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Tuesday, May 26, 2020


by Chad Frame

"I’ve been gay all my life and I know God is a God of love, not of hate. How can I (put) down the fisherman when I’ve been fishing all my life?” 
     —Little Richard (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020)

If it don’t fit, don’t force it. Can’t help it. Son,
you better watch your step. Papa put me out
of the house, curtains and makeup, cherry-

red, long hair hanging everywhere. All
around the world, the magnolia smells
sweet, and white cotton warm. You said

you loved me, went to the window, peeped
through the blind—a whole lotta shakin’, good
goddamn. How can I put down the fisherman

when I been fishing all my life? Bad luck
baby put a jinx on me—ooh! my soul!—
this land of a thousand dances. You keep on

knockin’, but you can’t hear this jukebox jumpin’.
Keep on knockin’, gonna ring your door
till I break your bell. Go, cat, go. Rip it up,

good golly, heeby jeebies. Uptempo,
directly from my heart, you call it rock & roll.
At regular tempo, you keep on knockin’,

rhythm & blues. You keep on knockin’, baby,
say you only want to dance. Well, alright.
Come on over, baby—but you can’t come in.

Chad Frame’s work appears in Rattle, Mom Egg Review, Barrelhouse, Rust+Moth, and other journals and anthologies, as well as on iTunes from the Library of Congress. He is the Director of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program and Poet Laureate Emeritus of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the Poetry Editor of Ovunque Siamo: New Italian-American Writing, a founding member of the No River Twice poetry improv performance troupe, and founder of the Caesura Poetry Festival and Retreat.