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What I’m Not

I never use the words ‘darling’ or ‘fabulous’,
even in mixed company.
I never stand like a tea-pot at a soirée:
in fact I like coffee… straight, instant and cheap!
I do not know the words to any Judy Garland songs,
and do not cream over Bette Midler or Kylie Minogue,
and Barbra Streisand really does not ‘get me going, girl’.
I do not have a Malaysian cane-chair in the corner
next to a pile of Edmund White novels
and back-issues of Campaign, The Advocate and OutRage;
and I’ve never even seen The Village Voice.
I do not have a Mapplethorpe photo
hanging off my Aubrey Beardsley erotic wallpaper.
I only quote Oscar Wilde when I have to,
not simply whenever I can.
I am not on first-name terms with any drag-queans
called Bambi or Bertha Buttocks.
I do not brag that I would look better
in that wedding-dress than my mother did.
I never evaluate whether I’ve made it in life
by how many friends have suffered from Aids.
I do not think that S.U.V’s are the ideal accessory
for the ‘family’ man without a family.
I do not think that Rupert Everett is ‘hot’,
nor that he’s not.
I do not spend more time in the gym saunas
than on the treadmill.
I do not hang my plain white handkerchief
out of any trouser pocket.
I do not favour one pierced ear over another.
I do not march down Ponsonby Road,    [1]
a ‘hero’ in silver lamé Speedos,
screaming to be taken seriously.
Perhaps you’re right:
I guess I just can’t be queer after all!

(2008)

[1] Ponsonby Road is the route for the annual Gay and Lesbian Hero Parade in Auckland. Speedos are a very brief pair of swimwear: I don’t know how universal they are.

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