Sunday, July 31, 2011

"The Looking Glass"




Cornell’s Boxes as
Alice’s “The Looking Glass”

1

“Curiouser
and curiouser!”
—Lewis Carroll,
Alice in Wonderland

“Now it happens that in this
country (Japan) the empire
of signifiers is so immense,
so in excess of speech, that
the exchange of signs remains
of a fascinating richness,
mobility, and subtlety, despite
the opacity of the language,
sometimes even as a
consequence of that opacity.”
—Roland Barthes, Empire of Signs

Cornell’s boxes can be seen as looking thru windows or screens into living worlds of the surrealist imagination—counterfoils to the vague & excessively stupid juxtapositions commonly known as Hollywood movie “reality.”

William Carlos Williams zeroes in on Charles Henri Ford & Parker Tyler’s “The Young and Evil” very quickly—finding Ford’s poetics alluding to something very interesting in Breton’s First Manifesto.

Charles Henri Ford creates a “contractual” proposition outta the automatic imaging of Breton’s allegedly recounted isolated automatic experiences—and turns it into “The Garden of Disorder” & “A Boatload of Madmen.”

Parker Tyler gives it a filmic twist—as Cornell does with “Rose Hobart” (1936). The same with Kenneth Anger & Jack Smith continuing the automatic project— something like “worm-holing” deeper into the Black Hole of the surrealist imagination.

But for me—Cornell’s elegant “freeze-frame,” “stop-action” “readymade” boxes are along the same lines—a way of continuing the Surreal Group’s irrational enlargement research on a low-key “white magic” level there in his Flushing NYC basement studio.

As opposed to the political, more socially-engaged, supposedly “automatic” method of imaging & filmmaking—along the lines of Breton’s European “black magic” surrealist group aesthetic.

Joseph Cornell seems to me to be more down-to-earth, more introspective—and less radically committed to an agenda of social change/revolution coming out of Paris between wars & after WWII.

I do see a certain amount of social commitment to social change in the Third World by the surrealists other than Paris—like Buñuel in Mexico City with “Los Olvidados” (1950).

What could be more surrealistic than the tall unfinished skyscrapers as backdrops—to the squalor, poverty & death of the Mexican squalid ghetto. With Roberto Cobo as El Jaibo—the young gangster hood who barely survives, using, killing & intimidating those around him, only to finally get it in the end.

But the American surrealists like Jack Smith can be equally as revealing in regard to the denizens of New York City—with his flamboyantly kitschy camp automatic filmmaking like “Flaming Creatures” (1963).

Along with the other underground NYC cinema intelligentsia back then during the Midnight Movie Sixties—that still appeal to my somewhat perverted, transgressive, gay-noir sensibility; although Smith’s f flaming surreal filmmaking seems rather all-consuming, exhausting & self-destructive to me.

I think I prefer Cornell’s Flushing NYC Utopian Drive basement studio environment—with his readymade boxed “obtuse” filmic research going on down there into the surreal realm of images both stills & movies.






2

The Boxes

“The reason for this is that
in Japan the body exists,
acts, shows itself, gives itself,
without hysteria, without
narcissism, but according
to a pure—though subtly
discontinuous—erotic project.”
—Roland Barthes, Empire of Signs

The boxes don’t “gloss” the filmic images—which illustrate the movie. There’s a visual uncertainty analogous to the “loss of meaning” that Zen calls “satori.”

The boxes full of images interlace with each other—seeking to ensure the circulation & exchange of different signifiers: body, face, expression. And I like the way Cornell uses readymade objects & images to read the retreat of signs into a filmic world.

If I want to imagine a filmic world—I could give it an invented name. And treat it declaratively as a cinematic project. I could create a new mise-en-scene—according to my fantasy. And let the surrealist imagination—take it from there.

My fantasy so-called surreal screenplay—gets compromised by certain signs of cinema. I can isolate them thru certain gestures in my discourse—a certain number of features out of a film repertoire. It is this system which I’ll call: my surreal Filmography.

Someday I’ll write the history of my own obscurity—manifest the queerness of my nelly narcissism, tally down thru the years the several appeals to butchy heterosexuality I’ve occasionally noticed about the world.

The ideological recuperations which could or would infallibly follow from such a project—consisting in always acclimating my incognizance of Straights by means of certain foreign gestures, attitudes, signs.

As strange to me as Japan was to Barthes—is how I’d approach and attempt to understand the haughty almost Asiatic Land of Heterosexuality. Such as “The Orient” of Voltaire, the Revue Asiatique of Pierre Loti or an Air France brochure.

Even today there are doubtless a thousand things to learn about the Straights: an enormous labor of sexual knowledge is & would be necessary—its delay has already resulted in a rather severe ideological occultation on my part.

But sometimes it’s necessary to leave aside vast regions of darkness (capitalist Straights, Straight entertainment, Straight acculturation, Straight Hollywood-Media-Netflix-YouTube technology)—in order to follow a slender thread of light searching out not arcane Straight symbols but the very fissure of Hollywood Straightdom Starlight Stardust itself.

This fissure appears on the level of the filmic—it pertains to gay urbanism, domestic things like gay cooking & controversial gay marriage issues. I’ve never been straight—I’ve always been just the surreal opposite. Although from my present-day POV—it increasingly seems like Straights have a monopoly on American surreal cosmopolitan society.

I’ve had a number of straight “flashes.” Or better yet Straightville has presented now & then, here & there—a certain level of primal straight cultural production that I detest. The Straights have afforded me many situations—for my own readymade tacky kitschy screenplays in boxes like Cornell’s basement factory of Pandora’s boxes.

All of Cornell’s boxes being closet-case memoirs & ticky-tack touchstones of fag nostalgia—according to many esteemed nincompoop art critics in the burgeoning cottage industry known as the Cornell Art School Racket.

