Monday, December 13, 2010

Delta Redux



jackson park
the compsons
the loins of kings
dalton ames
shreve mccannon
delta darkness
the critic


jackson park

“…all human beings are
capable of making a
homosexual object-choice
and have in fact made one
in their unconscious.”
—sigmund freud

“my god,” spratling said—
clutching faulkner standing there
in bright jackson park.

“just look at that face!”—
delirious sparrows there
in the mimosa.

imagine david—
posing nude by the
marble draperies.

moody, brooding boy—
michelangelo’s posing
male beauty angel.

slumberous blue sky—
desecrating the young god
amongst the tourists.

spratling hustled him—
leaning downward over him

the kid was hungry—
spawn of stoic midwestern
endless gold wheat fields.

he smelled quite earthy—
like cowshit in a red barn
sleeping in the hay.

he was “shropshire lad”—
from head to foot & he knew
that we both liked him.

spratling took him home—
got him nude & used him as
a lovely model.

he was seventeen—
curls hung down over his face
david & his harp.

the long, twisty road—
to yoknapatawpha bends
with queer miss spratling.

who knew that david—
was so ambidextrously
capable of love?


new orleans or
bucolic mississippi”
—william faulkner,
absalom, absalom

“and now,” young shreve sayz—
“we’re going to talk about love”
henry quentin nods.

quentin is learning—
how to lounge around the room
in the harvard dorm.

shreve is so butchy—
the epitome of male
a la canada.

later a captain—
a doctor in the royal
army medical corps.

during wwi—
in france (1909-1914)
a long time ago.

then a surgeon—
practicing in canada
edmonton, alta.

to him a marriage—
was a happy thing to know
speaking, hearing love.

he was learning tho—
from quentin that families
could be sybarite.

the compsons

“leda lurking
in the bushes,
whimpering and
moaning for
the swan”
—william faulkner
the sound and the fury

sensualist like charles bon
obsessed like henry.

quentin no angel—
as much in love with dalton
ames as his sister.

there on the old bridge—
ames was fucking young caddy
quentin was jealous.

benjy his brother—
another child-idiot
as bad as jim bond.

had to be castrated—
because he was chasing girls
and wanted them bad.

quentin into fights—
spoade calling shreve his husband
even though he was.

dalton ames & shreve—
the chimes in the quad ringing
quentin stays in bed.

the loins of kings

“the loins of
african kings”
—william faulkner,
absalom, absalom

henry loved charles—
he wanted to be like him
wanted to “be” him.

he was bon’s lover—
they slept together down there
going to ole miss.

he was beautiful—
the loins of african kings
were bon’s gift to him.

bon was the true heir—
of sutpen’s hundred back then
henry slave of love.

out of bon’s loins came—
charles etienne de saint
valery bon and…

from his loins flowed—
jim bond the child idiot
henry’s young male nurse.

all three of the bon’s—
henry knew intimately
lips knowing their loins.

their tightly-flexed hips—
the loins of african kings
henry knew them all…

henry even knew—
jim bond the child idiot
up there in the dark.

the mansion attic—
where clytie kept him hidden
away from the world.

jim bond was strong—
gave henry what he wanted
what he needed bad.

the jerk & long ooze—
of sutpen dynastic loins
out of africa.

just like i do now—
my mulatto half-brother
dwayne jerome jones.

dalton ames

“dalton ames
oh asbestos—
quentin has shot”
—william faulkner
the sound and the fury

he could hear dalton—
pressing tight up against him
there on the bridge.

breathing down his neck—
holding him intimately
like he held caddy.

quentin fainted then—
caught up in dalton strong arms

he couldn’t help it—
he loved & hated dalton
ames beyond beyond.

he closed his eyelids—
they became swooping swallows
kimono-winged weak.

dalton ames squeezed him—
like he squeezed caddy at night
fucking her silly.

quentin’s surging blood—
dalton ames’ noblesse oblige
two boyz on a bridge.

“what a shame,” ames sayz—
“with lips like yours they should be
on a young girl’s face.”

shreve mccannon

“shot him
through the”
—william faulkner
the sound and the fury

“i don’t smoke” he sayz—
shreve kicked back in the dorm room
quentin back from class.

