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Amy Gerstler

Happy Birthday, Boy George [by Nin Andrews]

Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 11.27.06 AM
I heard on NPR this morning that it’s Boy George's birthday today, which made me think of one of my favorite poems by Amy Gerstler from her collection, The True Bride, published in 1986. I can still remember reading this poem at the New Dominion bookshop in Charlottesville, Virginia, ages ago. I burst out laughing, and the owner of the shop came over and read the poem aloud. A few shoppers came over and listened. Afterwards, we all clapped.  


Dear Boy George

Only three things on earth seem useful or soothing to me.
One: wearing stolen shoes. Two: photos of exquisitely
dressed redheads. Three: your voice on the radio. Those songs
fall smack-dab into my range! Not to embarrass you with my
raw American awe, or let you think I’m the kinda girl who
bends over for any guy who plucks his eyebrows and can make
tight braids – but you’re the plump bisexual cherub of the
eighties: clusters of Rubens’ painted angels, plus a dollop of the
Pillsbury dough boy, all rolled into one! We could go skating,
or just lie around my house eating pineapple. I could pierce
your ears: I know how to freeze the lobes with ice so it doesn’t
hurt. When I misunderstand your lyrics, they get even better.
I thought the line I’M YOUR LOVER, NOT YOUR RIVAL, was I’M
or UNDERCOVER BOUGHT ARRIVAL. Great, huh? See, we’re of like
minds. I almost died when I read in the Times how you saved
that girl from drowning . . . dived down and pulled the blub-
bering sissy up. I’d give anything to be the limp, dripping
form you stumbled from the lake with, wrapped over your pale,
motherly arms, in a grateful faint, as your mascara ran and ran.

November 19, 2021

November 17, 2021

November 15, 2021

July 09, 2021

April 13, 2021

February 21, 2021

February 04, 2021

January 10, 2020

May 24, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 10, 2015

May 02, 2015

April 25, 2015

April 18, 2015

April 12, 2015

April 04, 2015

May 24, 2014

May 14, 2014

April 30, 2014

April 23, 2014

Best American Poetry Web ad3
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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