Birds, Bob Dylan, and Queers Jared Burkhart Poetry

local_library Birds, Bob Dylan, and Queers

by Jared Burkhart

Published in Issue No. 245 ~ October, 2017

In remembrance of victims of hate crimes


Some say I speak a nightingale

the red of the fleeting sun

Deep seeded in my song

cause nightingales

sing the best songs

at dark and so do I

beating this heart.

Cause mama put my

guns in the ground.

In the ground like the forty-nine

shot In Orlando that night. Forty-nine

Knock knock knocking

on Heaven’s door. Sore

from the fall; they’d rather lose

a child plummeting off the

Madison Street Bridge

than burn the Stonewall

of gender norms down.

Some say lipstick is gasoline,

that certain flames are deserved.

I speak a nightingale

cause I look a flightless bird

or stars burnt into ash

so wish

we can get through


The TV says

“Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

But gender

isn’t the claw machine rigged

to grab only

what’s in your pants.

We The People are

created black or white

But can’t choose Created Equal

when “boy” a leash

cinching my neck

into silence, what was once

a Pulse is

just white noise

blocking out the voices

of thirty-four thousand queer teens

who end their lives each year,

sending grief spilling

through fractured family photos.

So tell me again

why the Stars and Stripes are

forever but

fifty stars minus forty-nine victims

is just one nightingale singing.

People are crazy and times are strange

to the Pulse of

red sun just

as it shatters behind the

mission mountains.

Hey “boy”

it’s dark where I live but

I’m still singing.













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Jared describes himself as an 18 year-old queer poet from Montana.