Callan Williams Poems A

Look At Me  
we are beautiful,
i am beautiful
 
"She is"  
To Do  

 

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Look At Me
copyright Callan Williams <callanw@crosswinds.net>

Look at me
Aren't I beautiful?
Look at me.

Don't look at me
Hidden in my cloak of invisibility
Obscured behind
my smokescreen of words
Nothing to see here, just move along.
Don't look at me

When you look at me,
what do you see?
I know what I fear you see.
The freak, the pervert, the clown
A phobogenic object,
in the parlance of philosophers
A disquieting figure
A projection of your own fears.
Don't look at me!

But I can explain!
Let me tell you what I mean
Let me show you
a side of me you will like
as soon as you tell me
what that side is.
I'm not really codependent
unless you want me to be.
Maybe it is all about you!
Just don't
look at me.

I can just leave.
Sit out in the parking lot
Drive around in the darkness
never taking the chance of going in
where you might
look at me.

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother what will I be?
Will I be pretty? Will I be smart?
Here's what she said to me:
"Shut up, you dumb ugly bitch.
You are a boy, stupid."
Don't look at me.

Don't look at me.
I'm scared you will see my scars
think I am ugly
think I am scary
think I am disgusting
think I am odd.
Don't look at me

Smile, honey.
Smile and
let the nice people
look at you.
You are so beautiful
when they see you
they will see
a beautiful, confident woman.
You do look a lot like a woman,
from a distance anyway
just huge
and not really beautiful.
Don't look at me.

It's the energy,
some tell me.
Such energy.
Such presence.
Let them see it and
they will respond.
Don't hide it behind
a wall of words
Don't get jittery and run
Let them
look at you.

That energy, though
makes me a target
makes me a screen
for projecting the feelings
unresolved issues
in people's lives
when they
look at me

Can't hide the energy.
Can't hide the power,
No matter how much
my role models lived
by staying under a bucket.
Not leading
but nattering
or whining.
No one looked
at them.
Don't look at me.

I can list every flaw
from the bad teeth,
rife with neglect
and pounds of flesh
signs of betrayal of a body
that betrayed me
denying me the chance
to follow my heart
or so I was told
by people who explained
it just couldn't be.
No one would ever look at me
that way.
Look at me!

I grew out of my body
rather than growing into it
making it a toothless lumbering hulk
no fear
no sex
no fair
no fun
don't look at me.

Who cares what people think
about my the utilitarian looks
when i just am there?
I care what people think
when I show my heart in my looks
though my art,
on my body.
don't look at me!

Thousands of dollars in clothes
sit in my closet
Words of a vocabulary
Silent in the world
because I'm afraid
they will look at me.
And I can't know what they think
When they
look at me.

So much life
poured into style, appearance, image.
So much fear
poured into silence, invisibility, defense.
Look at me
Don't look at me.

To be seen is to
make my sacrifice a waste.
To not be seen is to
make my life a waste.
Wasting away again
in a closet full of clothes
searching for my lost seed of hope.
Missing somewhere,
under all the shoes,
where I hide.
Don't look at me

What dare I hope?
That my heart is visible?
That people can see my soul
When they look at me?
Well, if
my parents never saw me
my teachers never saw me
my lovers never saw me
just saw themselves
when they
looked at me
who can ever see me
when they
look at me?

Listen to the naysayers
Singing out in concert
Don't let them look at you
they won't like what they see
Don't look at me.

I worked hard to be a woman
changing my clothes
changing my mind
changing my life
to fit my heart.
I worry that
With one glance
when you
look at me
you can take
my womanhood away from me
Turning me into
a man in a costume
Turning my truth into a lie.
Don't look at me

Boldly and confidently take my place
The place I have earned
Trusting the truth can be seen
when you
look at me

The femme power
is the power of attraction
Without words.
show your red dress and
your beautiful flashing eyes.
Feel safe and powerful.
Let them look at me
Hey you, look at me!
let them see me
Hey you, see me!
work my magic
with a smile
Don't Look At Me

Easy to say FUCK YOU
when I get a sideways glance.
Start the defense at
even the hint of someone
looking at me
in a quizzical way
that might be negative.
Stay behind the glass
Ready to attack or run
Defended well
Insulated well
Alone in the well
of my own fear.

