"[P]oetry makes nothing happen: it survives, / [...] a way of happening, a mouth." -W. H. Auden

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hate Crime in Asheville: Mountain Xpress Article about My Assault

The Mountain Xpress has posted an article about the assault I underwent last Thursday:

You may report license plate numbers of any vehicles in Asheville that match the description to me at lukehank [at] yahoo.com and I will pass them on to the police.

You can also see my poem about the incident here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Way They Loved Each Other: A Hate Crime in Asheville

"Blue, Green, and Brown, 1951" by Mark Rothko

I was assaulted at 12:30 am this Thursday in a parking lot at a local grocery store by 4 teenagers for no other reason than that they thought my shorts were too short and that I looked like a "faggot." Swollen face and jaw, black eye, was up all night with nausea and roiling emotions, then threw up at 4:30 am. Went to the ER. 3 fractures in my face.

Below is a poem I wrote about the incident. I don't feel any anger against the perpetrators, only confusion and pity and sadness. I do want them brought to justice and to face the consequences of their hatefulness and violence, but not because I hate them. 

The Way They Loved Each Other

What to be more astonished at:
my calm as the fist made contact
and I saw a flash of white
and the world went silent
as if I had stepped out of it
momentarily, only to be brought back
with a rush of sound and visible objects -- 
the way I asked them to help me
find my glasses, expecting them 
(even as they taunted me,
even though they had just assaulted me)
to feel underneath the violent tribal urge
the obligations of empathy --
the way even as one of them found my glasses
and smashed them again on the ground
I refused to believe that was really
what he wanted to do -- the way
they loved each other 
in the most primitive manner
but loved each other nonetheless
despite feeling the need to punish a "faggot"
who did not dress like them, because
he did not dress like them --
the way tears and nausea overwhelmed me
nightlong much more than had the blow itself --
the way such small suffering can feel
unbearable -- the way no strength is found
for what seems to have no explanation,
a troubled mind more harmful
to the body than fractured bones.