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"Not Your Dream Boy"- Finn MacLaine

When morning came,

I watched the bones of a fawn reclaim their ivory

beneath a golden gun.

It was shaking in its heat, but, sleeping on the trigger.

the softest sun.

I want to be the soften son.


When Oakland escaped me, I watched 4,000 miles

slip under plane--a distance too great to seethe over,

a city too beautiful to weep in.

She told me something is missing for her with girl on girl.

Did she not see me? Geographical, cure me.

break habit of handing my heart over to that 

cyclical reiteration of a really bad religious story

nobody wants to hear.


Not again.

I know I am not your dream boy.

when I was pretty, the world was kinder to me.

But it gets so exhausting wearing costumes to parties

disguised as normal days.

When I was sleepless enough to wake,

my girl started taking up less space. 

Her halves were not cut from the same whole, they

were cut from different fabrics.

Blankets torn post-sew--so, so split from childhood.


Caitlin died on Halloween when the second head grew.

I was chopping his hair, coloring him green

started calling him Finn.

He was so reckless.

A pent-up boy trapped in a 20-year old sissy body.

all teenager, blood, and teeth.

pissing in the flower fields, burning the sea.

If you want to know me, go home.

dismember your limbs from frame.

Reassemble your body blindfolded.

Open your eyes----Who are you?

does your body get in the way of that?


In the shower, I am only scrubbing myself

citrus enough to be human.

But, Finn feels like an insatiable phantom limb.

My mother, she tells me

she must have raised me wrong putting me in dresses.

She cries just because it is something to do.

she does not understand why this son

has eclipsed her delicate moon.

Sometimes autumn gets too thick to wrap my arms around.

I fall in love with another straight girl,

just like Mommy said I would.

Not because I want to be disappointed 

but because I want to be a good boyfriend--

or maybe because I want to be disappointed.

Just don't touch me.


In Los Angeles the leaves don't fall.

they just sort of build in your gut, filling you before

winter's bite, but not letting you eat too much.

Tastes just like anxiety.

i'll tell you, when your body keeps you from yourself,

the fingertips sort of blister in lemon.

they become too sour to touch anything kindly.

When I love, it is the same familiar love.

desperate, but with necessity to be far away.

Necessity to prove something--keep me busy

at night, i'll be dropped off on the bed I forgot was mine.

Naked and nameless with a gnarled human face.

still too bitter to speak of affection,

still on hold with the wrong God

but the only one who picks up the phone when i'm ringing.

Maybe Finn is much bigger than I am.

maybe I sleep in as many beds as I can 

just to make myself sick, searching for a home I never had.

And maybe, my heart is the color of greed.

maybe my body too scrawny.

But for one night, ask me anything you want.

close the curtains on the eyes of your fear-God.

Just don't ask how much is missing.

don't tell me there's no room--i'm still expanding

When morning comes, i'll watch the bones of a Finn

reclaim their ivory beneath a gun.

I'll be shaking in my heat, but sleeping on the trigger.

in that golden glow, I will be the softest son.

I am the softest son.

-Finn MacLaine




- Ebo Barton


Insubordinate is spoken word poet, Ebo Barton's first collection of work. Through this collection of work they discover themselves, acknowledge their history and navigate a world not ready for their existence.


Want $5 off?  Buy "A Gorgeous New Language" by Ben Yisrael, email/message me the receipt and receive a coupon code! 


Writer, Educator, Archivist and 2017-2019 Seattle Civic Poet, Anastacia Reneé says, "Ebo Barton's work is never out of style, misshapen, or late but, always a necessary sacred text, spiritually nourishing for gritty-truth-seekers & always, always on time."


Author of "Bring Down the Chandeliers", "My, My, My, My, My" and Washington State Book Award Winner, Tara Hardy says, “Ebo Barton is the queer echo to the first whisper of revolution. Backlash to cynicism, they’ll have you believing in yourself again.”



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Get Loud Spotlight: Ebo Barton

(photo by: Parker Miles Blohm)

 "Ebo Barton comes from salt— from the moment before worlds converge. In this world, we are still trying to articulate that mixed Black and Filipino, Transgender and Non-Binary, Queer, Artists and Educators not only matter but are precious. In another world, Barton is loved, safe, and valued. The only difference being that the latter is a path they must make themselves. You may have seen Ebo's work in Adrienne Issue 01 by Sibling Rivalry Press, Thriving While Trans: A Love Manual, Natasha Marin's Black Imagination, The King County Metro, and online on Write About Now, Button Poetry and All Def Poetry channels.  In 2016, they placed 5th in the World at Individual World Poetry Slam. In 2017, they co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning play, "Rising Up".  In 2018, they played "Invisible One" in Anastacia Renee's "Queer. Mama. Crossroads" and reprised the role in 2019. A leader in arts and activism, Ebo Barton is committed to creating opportunities for others to organize, heal and rejoice.  From weekly open mics to curated shows like Alchemy Poetry with Ben Yisrael to educating across the country at various institutions, 2020 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, Ebo Barton's written, performative and community work demands societal reckoning."