Bobby Gordon


Naked Questions


There’s a 1930 Berlin to the way we make love, a Weimar Republic to the way your bra hits the floor.

Are the walls closing in?

Will they shut down the dirty theaters and send away the artists and academics when we are done?

Are we imagining it?

We ask in the throes of the musical number of our bodies clanging like symbols, is it fascism banging on the door or is that just the headboard?

We wonder what is a symbol for what?

What does my torn shirt or your lost earring mean now?

Are tanks coming or just paranoia or both? And if it won’t be tanks this time what will it be? And is it brave or foolish to use what air there is left for singing and dancing and sex?

Tonight in a panicked room of rumors and whispers we run our fingers along the seam of what it means to be human and squeeze what we can while we can.


Bobby Gordon is a poet, Theater of the Oppressed practitioner, lecturer, and performance artist with an M.A. from the Applied Theater Art program at the University of Southern California (2012) and a B.A. from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures (2008). With a focus on sexual health pedagogy and literacy through performance poetry, Gordon has coordinated and directed multiple arts-based programs to intervene on various health issues across the U.S. and in South Africa, Brazil, India, Cuba, and Mexico. He is a co-founder of the Melrose Poetry Bureau, a Los Angeles-based poetry collective that uses typewriters for improvised poetry installations, performances, and educational workshops. As the 2015 UCLA Art & Global Health Center’s Artist in Residence, Gordon co-created the Quick Draw Poetry Cabaret combining improvised poetry, theater, music, and dance in a unique cabaret experience. The show ran for three weeks at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, CA to rave reviews, and has since been adapted and remounted in Southern California and South Africa.

Gordon has performed across the United States, was an official selection of the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and as a 2016 Drama For Life Artist in Residence at the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa, he performed throughout the country, at the 2016 Maitisong Festival in Botswana, and at the 2016 Bushfire Festival in Swaziland. His academic writing has been published in Sex Education, American Journal of Sexuality Education and he is a co-founder of the AMP! program for adolescent sexual health, in which students form the UCLA Sex Squad to supplement existing high school sex education with various arts-based interventions.