On ‘Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco’ by K. Iver

Book #4 in my Trans Rights Readathon week

Tucker Lieberman
4 min readMar 24, 2023

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old rusted-out car overgrown by ivy
Car by Daniel Borker from Pixabay

I appreciate reading poetry, but I’m always challenged to write about it. An excellent poem speaks itself, and though the poem may mean something different each time it is read or spoken, I don’t believe it needs to be reinterpreted with different words by someone else. So here are five quotes from K. Iver’s Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco with my minimalist commentary.

A note on this book’s content: It’s for Missy, who died in 2007, and it’s about difficult family matters.

‘It wants joy’

A poem does not only express desire and convey feelings. A poem has its own desires for what it wants to feel. A poem is a person.

“Don’t think
this poem wants to stay in that bedroom.
It wants to swaddle the impossible
contours of joy. It’s tired of hearing
joy is possible. It wants joy.
— “Family of Origin Content Warning”

‘Look how awake you are’

Enlightenment comes when we’re short on time. Otherwise I don’t suppose we’d need it. The car, given a model and a color, represents an era, 1966–1996, unless it is a new Bronco, reintroduced in 2021. It’s the nostalgia or the now, perhaps both at once, but I suppose it’s not the 25-year gap inbetween, unless the car was old then, already on borrowed time. The light of enlightenment, who’s it shining for? The car, of course.

“There’s no time for dialogue about class or gender. No room to signal that your time with goldenrod is limited. Your time awake is limited. Look how awake you are. How the facial bones move with perfect alignment under the dermis. Cut to the motel, leaving its light on for your red Bronco.”
— “Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Living Body”

‘A handful of trans film stars humanizing a handful of trans characters’

Speaking of characters, I added the | | | characters. This poem in Iver’s book has a bit of extra white space, but this website on which I type, guided by its “absurd reasons from a future,” won’t recognize extra spaces. Never mind that. What I came here to say is that we’re all begging…

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Tucker Lieberman

Editor for Prism & Pen. Author of the novel "Most Famous Short Film of All Time." https://tuckerlieberman.com/