Tender Bodies

Quinn Eades




Please note: this is a re/production of Gertrude Stein’s 1914 prose poem

Tender Buttons

Objects Food Rooms

and all text in italics is lifted/loved/taken from that text.



The difference is spreading.


People want to know at dinner but suppose dinner is a house and the work is never done and no one will eat the rainbow shards thrown by crystals hanging in the floor. Suppose the floor is a rubbery hollow. Suppose you have made yourself a hole that is not a hole that wants to be empty and full and eaten and revered. Suppose you are that hole.

Does this change. Does everything change. Are the children ok. Testosterone makes the sky red you will be sexually aggressive with that in you. I have that in me and crying is easier than even before but laughing is easier too. The cup is a habitus and carries me everywhere. I think about what is the opposite of a vessel. I think about how to make while I change. Are the children ok. Does this change.

The question does not come before there is a quotation. There is no question but there is every question and there is music and a loitering moon and legs that shiver when they should be still in the night in the night in the bed going down under the horizon like a brightness that should be open open open. Are you open.

I am reckless I take the yoke of an egg and swallow it whole I eat the sun be reckless be reckless be more be less be be be uneaten supposing you are uneaten and this is nothing at all.

It is not even more hurt than that, it has a little top. When they took my uterus and cervix they said I’d have a bucket and a blunt end and I do but now that means something but not blunt I have a sharp an eaten. Do you want more.

There is marking to be done make sure you proof read this is an admirable effort I can see you’ve worked hard I write all these things but out of an eye comes research and my research says I have a boycunt that can’t be pinned down but can be open open open like I am taking all of you inside me and fucking you just.

Supposing… supposing that there was no astonishment and no one was terrified of boxes on a form of Ms and Fs and what. How to put someone. One person. On paper how to put me there where they want me. But you had babies. But you have breasts. But you but you but what is there to say any more than a cup and a garden made from cuttings given to me on a Saturday afternoon. A sac a small sac and an established color and cunning and the dirt that I thought was dead but then we found worms. So many tiny chilli plants you love chilli you will pick them after they have grown and a way of drawing Bromeliads to me as if Bromeliad and boycunt had found some way of touching of being near. That they should be near and people and friends knew and that is what they brought with them.

Bought or brought you ask.

My sore teeth.


I walk into men’s toilets after taking breaths down after holding and holding the best ones are the ones that don’t have urinals to walk past. All that silver. The smell. Then to have corners, to be lighter than some weight to draw myself on a napkin and that torn nothing paper becomes a map that changes without distress because the map changes to meet us in the late afternoon with the birds who come for the Grevillia in my new in this new in a place with rotting weather boards why is the weather in the board who knows about glass where is there light.

I send you the definition of habitus in a text message.

There is a cut on my back and nothing breaking the losing of no little piece.

A lamp is not the only sign of glass but when I sign it changes every thing. This is my name this is this is this is my name.


Suppose I send you the meaning of habitus and suppose the rest of the message is mixed with a very long slender needle. Suppose you are more than this. What is this current. What is the wind, what is it. On that Saturday making the garden with worms and Bromeliads there was no wind and we tore up cardboard the boxes unbecoming and made a suffocating bed for all that grass but in the morning what is the wind the wind was there and the cardboard was not and the boxes wanted to make themselves back.

Later I found box fragments from my garden my torn garden two or three streets away away so I could practice the sign and say it is a spectacle, it is a binding accident. Supposing I just bound and bound my chest was a boy with breasts and there were no



It does, it does change in more water. After the wind always the rain. What is the rain, what is it. It goes deep in it’s itness it goes down and deep and is on skin and cement and dirt and steel and plastic and that guttered needle that still holds blood on its insides.

The sudden spoon is the wound in the decision. The decision is the sudden wound as if I couldn’t see my self coming as if the others needed to be forewarned and then nursed through their shock. As if shock is a stick pushed sharply against an eyeball that gives every thing a way.

