Friday, February 25, 2011

THE INVISIBLE BOY


THE INVISIBLE BOY
____________________

“I am an invisible man”
—Ralph Ellison,
Invisible Man

1

i grew up with it—
i wasn’t invisible
i be gay white boy.

i be whiter than—
tyrone my dinge half-brother
i be pale as arctic.

i had fag blue eyes—
bright orange orangutan pubes
i be dirty white boy.

2

"what did i do
to be so black
and blue.”
—louis armstrong

i be so blue but—
tyrone didn’t know why
not even i knew why.

but that’s a lie—
tyrone knew why i was blue
and i knew why too.

it wasn’t any—
film noir mystery movie
i be his gay brother.

3

“they shot the
white girl first.”
—toni morrison,
paradise

he be athletic—
played basketball with
the guyz after school.

holy park back then—
on martin luther king way
and othello street.

that’s where we all lived—
the welfare housing ghetto
old wwii housing.

4

i was the freak then—
the only white kid around
all the rest were black.

my mother be white—
after her whitey divorce
she married a black guy.

that’s how i grew up—
across from the safeway in
dingeville usa.

5

i should’ve been blue—
i got beat up black & blue
lots of fuckin’ times.

tyrone was there tho—
usually protecting me
his whitey older brother.

i was eighteen and—
he was sixteen when
i told him the truth.

6

my “whitey-hood” be—
the queer side of me he said
just shaking his head.

if i’d been black like him—
i would’ve been a straight dude
he said to me lots.

“there aint no such thing—
as queer black man here in
dingeville usa.”

7

he was such a smart-ass—
making an excuse for me
for his black brothers.

they knew & he knew—
all of africa knew and
america too…

the way i swished—
the way i minced to the bus
my faggoty lisp.

8

i couldn’t help it—
i be the only white boy
in the dinge ghetto.

the only nelly—
white boy there in holly park
down in the south end.

the only queer boy—
on martin luther king way
who wasn’t negro.

9



one day tyrone be—
on my case for being gay
“dirty whiteboy fag!!!”

he be sayin’ that—
toni morrison woman
nobel prize winner.

she didn’t like fags—
she say gay was a disease
a dirty whiteboy curse.

10

tyrone be reading—
that “paradise” novel of hers
the queer bashing one.

the one about “sins”—
gay “disgraceful passions”
“fleeting fag pleasures.”

they were all that way—
all of morrison’s novels
talk about sodom!!!

11

james baldwin being—
a “cocksucker” dontchaknow
just a fag writer.

toni morrison—
how could she get a nobel
and the pulitzer?

how could she be there—
the top of the nytimes
best seller list, huh?

12

how could morrison—
be such a homophobic kunt
and get paid for it?

how could she do it—
discriminate against her
own black (gay) brothers?

had the slaves become—
the new lords & masters
killing off the fags?

13

it got to be a real drag—
my only escape was to
get out, go downtown.

taking the fast-rail—
outta the fuckin’ ghetto
down to seattle.

i gotta job in—
the new library downtown
all steel & glass windows.

14

that’s how i got by—
but tyrone wouldn’t let it
simply drop that way.

he kept on my case—
about being homosexual
then i said one day:

“tyrone, you be dinge—
you be “half-white” so that means
you be half-queen too?”

15

tyrone got real pissed—
he started to beat me up
then he looked at me.

he knew i was right—
he be mulatto half-white
he gots the disease too?

he be mandingo stud—
but he be black and lonely
so i sucked him off.

Monday, February 21, 2011

QUEERING FAULKNER


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Head with raised arm (1947)

QUEERING FAULKNER
________________________
.
“For Faulkner, writing
is a kind of doubling
in which the author’s
self…is the Other.”
—John T. Irwin,
Doubling and Incest

Quentin and Caddy

Quentin Compson’s love—
For Dalton Ames doubles his
Incest with Caddy.

Dalton Ames doubles—
The same incest on the bridge
Doing the down-low.

He gets to know them—
Gets to know both Quentin &
Caddy Compson too.

This doubling incest—
Haunts Quentin all the way
To Harvard & Shreve.

Then they both go down—
Not only on each other
But the Sutpens too.

Henry and Judith

Both Henry & Bon—
As well as Judith Sutpen
Incestuous pairs.

There aint no eunuchs—
When it comes to the way that
Doubling incest works.

Shreve can’t understand—
But he tries to anyway
To understand how…

Southern decadence—
Dominates the daily lives
Of Delta Bourbons.

Benjy and Jim Bond

Child idiot sex—
Why is it different than
Dalton & Quentin?

Or Henry & Bon—
Doing the down-low
In the Old Miss dorms?

Quentin & young Shreve—
Doing the down-low back then
In the Harvard dorms?

Uncle Buck & Billy—
Doing the down-low going
Down on Moses then?

Faulkner and Writing

The magical place—
Created in-between both
Incest & Color…

Interracial—
Intergenerational
Incestuously.

Deep South decadence—
Dixie Carib gone culture
Three hundred years later.

Mandingo breeders—
Verandah story tellers
Oral tradition?

Oral intercourse—
Darkly retelling stories
And slave narratives.

Springing from loins—
Of African kings, princes
As well as queen bees.

Faulkner as Queen Bee—
Deep South Scheherazade voice
Retelling it all…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

DICTATION POETRY


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Two Figures, c1960

Dictation Poetry
____________________________


“…and so in a few
thousand years,
I who regard you will
also have sprung
from the loins of
African kings.”
—William Faulkner,
Absalom, Absalom

“That be a long time—
A long time to wait & see
Don’t you think so, huh?”

Shreve McCannon smirked—
Smoking a cigarette there
Stretching out in bed.

He just closed his eyes—
Young naked Shreve so pale white
After we made love.

It was freezing cold—
Outside in the Harvard quad
Our dorm room cold too.

We’d stayed up all night—
Reading the Sutpen ledgers
Doing our séance.

Quentin, Charles Bon—
Young Henry & Dalton Ames
They’d all talked to us.

It took a long time—
They each had their own version
Of what happened then…

YOUNG AFRICAN KINGS


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Black Youth, c1960

Young African Kings
______________________


“loins of
African kings.”
—William Faulkner,
Absalom, Absalom

Shreve just smirked at me—
Just like Dalton Ames after
I went down on him.

Like why should Caddy—
Get all the goodlookin’ stuff
And fuck them silly?

She was such a slut—
Keepin’ all the hot young men
To herself back then.

It be our Bad Seed—
Just ask poor Ike McCaslin
The dirt’s always there.

The Ledgers don’t lie—
The terrible dinge incest
His own granddaughter!!!

Queer Buck & Billy—
Bad seed breeds down to the bone
Sophonsiba knows!!!

Everybody knows—
Just ask Percival Brownlee
Talk about Bad Seed!!!

READING THE LEDGERS


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Three Figures in a Landscape, c1960

Reading the Ledgers
______________________


“Now I want you
to tell me just one
more thing more.
Why do you hate
The South?”
—William Faulkner,
Absalom, Absalom

“I don’t hate the South”—
I told Shreve quickly without
Thinking about it.

I didn’t hate it—
I didn’t fuckin’ hate it,
Didn’t hate the South!!!

Shreve just smirked at me—
He was good at reading my
Mind easy by then.

Why else would I talk—
About it night after night
After we had sex.

Shreve McCannon knew—
Things about me nobody
Else would ever know.

How I fainted there—
In Dalton Ames’s strong arms
On the bridge that day.

How he smirked at me—
Just like Shreve does after we
Get down in the dorm.



DALTON AMES


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Ochre Bather, 1951


Dalton Ames
__________________________
“he rolled the cigarette
quickly with about two
motions he struck the
match with his thumb”
—William Faulkner,
The Sound and the Fury

He was goodlooking—
So goodlooking that it made
Me weak in my knees.

When he grabbed me tight—
I pretended I was her
Caddy my sister.

I felt what she felt—
I got to see what she saw
And then he fucked me.

Up against the bridge—
Stickin’ his tongue in my ear
Biting my neck bad.

Dalton was no good—
He be so bad I fainted
He got me good then.

I had a hickie—
On my neck & dark bruises
Where he bit me hard.

And when I woke up—
I was down there on my knees
Looking up at him.


DALTON AMES


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Neapolitan Bathers 1951


Dalton Ames
___________________

“the smoke flowed
in two jets from
his nostrils across
his face”
—William Faulkner,
The Sound and the Fury

He looked down at me—
This time he wasn’t smirking
He saw Caddy’s face.

