"The Revolution (We Never Wanted)" and "Body Fluid Cleanup Kit"

The Revolution (We Never Wanted)

We’re the Sanskrit, the Olde English,
the queer and forgotten tale.
We’re the endangered species, the dying breed,
the mutations that Darwin refused to catalog.
Our legacy is of tongues tasted, not spoken—
of bodies liberated, not assimilated.
We remember the ACT/UP, the fuck yous, the
Shove your marriage and your children and your
heterosexual privilege up your virgin white assholes.

We’re the breed the breeders said couldn’t survive.
We’re the ones that remember words like buggery
and deviant, fairy and fudge packer and pansy
Words we traded and collected
like bubble gum cards.
We’re the ones they said must recruit because we couldn’t reproduce.
To which we replied with mouths full of laughter and each other—
I may not be able to get my boyfriend pregnant,
but dammit, I’m going to keep trying!

We were the ones proud that we were more men than our schoolyard
bullies would ever be, and more women than they would ever get.
We laughed through bloody teeth that their girlfriends
would never learn how to suck a cock half as well—
so go fuck

We were the ones who wouldn’t go to
the weddings of our straight friends.
Who at one time had straight friends, and then didn’t,
And never felt the loss.
We’re the ones who celebrated the fact that our fucking
wasn’t breeding, who adored our lives of childlessness,
who built families of choice, not out of obligation or by
accident, and knew every lover we took was a miracle.
We’re the last of our kind—walking fossils of separation and defiance,
and when we’re gone, the world will never know our like again.
We’ll be replaced by the metrosexuals, the bi-curious,
the twenty-something gay-but-I-don’t-want-to-define-myself,
the two daddies and their little girl on the rainbow cruise,
the lesbian talk show host, the Log Cabin Republican.
The ones who never knew the gift of being the outcast,
of being hated, of having to rise above.
We’ll be replaced by the ones who won’t pause
to think about the revolution we made possible.
The revolution we never even wanted.



Body Fluid Cleanup Kit

            blood stains cotton
but you’ll never again have to worry about
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            so much blood
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red streaks on your carpet or walls not to worry
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            the smell the flies

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so easy even the kids will love it
            blood on the sand how can you clean
            blood off the sand

sometimes a mess can’t just be wiped away
that’s a tough job or how about those
            roadside fried sticky
            red helmets

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            body fluid
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wear those rubber gloves and
            keep it out keep it out keep it out
            from under your fingernails

then rinse it rinse it rinse it with clean water
distilled water fresh mountain spring water
            rain water washing the dead
            rinsing sweat body fluids blood

our product is heavier than water and our special formula
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off the walls off the news off the radio off the TV
look at at that look at that look at that
where instead we watch
            look at them

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stains red-blasted messes sticky messes you ship
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            shipped home
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put your problems behind you worries gone forever
            under the flag
            under the ground

washed away and forgotten and new
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disinfect those hard to reach dirty places disinfect
them clean them up feel chained to your work
chained to past spills break those chains
and wipe it down kill the germs that
cause bad breath kill the odors kill the
stains kill the pests kill those ugly brown
pests kill them kill bugs dead and scrub
            the desert
            the sand

            the knives
            the uniforms

the pots the pans the floors the
walls and you’ll never again have
to see those pesky red and brown
stains they’ll be gone forever from your
            bloody pavement bloody sand
            bloody ruins bloody ghetto

life $29.95 we pay the shipping we do the
dirty work it just takes a little elbow grease
            bloody prisons bloody TV
            bloody hands bloody flags

you’re not afraid of a little work are you
you got it bring it on you break it you own
it just don’t forget the gloves for gods sake
            don’t forget
            the gloves

keep it off your hands our product
is very hard to clean
            is very hard to clean

off your hands
            off your hands



Wess Mongo Jolley

Wess Mongo Jolley is a queer Canadian novelist, editor, podcaster, poet and poetry promoter. He is Founder and Executive Director of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project, and is most well-known for hosting the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel podcast for more than ten years.

His work has appeared in journals such as Off the Coast, Apparition Literary Magazine, PANK, The New Verse News, Danse Macabre, The Chamber Magazine, The Legendary, decomP, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, RFD, TreeHouse Arts, and in collections such as the Write Bloody Press book The Good Things About America.

Mongo writes and freelance edits full time from his home in Montreal, Quebec. Find him at http://wessmongojolley.com. Mongo recommends Urban Word NYC.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, January 8, 2024 - 22:08