This shift from one to not quite an other is a continuing separation but in the academy where I re/produce words and works and marks and comments there is a pleasant simple habitual and tyrannical and authorised and educated and resumed and articulate separation. In the academy they let me change my name and I go to the men’s toilet and only once or twice is it odd but never do I feel not safe. After a while in the academy I stop needing to say so much my name and all those walls but supposing there were more to say about doorways.




Is a winning of all the blessings and on the yellow kitchen table it continues being written but nobody knows this and they ask for spoons full of honey and the honey licks the wound and makes a yellow sheen over the blood and turns an orange tinge and I like the wound we lick a collapse and a sold hole and I know this hole. Supposing the hole is every thing.


You push my legs up over my head you push. You make pictures of me when I can’t see. You show me later in the broken light and we kiss and the water on the window is the spit you leave on my cheeks you push you push you push.


Supposing I was comatose what then. Are the children are the children they need so much and so they don’t get enough. And so. And so clean is a light that nearly all of it shows pearls and little ways and I buy paper stars filled with light and string them across the window of my children as if to light the way.

Come and say what prints all day. What prints are these walls these words your finger prints blood up my spine a spine that crackles in your wake and shudder shivers later to the tune of a dog and a broken washing line and the hum of dirt. This is not true.

Count, count more so that thicker and thicker is leaning. Count the way you smell in the corridor of a chapter that is waiting for you later much later and this is knowing all the great moments and all the nothing moments supposing this is nothing. No thing.


Chest not valuable, be papered. Be papered and bound but the binder is tearing is not fit to wear doesn’t hold anything down and the smell of rain and dirt and old citrus fills whatever room this is is there room is there what we know to be space in this room suppose I see you in the dark making pictures what then.

In feeling I know there are no questions and the day goes and music is in my bones and my bones are a white hot breakfast for the cat who has been waiting for a long time along with the children and the dog and the Bromeliads to be fed in the feeding they will learn in the feeling they will know how to be unfull much much later are the children ok. In feeling anything is resting, in feeling anything is mounting in feeling we find a bitten moment and pack it carefully away to be broken open later.



When we find each the other there is an understanding that inside the between that is turning there are the both of us. There is recognition supposing that any heart can recognise an other there is known and knowing the children may be ok this may not be saying too much too much is not this silver beat in between where we meet. Where we meet.

The kindly way to feel separating is to have a space between and in that space between the glint of steel of a tooth of the lamp that sees what we do and the darkness very dark darkness is sectional and in excess of what is needed supposing anything is needed




fist that finds a tunnel that holds a core that turns me open open open.

Take no remedy lightly, take no urging intently, take no separation leniently take the remedy surreptitiously before they see. We see because there is a cup and all goods are stolen (all text is stolen – reproduction is thievery of the most bitter beautiful kind), and all the blisters are in the cup.

This is today.

There is a cut along the bottom of the small of my back it is a drawing in red it is a long horizontal line that’s life you said it is two cuts crossing that line that is me and that is you you said. What is cut. What is cut by it. What is cut by it in.

Where the first and the second small lines cross the big long line there is what could be a hole or a crossroads what is this cross where two roads meet. What is this hole how are two lines meeting and crossing whole. A whole is inside a part, a part does go away, a hole is a red leaf. My boycunt is a red leaf and we fuck it together because suppose the instance of there being more is an instance of more. And all that was required in the end was more red leaf more shine more loitering moon more supposing more writing on walls down legs in steam in the night on the arm of the one who loves and is loved in the flesh of a mango bruised from a fall under fluorescent lights in the putrid corner in the day that turns night into a threshold that turns and makes way for legs and breath. Supposing that’s what this is. Explaining darkening and expecting relating is all of a piece.

This was thought.

A shine is that which when covered changes permission.

Almost very likely there is no seduction.

This is the only object in secretion and speech.

Dance a clean dream and an extravagant turn up… show the choice and make no more mistakes than yesterday.

Boycunt. Writing. Love. Make no more mistakes than the day can hold the day can hold all of this juiced.


Dr Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and award-winning poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist, queer and trans theories of the body,...


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