He saw my sister—
The look on her face after
He fucked her real slow.

Dalton helped me up—
Leaned me against the old bridge
Dusted off my shirt.

Then he kissed me—
“Well, too bad you’re not a girl.
You’ve got Caddy’s lips.”

He kissed me again—
Getting his big thick tongue
Halfway down my throat.

Squeezing my ass tight—
Not letting me get away
From his butch clutches.

DALTON AMES


Keith Vaughan 1912-1977
Study for Laocoön, c.1964

Dalton Ames
_____________________________

“listen no good taking
it so hard its not your
fault kid it would have
been some other fellow”
—William Faulkner,
The Sound and the Fury

And Dalton wasn’t—
Talkin’ about Caddy either
It was me got laid.

I kissed him back hard—
His lips were thin, hard, cruel
I fainted again.

Back there at Harvard—
Late at night in bed with Shreve
Fainting in his arms.

Pretending Shreve was—
Dalton Ames back then over
The Tallahatchie.

Shreve was like Dalton—
He didn’t waste any time
He knew me real good.

He knew me better—
Than I knew myself back then
Who I really was…

Saturday, February 19, 2011

QUEERING DIXIE


QUEERING DIXIE
____________________

Tell me something, Ike—
Ever done Mardi Gras in
Dixie Drag, my dear?

Have you ever gone—
Down on cute Tomey Turl
Like Buck or Billy?

Have you ever gone—
Down on Moses or Pharaoh
Roth, Cass or Thucydus?

Well, I have my dear—
And it aint pretty being
A Dixie Dinge Queen!!!

UNCLE BUCK & UNCLE BILLY


Amodeus and Theophilus McCaslin

Uncle Buck & Uncle Billy

"The two houses
had become
interchangeable"
—William Faulkner,
Go Down, Moses
.
Once upon a time—
What “was” in Go Down Moses
Suddenly became “is.”

Rowan Oaks be dark—
And Faulkner be broke again
Needed money bad.

He be “Snakes Eyes” Snopes—
Assuming once again the
Disguise of Popeye.

Which is how he wrote—
Sanctuary drunk back then
When he be like “broke.”

_____________________________

It be amazing—
What a man can do if he
Has to do something.

Pulp fiction novels—
Taking a plane to accept
Some old Nobel Prize.

Once upon a time—
“Was” was really “Almost”
And then became “is.”

“Now” him sitting there—
At his desk some humid night
Conversing with “them.”

_______________________________

Buck & Billy be—
His McCaslin diplomats
From dark Delta Dis.

It be them not him—
Who's the Narrative voice
As he enters it.

Whatever it was—
Whatever it wants to be
It's like Benjy “is.”

It’s that kind of “was”—
Stream of conscious “now”
That overcomes him.

__________________________

Buck & Billy be—
The Delta storytellers
Who tell the story.

But first he has to—
Get rid of himself back then
“Disenthrall” himself.

Isn't that what Lincoln—
Said back then at Gettysburg
“Disenthrall ourselves…” ???

Like Benjy Compson—
Child-idiot character
In that room that night?

__________________________

Not just “cut & paste”—
But redo the whole goddamn
Thing with them again.

Which is what he does—
Playing poker with himself
& Miss Sophonsiba.

Does a writer have—
To be so 'polyvocally
Perverse' about things?

Pretending to be—
Southern, black & mulatto
For Go Down Moses?

______________________________

“He reached out and
tilted the lamp-shade,
the light moving up
Tomey’s Turl’s arms
that were supposed
to be black but were
not quite either”
—William Faulkner,
Go Down, Moses

Amodeus be—
A whole lot smarter than
His brother Buck was.

It took brains to cook—
And play a game of poker
That’s for sure, my dear.

Amodeus be—
Brave as well during the war
When he went to fight.

It wasn’t pretty—
All the maimed, butchered youth
During the damn war

_________________________

Theophilus be—
Kinda butchy dontchaknow
Like some Southern men.

Others be more fem—
Much more refined & genteel
Like Scarlett O’Hara?

Miss Sophonsiba—
Swishing, janglin’ down the stairs
Her maid fanning her.

At one time she’d been—
A fine-lookin’ Southern bell.
But now, forget it.

_____________________________

So the cards are dealt—
Tennie ends up at McCaslin’s
Place with Tomey’s Turl.

Buck ends up married—
To Miss Sophonsiba &
That’s how Ike gets born.

Mr. Hubert freed from—
Miss Sibbey his sister
The poker game ends...

That’s how “was” became—
“Then” & that’s how “Now”
Became known as “is.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

GOING DOWN ON MOSES


__________________________________

Going Down on Moses
—for Ishmael Reed


“…the honey was being
stored up against the
advent of a queen and
who was the lucky
queen and when?”
—William Faulkner,
Go Down, Moses

Swollen Heartache—
Bruised black & blue
How Moses hurt me…
How he hurt me bad!

Going down on him—
Getting him off real nice
All it took was Honey…
On my bruised Lips!

Like Quentin Compson—
In love with Dalton Ames
My tongue-tip be way…
Up his pouty asshole!

__________________________

Like nelly Henry Sutpen—
Old Miss dorm rendezvous
With my beautiful hung…
Bon cute boyfriend!

Going Down on Moses—
It’s a queer thing that
Runs down deep in my…
Mississippi Family.

L.Q.C. McCaslin—
Queer for Thucydus
His dinge half-brother…
Carolina Boyz!

_______________________

Getting it on—
With his Offspring
Shadow Family even…
His own daughter!!!

GDM runs thick—
Bruised black & blue
Buck & Billy got it…
Queer thru & thru.

Antebellum dynasty—
So many Cain & Able’s
Sharing the same Stall…
In the gay Stable!!!

_________________________

Uncle Billy gets off—
Buying the last Slave
At McCaslin Manor…
He couldn’t help it.

Percival the Pretty—
Mandingo kept man
Purest pale white skin…
He be Albino kept boy.

Freedom from Slavery—
Freed all the Slaves
But Uncle Buck be…
Breeder for Dinge Love.

________________________

Interracial love—
Intergenerational lust
No way of stoppin’ it…
Mongrel Mississippi mauve!

Grab it! Squeeze it!—
Peel that uncut head
Back all the way, then it’s…
Go Down on Moses time!!!

Fuck Mount Sinai—
Fuck the Ten Commandments
It be that Black Ten Inches…
That stalks you & me.

_________________________

Holy Mackerel, Andy!!!—
Holy Kingfish says Academe
All the Faulkner scholars…
Their knickers in a twist!!!

All the way down, baby!—
Delta Autumn in the woods
Roth fathers a black kid…
Knows his Family Tree.

So does Uncle Ike—
Elderly Isaac McCaslin
Who reads the Ledgers late…
One night way back when.

____________________________

Being Black & Gay—
It be clear as Night & Day
Lucius Quintus Queen Bee…
Carothers All the Way!!!

Funny how it works out—
Dinge Delta Diaspora
Deep South East of Eden…
Queer Aristocracy.

All those tall white—
Grecian grooved columns
Plantation Temples to the…
Gods of Cotton, Rum & Cane!

______________________________

Rum, Women & Slaves—
Vast Carib Empire coming up
From Haitian Voodoo Island…
To our Afro-American Land.

Two Races wrestling—
Like Jacob & his Angel
One sprains his Thigh…
The Other sayz “My oh My!!!”

That’s how it works—
Genesis Lives Thru Us
Testicular & Intimate…
Genealogical Mystery!!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

BLACK OSIRIS


_________________________________

Jes Grew

“no 1 knows
how a new loa
is formed”
—Ishmael Reed
Mumbo Jumbo

with astonishing—
digital rapidity
jes grew internet.

baron samedi—
ditches cotton-patch history
possesses new forms.

enter net loa—
driving yellow cadillac
smooth & really fast.

Young Osiris Blues

“Oh Harlem,
great Negro sea
of unrest”
—Ishmael Reed
“Harlem Tom Toms,”
Mumbo Jumbo

o egypt, great nile—
ancient negro delta
young black osiris!!!

engulf me, thebes—
luxor languishing gods
submerge me again.

egypt cabaret—
pyramid saxophone blues
nightclub by the nile.

naked in the reeds—
catting around in cat-tails
mud oozing thru toes.

*

black osiris kid—
worshipped by priestly eunuchs
chariots waiting…

a dip in the nile—
to remind you young pharaoh
of your moses loins.

strolling down lenox—
outta harlem renaissance
summoning the tides.

