For the last few weeks, I’ve been posting the responses of various gay poets of color to one question: What makes a poem gay? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and been pleasantly provoked by each of their answers. I hope you have as well.
In the end, I think the question of what makes a poem gay is really the mask for another question: what makes a poem yours? How do you know when you’ve brought yourself (or at least, a part of yourself) into this world dressed in words? What do you look like dressed in your poems? What are you doing there and how long do you plan to stay?
What makes a poem black? What makes a poem American? or masculine? or Southern? or twenty-something? or privileged?
Again and again, I find that the real question is: Where are you?
Point to the lines and images in your poem and show me where you are.