Easy to say LAUGH AT ME
when I get a glance
Be the clown
behind drag queen armor
that hides the little girl
who cries to be held
the boy in the bubble
the woman in the closet
with the funny painted door.

Hard to say LOOK AT ME
This is what TransWomen look like.
Can you hear what I am saying
or are you deafened
by the sound of my penis?
Erasing to keep a tidy world
where separations are cogent?
Don't look at my crotch
or my history
Look at me

look at me!
Look At Me!
LOOK AT ME!
I will let you look at me
If you promise to see me
and not see who you want me to be

But how do you make that promise?
How do I trust you can see?
Trust that my heart shines forth
and not my history or biology?
Don't Look At Me
DON'T LOOK AT ME!
I'm a afraid you will be like the others
who have scared me in the past
who have scarred me in the past.

Look at Me.
Don't Look At Me.
Just come here
and leave me alone.
Keep your distance
and hold me close.
Embrace me
with your eyes closed.

See me with your heart
Look into my soul
Feel my beauty
Hear my love
Make me feel safe
When you
Look At Me.


we are beautiful, i am beautiful
copyright Callan Williams callanw@crosswinds.net (4/25/99)

we are beautiful, i am beautiful

my hair plastic
without luster and flow
to replace what was lost
years ago

my face plastered
concealing the remnants
of my beard.

my hands large
with stray hairs showing
not removed by the machine
which should pull them out by the roots

my body hidden
making invisble the hair
which covers my chest and shoulders

my feet enormous
keeping me from cute shoes
which beckon everywhere.

my jowls hang
my pores gape
a gift from my mother

my back very broad
my hips very narrow
my waist very thick
with the comfort of food
reshaped with girdles
and prosthetics

this is what I look like
and yet
I am beautiful

not like a young female
a model or star
but like a human
a transgendered woman
who claims her heart
and shows her soul.

the details are rough
far from perfect beauty
messy and tough
with a masculine edge

sometimes even I
am blinded by imperfections
all flesh is heir to

this is what I look like
and yet
I am beautiful
the beauty in my eyes
the beauty in my heart
the beauty in my truth
the beauty in the art
I create as myself.

(Rachel suggests that I am too explicit after this point, too redundant and too much explaining what I just said. She's probably right.)

we are beautiful
we women born male
not because we
fit expectations the female form
but because we
break expectations about human limits
vanishing walls
exposing the heart
which connects us all

I am beautiful
dammnit
We are beautiful
dammnit
when we open ourselves up
to the scrutiny of ourselves
to the scrutiny of our creator
to the scrutiny of out truth

when i get lost in the details
of where my art is imperfect
my creation not flawless
artifacts of my history
and the limits of my hand
showing in sunlight

my creation is flawless
thanks to my creator
perfection unachievable
in the world of flesh
I am beautiful in her eyes
and when I show that beauty
I am beautiful in the world

We are beautiful
I remember when I look into the faces
not of men in costume
but of women who claim their hearts

Can I remember the same thing
when I look into my own face
seeing beyond the flaws
and to the beauty
which shines from truth?

Women born male are beautiful
not like magazine models
but strong women
who know their own heart
and value it above all else
even the fear
people will see the flaws
and miss the point

We are beautiful
I am beautiful
when I believe in the beauty
my creator placed in my heart
and boldly let it show.

I am a woman of transgender experience

and I am beautiful.


"She is"
copyright Callan Williams <callanw@crosswinds.net>

When you call me she
without hesitation or irony
you honor my heart
hidden for so long
by the shadow of my genitals

I smile when you treat me
like another woman
tying your sleeve
or watching my purse

When you smile at me
and share a confidence
you share the confidence
my heart is true.


To Do
copyright Callan Williams <callanw@crosswinds.net>

Remembering to breathe.
Smiling.
Standing still enough
to be heard.
Slowing down enough
to be seen.
Trusting that my heart
is visible.
Not jumping to what
people think.
Believing in my nuances.
Opening to possibility.
Becoming corporeal.

These are the things
I usually believe
I cannot do.