Five Poems by Jude Hoffman

Don’t Ask by Merran Jones
February 11, 2018
The Boy Who Cried “Not All Men” by Stephen King II
February 14, 2018

Liberation

Some things do not translate perfectly
When we try and translate the word “li­­beration,”
there are problems with finding the best meaning.

  1. When one group uses the term liberation,
    why does the other think
    it means they are losing privilege?
  2. When one group uses the term liberation,
    what are they liberated from
    Or, what are they liberated
    in to?
  3.  When does liberation stop being
    freedom from the oppression
    of everything white colonization brings
    including a Jesus?


The Queerest Jesus

Show us the only Rabbi in your time who remained unmarried.
The one who rises from a tomb that he was placed in.
Betrayed with a kiss,
ended up in a tomb
because some people just can’t see
what it looks like
to be so unapologetic.

Asking for the body of Christ to be placed inside us.
Queering the holy space.

Christ tried  to find that word that sounded like healing,
dealing with his father’s homophobia,
remembering the wrath of Sodom,
the destruction of Gomorrah.
and what He is capable of with his hands when he is angry
still learning to deal with his father forsaking him,
which is the story of so many queer boys.

 

Forget History

While talking about reparations,
a student asks,
“Why don’t they just move past it?”

They is Black people.
It being history.

I can’t help but notice
that the student
is wearing a hat
with a Confederate flag on it
(which is an entirely different poem),
and I wonder if he knows
the Confederacy has been dead
for a long time
(too).

 

 

You Poet

The first time I heard your poems
the sound of your tongue
made me want to quit writing.
What good is it to create beauty
if it will always be substandard?

The best cacophonies I could conjure
are just launching bottled rockets
at satellites
hurling past Pluto
at this very moment.
When you carved “love”
into all the receipts
from your therapist,
you reminded me what it means
to take the things you hate
and turn them into a testament
to your own tenderness.

Somewhere, there is a word
(that I’m sure you already know)
that perfectly described what I’m feeling.
I don’t know the color of the word,
but I know it sounds like your name.

 

Map Skin Storybook

Tell me the about the love story
where we bask in the love of our bodies.
Our disgusting, incredible,
broken, amazing bodies.
The one where we read our
skin like forgiveness.
The braille of our bumps
will paint a map that reminds us we are home.
Home is safe.
And so are we.
The story I am looking for
is the one whose book looks so good
unapologetically worn.
Where every word sounds like healed
and only whispers clarity.
The love story
that triumphs what a body can do,
and what it can withstand.
It will be told without a reason,
which is an act of love in itself.
It will swell tidal
through parts of its own story
and parts of the body.
And every part it touches,
it reminds it that it, too,
is also in the story.
It, too, is important,and loved.


About the Author

Jude Hoffman (he/him) aims to write in a way that strips away the rules and expectations of what poetry should be. He is still working on how to find the appropriate intersection between being politically active, writing, and not taking up others’ space. His hope is that his style of poetry will begin to provide whatever catharsis the reader is looking for. He is the author of the books “Am I Good Enough Now, Dad?” and “Poems I Wrote on My Honeymoon (I Am Not An Expert On Robots or Jesus)”

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