Patricia Lockwood's “List of Cross-Dressing Soldiers”

Studio 360

Patricia Lockwood has been gettinga lot of attention for her funny, profane poetry.On our show this week, she read some of her "sexts," surreal come-ons that she writes for her Twitter followers. But she also read a much more serious poem, "List of Cross-Dressing Soldiers," which was inspired by her brother's military tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hear her read it in the audio above.

The poem opens with women from history and myth who passed as male in order to fight. It then becomes a meditation on the gender dynamics of soldiers at war --- and how macho warrior culture shades into tender displays of affection. "What a bunch of girls," she writes of her brother's tight-knit buddies.

Lockwood thinks some of the military's resistance to allowing women in combat roles has to do with the strength of the male relationships forged in battle. "There's this culture there where they can really bond together," she tells Kurt Andersen. "And I think that's something they don't want to lose."