*

automatic glyphs—
hieroglyphing outta past
into media.

amon warning you—
hyksos corporate moguls
invading again.

tv, newspapers—
fanning wars, taking over
after civil war.

*

papyrus warlords—
yellow journalism and
cnn news-whores.

so much for old-style—
walter cronkite reportage
“and you were there, folks.”

no more viet nam—
day-by-day dead denouement
ending the fuckin’ farce.

*

they learn from mistakes—
late capitalism lords
our so-called masters.

corporate think rules—
by controlling media
bubblehead newspeak.

wanna see the future?—
orwellian dystopia?
turn on your tv…

*

black eros pharaoh—
mumbo jumbo voices from
telepathic past.

speaking thru readers—
old radio script listeners
talking books thru them.

loa listeners—
listening to hoodoo
voodoo dead voices.


BLACK OSIRIS II


__________________________________

Black Cajun Poet

a spectre haunting—
d voodoo hoodoo houngan
conjure me, baby

Nile Nexus

black osiris kid—
reborn prince eternal nile
another delta

jet-black cadillac—
streamlined dragons goin’ fast
funky ‘60s fins

luxor temple loins—
giza-sphinx sideways glances
keeping track of time

thanks to hoodoo priests—
d voodoo be back again
wise poets & scribes

now comes the hard part—
our ancient enemies
will soon be coming.

Bayou Mambo

dark voodoo lady—
mojo queen bee of the night
osiris’ mother

Catfish Blues

there be a catfish—
way down there in my thigh-bone
it be bayou bad

my girlfriend asks me—
“you done got the catfish blues?”
I don’t say nothin’

there be a gar-fish—
lurkin’ deep in my thigh-bone
it gots gator teeth

my girlfriend she say—
“you sure you don’t got the blues?”
I don’t say nothin’

there be crawdaddies—
crawlin’ around my thigh-bone
there in my pirogue

my girlfriend grabs it—
she grabs that crawdaddy good
sucks juice from d head

I don’t say nothin’—
except askin’ her real nice
“do it again, girl?”

Bayou Hoodoo Church

“do yo art d way u want
anyway u want”
—Ishmael Reed,
Conjure

bayou haiku boy—
young houngan from houma la
your spanish moss pubes

bucket of crawdads—
pirogue gliding thru d swamp
fixin’ some gumbo

he’s the silent type—
he be mulatto boyfriend
he be a black cajun

his sister be cute—
but she don’t like city boyz
baton rouge dummies

andre broussard—
be my stadium roommate
back there in the dorms

on weekends poker—
JAX, reefer, johnny walker
plus all his cousins

zydeco dances—
they know how to have big fun
soon i’m converted

jean broussard very—
laissez-faire about voodoo
mother be mambo

bewitched & crazy—
like madame marie laveau
but she don’t like me

jean be her jes grew—
don’t want any college boy
messin’ with his mind

I have to show her—
my black osiris secret
elongated dark

my ikhnaton thigh—
sprained sinews from wrestling
with d angel back then

after that she be—
my mambo mother in law
she teach me d way

one day she become—
water moccasin lady
dark, big fangs, pink mouth

a red bandana—
wrapped around her maria
ouspenskaya head

she turns into—
the wolfman mambo mom
of her son andre

he be new loa—
after katrina there be
many earth changes.

PRECIOUS (2009)


__________________________________

Precious (2009)

“Redemption through
learning the ways of
white culture is an
old Hollywood theme.”
—Ishmael Reed,
“Fade to White,”
NYTimes 2/4/2011
_____________________

1

“It was all so crazy
it was reassuring”
—Chester Himes,
All Shot Up

she be fat & bored—
eating cheetos & watching
the oprah show.

the writer james frey—
(“a million little lies”)
be kissing ass.

a million dollars—
for a million fuckin’
fabulated lies.

2

“So much
nonsense must
make sense”
—Chester Himes,
Cotton Comes to Harlem

a distraught lady—
in the audience shot him…
pandemonium!!!

then the angry mob—
burned the studio down
right there live tv.

then they castrated—
the lying cheating author
plus all the whiteys.

precious liked it all—
so she shot mommy dearest
comin’ thru the door.

3

“He wore no hat to
catch his brains
and fragments of skull”
—Chester Himes,
Prediction

Precious waited—
Patiently for Carl
Her loving father.

he’d fucked her back when—
she was just 12-years-old
and got her pregnant.

a mongoloid kid—
was her reward & then he
gave her HIV.

precious scooped it up—
threw it in the trash alley
with mother’s remains.

4

“His brain exploded
through the sunny
atmosphere and
splattered the wall
with goo, snot, hair”
—Chester Himes,
Prediction

she kept carl’s penis—
just to remember it good
such a precious thing.

she watched the rest of—
oprah & turned the tv
to the local news.

the next day at school—
precious did the same thing
she’d done back home.

she shot a teacher—
the peckerwood who called her
a fat stupid slut…

5

“The severed arm in its
coat sleeve, still clutching
the knife, sailed thru the
air, sprinkling the spectators
with drops of blood”
—Chester Himes,
The Real Cool Killers

all the students screamed—
they stampeded outta class
trampling each other.

the principal turned—
the fire alarm on so the
stampede had some class.

surely it was fire—
causing all the grim panic
not a nigger girl.

precious picked them off—
the slow fat ones who weren’t fast
enough to get out.

6

“The severed arm
landed on the linoleum
tile floor, and skidded
beneath the table
of a booth”
—Chester Himes,
The Real Cool Killers

the bullies got out—
as fast as they could fuckin’
run down the long halls

some hid in closets—
others hid under their desks
precious reloaded.

and then some crips &
bloods showed up wondering what
the fuck was happening.

precious pulled out her—
long-barreled nickel-plated
.38-caliber pistols then.

7

“Wait a minute…
you big motherfucker
till Ah finds my arm!!!
It gots my knife in its hand!”
—Chester Himes,
The Real Cool Killers

she shot the leaders—
plus half the bystanders
sticking heads outta doors.

precious didn’t fuck—
around when it came to chicks
getting real even.

the principal came—
on the hallway speakers
saying “please be calm now.”

that’s when the rest of—
the remaining suckers went
stampeding the fuck out.

8

“He slapped her with such
savage violence it spun her
out of the chair to land in
a grotesque splay-legged
posture on her belly on
the floor”
—Chester Himes,
The Real Cool Killers

a school bus skidded—
on the bloody sidewalk outside
crushing some more bods.

the careening bus—
caused the panicky mob to
stampede back inside.

precious was waiting—
she mowed them all down nicely
with her machine gun.

the cops weren’t fuckin’—
around with precious the poor
killer who was too fat.

9

“I hate to see people
tearing at one another
like rapacious animals”
—Chester Himes,
Cotton Comes to Harlem

later at the inquest—
nobody saw anything
none of it happened.

“what do you expect”—
ed coffin said to digger
“they’re all invisible…”

“harlem’s nothing but—
a fetid sea of cannibal fish
bad news violence.”

“stick your hand i—
and draw out a bloody stump
that’s what harlem is.”

“Harlem’s nothing but
a fetid sea of cannibal fish”
—Chester Himes,
The Real Cool Killers



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FOUR POLITICAL POEMS FOR ISHMAEL REED



__________________

FOUR POLITICAL POEMS
FOR ISHMAEL REED

__________________________________

Notes from Virginia

After my presidency
And sojourn down there
In humid Foggy Bottoms

I just couldn’t wait
To get back to my wives
Especially the mulatto one

Sally Hemings
She be my favorite wife
She cooks grits just right

We made love in bed
While I sealed the deal
The Louisiana Purchase

We dine tonight
With my other 10 wives
Bill of Rights bingo

Reedoku
(Japanese/English)

Watashi o kkoro wa
Koware yasui desu
Otoshite kudasai

My heart be plastic—
Unbreakable Tupperware
Good for leftovers.

Strom Thurmond Paradox
—for Ishmael Reed

In the country of bubblehead
The dummies are queens
My husband’s Strom Thurmond
Resurrected from the dead
Senator famous for
“Take me—not my wife”

His eyes are South Carolina
Skin white sugar white
He knows all the women
Black or white
He’s got a mulatto daughter
She’s got Strom’s grace.

Deep South cravings
Just like mine
Mint juleps at night
On the verandah
He be freaky like
Flannery O’Connor.

We do the beltway
Schmooze with TPTB
Rich & famous bureaucrats
Conniving lobbyists
Cloakroom quickies
He’s got lotsa class.

Stanford

Pretty soon
A black man will have to
Have a passport
To enter Stanford.

