February 1, 2021

Why Have I Been Endowed With Aberrant Proclivities And Why Can’t I Say That Another Way?

Rory Mullen


Typographically and lexically arresting, this poem attempts to capture my individuating experience as a marginal and repressed figure in society, addressing struggles with identity and sexuality. Since time immemorial, or roughly about the age of ten, I have internalised my homophobia- to a visceral degree Homosexuality is, to me, an aberration.

What a performance that was, and still is. Grandfather would brand me a poof, Father might disown me, I’ve already disowned myself.

The solution e’er shall be: powerfully disavow homosexuality. Reject your humanity at every turn and hiss at the rest of those growing in the comfort of human relationships till it wears you down. Not matching the paradigmatic shift in attitudes that has since occurred and continues to.

What, to me, has hitherto been unspoken, is, for most, hardly unspeakable. They should never have let me near Edward II. This poem offers, through the focalisation of me as individual, insight into internalised homophobia, repressive West of Scotland masculinity and mercurial mental health. The anguish of being spurned becomes a rejection of condition in totality.

They are deeply personal, of course, but, I hope, not without a wider reach or applicability.