Rural rules

Rural rules

This poem talks about the idea of rural homosexuality, it’s interesting to see an approach from this perspective as many people from rural communities would never be tied to the idea of being queer. The rural rules that are set in place are often set in stone, they are Christian rules of people being strong, straight, and always following the bible. Jones states in his essay that he often felt the only way to write was to pretend he wasn’t him, to dissociate himself into female or mythological characters. This is the same idea in his poem, he talks about this man who is clearly gay but cannot accept that fact of himself. Jones says on page 42, “To realize you drank so you could face me the morning after, the only way to choke down rage at the body sleeping beside you”. It’s clear this man drinks to allow himself to be homosexual and the alcohol is what disassociates himself from his sober reality that he can never be true to his sexuality or at least not without the judgement of others. His father seems to be someone who especially enforces this closeted reality. The next line states that his father abused him for either being gay or the assumption of gay tendencies. Jones says how could he understand this man’s life, how can he judge a decision to drown himself to hide from his sober self when Jones had done the same thing. His imagination of being a beautiful woman so the desire of men wasn’t homosexual to avoid the fear of being murdered like the countless men he had seen killed because of their sexuality.

One thought on “Rural rules”

  1. I appreciate your analysis of this poem. Your commentary on “rural rules” reminds me of the town I grew up in. While I am not from the deep south, my community is all farmland and actively discourages homosexuality. Your comment that “many people from rural communities would never be tied to the idea of being queer” resonated with me. Growing up, before I even came out, simply being rumored to be gay was dangerous. Later on when I became comfortable with my sexuality, I was still faced with anti-LGBTQ rhetoric by neighbors and politicians alike.

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