Being Jack Nicholson

 

I watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

and want to buy one of those burglar toques,

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but my mom says no on the shopping trip

and sticks my muscular legs in fuchsia.


I study Jack Nicholson’s movements and memorize

monologues, performing them for my sixth grade teacher,


as I wait for my mom, never on time.

I recite an inappropriate speech from As Good As It Gets,


using a gay slur, not knowing its meaning, its weight.

My teacher says nothing.


When we do our annual speeches, I talk about Jack’s mother

(who was really his grandmother, his sister secretly his mother),


Jack never knew until he was older. I wonder if this why

he is a womanizer. The teacher deems the content too mature

for the speech contest, even if mine was the best one.

I’m sitting in the computer lab, talking about Jack again,

Kimberly’s blurt: why are you so obsessed with him?

The princess in every play, the All-Canadian girl,


if that’s even a thing, I get cast as Mr. Hyde

in our latest production and feel like myself again.

From the collection: Heteronormative Saturday Nights

 
 
 

Terris Schneider is a cozy femme and writer based in Tkaronto. They are the Managing Editor for Flannel Magazine and have published works in Metro News, Discorder, Pique Newsmagazine, DINE Magazine, Sophomore Magazine, and the Post Feminist Post. Terris completed the program at the Humber School for Writers, and a poetry mentorship at Arc Magazine.