Forty-Five Thought Crimes: New Writing by Lynn Breedlove, 95 pgs.

Sep 27, 2019

I feel I’ve read these poems before. This isn’t a commentary on originality; this is what it should feel like to have your life represented on the page. There have been anthologies published on trans poetics—and debates, too— around what makes a “queer” art, a “trans” art; how can it ever be universal? The answer, of course, is that it never can be and never will be. But as diverse experiences—the experiences, say, of transmasculine queers or spiritual queers or punk queers—become better represented (and thank whatever powers that may be that trans representation has come far enough queer punks can be published, too), a politics starts to develop. Sets of, not universalities, but commonalities; things often shared.

In the same light as Cristy C. Road’s Next World Tarot, or Alex Wrekk’s current work—or the resurgence as a whole, of holistic, even secular spiritualities within the queer and punk communities—Breedlove’s is a spiritual text, invoking the ancestor, Prince, the meditation of loving someone so truly. Breedlove does not shy from history, from his history in Tribe 8, as a “dyke,” something transmasculine folks often shy away from. I often joke “dykes taught me how to dress,” but aside from that, I rarely acknowledge that was once a community I considered myself a part of, however briefly, now that I’ve “transitioned,” whatever that means when you’re non-binary.

The work these poems do, the creation and recognition of these histories (and for Breedlove, this is not just his gender and sexuality, it is, too, about his mixed indigenous and German heritage), though confusing and uncomfortable, are necessary to build an understanding of queerness, of fluidity, of our own histories and the knowledge that they are never as simple as we are taught to believe. So though I’ve read these poems before, I was happy to read them again, and to feel bolstered by them in a way we all deserve to. –jimmy cooper (Manic D Press,