I'm not a poet, but I pay attention to images, and I find the picture of tackling an intersection absurd in a particularly amusing way. Intersection of his cultural identities is also absurd but only in that dry, dreary academic way that makes you want to say to all your children and grandchildren: Do not major in the humanities!
What amuses me about tackling an intersection is that it seems to reveal the author's anxiety about the masculinity of the gay poet. Why make us picture a football move? Admittedly, the verb tackle originally meant to equip (a ship) with the necessary furnishing and then to harness (a horse), and only later "To grip, lay hold of, take in hand, deal with; to fasten upon, attack, encounter (a person or animal) physically." So says the OED. But it's all pretty damned macho.
There's no Blanco poetry at the link, but there is a description of an essay "Afternoons as Endora" from a collection "My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them."
“According to [my grandmother], I was a no-good sissy — un mariconcito — the queer shame of the family,” Blanco wrote. “And she let me know it all the time: Why don’t we just sign you up for ballet lessons? Everyone thinks you’re a girl on the phone — can’t you talk like a man? I’d rather have a granddaughter who’s a whore than a grandson who is a faggot like you.”Go here for a little more of the writing, including Blanco's description of dressing up like Endora and watching "Bewitched" on TV:
Together we'd turn Mrs. Kravitz into a chihuahua, Derwood into a donkey, or Uncle Arthur into a chair. We were unstoppable....
I was a helpless and scared child, powerless against my grandmother, while Endora was a mighty witch with limitless powers. Unlike Samantha, her foolish daughter, she was a witch who wasn't afraid of being a witch, and used her magic to get her way or enact revenge every time she had a chance.A fantasy of power. Suitable for a presidential inauguration.
AND: More on Blanco:
"Since the beginning of the campaign, I totally related to [Obama's] life story and the way he speaks of his family, and of course his multicultural background,” Mr. Blanco said... “There has always been a spiritual connection in that sense. I feel in some ways that when I’m writing about my family, I’m writing about him."...Aw, come on. People observing the normal things that happen in politics don't deserve to be called "cynics." OED defines "cynic" as:
Cynics might say that in picking a Latino gay poet, Mr. Obama is covering his political bases....
A person disposed to rail or find fault; now usually: One who shows a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions, and is wont to express this by sneers and sarcasms; a sneering fault-finder.Oh, what the hell. I'll accept the label. With politicians, we should be cynics. By the way, "cynic" comes from the Greek for dog-like (which you can sort of see in the word currish, which echoes in churlish).