The Vernacular Poems

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



                        (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

            right on!

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?







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

SUCK IT           


                                                                                    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.

            READ MORE:

Thank you for continuing to “Fight”

your voice giving all of us voices

…your service…

                     than I even.


                              How nice of them to do it         in time

Posted by: joe Jun 24, 2011 10:41 PM


Texas here.

                           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                                   

                                                                                get                                                                                                                            married! 


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

go USA

                                        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!


     full credit.

                        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


                                                           DON’T FORGET

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!!!