Grandfather Was Queer, Too

He was first seen in a Louisiana bayou,

Playing chess with an intellecual lobster,

They burned his linoleum house alive

And sent him off to jail.

He wrote home every day, to no avail.

Grandfather had cut out, he couldn’t raise the bail.

Next seen, skiing some dusty Texas road,

An intellectual’s soul hung from his ears,

Discussing politics with an unemployed butterfly.

They hung that poor butterfly, poor butterfly.

Grandfather had cut and run, he couldn’t raise the bail.

Next seen on the Arizona desert, walking,

Applying soothing poultices to the teeth

Of an aching mountain.

Dentist all over the state brought gauze balls,

Bandaged the mountain, buried it at sea.

Grandfather had cut and run, he couldn’t raise the bail.

Next seen in California, the top part,

Arranging a marriage, mating trees,

Crossing a rich redwood and a black pine.

He was exposed by the Boy Scouts of America.

The trees were arrested on a vagrancy charge.

Grandfather had cut and run, he couldn’t raise the bail.

Now I have seen him here.  He is beat.

His girl friend has green ears;

She is twenty-three months pregnant.

I kissed them both;

Live happily ever after.

Bob Kaufman (1965)



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