Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 1 • Spring 2002 • Featured Writer • Poetry

From Dyke Dialects / Lesbian Objects

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg


lesbian flirting is problematic. parabolic. potential is its premise but not its promise. certain are experts on portable flirting. certain flirt best while properly breathing. certain cannot breathe while flirting. certain find flirting second-nature. certain must think (or not think) before flirting. certain others must drink (or not drink) before flirting. some when flirting back away. some seek flirting for its own sake. some flirt with good reason. some flirt with no reason. sometimes trouble is the reason or anger is the reason or treason. sometimes desire is very much the reason. some want something to happen. some want nothing to happen. some want something to happen but not the something that happens. some want the same something and it is the something that happens. some want the same something but it is not the thing that happens. flirting is parabolic. potential is its premise but not its promise. for some an art form. for others a science.


either does or does not have a pit which will or will not germinate and is or is not surviving its first winter to maybe or maybe not bear any kind of fruit bitter sweet succulent supple memorable flippant forgettable forgivable. that's the core and question of a lesbian date.


The two blondes in one apartment on Mission Dolores identical but not sisters no lovers. On the glass coffee table a dog collar. "Where is your dog?" for the place is not furry noisy hasty. "There is no dog." But there is a wide. black. leather. dog. collar. nested against a very polished silver buckle. A classic case of collar. Nerve-wracking because both blondes are exceedingly attractive and hard to tell apart. Certain filaments are gathering certain carbonations glimmering I remain for a cup of cold soda (really just a sip) then a fast convertible drive alongside nodding palms with two blondes in one apartment on Mission Dolores identical not sisters no lovers on whose glass pedestal a thick blast of black-and-silver collar absorbs and re-absorbs its shockwaves:


Dog collar.


Three rays of evanescence incident upon the soul.


The Long Of A Kiss
A kiss a kiss a kiss a kiss adrift a drift adrift adrift. One feels Oneself in the back of the Other's throat a rubbery tunneling. The month and its moment have arrived when one very physiologically requires fucking. The kiss before the fucking is a very big kiss. The kiss before the fucking: a very important kiss. A kiss enhanced enlarged by pre-fucking and the notion of pre-fucking. As well as fucking. Contents Under Pressure: caffeinated kiss containing kiss itself and action upcoming. High velocity thinkings of high or low velocity actions forthcoming intersected by sublime stillnesses sublime suspensions. A kiss that is in all ways forthcoming and in every way conceptual. Kiss held against knowledge of future fucking = friction of very lesbian dimensions. Ripe with certainty is a very good and obedient kiss. When outcomes are uncertain a most fragrantly delirious nocturnal kiss. One Kiss lasted beyond an hour, a search party had to be sent out after it and no one in the search party made it back alive and so the marrow was sucked from the search party and that too sounded like and probably was a lesbian kiss.

The Short Of A Kiss
Any kiss you know for a fact is leading nowhere is a most hazardous kiss yet also often proffered. It is unrealizable. And quick. It may make or circumvent great trouble. Some lesbians do specialize in this kind of kiss. Receiving imbibing repeating renouncing such a kiss requires great quick-wittedness.


Let's start telling the truth about the risks of being a sailor. All that salt in the h/air. Around the lips. Everyone will see it and think "Lesbian." They will always call for extra Chapstick. For some there is an exclamation point at the end of the word Lesbian! Especially when tossed into the dunes. Sometimes (afterwards) there will be blood on your mouth or cheeks. Sometimes the blood of love. Sometimes the blood of hate. Sometimes depending on politics or madness sometimes depending on the location of the stars in her belly. You will be wind-tossed. You will need stamina and a good sense of direction. Night vision. A compass that glows in the dark. An intricate sense of the strenuous nature of the sea; its cruelty, its adventure, and always and ever the fact of chance.

Dubious foghorns murmuring in thick towels of fog will only sometimes save you. Most times it will be too late. Or the foghorn will have mourned you in a language you don't speak. Or the foghorn will have warned you in a voice you did not choose to recognize.

Think of all the rocks you did not see. Was it good, your never seeing them or did they kill you in the end? Or did not seeing them save you from something even bigger, worse, or better?


A sailor is a brave or stupid girl. Sometimes her tattoos are the most vivid and constant thing about her. But then she's underwater, arm-wrestling the mermaids.


Sometimes even switching hats with them. Green foam hats & hats of foam rubber.


"This is the attractiveness of art work. It is adventurous, strenuous, and joyful," the painter Agnes Martin said that not at lunch over mussels white wine ice cream and calzone but in a grey imported book. She also said, "Interruptions are disasters." It is a very strenuous thing to stave off interruptions. You do not have to be an artist to stave off interruptions. You do not have to be a lesbian to stave off interruptions. But you must be physically and mentally fit to stave those kinds of interruptions off and keep those kinds of interrupters at bay.

Staving off interruptions is an exceeding challenge. If you insist simultaneously upon politeness plenty so. If you insist on electricity even triply more so. Gertrude Stein did not get electricity until 1914. She wrote at night by candlelight. Exuberantly prolifically absorbingly restoringly. The American language restored in the darkness restored by a candle restored by a poodle sending thought waves up the spine. Never restored by distraction. Nor by interruption.

We do not hear much (at the gym) about the athleticism of making art or of making anything that does not lead directly to physical prettification or financial gain. Let us, O let us hear more of that mental adventure, that strenuosity, that joy.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg's first book of poems, Marianne Faithfull's Cigarette, won the 1998 Lambda Literary Award. Her latest collection, Mr. Bluebird, reissued by University of Wisconsin Press in fall 2003, was awarded the 2001 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry from the Publishing Triangle.

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