You Mean to Tell Me Black People Didn’t Inspire “The Time Warp”?

Every time I see glitter, Rocky Horror’s “The Time Warp”
comes to mind.

It’s just a jump to the left // And then a step to the right

Like any other “Cupid Shuffle,” “Cha Cha Slide,” “Electric Slide,” “Wobble,” or any
group dance required at family reunions and wedding receptions,
I learned that “The Time Warp” isn’t hard to learn.

Whereas no Black people had a speaking role
in the original film, I spoke
onstage for about half of the show’s time

because I got to play
The Criminologist
one year.

Put your hands on your hips // And bring your knees in tight

They think this is tricky?
Ain’t as tricky as “Two Step,” “Pop-Lock It-Drop It,” “Soulja Boy,” “Stanky Leg,” or any
dance learned in middle school.

I wish family members who saw pictures of me
saw me as doing it for the culture
rather than doing it for sexy shock and awe.

I still cringe when audience members call out Slut!
I don’t care about their disclaimer about
sexual empowerment before the start of the show.

But there’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane

One girl who played Columbia the same year
I played The Criminologist said It’s cool you’re not trying so hard
to look like the original Crim.

It drives me insane how no one knows anymore
which celebrity invented the pelvic thrust. Many will never
acknowledge it was a Black one.

Let’s do The Time Warp again.

Maya Williams (ey/they/she) is a Black Mixed Race nonbinary suicide survivor. Ey is currently Portland, Maine’s seventh Poet Laureate. They are a Best Net Nominee and have been published in venues such as The Portland Press Herald, glitterMOB, Occulum, FreezeRay, and more. You can follow her work at

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