To pass thru—
The 2 jinxed-cross palms
Of the conservative
Hoover Institute.

But look at it
This way the chicks
At Stanford are all
Blond & fuckable.

Monday, February 14, 2011

GOING DOWN ON MOSES VI


_________________
GOING DOWN ON MOSES VI

_________________________


Wrestling with the Black Angel

“He remained alone:
and behold a man
wrestled with him
till morning”
—Genesis 32: 24

Wrestling with Tyrone—
It be like wrestling Angels
Tyrone Black Angel.

It wasn’t easy—
Wrestling with young Afro-Angels
It be mostly hard.

It be awful hard—
Outta Genesis dontchaknow
Holy Mackerel, Andy!!!

*

I be like Jacob—
Wrestling there at Phanuel
With young Angel.

I be like Tyrone—
Didn’t wanna let him go
He be a young Lord.

The look on his Face—
It done shone without much grace
He be real Skanky.

*

Tyrone came so hard—
He had to limp afterwards
He’d like sprain his Thigh.

Sometimes he’d sprain his—
Neck like a bad charley horse
He’d go Spaz on me.

He’d be so butchy—
And masculine even when
He whimpered real bad.

*

He’d call me bad names—
The usual “cocksucker”
And “fuckin’ faggot.”

The way he said it—
It be like he wasn’t talkin’
To me at all…just himself.

The look on his face—
Wasn’t very Angelic
It be Devilish…

*

Like he be letting—
Me see something he didn’t
Wanna like show me much.

So vulnerable—
Not being able to help it
Himself losing it.

And yet he lost it—
He lost it really so nice

It be a real Nutcracker…

*

His male innocence—
That’s what I sucked outta him
I couldn’t believe it.

Excruciatingly—
Angelic ejaculations
Awful shudderings.

Busting his Nut—
All Heaven be crashin’ down
Onto his wide shoulders.

*

Burying his kinky head—
In the pillow so that I
Couldn’t see his Face.

His distended Face—
The look of a falling angel
Collapsing into himself.

Terrible Other—
Who nobody gets to see
Or taste except for me…

*

My young Afro-Angel—
My lanky dinge kid brother
Enslaving me all the way.

Doing the down-low—
Like L.Q.C. in Mississippi
Thucydus McCaslin brother.

Young Ike late last night—
Reading the ledgers amazed
Getting into the Truth.

*

How convoluted—
Going Down On Moses could
Be so labyrinthine.

Because the Planters
Mississippi Delta Bourbons
Played a crooked deck.

On the Delta Queen—
Poker into humid nights
Betting on human beings…

*

Designing their own—
Delta dynasties just like
Sutpen’s Hundred Acres.

With Buck & Billy—
Refusing to marry and
Drag out the Sham further.

Freeing their own slaves—
Letting them have the Mansion
Ditching L.Q.C. McCaslin.

*

Antebellum ruins—
Ruined dingy dynasties
What would Scarlett say?

Atlanta was burning—
Sherman was pillaging
The Deep South dying…

Mississippi nostalgia—
Tallahatchie Bridge suicides
Yazoo lynchings later on.

*

Percy ending up—
Rich View Carré whoremaster
His own plantation.

Just like Miss Reba—
Up there in nefarious Memphis
Temple Drake’s hot pussy.

Draining Alabama Red—
Banging her in a brass bed
Popeye howling like a dog.

*

That’s where Ike ends up—
Down there in the French Quarter
Percy Brownlee doin’ him.

Everybody that’s anybody—
Always ends up in the Big Easy
Where it’s easy to be hard.

I could feel it even now—
Getting off Tyrone years later
My dinge half-brother’s guilt…

*

Wrestling with his Angel—
Tyrone’s dinge doppelganger
His sullen Dinge Other.

All that Deep South karma—
Squirtin’ & oozin’ outta him bad
His thick McCaslin progeny.

The Deep South karma—
All those Slave Block sacrifices
Down in New Orleans.

*

Young Haitian boyz—
Dark-skinned Creole cock
Cajun Negro Zydeco songs….

It was the Deep South—
The Afro-American payback
Our curse & eternal tragedy.

Knowing it, tasting it—
Getting off Tyrone each time
Cross-eyed, spaz & hurtin’.

*

Planter’s guilt mine—
Haunted by a Siamese Twin
Enslaved whitey cocksucker.

Shine on mighty Titanic—
Ship of Fools goin’ down deep
All the Rich and Famous.

Like Uncle Buck McCaslin—
Enslaved to Percival Brownlee
Our racial sin payback time.

*

Once you’ve gone Black—
There aint no Turning back
From Colored Karma’s revenge.

The look on Tyrone’s face—
Losing himself to hurt & guilt
His own body the Result

Three hundred gone years—
Shine took it away from his Race
Milking every fuckin’ drop…

*

Tyrone my Black Angel—
Can I be blamed for loving him
Doing what L.Q.C. did so well?

Getting off Thucydus—
His Shadow Family kid brother
Like me & young Tyrone?

Breeding Thucydus for love—
Like it say in the dinge ledgers
Going down on Tommy Turl?

*

It be like Jacob—
Wrestling with the Strange Angel
Spraining his Sinew.

His thigh-bone connected—
To his tongue-bone and his
Tongue connected to God?

Speaking in Tongues—
That were Sprained & Hurt him
Made him Limp all his Life?

*

The Sinews of Language—
Masculine musculature macho
Whimpering male utterances.

Inarticulate oral intercourse—
Shine sinking down really fast
Titanic straining Testicles.

All that male muy macho—
Exiled from Doomed Eden
Me & my Mark of Cain…

*

Immaculate White Flesh—
Where be your Mojo Magic now?
Trailer Court White Trash man?

You got your dinge kid bro off—
Made him your carnal Caliban cock
Your Mandingo lover boy…

What’s gonna be your Karma—
After you wrestle with your Angel
And stare into the face of God?

GOING DOWN ON MOSES V


_____________________
GO DOWN ON MOSES V
_________________________


Confessions of
Uncle Buck McCaslin
—for Percival Brownlee

“What hue lies
in that slit
of anger…”
—Audre Lorde
“Outline,” Our
Dead Behind Us

“You like that?” he said—
One time after making love,
Yawning in the dark.

What could I say then—
That I hadn’t said dozens
Of louche times before.

“You know how I feel, Percy,”
I said to him, swallowing
His thick wad real slow.

*

It wiggled & squirmed—
All the way oozing down past
My throbbing tonsils.

I swallowed again—
So much manly mucous made
Me wanna puke sometimes.

“You know, Percy, it’s—
It’s all I think about sometimes
I wish I were you.”

*

“What a cocksucker”—
Percy said, feeling himself
Quivering down there.

Percy smoked his pipe—
Bogarting it like always
Smirking to himself.

He was so selfish—
All he could think about was
His own existence.

*

I couldn’t help it—
I wanted to be Percy
Every inch of him.

Oral intercourse—
Was real nice sometimes
My mouth a tight pussy.

Probably just me—
All lonely for some lovin’
Billy wouldn’t put out.

*

What black power comes—
Outta that slit of darkness
Channeling 2 streams?

One bright yellow stream—
Fast & furious pissing
Down into the commode.

The other piss-stream—
Down on the filthy old
Shocked outhouse floor.

*

When Percy loses it—
He lets me become his prick
Spazmoid spermy spluge…

Voyeur that I am—
After we’d had some hot sex
I got weak just ogling it.

El Primitivo—
He just kept peeing both steams
Like a young racehorse.

*

Percy’s so animal—
But what to expect from a
Spoiled young Mandingo?

He comes the same way—
Two thick dick-slit ropes of cum
I wanna grab it.

And how can young Percy—
Possess such an exquisite thin
Sleek Venus torso?

*

And yet not pick cotton—
Or slave in the cotton fields
Like the other men do?

Smooth albino skin—
Bright orange orangutan pubes
Erect flat nostrils?

Mississippi version—
Michelangelo’s David…
Posing in the nude.

*

Percy knows he’s got me—
His faggot older master
A ring thru my nose.

Standing behind him—
Replacing his hands with mine
Palming his limp prick.

I feel his tight hips—
Flex spasmodically against
My puce kimono.

*

I’d get my finger—
My skanky forefinger up
His nice pink butt-crack.

His tight young asshole—
Still greasy with pig gristle
After rimming him.

His face distorted—
I know he despises me
Southern faggot Slaver.

*

I stroke Percy’s prick—
Getting it erect again
He knows I want it.

I milk the last drop—
Yellow pee outta his dick
Down on the floor.

