glitter what?

Glitter Tongue is an online collection of love poems by thirty queer and trans poets, launching Valentines Day 2012. It grew out of a collective writing effort among Margaret Rhee, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Tamiko Beyer, Oliver Bendorf, Meg Day, and Ching-In Chen, and then expanded to community. This is the result. We invite you to read on for poetic introductions and then explore the poems collected here.


It was just one of those days, when I wrote ‘queer love is so good, but so hard, most times,’ because it is. I wrote it not knowing what may come (isn’t that what happens with all poems?) But love came back, Oliver, Meg, Ching-In, Tamiko, and Leah. Collectively writing. I’ll always remember this lovely Sunday, queer love poems in our inbox.  It makes me thankful we’re making this bad romance together. Cause, like Miranda Joseph writes, I’m also critical of the “romance of community,” but I can’t help to think this kind of romance, making it better, I like and I love, love. Appreciate so much our collective of queer poets writing for a Sunday morning, and the design and visions of Oliver who helped bring this love to the world. So now we’re 30 songs strong, and I hope you’ll read and write with us too, making glitter tongue. -MR


Language always fails (me). But, infatuated as I am with the material of poetry — unruly words, ephemeral reflections, a riot of passion — there is nothing to do but try, always.

Here, glittertonguing, we all try, in concert, to say love and mean something queer and fantastic. And in that collective trying, perhaps we’ve built something larger than success or failure. Perhaps we’ve built something as messy and gorgeous and transformative as love. -TB


I started writing in self-defense
and write to documentshoutsing
and now peacock this

we send each other texts in stolen time

stolen moments of energy, calories

love. that’s all. i text back always.

this is what chronically ill queer brains lying on couches

can transmit, what is important: love. -LLPS


When the project first began, the question was— “How does a fish write a poem about water?” Then, when the poems started trickling in, it became— “how does a fish not write a poem about water?” Thirty queer poets means something like sixty gills and a whole lot of hook scars but you should see the way our scales gleam under love. There is so much beauty here. -OB


With love,

Oliver Bendorf, Tamiko Beyer, Ching-In Chen, Meg Day,
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, & Margaret Rhee