Femme Friday – Apocalypse, Darling by Barrie Jean Borich

Queer femme Barrie Jean Borich’s latest book, Apocalypse, Darling, is a sumptuous read, loosely structured around a wedding she and her spouse attended in Indiana, but encompassing so much more: growing up in the industrial landscape of Illinois and Indiana; the effect of industry on landscape and heartscape; being queer and femme in the Midwest (and in the world); not to mention a conversation and continuation of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”.

Barrie Jean was a Femme Friday femme a while back, and I am honored to feature a sample of her work today. Congratulations on your beautiful book, Barrie Jean. Deep gratitude!

(Barrie Jean and her spouse, Linnea, are meeting the bride’s sister for the first time.)

Well hello, Linnea enunciates, as the lady leans closer. You must be the lady, she says, of the house. Linnea possesses the social charm to pull off phrases like lady-of-the-house without sounding foolish.

The lady blinks at Linnea’s cropped gray hair – the same cut as usual, nearly a crew cut. She had it trimmed by her favorite barber before we left Minneapolis. The lady blinks as Linnea continues. I’m the groom’s daughter. She is practically shouting at the blinking lady, who clutches her cocktail, who blinks and stares again at Linnea’s bristled hairline.


This lady’s smile is wide and static. We know this one. We’ve seen this before, though not so much lately as we did in the old days. She must not understand why this smiling man has introduced himself as a daughter. She has that look of one hypnotized by thunder. Linnea’s arm is outstretched. The lady speaks without parting her teeth.

I don’t know, says the lady, what we’re talking about here.

Apocalypse, Darling by Barrie Jean Borich, Ohio State University Press, 2018.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)








Published in: on October 25, 2019 at 5:42 PM  Leave a Comment  
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