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If Jesus Were Gay & other poems Paperback – April 1, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


Death comes like wind sudden and unexpected . . . The poems in If Jesus Were Gay & other poems, inform, instruct, rouse revolution, and liberate. In these poems, I have found family, cleansed my heart, and let the tears flow. Heartfelt! Rousing! Necessary! --Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, poet and author of Convincing the Body

Emanuel Xavier s extraordinary If Jesus Were Gay & other poems is a fevered communion of spirit, sex, and heart. These poems hot, fierce honesty burst the thermometer with their unflinching open-eyed embrace of being human. Buckle up! These are his queer embodied poetics you eat. This is his love-bursting blood you drink. What would Jesus do? He would read this book! --Tim Miller, performer and author of Body Blows and 1001 Beds

Love, sadness, lust and reverie, every poem in If Jesus Were Gay & other poems engages with a haunting tenderness that never abates. Xavier delivers a masterful, enduring work. --Steven G. Fullwood, The Magician's Assistant s Dilemma

About the Author

EMANUEL XAVIER is author of the novel, Christ Like, and editor of the anthologies Bullets & Butterflies: queer spoken word poetry and Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry.  He has been featured on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry, The New York Times, CNN, and his work has appeared in The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide. A spoken word/music compilation CD, Legendary: The Spoken Word Poetry of Emanuel Xavier, is available on iTunes. He lives in New York City and curates a spoken word poetry series at El Museo del Barrio.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Queer Mojo (A Rebel Satori Imprint) (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608640329
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608640324
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,997,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Both sacred and profane, "If Jesus Were Gay and Other Poems" by Emanuel Xavier is a new book that expresses Christ in a refreshingly queer way.

Xavier makes sweet poetry out of his experiences as a gay Latino whose painful past includes sexual abuse at age 3 and rejection by his Catholic mother for being gay at age 16, leading to homelessness, drug dealing, prostitution -- and at last to poetry. His background is Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian, and his poems are sprinkled with Spanish.

The title poem "If Jesus were Gay" questions whether people would still love and worship Jesus if he was gay. But Xavier also uses that title for the whole first section of the book, more than 60 poems comprising three quarters of the volume. Many of them do not specifically mention Jesus, although their soulful and spiritual quality is palpable.

While reading "If Jesus Were Gay and Other Poems," I found myself caught up in the tragic sense of a life being wasted, a kind of crucifixion. If Jesus were gay in America today, would he do more than just hang out with prostitutes as he did in ancient Israel? Would anti-gay abuse actually turn him into a street hustler, as Xavier openly and graphically describes himself in these poems? Jesus is without sin, but the poet-prostitute who wrote this book seems "more sinned against than sinning," as Shakespeare put it.

At least for this reader, the unspoken question that enlightened every poem in the book was, "Could this be Jesus speaking?" For example, if Jesus was gay in America now, would he say these lines from "FYI:"

I don't really care to know how many others you have been with
or how many times you have fallen in love.
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