by Lonely Christopher
The Vernacular Poems: These two poems were written two years apart. “Upside-Down Land” was the anchor poem for the chapbook Wow, Where Do You Come from, Upside-Down Land? --- a poetic investigation of gay civil rights. Lonely Christopher first performed the poem in Alphabet City directly after the NY State senate voted down marriage equality in the summer of 2009. He told the audience, “If you don’t care about what just happened to gay rights, you’re not doing enough!” “Best Day Ever” was written hours after the marriage equality bill passed in the NY State senate, and was signed into law by the governor, in the summer of 2011. The first poem uses language from the comments section of an article published online by the New York Times; the second poem uses language from the comments section of the gay interest blog Towleroad.com.
(2009, from Wow, Where Do You Come from, Upside-Down Land?)
this is taking attention away from important issues
both groups will be happy about this
marriage is between a man and a woman
it’s about time
I can’t wait
it’s a historic time
while I myself am not gay
this model is not perfect but is the only one that works
gay marriage is not a civil rights issue
I have many friends who are gay and lesbian
I can’t wait to get married
the people are not always right
for once in my life I am left happily speechless
put an end to this charade
weakening our social structure
this is a religious argument
an alternative lifestyle like pedophilia
of course it’s discrimination
this is civil rights
can’t seem to find that definition anywhere
I can’t wrap my head around the opposing argument
someone please explain this to me
marriage is a religious institution
our homes would be very cold and dreary without children
the ramifications are larger than they seem
the right to marriage is a civil right
no one is forcing you to be gay
I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime
I do not like broccoli
I only want to protect the sanctity of our precious meat
some are forgetting that times have changed throughout history
“Marry these heterosexuals or I will kill you!”
I’ve heard this argument before
these marriages are not to be
the constitution can stay as it is
I do sympathize with the plight of homosexuals
it is so sad how many of you are uneducated or simply ignorant
I have a complicated stance on this complicated issue
god did not create marriage
I am what I am
actually, it’s perfect timing
who you choose to have sex with is a choice!
being gay is not a choice
civil rights should never be put to a vote
I think this is a very dangerous precedent
going to the chapel and we’re going to get maaaarrrrriiieeeeddd!!!
the timing of this seems completely wrong
there is an easy solution
I can’t marry my boyfriend because we are gay
churches don’t issue marriage licenses
you can say it all you want, but it is not marriage
it is about time there is a distinction
I think you should research the topic deeper, just Google the statistics
if you don’t believe me, think about it this way
contact your local state senator
it’s great to see this step being taken
doesn’t sound very appealing
you’ve missed the obvious point
our fight is futile
this is our future
wow, is that an invalid argument
please show me one statistic that says it causes any negative impact
gay marriage is not marriage and that’s that
separate but not equal doesn’t work
“marriage” is a blurry word
I don’t particularly care
you get to pick what side of history you will be on
please read more about this situation
you are so stupid
wow, some of these comments are unbelievable!
this is an important issue
this is not a religious issue
marriage is between a man and woman
this has always been so
most likely the truth is somewhere in between
all this excitement over an issue of semantics
finally! it’s about time
I disagree with that rationale
marriage is the people’s issue
gays have never been segregated either
this debate is about a civil contract and not religious belief
what is that if not marriage
teach your children and your church members to not do this
this is a challenge for religious people
if you don’t think gays should marry don’t marry one
you have the argument exactly backwards
marriage is whatever state law says it is
wow, where do you come from, Upside-Down Land?
BEST DAY EVER
Posted by: Wow!!! Jun 24, 2011 10:32 PM
Thank you, New York! As a resident of California,
as a straight married new yorker, I welcome my
homosexual fellow citizens you should have
your civil rights that GO
Nice job, thank you
right before my eyes! In my own time! I AM SO HAPPY!
Strange. I feel a little bit different. It's good.
Congratulations, (And we did it without Obama.)
Even though I'm from Ohio, Posted by: Tracy Jun 24, 2011 10:36 PM
Yes! Lets finish out next up amen thank you the spirit of Stonewall lives in the State.
