“These are wide-ranging Whitmanesque poemsself-aware meditations that rap and jazz their way forward, talk back, backtrack, and scratch so hard they blow out the speakers with their complicated love for a huge cast of icons, from Pam Grier to Flavor Flav, from RuPaul to Dave Chapelle.”
Love Letter to RuPaul
You have one of the longest,
thickest, most veined, colossal
set of hands that I have ever seen
and, frankly, they cast a spell on me.
Not that I’m the type of man
who goes around checking out
other men’s hands, but I know
tightly tucked cuticles
when I see them. Even sexier
is the hourglass-shaping choke hold
you can put on a mic.
You could hurl a two-foot monkey
wrench at a mirror
or pull out
and push in a date’s chair
with the flick of a wrist.
I bet you don’t though. Bet you’ve never
carried a man up four flights of stairs,
limp arms flailing every which way.
And if you have, I bet you took care
to cradle his neck. To avoid banisters
and to walk slowly. Because you are fierce
in the way only a 6’7″ black drag queen could be.
In one of my earliest memories, you are wearing
a pink sequined dress, endorsing a hamburger
Good enough far a man. Maybe a woman.
I am a black man who has never worn pink—
not a polo to a country club. Not gators
to a church. And still, that commercial
ravished me. How hard, to be sandwiched
between what and who you are, tickled
by every cruel wind, critic-voyeur
playing rough beneath your skirt. How
raw you must be. To sit before a camera,