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78| A Drag Queen Writes to William Shakespeare

Michael Carosone


Hey, Billy Boy,

Gurl, I’m happy to be your muse
But where the fuck you been?
I haven’t seen you at any of my shows
You’re making this queen angry
Just sayin’

I’m flattered by your poems about me
Yeah, I know I’m sickening
And yeah the other writers love me too
What can I say, I muthafuckin’ fabulous

But seriously, gurl, get off your ass
Put down the pen
Stop writing for one day
And come see me and the other queens
We miss you

It’s not like your writing any masterpieces
You can’t spend every day alone writing poems
Plus I’d rather you flatter me in person
My ego needs some stroking as does my . . .
Well, you know . . . when it ain’t tucked

Anyway, gurl, just being real
You can’t live your entire life in books
No T, No shade
The library is open and I don’t mean yours

So if I inspire you so much
Then let me inspire you to come to the Globe
Tomorrow night for a fierce drag show
Including yours truly
You’ll see lots of Elizabethan realness

Then after the show we can have a kiki
And cocktails
We’ll throw some shade
You’ll serve some bitchy bard realness
As we read the other queens

Michael Carosone is a writer, educator, and activist. He edited the book Our Naked Lives: Essays from Gay Italian American Men (Bordighera Press, May 2013), which is a collection of 15 personal essays on the lives of gay Italian-American men. His poems and essays have been published in a variety of books and journals. He writes on personal, political, and social issues, including marginalized peoples and literatures, especially the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. He is from Brooklyn and lives in Manhattan with his partner and dog.

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