On Tuesday I attended a talk and reading by poet, Jimmy Santiago Baca, at Santa Fe Community College.
One of the last poems Jimmy read was partly about Jimmy’s young son discovering his penis and about Jimmy’s penis.
Before Jimmy read the poem, with his son reading lines too, he mentioned that we have been taught in this culture to be ashamed of our bodies.
This is true. And yet, even as we find ways to become unashamed I don’t really care to hear about Jimmy and his son’s penises. For my taste, they can find a different outlet for sharing their discoveries.
This is not about censorship, though it could be. Jimmy can publish what he wants. This is not a matter of repression, though it could be. We need to be free to talk about the body.
It is a matter of discretion, tact, dignity and maturity. Hearing about their penises doesn’t enrich my life, doesn’t give me courage, and doesn’t uplift me. Thank you but no thank you.