I sink my teeth deep—
Into his neck straining back
I wanna kiss him.

*

Percy’s so pussy—
So lazy & so laid-back
He’s just a kept man.

A lotta old queens—
Plantation Delta Bourbons
Liked it that way too.

Like Vice President—
William Rufus DeVane King
Buchanan’s lover.

*

Alabama senator—
Dinge Oaks his Plantation
Breeder of African gods.

His beltway mansion—
Potomac hotspot for young
Black butlers & coachmen.

Andrew Jackson called him—
Miss Nancy the better half of
President Buchanan.

*

I wanna make love—
I get him to limp back to
Bed for some more sex.

I probably should—
Breed him like L.Q.C. did
Sire a new love-child.

Like the old Monster—
Did with Thucydus and the
Rest of us offspring.

*

But it’s too late now—
Me & Billy don’t have much
Time left for that stuff.

Percy will leave me—
Now that we’ve lost Shiloh
The whole goddamned thing.

The same with Sutpen—
All us Mississippi aristocrats
Our Plantation days gone…

GOING DOWN ON MOSES IV


________________
GOING DOWN ON MOSES IV
_________________________
Cain and Kid Able

“slaughtered
Cain’s brother”
—James Baldwin
“A Lover’s Question,”
Jimmy’s Blues

I keep coming back—
To brotherly love for some
Kind of, well, I don’t know…

I don’t know what to—
Call it anymore because
It’s always been there.

It’s not anything—
About “gay life style” choices
Identity politics.

*

It’s more Biblical—
Chosen to hide my dinge love
Guilt and shameless sins.

It was bad enough—
His older brother was gay
He could live with that.

But like Cain I was—
Infatuated with my
Younger kid brother.

*

I was queer for him—
Adam & Eve knew it too
The Serpent queered me.

I was the first fag—
Who lived East of Eden then
Cursed by the Devil.

The Forbidden Fruit—
Well-hung hanging down there
Between Able’s legs…

*

Yes, Able knew it—
He played hard to get with it
Like during high school.

He’d let me see it—
Liked to see me get down
And suck it sometimes.

I had to beg tho—
You know how hard that is tho
With a snotty kid?

*

I knew he beat off—
Every chance he could fuckin
Get in the showers.

The walls were coated—
With spermy slime & teenage
Sticky awful cum.

I get in there—
And lick the walls & the floors
To get some fresh stuff.

*

That’s how bad it got—
The Mark of Cain my pouty
Cocksucking queer lips.

“Snake-Lips” he called me—
The same nickname Faulkner had
When he was a kid.

Able my dinge bro—
Pale mauve albino smooth skin
But his dick was black.

*

Able had 10 inches—
Once I got him off there was
No turning back then.

Like Mapplethorpe—
His “Man in Polyester Suit”
I couldn’t help it.

Mother remarried—
But she really just shacked up
With a jazz sax player.

*

After her divorce—
She ran off to Chicago
For some risqué action.

I can’t blame her much—
Her husband my father was
A real no-good shit.

He was fucking around—
With a rich widow who spoiled
Him really bad for sex.

*

Mother came back pregnant—
Fucked silly by her nightclub
Jazz band lover man.

Tyrone became her—
Love-child to remind her
Her Windy City fling.

I saw some photos—
Tall, talented & loaded
Smoked weed all the time.

*

Tyrone looked just like him—
Was built just like his father
Endowed like him too.

That’s what I wanted—
What Mommy Dearest possessed
A handsome black stud.

Mother & I both knew—
Her Shadow Family back
There in Chicago.

*

Tyrone her love-child—
Was just as much a gift to
Her as he was to me.

My incestuous—
And miscegenal romance
Was my Obsession.

Beauty is skin-deep—
But dinge-desire goes all the
Way down to the Bone.

*

Going down on Moses—
A perverse three-way affair
Guilt, desire & dinge.

That was way back then—
In the early Sixties when
Dinge love had no name.

Being homo for—
Your young kid brother was
Down & dirty stuff.

*

Doin’ the down-low—
His Shadow Family roots
Sunk down deep into me.

Thick varicose vein—
All the way down to Tyrone’s
Saxophonist nutsac.

So soft & tender—
Oozing with thick baby-paste
Tyrone’s Negro snot.

*

I could taste it oozing—
Slow as a slug leaving its
Slimy track down my throat.

I couldn’t help it—
He was my love-child badboy
I needed him bad.

But he knew it too—
You know how bad they can get
Spoiled ungrateful Brats.

*

The three-way between—
Tyrone’s philoprogenitive
Dark veiny penis.

It was the same thing—
That got Bon the Beautiful
In trouble with Sutpen.

His mother was a Haitian—
Daughter of a French planter
Who had a black wife.

*

The same with Tyrone—
Except it was the male thing
That troubled Tyrone.

Tyrone was endowed—
All the way back to Africa
Thru Chicago Windy City.

His dinge genitals—
His closet genealogy
Shadow Family.

*

I could hear Kurtz scream—
“The horror! The horror!!!”
Heart of Darkness boner.

Kurtz cursed by Africa—
Yet addicted to African
Dingeness just like me…

I showed him a pic—
A nightclub band playing
Then I got him off.

*

Tyrone hated me—
“You should’ve been a whore
The way you love Dinge.”

I couldn’t help it—
Being so shamelessly some
Dirty fuckin’ white boy.

Tyrone meant business—
Pretty soon I had to pay
To get the good stuff.

*

The Mark of Cain mine—
East of Eden every night
Getting his Serpent off.

The same one back there—
In the Garden of Shame
With the Fall of Adam…

Both Adam & Able—
Afro-American groins
Their hot dinge genitals…

*

Young Able well-hung—
Just like his father Adam
He had a black Snake.

Afro-Adam came—
Into the Garden of Eve
Late Pleistocene prick.

As the glaciers—
Receded slowly northward
Europe opened up.

*

Garden of Edens—
Springing up from fertile soils
Tense terminal moraines.

Spraining the strong necks—
Many Afro-European hunks
Well hung from the Tree.

Like handsome Able—
Who was more than able
Getting off 3-times in a row.

*

There were many Eves—
And many Adams back then
Migrating northward.

East of Eden badboyz—
Hanging around the Garden too
The fertile Deep South.

Antebellum mystique—
Mississippi Delta Bourbons
Snakes in the Garden…

Sunday, February 13, 2011

JAMES BALDWIN BLUES


______________________
JAMES BALDWIN BLUES
________________________
James Baldwin
—for Ishmael Reed

you got the fuck out—
outta harlem “renaissance”
big apple guilt & shame.

you did the down-low—
there in giovanni’s room
parisian blowjobs.

bug-eyed cocksucker—
parisian faggot writer
negro native son.

they worshipped you there—
american sleek black cat
from another country.

Native Son
—for James Baldwin

you ditched me, baby—
you done made me run away
you slouchy old whore.

made me knell for it—
down there on my fuckin’ knees
guiltin’ me for it later.

made me preach for it—
like my paranoid daddy
who gave a shit for me.

you made me silent—
like some invisible man
ralph ellison in drag.

you made me beg for it—
showing a little leg as you
smoked a cigarette.

new york city blues—
can’t be blue enough for me
i’m just a cocksucker.

Respeaking the uncanny—
Rewriting hidden desires
—for Ishmael Reed

retelling the story—
going down on moses
wrestling the angel.

spraining thigh-tongue—
falling down the ladder not
climbing it back up.

redoing the down-low—
undoing it all over
making it hoodoo.

voicing the voodoo—
retrancing beneath the moon
zombieboy dancing.

remaking love to death—
resurrecting the trickster
beneath lafayette dirt.

revisiting the work—
necromantic view carré
the old french quarter.

redisenthralling myself—
gone gettysburg gatherings
the tall man’s short speech.

revisiting it—
redisenslaving slavery
that’s what poets do.

Another Country
—for James Baldwin

renegotiating—
reinterviewing baldwin
giovanni’s room.

reinvisible man—
before ellison sold out
not writing next novel.

kidnapped by cognoscenti—
hijacked & hijinked until
baldwin makes escape.

rethinking the others—
sula, simba, sapphira
redyking willa cather.

retwisting the dead—
jefferson davis down there
cotton field logic.

cane, rum & cotton—
caribbean empire drag
carib capitalism.

west coast slavery—
thanks to dred scott
real estate capitalism.

how the west was won—
not hollywood’s version but
beltway’s strom thurmond.

