Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tiresias was the blind prohphet from mythology. As a young man he struck two snakes making love and was punished by Hera and transformed into a woman (the first sex change). He was a woman for 7 years (and a famouas prostitute for the oracle of delphi) and had two daughters (who could both switch genders at will). She was transformed back into a male after again coming across two snakes, this time killing the male. His symbol, like Mercury/Hermes is the caduceus--twin snakes climbing a staff--the symbol for male and female.
This poem is from the perspective of Theresea....Tiresias as a woman
THE CHANGLING MOTHER EXPLAINS
Act like a man and be cheap
once a week,
it’ll help when you have to switch.
That bitch, the oracle, is often out of tune.
Learn how to pluck the right notes
from her throat. You’ll both be naturals,
you were born into this;
I wasn’t. Like waking up
to remember that somewhere beyond the scrim
there was another life
waiting for you like a copperhead
dozing on a rock, waiting
like a poison ring to open.
Word to the wise,
no playing both sides
there’s no luck in it.
You might get confused
if you try to befriend a lover
in the wrong body.
Be ready to avoid a beating, a rape.
That’s what stones do when they meet someone
like us; for to understand
what our flesh knows they have to swing
at our skulls. They must have our brains
on their skin
like wet cornmeal.
We’re so queer they must smash us
to acknowledge the body which is chorus
and congress of man, woman, and sky.
Remember, a woman’s great secret is that she is beautiful
without anything; especially a man,
or a child. Where a man
needs proof he exists.
If you haven't checked out Gender Variant Biography...get lost for a few hours.