Love Is Not Native to My Blood

Description

76 pages
$12.00
ISBN 1-55071-123-7
DDC C811'.6

Author

Publisher

Year

2000

Contributor

Ronald Charles Epstein is a Toronto-based freelance writer and published poet.

Review

In cosmopolitan Toronto, a poet may be viewed as “Queer” and
“Christian” without being viewed as a living contradiction. Teacher
Brian Day creates literature, inspired by his sexuality and
spirituality. “Sleeping Vishnu” subtly showcases both these facets
of Day’s personality. The title refers to the Hindu deity who “holds
/ all fates.” Yet, in the poem’s final section, he expresses longing
for “a body I could look at in peace forever”—a male one.

Day is “out,” but not all his verse expresses homosexual desire.
His poem “Narcissus at the Pool” refers to the classic Greek myth of
ultimate vanity—the beautiful youth who drowns as he lunges toward his
watery reflection. Cheeky logicians may view this as a form of
homosexual attraction. They may be challenged by women who were in
relationships with handsome egotists.

Mythologies and fairy tales strongly influence this poet. Some, such as
the Nordic myths “Brisingamen” and “Loki and Slepinir,” are
handled with a translator’s skill and a scholar’s attentiveness. On
the other hand, “Cinderella: Ashes at the Baths” is the author’s
own homoerotic reinterpretation of the classic children’s story.
Perhaps he takes this tale to a level beyond comic role reversal.

Day’s message can be vague. In “Fairies: Here and Fabulous,” he
asserts that “The fairies, abandoned in the flight / from childhood
... again hold camp / in men who mark their rites / in the parks of this
city.” Who exactly are these men? Hedonistic gay “cruisers”?
Mentally ill drifters? Pagans? The fact that he does not assume a fixed
narrative persona confuses the issue. A clue may lie in the fact that
these beings re-emerge after he disowned them in childhood—he rejects
the rationalist heterosexual society that he had to fit into. The
park’s men remain mysterious, but Day reveals himself. He submerges
himself in inner thoughts, challenging his readers to discover the
truth.

Citation

Day, Brian., “Love Is Not Native to My Blood,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/7463.