Uganda Love
—for David Kato

it’s 2011—
& david kato’s dead

people watching news—
excuse me, they bashed
his brains in with a hammer.

it’s 2011—
& david kato’s dead

cnn gyrates around—
bubble-heads report death
uganda homicide.

it’s 2011—
& david kato’s dead

karaoke killer bar—
piranha queer sushi
kamikaze queer bashers.

it’s 2011—
& david kato’s dead

play ethics by ear—
gay rights part of food chain
tiananamen square.

it’s 2011—
& david kato’s dead

major in nike—
made in china rules
salad bar is open.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

BOYZ OF THE DARK HOUSE


_______________________________

Penis Pigmentation
_____________________________________
—for Noel Polk

“…Bon at birth had
physical characteristics—
skin pigmentation, hair
texture, lip thickness…”
—Noel Polk, “The Artist
as Cuckold,” Children of
the Dark House.

Young Bon’s black penis—
Something Eulalia tried
To hide from Sutpen.

Something so telling—
It gave away her secret
Haitian Family.

Hiding it from him—
The Delta Bourbon Master
His son’s dick was black!!!

“something that identified
him as black, but which
disappeared as he got
older…”
—Noel Polk, “The Artist
as Cuckold,” Children of
the Dark House

Bon’s negroid secret—
It wouldn’t go away tho,
Instead it just grew.

Like any penis—
It entered Adolescence
And grew with boy.

Soon he was a man—
With a dark dinge male secret
Deep in his closet.

”so that he could
enroll at the University
of Mississippi and pass
as white all of his life.”
—Noel Polk, “The Artist
as Cuckold,” Children of
the Dark House

Until then the Secret—
Could stay hidden from people
In the View Carré.

Bon even married—
An octoroon young beauty
And fathered a son.

And Henry Sutpen—
Didn’t get to know it either
Except in the dark.

“gender problematics
drip from nearly every
line he ever wrote”
—Noel Polk, “The Artist
as Cuckold,” Children of
the Dark House

Such dinge closetry—
We’re led to believe somehow
Prevailed in the dorm.

Poor naïve Henry—
Like Joe in Light in August
Made love only then…

When darkness concealed—
What Eulalia & Sutpen knew:
Bon had a black dick.

“a marker and vehicle
for illegal sexuality,
expulsion, self-loathing”
—Toni Morrison,
“Romancing the Shadow,”
Playing in the Dark

It was beautiful—
A truly magnificent
Engorged Carib cock!!!

Used now for revenge—
By Eulalia and her lawyer
For nefarious love.

To get even with—
The haughty Sutpen’s Hundred
Delta Bourbon Lord.

“triangles rife with
homo- and hetero-
erotic implications”
—Noel Polk, “The Artist
as Cuckold,” Children of
the Dark House

Bon the Beautiful—
Let himself be used that way
He despised Henry.

He was such a fop—
A Big Easy bon vivant
So stylish & svelte.

One has to wonder—
Was the grand Sutpen Design
That was his, worth it?

___________________________


“Does Faulkner’s
Absalom! Absalom!
after its protracted
search for the telling
African blood…”
—Toni Morrison,
“Romancing the Shadow,”
Playing in the Dark
___________________________

“I’m the nigger
that’s going to
sleep with your sister”
—William Faulkner,
Absalom, Absalom

But Bon also said—
“I’m the nigger who’s already
Slept with you, Henry.”

“Who’s going to sleep—
With Judith your nice sister
And fuck her silly.”

“Usurping Sutpen—
Taking back what is all mine.
My own Dynasty.”

“So it’s the
miscegenation not
the incest, which you
cant bear?”
—William Faulkner,
Absalom, Absalom

But Colonel Sutpen—
Spills the beans on Charles Bon
His dinge secret past.

And there in that tent—
During Shiloh way back then
Reveals Bon’s secret.

Bon the Beautiful—
Henry’s beloved lover
Had a big black penis.

“the darker impulses
toward incest and
homoeroticism that
he cannot face”
—Noel Polk, “The Artist
as Cuckold,” Children of
the Dark House

And what makes it worse—
Henry has gone to bed with
Bon nude in the dark.

He’s sucked Bon off—
And been fucked by him all night
In the dorm darkness.

Henry is perplexed—
And now Bon wants to fuck
His sister as well!!!

“…the telling African
blood, leave us with
just such an image of
snow and the eradication
of race? Not quite.”
—Toni Morrison,
“Romancing the Shadow,”
Playing in the Dark

Not quite, my dear—
The blood of African kings
Still is unfathomable.

There in the closet—
Both impenetrable and
Inarticulate.

Black as Voodoo night—
Just the opposite of white
Kilimanjaro…

“modernism—being
hip, sophisticated,
ultra-urbane.”
—Toni Morrison,
“Romancing the Shadow,”
Playing in the Dark

So that even now—
Things go bump in the night
In the dinge closet.

Not just a mere drop—
But the manly Mandingo
Tree & Root itself.

Flowing thru Henry—
Etienne and Jim Bond
Even now thru us…

“But then I stopped
reading as a reader
and began to read
as a writer.”
—Toni Morrison,
“Black Matters,”
Playing in the Dark

That’s why I’m writing—
This new Gay Delta Review
Blogosphere Dinge Lit.

That’s why I’m writing—
About Tyrone my handsome
Young dinge kid brother.

That’s why I’m writing—
And playing in the darkness
For Yoknapatawpha…




GOING DOWN ON MOSES III


_______________________
Notes on the Delta Moment
_________________________________________
“I was outside time.”
—William Faulkner,
The Wild Palms

I keep coming back to the moment:

“…the saddest word of all there is nothing else in the world its not despair until time its not even time until it was / The last note sounded”—William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

1. The moment as a withholding of information—the “docuverse” moment that never seems collected or resolved—the open-ended moment as a continuous collapsing of historical details—so that it appears and reappears—dovetailing differently at different times—the moment like a cubist reordering of our ways of perceiving—such as the introduction into the moment of atonality and avant garde modernist modes—the moment as telling and retelling—creating its own Narratology—this unfolding, cutting, clipping and pasting of the moment into itself—playing with words & images in the moment thru filmic montage = Snapshot Poetics…

2. Faulkner seems to me to be a more visceral kind of innovator—than Broch, Musil or Joyce—so that he internalizes interior monologue into the moment for his own practical purposes—rather than posing as a radical modernist experimenter—Faulkner wanting to undercut the traditional Narrative moment—shifting the traditional bildungsroman “disguised” autobiographical moment—toward a more independent authorial moment—moving away from linear narrative—to a more labyrinthine moment—full of convoluted incidents recurring simultaneously—memory, present tense, past tense, indistinct beginnings, indefinite endings—scrambling the traditional Aristotelian narrative strategy—into a new Moment—with quick snapshots inside the stream of consciousness itself—like taking pics into your Heart of Darkness…

3. The Delta moment opening up like a can of worms—“So my novel was created, almost in spite of myself”—Faulkner trying to keep up with Benjy—moving fast baby fast—catching on quick—a pretty good “quick study”—Benjy deserving more than just a page—opening up Benjy into a short story—then the whole ball of wax comes into play—Benjy the idiot savage now—not just the child idiot—but the philoprogenitive moment itself—TSATF opening up like an accordion—with the Caddy and Quentin and Jason snapshots—so that the moment becomes the Yoknapatawpha “privileged moment”—the special moment of the writer embedded in the moment—the boy as idiot-savant suspended in time—the boy-muse inside Faulkner right at that moment—when he gave up—gave up writing for others—freeing Faulkner from his publishers—freeing him from all that—by repudiating Time…

4. So that as Faulkner started writing for himself—thru the divine child archetype that was inside him—the boy inside him that was crying out for freedom and individuation—as astute Jungian critics would say—this Benjy-muse—the divine idiot-savant of Faulkner’s bruised and disappointed imagination—after having his fourth novel rejected for many years—finally just sitting there at his desk—finally giving up trying to please the editors and publishers in NYC—this sort of humble acknowledgment—that Count ‘No’ Count wasn’t maybe as good a writer as he thought—so that by giving up that style of performance art—he could start all over again—just doing what he liked anyway—writing for himself and nobody else—just himself doing the thing he loved to do—sitting at his desk in Rowan Oaks—sipping his whiskey and communing with the dearly beloved dead—who wanted desperately to come back to life again thru him—if only he’d let them come thru—thru the wisteria and bougainvillea night—drifting into his study for an evening of momentary pleasure and storytelling—the thing he was good at and the thing that made him special—the thing that made the moment authentic and real—the act of writing in the now—becoming his own moment—beginning with Benjy’s silent mute Voice—then moving thru Benjy into Quentin’s Voice—and thru Quentin into the Caddy-Dalton Ames Voice—each Voice uniquely telling and retelling the story in its own way—like friends on the verandah at night—doing what Southerners have always done—telling it the way it is—telling it the way it was—telling it conversationally—like I’m doing right now—like how many different ways can you see the light of August—coming down thru the afternoon magnolias and weeping Spanish moss—how many different ways to know the sadness of the melancholy moment—like I’m doing now—sipping my julep and thinking about what’s-his-name—the painter who did all those endless haystacks in the morning—haystacks at noon and later on haystacks in the evening—plus all those lily-pad paintings—by the picturesque pond—there at his home in the French countryside—seeing and looking and breathing it in—and duplicating it—the modernist moment with all its POMO intuitions from the future…

