queers are tough. Tough as kelp. And not for reasons you think you know.
central Canadian ideas, NBers in general are not conservative, uptight, or
We are, instead,
crafty. Foxy even.
Case in point: the
longest serving Premier of New Brunswick was a flamboyant and (by the standards
of his era) everybody-knew/nobody-cared out gay man named Richard Hatfield. He
loved disco music and drugs and wore gorgeous foulards while flipping pancakes
at country fairs, kissing babies, and telling off bossy Prime Ministers. And he
was friends with Truman Capote and danced at Studio 54. He got away with
everything, simply by being clever.
Our queerness is
Hatfieldian – dashing, smart, and deeply local. Our queerness is built, not bestowed
from afar. We take our own cues, thank you, and shall skip rocks as we please.
What’s that cute new word for this state of being? Liminal. Our queerness is
liminal. Because it has to be to thrive in such small numbers.
Just don’t mess
with us. We all know how to start fires.
This selection is
not a complete project. Not even close. It’s a start, a baton passed in a
relay. I hope it will lead you to discover more of our wonders. Or just be a
tourist. Nobody in New Brunswick ever turns away a visitor.
Richard Hatfield drinking with Stompin’ Tom Connors, circa1977.
there is a doe-eyed sunset in her mind. what
invites her speaks in young-tongue; lifts her off the ground. it thinks in
the chains on the swing were always cold.
too cold for mittens,
too cold for skin.
the skin is hidden
in the cold.
the cold hides the skin.
her skin grows feathers.
her skin grows mouths
her skin molts.
her skin is sandpaper,
her skin is soft.
is soft and warm.
her skin is lit,
is hot to touch.
her skin burns.
her skin rots -
when she comes back from sea.
i'm tired (but) i'm so lucky
(but) i'm tired
all i can do is attend another protest speak at
another panel give another interview plan another event lunch and learn series
trivia night holding my second-hand cardboard sign made with dried out sharpie
on the back of a dominios pizza box dug out from behind my couch for the third
time this winter while my fingers freeze because if i wear gloves the chill
will slip the square out from between my fingers & drown it in white &
i’ll have to make another another another. queer youth are freezing in urbans
street after being spit out of their house like phlegm from a cold, men in
tailored suits face no consequences for the deaths they cause & we’re all
chronically living on the edge of a wind gust: hurricane-ready.
& i think maybe it's not that we want to
die it's not that we want to die it's not that we want to die-
it's just that we're so goddamned tired.
Sara Marie Nason
(they/them) is a queer, agender alumni from St. Thomas University. They are the
two-time recipient of the STU Robert Clayton Casto prize for poetry, and have
been published in a variety of periodicals, including the Feels Zine.
Along with being a semi-active poet, Sara is also an avid pun collector, and an
unabashedly angry activist.