Girls Doing Handstands, Southam Street, London 1956

A polemic once

mapped the world and

chambers of the heart


men love men three percent proof

and women love women

once or never

It explained the empty feeling in the bars

girls playing boys hitting balls into green pockets

It explained why gay men swelled in number

disco fever, why did they smell so much better?

is it nature or nurture?

testosterone in the womb or green enchiladas?

is it birth order or red hair?

left-handedness or playing Barbie too long with your sisters?

was it the color purple or your best friend Michael

showing each other what you had beneath the lilac tree

screaming and shouting FRANKFURTER!

at the top of your lungs

running as fast as you could

a natural instinct

the adults

drinking Pims Number One

look up briefly with reddened lips

boys will be boys

and girls will be girls

they nod all-knowing

knowing nothing

of the sum and the handspan

found only in the dial and fragile turn

of wonder

18 thoughts on “Polemic

  1. Lots of whys! One get to the point grad school professor had us in a class of group therapy. When someone wanted to ” work” on an emotional why question from the past, his answer was always the same: ” were you breast fed?” Then, regardless of the taken aback answer, he would say, good, now let’s get on to something important ! Always helped me remember my past emotional why questions are likely to remain just that. Thank you for sharing your gifts!

  2. Just wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog as it now has given me the opportunity to find yours. Your blog is laid out beautifully and your writing is fantastic! This piece is really good, I really liked ‘testosterone in the womb or green enchiladas?’. Very clever! Looking forward to reading more. 😀

  3. You have the gift of others seeing exactly what you see. Don’t ever lose it, Candice. It’s precious.
    Although if I’d not just spell checked this it would have been pre opt for some reason. 😳

  4. Wow, this is really powerful – as in not in a punch-a-hole-into-the-wall kind of way, but like how the ripples spread when a pebble is thrown into the water.

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