Four Poems by Louie Crew

Queer Power


Swish, swish, men of America.
Cross your legs only at 90-degree angles.
Swish, swish!
Your fingernails are getting a mite too long.
Swish, swish!
That fuchsia shirt might be misunderstood.
Swish, swish!
You’d better lower your pitches
and say something evil about your mothers.
Swish, swish!
You smell too sweet and are too polite.  Be crude.
Swish, swish!
Talk about war, not about flowers.
Swish, swish, men of America.
Swish, swish.  Swish, swish.
Swish, swish.  Bug off.



Dominus in Delicto Flagrante


God, I can’t pray just now,
though you’re the ruler
of the universe.

Some people
have been saying
that you
might not even be a real man,
might be instead an androgynous mutation.

Forgive me for my difficulties
in paying attention.
I do find it distracting
if I don’t know for sure
what’s under that robe
you’re wearing
and whether those whiskers are fake.

It was difficult enough
when those black children
started coloring you black.
Before long
even sissies will be saying
that you lisp
or go about in drag.

God, I think I’m about to lose
my religion,
and you’ll
just have to thunder again
if you’re going to get me back.



Quem Quaeritis


It’s the 21st Century, America.  Still 10 percent
of your children dart their eyes past evening lovers
in the daylight halls, lest others know for sure we’re queer.

It’s the 21st Century, America.  Still you intimidate
bachelor sons and unwed daughters, even into their fifties,
with pleas for more and more grandchildren.
Still you train your offspring
to be fruitful and multiply with a vengeance.

It’s the 21st Century, and still you feel damned
if just the body plumbing is matched differently
when your children finally learn to love,
and profanely you keep turning on the light.

When will you grow old gracefully, Uncle Sam and Aunt Jemima?
When will you free your gay children from your unlove?
When will you stop exploiting their style, their grace,
and their art,
while consigning to a Cinderella attic
all who do not kiss the hetero frog?

Your fairies are growing wings, America,
quite beyond your expectations.
Your fairies’ wands are empowered
and by their magic your dullness stands exposed,
your catholicity nothing but a bingo club,
your politics only a stormtrooper’s boot camp.

You’re dull, hetero America.
You need a bath and a dab of cologne,
a mystery cruise down your alleys,
wearing our disguise of sequined drag,
snorting a quean’s giggle
as you try to discover where your soul has gone.







Louie Crew, 75 [in 22 more days, b.12/9/1936], an Alabama native, is an emeritus professor at Rutgers. He lives in East Orange, NJ. As of today, editors have published 2,163 of Crew’s poems and essays. Crew has edited special issues of College English and Margins. He has written four poetry volumes Sunspots (Lotus Press, Detroit, 1976) Midnight Lessons (Samisdat, 1987), Lutibelle’s Pew (Dragon Disks, 1990), and Queers! for Christ’s Sake! (Dragon Disks, 2003). The University of Michigan collects Crew’s papers.

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