I knew the votes wow I had a feeling this time
moments of despair
You are next,
Give the rest of us, amazing
lol, its people like you
love you love you ONE HELL
OF A TOWN
I called a friend while watching the vote. She is a pastor
She has a daughter
Now, she can preside at her
We cried together.
having a dance party all by my little ol' self.
Thank you for continuing to “Fight”
your voice giving all of us voices
than I even.
How nice of them to do it in time
Posted by: joe Jun 24, 2011 10:41 PM
please send an army. We need help.
Welcome to the 21st Century, but alas the poor
How gay will the Empire State Building be when all guys and girls start proposing to each other at the top? LOVE IT!!!
Let's make sure we send thank you letters
Make sure that, amidst all the celebrations, you take five or ten minutes to write a letter or email thanking them
Don't underestimate how important it was that they decided to go party.
How wonderful! We really need Republicans with amazing precision and a great deal of good luck, as we are one by one knocked
Can I get a woot woot?!?
Friends, if you can, I haven't cried so much in a long time.
brothers and sisters ! Love is our resistance.
I am so proud to have witnessed this triumph, which will no doubt go down in the history books. Let this be a lesson to the rest of the United States; love and compassion, given time, will always triumph over bigotry.
a VERY BIG hug! I'm having champagne! Now I have to find A boyfriend and
I want to be there so bad right now!
THE rest of the COUNTRY WILL FOLLOW! I LOVE!!!
Witness the day divorce
lawyers just doubled their business!!!
Things are changing! It gets better!
Posted by: Brian in Texas Jun 24, 2011 11:04 PM
Much love to all of you.
Now, go get hitched!
Funny because I was watching Lady Gaga as a Floridian with no hopes of legal marriage here, and as a Floridian who has the drama
STONEWALL and thank you
all you citizens
great tonight, I only wish I was there right now
I LOVE NEW YORK and Liza’s New York New York
Thank you for standing up at Stonewall and thank you for the efforts of all your citizens!
The speeches were great tonight, the patriots real. I give special commendation AND dedication (if only we could have a leader like that here),
I ONLY WISH right now!!
made it happen, please do so.
We need to make sure that they are rewarded for this.
We need to thank them and praise them regardless
Also, Please do it. I know it can seem bothersome at times but it will only take a few minutes of your time.
Posted by: adam Jun 24, 2011 11:16 PM
congratulations to all… and hopefully this will reverberate in the country so we can have everywhere in America
After that, many states will adopt
eventually despite the elderly
these things will happen to everybody
THIS IS REALITY
thank you to everybody
I’m completely and will be for quite some
Tonight, I am a 52 year old gay man in Los Angeles
soaking up the sheer joy of this for ALL of them!
Their ghosts are having a party tonight - The Saint, anyone?!
Posted by: Will Jun 24, 2011 11:31 PM
I have never been more proud, amazed, overwhelmed, or thrilled than I am at this very moment. Thank you, politicians,
What was right, and just, and true, for equality is not a toy sword in the hands of a child,
What a strange moment in history. We've achieved an inarguable civil rights triumph by acquiring the right to participate in a failing, mediocre institution based on principles we despise.
Posted by: Bryan Jun 24, 2011 11:57 PM
AT LAST!! washington blushes in your glow and awaits our moment to stand next to you!
Stonewall was in 1969, I came out in Columbus, Ohio in 1974.
May it only be 5 more years til I can marry my Buckeye guy of 27 years!
Earlier this year he chose to sit on the side lines
People like you give me hope AND thanks for the heartfelt words also.
This is a day children will read about This is the United States of America my
pride in my country
what does it feel like? Seriously, I
want to know
we are forever
Posted by: Keith Jun 25, 2011 12:31 AM
This is one of those times I don't think so! And also as a Californian, I'm glad I can remember what sudden marriage equality is like… and can groove super simpatico on how uber-fantastic it must be (Oh, and my excitement about heading up!)
New York is now on the right side of history. Gay people and their friends all over the world are inspired while the bigots, the ignorant and those who have chosen a view of God which is intolerant and unloving, they stand in growing shadow on
a diminishing island.
YEAH!!! out with boyfriend and a friend of ours showed me a tweet he got
everyone in the room is straight besides us- but they started whooping and clapping…
best day ever!!!