“Is gender trash? I mean, yeah, but that’s not the question. The question is, does it need to be? And this is where we start the work.”
Myles Taylor’s debut full-length collection explores the concept of a non-toxic masculinity: if it’s possible, if it exists, and if not, how we can build it ourselves. Through the lens of a neurotic working-class transmasculine person, manhood is viewed not quite as an aspiration, but as a curse to be broken through reimagining: masculinity as kitchen / masculinity as glitter / masculinity as sunset / masculinity as service / as city block / as cicada shell / as abundance, relaxation, community, and ability to heal. To transition is to willingly enter a violent lineage, both in terms of violence done by men and violence done to the trans community, and Myles’ poems are engaged in the work of pulling apart, examining, and deciding which pieces of the gendered world are worth keeping.
Poetry. LGBTQIA+ Studies.
“The thing about Myles is that their poems do this thing where they make me think of voices as parts of the body, as solid. In MASCULINITY PARABLE, voices keep changing, touching, drowning each other out—the voices of strangers, lovers, workers, futures, selves—like ‘bundles of string lights caught in my throat,’ which is to say tangled, lit, somehow more bright for being near to each other. This is a book about transness that knows being trans is about manyness. MASCULINITY PARABLE is a generous, funny, and lush account of learning how to allow beauty and terror both, always inside each other, on the bus, at the venue, in your head, and on the clock. I love Myles' poems because they insist, over and over, that the work of all love resides in that allowance, a daily practice of listening to both a thing and its opposite. Good poetry, I think, attunes me more to my own living among others, and this is very good poetry.” — Bradley Trumpfheller, author of Reconstructions
“MASCULINITY PARABLE reminds me of tenderness. It does that beautiful work. Read this book and let your heart grow big.” — Devin Kelly, author of In This Quiet Church Of Night, I Say Amen
“Myles Taylor weaves together a scathingly vivid world of gender, food, capitalism, ghosts, sex, class, and family. MASCULINITY PARABLE is a love letter and a cautionary tale—to queerness and transition, Boston and workers, relationships and family, authenticity and 'close enough'. The reader is welcomed in, handed an apron, and told ‘get to work.’” — Robbie Dunning, author of Up All Night In Worship
Myles Taylor is a transmasculine poet, organizer, award-winning poetry slam competitor, food service worker, Emerson College alum, Capricorn-Aquarius cusp, and glitter enthusiast. They are currently the producer of the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge. MASCULINITY PARABLE is their first full-length collection.