Dirty Beautiful Words | Brooklyn Brayl
Published: November 24, 2014
Get It Here | Goodreads
New York based writer/performer Brooklyn Brayl takes us on a journey through the untangling of conventions.
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own, & will not be affected by this. *
Hey fANGIRL Readers,
Today I bring you a mini review featuring Dirty Beautiful Words by Brooklyn Brayl. Brooklyn is a Trans poet (Transgender), who embarks us on a journey of her life, through bold, dark, and compelling words.
This was an amazing coming-out story. I've read a few in my lifetime, but never in an artistic format, and never with this much raw emotion. Brayl opens our eyes to the struggles of being a Trans woman. From the battle of understanding or identifying your true gender, to the abuse, both domestic and publicly, one could encounter. We're exposed to thoughts, both complex and deep, and I loved every piece of it.
Prom is one of my favorite poems from the book. We read about a young Brayl being verbally abused by other boys, because she was obviously different from them.
" The other boys created conflicts.
And wreckage from their from verbal chords.
For he never played with sling shots or screen doors. "
We also read about Brayl's transition. How even though she may be drapped in a divine dress, paired with high classy heels, that when she looks at herself in the mirror, her reflection will always be the "outline of a man". This poem bought me back to a memory of my own, which I would like to share.
Back in 2010 I used to work with a Trans male. Dean was born a woman, but made the necessary changes to live the lifestyle of a man, and to be honest, if people didn't "gossip" about it so much, I would have never known. I mean Dean used the men's bathroom, had facial hair, dressed in men's clothing, even his voice was a little deep. So I would never have thought that he used to be a woman. So one day, when someone had filed a complaint against Dean using the men's bathroom, we had a conversation while he assisted me with putting a gas tank on my forklift. It was very brief, but in those few short words, I completely understood what he was saying. I asked him, "Does it bother you when people can't accept who you are?" I almost thought he wasn't going to answer, but then after a few short minutes he responded, "It doesn't bother me as much as it used to. What bothers me, is when I go to the bathroom and take a good look at myself, I still see a woman, I still see Denise." After that conversation, I continued to converse with him, but never asked him anymore personal questions. It wasn't that I was scared or uncomfortable, well maybe I was a little. But more so I felt like from the answer he gave me above, he already told me what I wanted to know. Of course I was curious about when he made his transition, and why, but that wasn't important. What was important was the mere fact that Dean still wasn't comfortable with the lifestyle he'd chose. That maybe he was still struggling with his identity, as Brayl was in some of her poems. I believe this was why he decided to use the men's room instead of the ladies. Maybe he didn't want to be reminded of something he wanted to forget. Or maybe he just wanted to live the way he felt was intended. Either way I accepted it, and I still do.
Brooklyn Brayl delivers poems that are so honest, that most of them either moved me to tears or gave me goosebumps. Her words are so beautiful and on more than one occasion, I experienced a shiver of chills. But I feel like her poems aren't just for the Trans or LBGT community. It's geared towards anyone who has ever been verbally and or physically abused. For those who are lonely, depressed, or hurt. For those that just need a little "pick me up" to get through the day. Even for those who just want a book of beautifully written poems to adorn their shelves.
I encourage everyone to read Dirty Beautiful Words, and have embedded the visual to her poem, "Bones" (also included in the book) below. Enjoy Readers :)
Till Next Time,