One Trick Pony CC
He would fasten a scary werewolf mask on his bedroom door.
It frightened me so much, I would stay in bed all night, stay down.
Fear tactics was how I was raised – backhands and cold wooden floors.
In public, he was all big smiles, an entertainer, a clown
At home his comedy mask came off, wearing it quite the chore.
When we weren’t pawns in his courtly jest, we weren’t to be around.
The father mask was far too restricting, too much to endure.
He was bound to leave or we were bound to leave or we were bound
By the fear instilled in us, he the werewolf without the mask.
We learned not to ace the tests or win the matches, not to shine
When his alpha dominance was threatened, he would hold us back.
He likes to tell fairy tale fishing tales from another time,
distract from bad press, to muddle facts with lies and lies with facts
Gaslight us until the only light to shine was his, remind
Us that he was wolf within us all – that wolf was but a mask,
distraction from freedom; as a teen I wrote him off in rhyme
Dousing the mask in gasoline, flame engulfing childhood home
Listening to the soothing sounds of his flesh crackling on bone.
The Bones of a Dancer
The bones of a dancer
Do not simply fade away like the final note
In a grand opera or a beautiful ballet
The bones of a dancer
Do not give up as the valediction
Written on a page
From one lover to another
Words forced too hard
For too long
Lose their meanings
The bones of a dancer
Do not give up the fight
Like a battered child
Or an abused mother
Dancers dance anyway
Far too long
Their supposed prime
From learner to teacher
From dancer to dancer
Their bones do not fade
But crash violently
Like that of a black hole
Giving birth to something greater
The bones of a dancer know
A bone once broken
I spend the day avoiding reflective surfaces.
I was conditioned to not find love in a mirror
But to seek it out from others.
I spend the better part of the day obsessing over
This guy I met online, smiling at his picture
Saved already to my camera roll.
I spend the day day-dreaming of falling into his eyes,
Falling into their universe, swimming in the stars,
Dreaming of his fingers wrapped around me.
I spend the next morning, spent from a night of lovemaking,
Spent from this little spoon scooping out all that was left
Sweet in me. “Let’s get coffee,” he says.
I spend the meal picking at fried hash browns, sipping on no-pulp orange juice,
Noticing that he adds three sugars and one cream to his coffee while I
Need no added sugar staring at his laugh lines and crooked teeth.
I want to spend the rest of the day with him but I feel him calling it quits.
He stops talking with words, instead he communicates with nods
And grunts and sideways glances at his phone.
I want to spend the day with him, to make this sunshine last forever with him
But I see that app open on the phone, that app where I met him online.
He’s searching for something more. I add sugar to my coffee.
I want to spend the day with him, chasing sunshine across the globe from time zone
To time zone to time zone. I think I’m grasping too tight, losing it all to the storm
That is brewing in my coffee: opening notes to a lonely lukewarm sour night.
There are Two Types of Gay Characters in Blockbuster Movies
There are two types of gay characters in blockbuster movies.
The first is the gay sidekick. He’s funny. He’s sassy. He’s sexless.
Maybe he is a personal assistant or a hairdresser or an interior designer.
He’s never a fireman or a doctor or a teacher.
When I became a teacher, I was scared for my life because in real-life,
I’m no one’s sidekick. I’m only a little funny but not very sassy. I’m into physical
Intimacy and that scared me. The only time I heard people talk about gay and sex in
The same sentence was when people talked about hell and pedophiles.
The second type of gay character in a blockbuster movie is the one
Who violently dies in order to teach the breeders a tragic lesson in tolerance.
Maybe he had AIDs. Maybe he was gunned down at the capitol building. Maybe he
Hanged himself in his parent’s garage or was left bloody, tied to a fence post.
When gays watch that movie, though, we aren’t inspired or moved.
We are intimidated. We are terrified. We are afraid to look “too gay” in public for
Someone may load up their discomfort into a firearm and unload. We are afraid to touch our
Boyfriend’s shoulder or god forbid hug him when he loses his grandmother.
I am too afraid to come out every time the checkout woman asks me if the flowers are for my wife.
There are only two types of gay characters in blockbuster movies
And they are choking the rest of us to conform, screaming for entertainment:
Weaken that wrist, boy
Charles K. Carter (@CKCpoetry) is a queer poet and educator from Iowa. He has an MA in creative writing with a poetry concentration from Southern New Hampshire University and is completing an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. His works have been published or are forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, Dodging the Rain, and The Mark Literary Review.
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