WUSSY is proud to present work by queer Austin poet, M. A. ISTVAN JR.
If you would like to send in a writing submission, please contact Nicholas Goodly


Photograph of Woman Who Fell off Her Bike

Euphoric, Jacques-Henri suggested to his wife
that they go for a bike ride. His main reason
was to take photographs. She knew this, but got
excited anyway. She was proud being the wife
of a genius. She was glad to do whatever it took
to support him. She accepted that his work came
first and would steal whatever time she could.
Jacques-Henri, secure in having convinced her
of his being due for air and time with his wife,
gave a shrug as they walked out, a shrug to say
that he was bringing the camera only from habit.

About twenty feet ahead along the trail she was
when she flipped over the handle bars to the left,
face-planting in the weeds. “Watch for roots,”
Jacques-Henri had called out moments before.
She started to explain how her dress got caught
when she swerved to avoid the roots. The hope
was that giving an explanation would block
his certain criticism. To dissuade the lecture
on what she should have done once realizing
that her dress was caught or so on, she groaned
for her scraped knee and her soiled white dress.

He did not care about scolding her for lack skill.
He did not care about using this as an occasion
to teach her how to handle such situations. No.
His entire concern was with getting the shot.
It was for the shot that he had her lie back down.
He told her to put her face into the weeds. “Vite!
he yelled, an analogue to the five-second rule
clearly in effect here. He placed her bonnet
on the back of her head and ran to his position
when she fell. She was happy to oblige, happy
that she was a help and that he did not scold.


Uniting with Beauty

Ecstasizing us, placing us beside ourselves,
items of beauty drive us to reproduce them:
painting them, poetizing them, and the like.

The most basic form of such reproduction
is simply keeping them present: following
the scent to stay in its plume; savoring
the taste to forestall the loss; moving
where the man’s whistling moves; tracing
the eagle to ingrave it within your mind.

Is it a wonder that more beautiful women,
the best muses for begettings, are not eaten?
Is there not an urge to eat a dewy white rose?


Frequently still slipping into baby-talk despite his son being in elementary school, M. A. ISTVAN JR. is out and proud as an age-queer. Even in Austin, a city chock full of queers, Istvan finds it sad to see all the nasty looks in response to his whimsical rhymes and sing-song motherese, the sort of babble speak you find in Sam Pollit or Tom Bombadil. Visit his page at https://txstate.academia.edu/MichaelIstvanJr.