Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

dani Putney


Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism


In our face-to-face meeting
he was bold:
a banana, peeling it backward
& inserting the phallus
into his mouth. A professor
of literary theory doesn't do
something for nothing. His suit
& tie, pomaded hair,
conveniently delayed lunch,
he must've waited for me.
Let's talk about your work,
the words slid off jagged teeth.

After our queer theory unit
he said his sexuality
was expanding, an experiment
in disentanglement. Derrida taught us
deferral of meaning—here,
mid-afternoon, a closet of an office,
tongue laced with potassium
+ my essay about Mulan's depiction
of Americanized Chinese culture:
the appetizer to soft brown hair
& freckles ascending his forearms.

Thoughts blindsided me with
erection, said lean in,
inhale his banana breath,
no need to convince
this pretty boi. I became
the other students—
we've all heard stories—
take me out, stroke my hand,
the next part is easy.
Command my flesh like young scholars
budding into intersectional feminists.

Do you want to grab
a drink after this?
he asked.


Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, Asian American poet exploring the West. Their poetry most recently appears or is forthcoming in The Chaffin Journal, Foothill, and Noble / Gas Qtrly, among other publications. Presently, they're infiltrating a small conservative town in the middle of the Nevada desert.