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Evan Peterson

Footnotes on Early Twenty-First Century Pop Culture

Does it make me hip that Im a homo?

I pick up the latest copy of Entertainment Weekly,

the magazine with the appropriate initials, Ew.

And like Harry Potter casting his latest spell,

Penetrato Sphinctorum!  The publication is filled

with queers of all genders and colors-

white, off-white, and tan.  Weve emptied the closet

and were on every other page, being gay,

writing books about being gay, looking gay,

and making straight men look gay, because News Flash!

All us inverts are vain and all heterosexual males

are slobs who need us, need us, to dress them.


Damn.  I knew I was stylish, but I didnt know

that my existence was in style.  I suppose I could sneer,

one hand cupping my opposite elbow, the other hand

waving a very thin cigarette, and I could say,

Fuck that Queer Eye gaysploitation bullshit!

Im here, Im queer, and I am not for sale!

But I know I am.  And I think its fabulous.


I dont really care how we invade the media.

I dont care if we become the pets of the Emmys,

using Golden Globe awards as paperweights

as we type away at our thick coming-out memoirs

and option the movie rights to Oprah.  You can call

me an opportunist, you can squint your gray eyes

and talk about how I sensationalized and exploited

myself, Gay Poet for Sale!  But I have halo for miles,

and the fact that I shine it with Astroglide makes it sparkle

all the more.  Because maybe one day, fifty years

or so from now, this poem will appear in a Norton Anthology

of Contemporary Poetry, next to a brief biography

calling me gay poet for sale, and the by then obscure

references will be footnoted, and a bunch of straight

college kids will read it and find the little number 3

at the bottom of the page where it says, 3. Astroglide

was a turn-of-the-millennium lubricant favored by homosexuals

for use in anal intercourse, and to them it wont seem odd,

or gross, or scandalous, itll just be a footnote,

and I am really looking forward to being footnoted.


Evan Peterson resides in Fort Lauderdale where he writes and works.  He has one self-published chapbook, Viscera, and is currently composing a second tentatively titled The Pantheon.  "Footnotes" was a performance piece that he is happy to see on the page.  Evan satirizes pop culture but secretly yearns to be a household name.

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