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Ryan McMasters

Ryan McMasters is an internationally published performance poet out of Pasadena, Texas. He is the author of three books of poetry: Polarize, Co. Lab Oration, and Connect the Dots. McMasters received his BS in Microbiology from Texas A&M University and can be seen via a multitude of performance poetry videos through Write About Now’s YouTube Channel. Ryan’s latest work is published in Dublin, Ireland’s HCE Review and Peculiar Journal.

Resting Repression Face (noun) –

the gaze in which
the gays survive
before they come out,
And again

How the skin porcelains when the inside is cracking

How a queer person’s body looks smooth when their coping mechanisms make their lives rocky


The default before the unraveling

The beard marriage before the divorce

The “beast” found within Sunday best

Time capsule, when we hid well enough not to be judged

The covering

Weather rippling the water to see us quiver, but stillness has never been straight

The excuses before the desertion

Family dinners before family dinners

Gay hypervigilance
Protective custody within
House plant with limited space for root

Hiding the incrimination of your love
Figuring out you are a jailable existence
The cloak & dagger assassinating your self-worth
Crime scene tape for lips
Dangerous truth
Jagged secret
Corroded faucet
Dust-covered emotional baggage
Time held on pause
Chemotherapy when people believe you are cancer
The assumed sobriety when people find out you are skipping doctor’s appointments

The cramped protection
The wall preventing self-acceptance
The stoic stifling
The rope before an ancestor’s bullet
The half truth
The dwindling lie
The rent agreement for living with your parents
The erasure of family history
The religion that works over “praying the gay away”
The act that God recognizes, but refuses to answer
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