Poem Beginning “The”
Miss Zukofsky
Black Jesus
HooDoo VooDoo

Poem Beginning “The”
—after Louis Zukofsky

Assimilation isn’t easy—
Even after DADT & DOMA
I might as well be Rock Hudson
Or dead Milk and Moscone

I might as well be—
Reverend Eddie Long with
His gang of pretty black boyz
Down there in Atlanta

Once you’ve gone gay—
There’s no turning back
Those red hot str8t pokers
They twist a guy into knots

The villainy of the closet—
The vast deep Sargasso Sea
Self-hatred does in your gay
Sisters at work, home & play

Just like Lady Gaga—
She knows all about being
Alejandro, Americano, Black
Jesus and Bad Romance

She taught me to swish—
And how to hide it so to speak,
In their schools, colleges and
Respected work places

Miss Zukofsky

“What I saw Zukofsky doing
was refunctioning the original
text into a new language, not
through identification with
the author, i.e., becoming
critic of the” author function.”
—Barrett Watten, “Tests of
Zukofsky,” Poetry and Language
Writing: Objective and Surreal

The horizon work—
Writing that attempts
To write its way into
The structures of its
Ongoing composition

The shape on the—
Event horizon of the
Closet with Zukofsky
And Watten as language
Writing liberationists

Gay politics of surrealism—
Beginning with a more
Realistic representation
Of the self than Miss Breton

The ability of burlesque—
To create a possible
Constructivist Catullus
That reopens the theater
For contemporary camp

A Constructivist Moment—
As opposed to the Str8t
Avant-garde of the Italian
Futurists & the German
Dadaists or Bretonists

Soviet surrealism—
More privileged with its
Constructivist impetus
Toward traumatic texts
And deferred actions

Here a Revolution—
There a Purge or two
Who needs Leningrad
Or Petersburg anymore?

The Test of Zukofsky—
The gay Reconstruction
Of Str8t texts through
The poetic & critical
Re-inscribing of the Fag

Deferred action—
Rehearsing the Drag
Representations and
Restaging within camp
Kitschy contexts

Black Jesus

But it’s the Voice—
Black Jesus singing
In the Str8t Wilderness
That’s a girl’s best friend

He’s your Sugar Daddy—
Saving your ass from
Wicked Mommy Dearest
And her Coat-hangers

Let them try to break—
Your stony heart, flames
Lapping at crispy faggots
Burning at your feet

Be your own Voyant—
Prima donna all-knowing
Madame Sosostris there
At the Nightingale Lounge

Sing your own Swan Song—
Like Sweeney Among the
Nightingales, do your own
Miss Prufock Drag Show

The tacky Waste Land—
Isn’t going away, honey
So you might as well get
Used to Burlesque, baby!

HooDoo VooDoo
—Zukofskys's homophonic version

It’s the hoodoo voodoo, baby—
Doin the down-low with dem
White-trash homo’s & queers
It be cool, man, lotsa money

Dem dirty nasty white boyz—
My oh my they be so awfully
Pathetic doin the homo with
Us young hung str8t bros

They preen themselves—
All pretty dressed up just to
Blow a guy’s junk lickin their
Lips with he-man semen

They be so tacky & greedy—
Raiding the chicken coop
Without any qualms gettin
The cute chicklets to cum

Skewered up their butt-holes—
Proud gentlemen of leisure
Down on their nelly knees
Pleading for sloppy seconds

Dinge-obsessed homos—
Hot for Hyperboreans and
Maritime Okeanos sailorboyz
Gnawing on crusty anchors

Virile youth are their solos—
Badboy bros their bridegrooms
Draining them desperately
Lovely honeymoon ooze

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