Lyric Sexology Volume 1, just out from Roof Books, takes as its subject the voices of “the truly immortal” in transgender histories. Inevitable figures like Tiresias, Venus Castina, Magnus Hirschfield, Julian Robinson, and Schreber, to name a few, fight the doctor’s diagnosis in Trish Salah’s book. Salah speaks to and for her characters, “Mad for [their] past.” The persecuted, are represented again, often mixing with honesty and vengeance. The Greek goddess meets such modern day backdrops as airport checkpoint security. Salah’s eyes on the back of her head also speak: “Don’t Forget that All Representing is Nonsense.” Her language performs a desire to “see everything.”
In the resurgence of persecution as chronicle, Salah is master of the second thought. She tells us in rhythmic bouts wait, there’s another voice to consider. Ample “Hah!” and “Eh” run away with the innuendos. Strings of “sosososoooo” or SOS, depending on your mood, appear like a chorus in Lyric Sexology. When the historical work seems to subside, then cascades of chapters named as “Interludes” appear bringing us to a more constant present in the political work, and the necessary biting satires of that political work. Even in the “Interludes” other voices clank around like stage directions along the bottom of the page, pointing out camouflaging in the atmosphere. As if to say, all those speakers made to look like rocks, aren’t they strange?
Salah’s poetry of theory is a dialogue that embraces confrontation. Pop culture makes it’s appearances: as “up close and personal” “price tags.” The seeing has been set up to predict any accumulation of the blind-spot. Salah writes, “All hail the rage broadcast, and/or narrows.” History’s big hidden glaring omissions duel the present with all its data being dangerous. And the sex written of throughout is working its rupture of poetic forms.