Witch Part Two

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 13, 2015








PG went to a poetry reading on May 21, 2015. It was a very positive night. Nobody reading was angry, or at least none of the poems were angry. The star performer went on last, and that was that.

PG wrote Witch abut the evening. There was soon a comment on facebook. “i am frequently misgendered throughout this article and it makes me angry.” PG went back, and tweaked the gender references in the post. There is only so much you can do.

The only indication that PG had seen about trans status was a line about pronouns on twitter. The poet said that their pronouns were they and their. The last thing the poet said in the reading was “I am a fricking witch.” Maybe this was a clue.

A few days later, PG went to a building to work. A group was going to use the building… a former elementary school, now used by artists … and the grounds, for a party. In exchange, some people from this group were to come by and work in the building. Although PG had misgivings about the party, he was happy to make a contribution by working in the building. The job this Sunday afternoon was painting a room.

The story of the poet was told. PG was using he/him pronouns to describe the poet. One of the other painters was “aggressive” in objecting to this. PG protested, but wound up not using he/him pronouns. At least that is what PG remembers. The “aggressive” painter says that PG continued to use he/him pronouns. Two people do not always remember a dispute the same way.

The concept of using a plural pronoun like they, to describe a single person, did not make sense to PG. Apparently, this is a common practice. PG appreciates that gender based pronouns can be problematic. However, PG does not feel that redefining they, for use in describing a singular person, is a good solution to the problem.

The rest of the afternoon went by. PG gave the “aggressive” painter a ride home after the work session. PG did not think much more about the incident.

On thursday, the “aggressive” painter sent PG a facebook message. One of the other painters identified as trans. The “aggressive” painter said “You played the role of oppressor … with your intolerant remarks.” The message exchange got nasty and nastier. The “aggressive” painter lost control of their temper, and said some hateful things.

In the week before the poetry reading, PG had tried to promote the appearance by the poet. This mainly consisted of placing notices in facebook groups. PG was irritated that his reward was to be chewed out by the pronoun police.

The poet had said things on twitter that made PG question any trans status. The overall sanity of the poet also came into question. After the incident with the “aggressive” painter, PG kept an eye on the poet’s twitter feed. There was little information about trans status. Most of what PG saw had to do with a cross country poetry reading tour.

A few weeks after all this, the poet had a long series of tweets. Twitter monologs run in reverse order, and can be a lot of trouble to read. PG left a tweet. “don’t you have blog/facebook acct? Your twitter monolog would be much easier to read in order instead of scrolling backwards”

The next few days were quiet. PG went to the poet’s twitter page. You are blocked from following @johnmortara and viewing @johnmortara’s Tweets. And so ends the story. The spell check suggestion for @johnmortara is mortarboard.

UPDATE:Read Poetry and Eventually Die was hacked by by Mr.dexter.305. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









2 Responses

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  1. Witch | Chamblee54 said, on July 14, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    […] this article and it makes me angry.” An attempt at correcting this has been made. UPDATE TWO Here is the story of what happened […]

  2. Catalog Part Three | Chamblee54 said, on June 24, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    […] this article and it makes me angry.” A few days later, I described the incident to someone, who went ballistic. The pronoun police don’t play. In August of 2016, I saw the poet at the National Poetry Slam. […]

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