Wassailing, or the Ballad of RuPaul Andre Charles (after Vernon Watkins)


Hark at the hands of the clock
as RuPaul Andre Charles
crawls down your lum
on spindle limbs
and cloven heels.

Upright, ten feet tall,
she carries
broken branches
with which to beat the bad
and wake the dead.

On rolling tongues
and broken fangs
she snatches up
Christmas cookies,
downs sweetened schnapps
by broken bottle,
shakes golden chains
a warning.

On this huge night
when the cruel stars are hung
and the moon is fat
she click clacks through your town
profane and priestlike thing
screaming and snapping her jaws
a birther of havoc
a frightener of children
a slinking dead thing.

Exiles carry her,
they who seem holy
and have put on corruption,
they who seem corrupt
and have put on holiness
they strain against the door.

None can look out and bear that sight
none can bear that shock
the shadow of RuPaul, too bright
the sissy in her walk.

The basket on her back
is for those
who would betray her
carried back to hell
or else eaten
or else drowned
it is full.

None can bear that terror
when the pendulum swings back
of the stiff and stuffed and stifled things
wriggling in her sack.

You Can’t Love Yourself — a rip-roaring adventure through space and time with the Queen of Drag herself, RuPaul Andre Charles! You Can’t Love Yourself is a wickedly camp collection of poems that explore the cult of celebrity and RuPaul as man, myth and monster. Featuring 12 poems and an essay, plus an extra special guest poem by Chris Smyth. Out now!

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