Wade, Julie Marie. “Same-Sexy Marriage”, AMidsummer Night’s Press, 2018.
Have you ever thought of marriage at the same time as thinking of taboos? I bet none of us have with the exception, perhaps of Julie Marie Wade who has not only thought about but has written a poem cycle about “same sexy marriage”.
“Speculation turns to circumstance and back again” as we read about unspoken truths, final understandings and/or misunderstandings with exes. We see that finality just does not really exist or like my mother used to say, “When God closes the door, a window is opened.” exes. For Wade’s characters, finality is in flux.
I wish someone had been around to record my facial expressions as I read these poems. There are tricks and surprises all along the way. Wade sees the world clearly and shares her perspective with us. She also shares her mother who lives in her own world but every so often visits the world of her daughter… to stir things up a bit.
“she is quick to explain…”
“My mother would like the idea of Maine,
like Main Street and mainstream American values…”
“She will have packed a dinner for them—“
We have hear a world that lacks compassion and that assumes the worst of any situation.
As Wade looks at the world, she remarks that to live in it is “how it feels to be living in a typo”. She brings us the vulnerability of what she calls straight America and American values along with her mother’s absolute and determined unwillingness to accept her daughter’s lesbian relationship by making up a story for herself and everyone else.
If I married him, Reader–this surgeon/this Jeffrey Hamilton–I must have loved him./And my mother says, to anyone who will listen,/that I married him.
Her mother selects not only the husband, but also his occupation, and where they live and if they will have children.
Granted this is totally audacious and for more than shocking. There are no scared cows here and Boston gets its fair share as does the concept of Boston marriage. “Even if we were too women older and otherwise occupied…”. I had no idea what to expect before I sat down to read this collection but I soon realized that the poems carried me away and I was both entertained and inspired. The inspiration comes from the fact that the poet does not hold back and says things as they are. I realized that I was reading something different by this strangest event. As I sat down to write this review and would finish a paragraph, it would delete itself letter by letter as I sat and watched. Twice my review disappeared before my very eyes and I have no idea how or why that happened.
I do not usually pick favorites but I do have to quote a few lines from (and this is the third time I am typing this) “Mary Cheney You Know What They Say About Women Like Us”:
“That we’re dykes because we have daddy issues”.
“That we’re bitter because nobody asked us to the Prom”.
“This whole homosexuality business started in the 1960s. Your mother and I got married, then watched the world around us fall to the fornicators and the bigamist and the sodomites”.
In less than 70 pages, I found so much to like here and cannot find the words to show how much. Get a copy and enjoy. And yes, this review did disappear twice.