5. The more Faulkner gets into the moment—the more he authors his own Narrative method—like Quentin’s mind moving from TSATF into AA—the Quentin narrative both authorial and interior monologue—narrative coming out of some apocalyptic catastrophic whirlwind moment—dramatized as if present—seen thru flashback—performed thru disguise, defense, withdrawal, hiding, hanging out in the moment—there with Shreve his Cocteau guide thru the liquid mirror…

6. Faulkner’s moment not just literary method—it has its autobiographical dimension—secreting himself inside the moment—peeking out here and there—withholding, retreating, emerging now and then—so that as he’s inside the moment—he plays inside that moment like a boy playing hide & seek—letting the moment become aleatoric in the Huizinga sense—gaming with the moment to find new methods of narrative—both for his work and his life—so that be becomes the moment again & again—in more ways than one—working in the moment—playing in the moment—meandering in the moment—detouring thru the moment—the moment as Labyrinth—with him finding interstices within the moment—little cracks in the World Egg—creating voices thru storytelling in that maze-like moment—using short stories, characters and voices like a deck of cards—playing Solitaire with himself—those long humid Mississippi nights—doing the down-low on the Shadow…

7. This obsession to hide himself within the moment—to disguise himself and protect that disguise—thru long super-sentences that go on for pages—this is the maddening thing I experienced with Absalom, Absalom—the first time I read him long ago—it was frustrating for me because that’s not what I wanted back then—I didn’t want obfuscation and cat-and-mouse games—the way Faulkner hinted at things and hiding himself like a Cheshire Cat inside the moment—just enough to tantalize me and make me identify with Quentin—Quentin who was going thru the same changes I was going thru—but Quentin Compson was frustrating for me—in fact Quentin made me despair and gnaw on my knuckles—down there in the Library lounge late at night—biting my fingernails and talking with the guys just back from Nam—they knew the moment a lot better than I did—all I wanted was Identity the easy way—with books and language—rather than jungle warfare and all that shit—and I stuck with Quentin even tho he made me nervous and depressed—Quentin wasn’t exactly the quintessential Outsider—the one who’d be heroic Exemplar and Knight in Shining Armor—not with that unauthentic alternate lifestyle Quentin lived inside of dontchaknow—so that as I was going thru my own identity crisis at the time—I was struggling thru my first reading of AA and TSATF—thru the Quentin moment—a moment that seemed to accommodate everything but me—hinting at this and that and then hiding like a rat in the wainscoting—the whole identity thing I was going thru in the Sixties—being attracted and repulsed at the same time—to certain campus demigods in the dorms—this desire of mine for some golden Arcadian insight—some kind of Ariadnian thread thru the maze—the very real labyrinth of my mixed-up feelings and bildungsroman boo-hoo time—well, Faulkner’s AA storytelling being truly ironic—sometimes exquisitely relevant to my lifestyle—and yet at other times constantly receding from me just when I thought…

8. Quentin’s identity problem was my problem—not just a prurient “hobby-horse” interest in alternate lifestyles—but rather my own struggle with the moment—my own campus “Dalton Ames” relationships in the dorms and classes and social milieu at the time—playing roles like Faulkner did with his characters—eventually years later publishing what I’d learned which wasn’t much—other then the moment that was always bugging me back then—trying to get me into the storytelling mode—me fighting the gridlock of my feelings—as I descended into the pulp fiction moment—the paperback romance moment that was all around me—getting stuck with Hemingway all the time and his butchy moment—so that I ended up tiptoeing thru the tulips—delicately thru TSATF and AA—thru Quentin’s fuzzy, guilt-ridden consciousness—with no end in sight other than wishing I had my own Cliff Notes to the Now…

9. Quentin Compson coming to me in my dreams back then—complaining about this and that—mostly about the cold winters in Massachusetts—and how snotty everybody was up North—repeating the same Latin phrase over and over again—“Non fui. Sum. Fui. Non sum” (“I wasn’t. I am. I was. I’m not”)—the struggle of this boy with himself—and the moment that was him—the stream of Southern consciousness on that bridge with Dalton Ames—the murder-suicide pact with his sister Caddy—the dramatized ur-event of sexual discovery down there by the Tallahatchie River—seen as “right now” thru flashbacks—me in Dalton’s arms—no longer disguised and distanced—down there looking up at rusting old girders—on the bottom of the bridge—the bridge where Dalton made love to Quentin—the kind of love that Caddy got too—immediate and now—quick and catastrophic the first time—then long and drawn out the second time—no wonder Quentin dreamed of Dalton—no wonder Faulkner wanted different kinds of fonts and typefaces for what happened—mere italics and 50 pages of unpunctuated super-sentences really just don’t do the trick—

10. This autobiographical dimension of the moment—making it relevant to me—a Baby Boomer relevance thing—trying to read it like living it—as Faulkner lived and wrote it—hiding, disguising, retreating, emerging from it—illuminating and yet imaginatively rejecting nearly everything to preserve his disguise—trumping constantly any pretense of omniscient observerhood—in favor of an almost closet-case obsession for unreliable narrative—something I could identify with back then—the unreliable Quentin moment—a delicate moment for recognizing certain things—life as a bad throw of the dice—life compromised by prejudice and guilt—every breath I took—just another fresh cast with dice—dice already loaded against me—making me wonder if identity was really worth it?

11. That’s what Quentin asks—Is Dalton Ames worth it?—that’s the despair Quentin feels—not for Caddy but more for himself—his own virginity—and losing it that way with a man—the same man that took Caddy’s virginity—Dalton truly a young Yankee Devil—the Northern Dark Lord himself—pulling Caddy/Persephone down with him—pulling Quentin/ Euboeleus down to Hades too—over the precipice edge of the moment—the existential edge of the knife—when belief in oneself and the value of life disintegrates—confronted by things that make one question everything—it’s the classical Faulknerian moment—the apocalyptic destroying moment—when Renunciation is the only way out…

12. The apocalyptic moment—isn’t it always apocalyptic? Isn’t it the Black Hole that sucks everything into it? Gravity, light, narrative, planets, stars, maybe time and space itself? What if the moment was actually like that? A unique peak Experience—unlike anything else? What if Faulkner fell into it—“sinking” into it like Sartre says? Is that what Absalom is all about—the red dwarf remains of a supernova experience?—Faulkner learning how to lose control of the novel—letting TSATF become a truly irrational experience? Followed by an AA afterglow—trying to recapture what Benjy showed him…

13. Ben Wasson thinking Faulkner lost it—lost control of the novel—that it wasn’t coherent—that the material was out of control—that it had become so personalized—that even Faulkner had lost control of it—that TSATF had become so incoherent and disorganized—that Wasson felt he had to make changes—introducing italics—and inserting breaks to indicate temporal shifts—to somehow make the novel more organized and publishable—all of which was rejected by Faulkner…

14. For example, the way Faulkner fragmented TSATF into strange time “sections” rather than normal chapters—the April Seventh 1928 Section, the June Second 1910 Section, the April Sixth 1928 Section, the April Eighth 1928 Section—why this strange ordering of events and narrative—why make the already irrational life of Quentin and his brothers—even more irrational with temporal sections rather than normal novel chapters?

15. Perhaps because disorganized incoherent time was central to Faulkner’s narrative purposes—along the strategic lines of modernists like Joyce and Proust? Perhaps because the Compson family was so dysfunctional, fatigued and pathological—their story needed a temporal method for perceiving it obliquely?

