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I Have a Complicated Relationship with Judy Garland by Kenneth Pobo

I’m one of those old queers who loves

Judy Garland. I’ve watched

The Wizard of Oz at least forty times.

I don’t buy “There’s no place like home.”

Miss Gulch could easily nab Toto again.

Home for many queers is lethal,

no place like freedom from it.

Yet I love working in the garden

of our home. Flowers

need no tight shoes. The ending

of Meet Me in St. Louis makes me cry,

Judy singing “Have Yourself A Merry

Little Christmas” in an unmerry time.

Or on her TV show,

canceled after one season,

Judy, Barbra, and The Merm

sing together. America preferred

Ben Cartwright and dust. I wish

her life had been happier.

Mine too. Everyone’s.

This beautiful night pops with stars.

All that light!

And so distant.


Kenneth Pobo (he/his) is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections. Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), and Uneven Steven (Assure Press). Opening is forthcoming from Rectos Y Versos Editions. Lavender Fire, Lavender Rose is forthcoming from Brick/House Books.

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