Your Eyes, Poetry by Brennan O’Rourke

Your Eyes, Poetry by Brennan O’Rourke

Jejune had the pleasure to showcase some of our images from our I AM.. editorial at this year's Nasty Women Unite Fest. While we were there we had the pleasure to hear Brennan O’Rourke, a femme, queer, trans/gnc artist, recite some of their poetry and knew we had to feature some of their work! Let's share some pride with Brennan! 

From Brennan's performance at the Nasty Women's Unit Fest. Photo by Tessa Keough

i can’t sleep tonight

i can’t sleep tonight
           my mind is preoccupied with the
lost Souls of a
While i wonder why I can’t find love from
people who don’t know their

the Histories of Bruises and Scars
of Disease and Death
           of Ignorance and of Hate

But of Resilience and Resolve
but of Fight and Will Power and of incredible
           Strength and Fortitude

I Can’t Sleep Tonight
my mind is Preoccupied with the beautiful lost Souls
           that could have led the revolution, but were
Lost from this earth.

But they were not lost forever, so long as
           we hold them close to our hearts
           and know that they believe in us to
                       make change.

i can’t sleep tonight
           i’m preoccupied with tears for the no longer

For tonight
i remember them
my soul
for a generation
got to
Touch, or
Feel, or
Hear, but

of a generation

A radicalism that shapes who I am today.

i can’t sleep tonight
i’m preoccupied with trying to preserve a cultural and social history is
actively being Forgotten.

Pride 2018

Your eyes

Your eyes
Those eyes

Your gaze is fixed upon me.

Your eyes
          so filled with hate
          that I cross my arms
          and Cross my legs
                     and suck myself in.

Your eyes look away.

My eyes never
          looked at you.
But I could feel
your eyes on me.

Your gaze is back,
           fixed upon me.

I hear you scoff out of the
corner of my eyes.


My heart
pounds so fast
          I fear
my eyes are going
to bulge out of
           my face.

Your eyes look away.

Your eyes gaze
back toward me.

The subway lurches
          to a stop
          before the next stop


Your gaze is fixed upon me.

Your eyes
your eyes
your eyes

I can feel
your eyes
           those eyes

Will this be it?
Will you take matters in to your own hands?
Will someone stop you?

What is it about me?
           My shorts?
My nail polish?
           The makeup?
Am I too femme for you
           for those
           of yours?

The subway

Thank god.

Your eyes
your eyes
your eyes

Those hateful eyes
           of yours
           still haunt me in my dreams.

Gallatin Senior Symposium

Brennan O’Rourke is a femme, queer, trans/gnc theatre practitioner, poet, arts educator and student hailing from Wichita, Kansas. While at NYU Gallatin, they have been studying theatre and its relationship to communities’ histories, identities and memories in efforts to create and imagine justice. Brennan’s poetry explores the violence and isolation of queerness, particularly for femme-identifying trans/gnc folk. Most recently, Brennan was a performing arts producer for the Gallatin Arts Festival and co-created/directed the Gallatin Mental Health Arts Festival. Favorite acting credits include: Old Man/Chrysothemis/Messenger in The Brides of Atreus (Gallatin Arts Festival 2018), Reverend Hale in The Crucible and Teiresius in Antigone (Theater at Gallatin). Their play, your own kind of normal, about the trauma of mental health, queerness and family premiered at the Gallatin Arts Festival in April 2018. Brennan’s oral poetry debut was at Nasty Women Unite Fest in June 2018. They are a teaching artist for Elmwood Day Camp and program manager for Arts For All, an NYC-based arts education non-profit. Brennan will be pursuing an MA in Applied Theatre at CUNY SPS in August 2018.


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