our Spring 2015 issue.

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HAVING SPENT QUALITY TIME WITH HER IN MY IMAGINATION long before ever being found by and finding her in human form, there were times when imagining her while she was right here with me made me more wholly able to comprehend her in her wholeness: her as a wholeness.

One version: swagger in the slightly tilted fedora (so much like the hat my father wore during that Church play in which he sang that solo as the masculine figurehead in the story: “Thirty days to make a brick, make it hard enough to stick”), suspenders up over the cream colored and slightly-wrinkled-but-still-tucked-in (like any gentleman would do) shirt, the gorgeous polished shoes tied with equal loops on each side, the shape of her hand around the shot glass from which she was going to gulp bourbon.

Another version: a painting (with brush strokes that stand out from (rather than blend in with) the shapes of the painting) of a single horse made out of two horses (fused at an imprecise but precious slant, not evenly or equally down a middle): the front half, a male and the back half a mare. Though the painting is a still life, due to the protruding strokes of its composition it is anything but still.

Another version: a slightly masculine-presenting women’s woman (“that’s womyn with a “y” thank you very much”) driving a Chevy Nova through Denver. Having just returned from writing a love poem to an invisible woman on her Macintosh 128K, REO Speedwagon is pouring loudly out the one operable window in the front of the car. With a Big Gulp in the cup holder (a cup holder that latches manually to the window and is not built into the frame of the car), her arms are outstretched, moving up and down (accentuating the low-key shoulder pads in her coat) ever so slightly to the rhythm of the song. What no one can see (as they stare at her through the window (her mullet is not much different than peering heterosexual folks’ mullets)) is that below the steering wheel (which she is not currently using to drive, since both of her hands are in the air) her fly is open. I have a feeling that I, more than anyone else, know what’s writhing and wriggling within that open fly, trying to get out, trying to get into me.

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Bio Next2j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j simply hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.

j/j hastain is the inventor of The Mystical Sentence Projects and is author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press), The Non-Novels (forthcoming, Spuyten Duyvil) and The Xyr Trilogy: a Metaphysical Romance of Experimental Realisms. j/j’s writing has most recently appeared in CaketrainTrickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay GinAufgabe, and Tarpaulin Sky.

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