“in that case,” shreve sayz—
“i won’t insist even though
it’s pretty good weed.”

“cost me $25”—
“a hundred wholesale from my
nice havana friend.”

“i don’t smoke” he sayz—
knowing shreve’s bad habit of
fucking him when high.

back then in astute harvard
no different than now.

“mother & father—
thank gawd they can’t see me now:
just a yankee whore.”

“i like you quentin”—
“tell me is jason your bro
as cute as you are?”

“thanks,” demurs quentin—
“you’re better off sticking with
jason than with me.”

“what about caddy?”—
“oh jesus,” young quentin sighs
shreve knows everything.

not completely tho—
not about dalton ames
that devilish guy.

shreve smokes a cigar—
after they make love in bed
“you want some money?”


“don’t touch me
just promise”
—william faulkner
the sound and the fury

“you’re so sick,” she says—
hoodlum dalton ames telling
her all about it.

“i’m just sick for you”—
quentin tells her in the dark
tramping his shadow.

sometimes he sees her—
grinning at him late at night
it makes him feel sick.

“don’t touch me,” she says—
the world a wooden marquee
collapsing wild palms.

a car stops outside—
it’s dalton ames for a date
quentin feels so sick.

like a paper bag—
he crumples up like nothing
“you’re sick,” caddy says.

the river below—
swooping off into a curve
dalton kissing him.
fainting like a girl—
violent fecundity
dalton’s big basket.

delta darkness

“i’ve got to
marry somebody”
—william faulkner
the sound and the fury

“don’t touch me,” she said—
“will you take care of benjy,
jason & father?”

i could smell dalton—
smell him on the gray stone bridge
his damp armpits stunk.

down there fading swirls—
jerked skin of blood razor sharp
lichen, fungus coiled.

slung on his shoulder—
like a deer shot dead & dumb
still panting & weak.

touching him down there—
leaning against the railing
letting me do him.

deep, quiet river-flow—
quick swirl of trout nipping flies
big catfish slow, poised.

desires become words—
“take it,” dalton ames whispers,
pretending i’m her.


“stalemate of
dust and desire”
—william faulkner
the sound and the fury

“what else could i do?”—
quentin says to caddy cold
as the river flows.

afterwards, dalton—
“you wanna go for a swim?”
quentin dies again.

father always said—
“man is the sum of his
climatic actions.”

selling the pasture—
for my harvard tuition
and a law degree.

dead within a year—
drinking himself to death and
and giving up on life.

outward suavity—
gone like honeysuckle in
the light of august.

down under the bridge—
dalton ames does me again
my mud-smeared belly.

the beast with 2 backs—
blurred by winking oars &
euboeleus swine.

afterwards, dalton—
rolled & smoked a cigarette
looking down at me.

two jets of smoke flowed—
outta his erect nostrils
down into my face.

“c’mon kid, don’t take—
it so hard,” dalton told me,
smiling at my pout.

“if it hadn’t been—
me, then it like would’ve been
some other tough guy.”

the critic

“not pure shit
but impure
diluted shit”
—ernest hemingway*

what can i say but—
your long rambling poem is
somewhat, well, shitty.

productively challenging?
well, hardly my dear.

your feeble attempt—
at faux-faulknerian text
fails miserably.

intersecting plots—
obtuse, abstruse allusions
to faulkner’s novels.

freudian faux-pas—
queer scrambled chronologies,
it’s quite the douchebag.

the only thing that’s—
remotely faulknerian:
rambling sentences.

if only your plots—
seemingly unrelated
could like crystallize?

giving the reader—
an unexpected surprise:
something meaningful?

troubling yet somehow—
stunningly apt & pretty:
a nice krell mind-boost?

maybe you’re trying—
too hard at modernist angst:
abstract negation?

because that’s about—
all you really succeed at:
nothingness, my dear.

*catherine gunther kodat, “writing a fable
for america,” faulkner and yoknapatawpha
conference, 1998, 82.

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