Typewriter Rodeo: Last Time, at the Gay Bar

Each week, the Standard reaches out to Austin’s Typewriter Rodeo for a custom poem.

By Rebecca BendheimJune 23, 2023 10:54 am, ,

It’s Pride Month. Advocates across the country have been sounding the alarm over what they say are efforts to stifle the voices of and limit the rights of LGBTQ+ people. This Typewriter Rodeo poem reflects what it looks like to celebrate yourself in a time when violence against LGBTQ+ people is commonplace.

Last Time, at the Gay Bar

Look both ways.
Watch the entrance.
Your first time at a gay bar,
you want everyone to see you,
just not anyone you know.
Drag queens flip
to electric bass synth,
but your unscuffed docs
have forgotten how to dance
till smoke billows from the ceiling,
an old school magic show.
You’re free now,
dancing on your own.

Your 86th time at the gay bar,
drag queens flip.
Your girlfriend spins you
across sticky floors.
But this time,
when smoke billows from the ceiling,
you wonder:
With the bass thundering,
would you hear a bang?
In the convoluted air,
would you know which way
to run?
Look both ways.
Watch the entrance.
Where’s the entrance?

typewriter rodeo logoTypewriter Rodeo airs each Friday on Texas Standard. Send us your ideas for a poem on Facebook or Twitter, or send us an email.

Typewriter Rodeo is also available anytime in podcast form.

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