16. For example, the Benjy section—improvising on time with somebody for whom time is meaningless. Or the Quentin section—needing a temporal sequencing to combine past and present together to give meaning to apocalyptic moments—moments like the Dalton Ames incident on the Bridge—or the long stream of apocalyptic moments retold and relived with Shreve—the catastrophic moments that led to Henry Sutpen falling in love with his own mulatto older half-brother—running away from home and his inheritance—to be with Bon in New Orleans—then going off to the Civil War together and all those wartime experiences reeking with apocalyptic bloody battles—only to end up with Henry tragically shooting Bon dead at the gates of Sutpen’s Hundred

17. As Sartre says in his essay on Faulkner and Time—the story doesn’t “unfold” in a linear, sequential mode. That wouldn’t have conveyed the incoherence, irrationality and self-destructiveness of the Compson family. Instead the reader “sinks” into the moment—into the seamless moment which only sections of time rather than chapters—work to perform rather than just portray the story itself…

18. Sartre says that Faulkner’s present is essentially “catastrophic”—it creeps up on us like a thief in the night—huge unthinkable then disappearing. Beyond the Moment—there is nothing. The moment rises up from sources unknown to us—driving a wedge into the next moment. The moment is always new—forever beginning all over again. The apocalyptic moment—repudiates everything and everybody—just ask Ike McCaslin…

19. Faulkner appropriates this “Apocalypsehood” with long intense stretches of super-sentences—like the 58 pages of Part 4 of ”The Bear” in Go Down Moses—a narrative collage of ledger notes and internal dialogic discovery—about Carothers McCaslin and his shadow-family—the interracial tortured genealogy of blaxploitation intertwining the two Family Trees together thru time—or on a lighter note in Absalom the revealing confrontation between Quentin and Herbert Read—Caddy’s fiancé who seems attracted to Quentin in the same way that Dalton Ames was—both Dalton and Read seeing Caddy’s beauty in Quentin as well. Followed by Quentin’s meditation on that—as well as race and family—supposedly resulting in Quentin saying one has to take people for what they think they are and then leave them alone—but that presents serious problems for Quentin—since Quentin can’t accept himself—for what he thinks he is—because the can of worms Dalton Ames opened up—is too much for the closeted kid to take—the way Quentin feels about Dalton—to say nothing of that other catastrophic relationship—between Henry Compson and Charles Bon—no wonder poor Quentin is perplexed

20. Quentin living in the moment—like someone who is always remembering things in the past as Sartre says—Faulkner’s biographer Frederick Karl saying that had Faulkner “not utilized a complicated temporal method” then he couldn’t have revealed himself and his own sense of family as intensely and obsessively as he did….

21. So that the sections in TSATF are actually temporal modes to see thru the eyes of the Compson family—the shadow-family that lives in the same moment—like Faulkner’s apocryphal family—with all its pastness and presentness locked up in a mausoleum of Time…

22. Which brings up Quentin’s often discussed incestuous desires for Caddy—where does that come from? Karl says that Quentin’s response to incestuous longings for Caddy—resulted in the Fall. The Fall and exile from the Garden of Eden—and that the Fall is the “emblem” of the Fallen South? I don’t think so…

23. But imho it’s Quentin’s feelings for Dalton Ames—that’s what causes the Fall and subsequent Exile from the Garden. The theme of male incest between Henry Sutpen and Charles Bon brought out in Absalom, Absalom—emphasizing the same troublesome perhaps even apocalyptic events between Dalton and Quentin there on the Tallahatchie Bridge—making this male-bonding tragedy “emblematic” of really nothing as great as the Fall of the South or the Fall of the Roman Empire—rather it’s just a minor everyday thing in the affairs of young men and women—wanting authenticity…

24. “Go Down Moses” continues Faulkner’s meditation on male bonding, sexuality, incest and the miscegenational consequences for two Family Trees weaving their roots in and around each other—told in a series of short stories like “Delta Autumn” and “The Bear.” Perhaps all these short stories fit together one way or another. “The Big Shot” foreshadowing Sanctuary with Popeye and Temple Drake—another way of looking at the alienated moment—thru a keyhole in Miss Reba’s whorehouse—or hidden away in Miss Rosa’s attic…






GOING DOWN ON MOSES II


___________________
PERCIVAL’S HOUSE
OF ILL REPUTE
______________________

“the well-to-do
proprietor of a
select New Orleans
brothel”
—William Faulkner,
Go Down, Moses

Ike ended up down—
There in New Orleans in the
Storyville District.

He had a token—
From a bartender for a
A brothel cat-house.

Percival Brownlee—
Was the owner of the joint
There on Gasquet Street.

*

Ike McCaslin said:
“It really blew me away
when I realized it.”

“That my father Buck—
and his twin brother were fags
Y’know, like faggots.”

He closed his eyes tight—
Leaning back in bed with his
Arm behind his neck.

*

Ike took a long toke—
Held it for a long time then
Exhaled it slowly.

Down between his legs—
Percival was tres busy
Sucking bored Ike off.

“I had a hard time—
believing it was true
but then I had to.”

*

“The ledgers don’t lie—
It was pretty much all there:
Buck and Buddy’s thing.”

The New Orleans night—
Sickeningly sweet with the
Honeysuckle stench.

The rotting city—
Blooming magnolia of
Sweet odor of death.

*

The Decadent South—
Decaying nicely that night
Soothing Ike’s sad mood.

“At first it seemed like—
My life had suddenly died
Reading those ledgers.”

“I still don’t know if—
My grandfather was as bad
As the ledgers say.”

*

Percival knew the—
Old incest story about
Thucydus’ young wife.

And then the daughter—
Getting pregnant just for old
Quintus’ new lover-boy.

Siring a Shadow—
Shadow family chicken:
Slavery’s karma.

*

Ike stretched out in bed—
All six feet of his lean taut
McCaslin physique.

Ike closed his eyes tight—
His dick sticking deep down
Percival’s hot throat

He got it all down—
Down that fucking faggot throat
Curling his toenails.

*

Later Ike tells him—
“And I thought my grandfather
was an old pervert.”

Percival stood there—
Dabbing lips by the mirror
His moustache was stained.

“It’s gonna be a—
Long night,” Percival said to
Himself that dark night.

*

When Ike got that way—
All the family dirt came
Oozing out the cracks.

“Do you think I’m queer?”
Ike asked him sipping some gin
Reclined there in bed.

He shrugged like he did—
“What difference does it make now?”
Putting on lipstick.

*

He was really just—
A plain old Big Easy whore
All these years later.

“This old whore’s gotta—
Lotta mileage on it, Ike.
Kinda just like Buck.”

Ike laughed & nodded—
“Yeah it was a real shock.
Daddy being queer.”

*

That’s when Ike gave up—
Trying to bad-mouth old man
L.Q.C. McCaslin.”

“Uncle Buddy played—
The Bottom in their marriage:
The cooking, cleaning.”

“But Buck, my father—
Needed a new lover bad.
That’s why he bought you.”

*

“Tired of just incest—
He wanted mulatto lips
He be desperate.”

“Sometimes it happens”—
Percival said, just shrugging.
Buck had been well-hung.

“Oh Jesus Christ, yes,”
Ike said, closing his sad eyes.
“Hung like a race horse.”

*

“You can imagine”—
Ike said despairingly blue.
“My father was queer.”

“But also much worse”—
He said the next part of the
Long dirge of shame…

“Buck was a dinge queen—
And even worse he was a
Fuckin’ size queen too!!!”

*

That’s when the details—
Always got down & dirty.
The Negritude Noir.

Percival Brownlee’s—
Ten inches of mulatto
Shame & succulence.

Cuddled in his lap—
Like a new born dinge baby
Sucking his nipple.

*

His hard flat stomach—
Bent over slightly in bed
Proud & protective.

“If I had something—
as big & black as that one,
I’d be careful too.”

“Yeah, aint that for sure”—
The lynch mobs would’ve loved to
Get their hands on it.”

*

“Yeah, and half the ladies—
In Yoknapatawpha County…
You had a nice one.”

“That’s why Buck bought me—
Talk about a Black Beauty.
Ace of Spades pure black.”

“Buck spoiled me so bad—
A kept man in dinge bondage
A slave to Buck’s desires.”

*

“All the other slaves—
Freed from their old slavery
And free to depart.”

“Most chose to stay tho—
The only home they had known
Before Dixie fell.”

“The old L.Q.C. mansion—
Right outta Gone With the Wind
Talk about Scarlett...”

*

“Old Roman ruin—
Greek Revival old temple
Pealing white columns.”

“Rotting, dingy wreck—
Antebellum decadent:
Negro loins unbound.”

“How much mulatto—
Sperm & mandingo spluge
Did Buck get outta you?”

“Your father Buck was—
Simply insatiable back
Then, my dearest Ike.”