Nothing is just the sea…

Cover of Planet of the and dog....

So I came across the quote from Jean Genet: “Treachery is beautiful if it makes us sing.” I’m wondering what it means.

I think I know what it means, you know? Out of pain comes art. More specifically perhaps, we achieve pain through vagabondage, that wonderful French word for the criminalization of not fitting in, and for which they throw you in the slammer.

Still, treachery is an interesting word. It means treasonable or perfidious conduct. Genet means for us to understand this is larger than the individual. Everyone should sing in rage.

BTW Edmund White’s book on Genet is brilliant.


I wrote a poem last week in which there’s a line that reads: “Mumsy go poof!”

My mother was an alcoholic and by turns violent or needy.

It took me years to write that line.

Along with it is a Genet-esque willingness to exorcise shit heads of every stripe.

I’m for vagabonds but not vainglorious academics or shiv pushing polemical dirt bags who tell you how you should be disabled, how you should be queer, how you should tie your fucking shoes.

Grew up with that shit.



I read “Querelle” when I was in college. Genet was the first writer to communicate to me the idea that waves and violence are co-efficient in human barbarity. Formerly the sea was just the sea.


Nothing is just the sea.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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