This sort of situation is the kind in which a certain disturbance of the film critic occurs—a subversion of earlier screenplays, a shock of gay meaning lacerated by homophobic moviegoers, extenuating circumstances to the point of expanding into a ridiculous, irreplaceable void—without the object’s ever ceasing to be significant, desirable, of course.

Screenwriting is after all, in its way, a “satori”—in the Zen sense of “occurrence” which can be more or less powerful, though in no way formal, causing knowledge or vacillation or running-away from something. Usually because it creates an emptiness of language—a void in terms of screenwriting. An empty box with frames inside—waiting for some idiot savant or child idiot to come along & cram everything including the kitchen sink into the sullen, empty box of dreams.




3

The Zen Box

It’s like a Cornell empty “box”—demonstrating its lack of features as its strength. An empty box full of Zen—which exempts itself from all narrative meaning, concentrates instead on objects, gestures, kitsch flower arrangements, faces, birds, momentary tidbits of the zeitgeist.

Automatic images happen in dreams—inside the empty box of our sleepy heads. What sometimes makes dreams so foreign & difficult to understand— is the lack of nexus, the crazy way dream scenes don’t form connecting filmic threads, the confusing lucidity of sometimes finding oneself in medias res nude or lost in a foreign city or confronted with hostile strangers.

Automatic images belong to an unknown language—to dream is to know a foreign (alien) language & yet not understand it. To perceive the difference between dreaming & waking consciousness—is to recuperate a different kind of the sociality of discourse, a communication with the vulgarity that so well portrays who we are in dreams.

Dreams seem to be like movies—but to know, positively refracting oneself in a new language, the impossibility of being who we are & learning the systematics of this inconceivable other world often seems beyond us.

To undo our own “reality” & place ourselves under the effects of other linguistic formulations, other syntaxes—is to descend into the untranslatable, to discover certain unsuspected positions of the subject in utterance, to experience the shock value of sudden lucidity while fucking something up…

Until everything conscious in us seems to totter & the rights of the Queen’s English vacillate in some dark Congo River African night—only then does the tongue which comes to us thru society & supposedly helps us finding out how the world & ourselves tick fail.

As we find ourselves isolated in the natural/unnatural anti-social unconscious imagery of the living dead—we sense that the chief concepts of Aristotelian philosophy & Greek language no longer helps us to
“constrain” how we think & help us in what we say.

Often in dreams there is no speech or verbal communication going on “aloud” anywhere—but rather there’s an inner monologue with ourselves. And depending how supposedly “lucid” we are—sometimes there’s a telepathic sense going on with ourselves & others. A sense matching the whole oneiric silent-movie scenario that the dream experience portrays—that parlays itself beyond itself into our rather dull waking moments & semi-awake remembrance of that Other narrative.

Are the Sapir or Whorf discussions about Chinook, Nootka, Hopi languages or Granet on Chinese really any different—and intellectually as relevant in this Other automatic realm of dreaming where gestures & telepathy rule rather than simply verbal intercourse & gangster mobster bankster gestures by heavies like in film noir moves?

Does Other dreaming open up a filmic realm of surreal texts that permits us to read the filmscript & auteur screenplay directions like some Bijou inner landscape or boxed readymade reality principle? Who are these Other people, objects & scenes—that proliferate with a functionality & complexity that advances on its own Hidden Agenda without us?

Sometimes we’re aware of inner precautions, repetitions, delays and insistencies within this Otherness—other times for some reason or intuitively we seem to know this Otherness without the usual melodramatic or romantic Hollywood soundtrack on the screen.

Sometimes this Otherness—creates its own envelope empty of speech as we know it without that dense semantic kernel which is supposed to direct our sentences. From outside & from above—from inside & from below. So sometimes it seems to us—like an excess of subjectivity articulating our impressions, not “Just the facts, Madam” affidavits.

Our heads seem to be empty boxes when we go to bed & sleep for 8 hours. And then some kind of strange surreal brain activity happens—diluting, hemorrhaging our subjectivity into fragmented, disjunctive, perhaps even into some kind of kitschy film noir “Detour” or “Double Indemnity” postmodern emptiness?

We’re unable to distinguish human (human and/or alien) from animal behavior—notably on the level of the verbs “to be”—and the filmic production of characters introduced into the movie being assigned the form of people we know. While the rest of us struggles & tries to enforce a meaningful Aristotelian storyline on the Id mess—some kind of alibi for faking or finding ourselves in the middle of this theta wave Zen nothingness.

How can we imagine a verb which is simultaneously without knowing subject & without known objects?
How can we conceive without attribute & yet transitive verbs—an instance of radical reality without our language to guide us? Yet it’s this Other linguistic imagination that requires us—to face the Hindu “dhyana,” origin of the Chinese “ch’an” and the Japanese “zen” which we find ourselves in while in the empty box of our dreams. Can anything be learned about this Other—through Joseph Cornell’s surrealist imagination—and his readymade “boxes” down there in his Flushing NY basement studio?

If the surreal didn’t exist—then Cornell would have to invent it. Not that his boxes—are vast lordly Empires of Signs. But rather they’re of his devising—with an innerness that’s has no fate, no ego, no meaning, no grandeur, no metaphysics, no promotional fever. Cornell’s boxes are places where meaning is banished—at least momentarily.

He wanted to imagine a filmic fiction—an invented, novelistic cinema. Belonging to no real country—no fantasy based on literature. He didn’t claim the boxes represented or analyzed reality itself—none of the usual major gestures of Western discourse. He isolated something East of Borneo—a certain eclipsed room for Rose Hobart to silently be herself.

Thru the looking-glass—behind the screen. A different kind of surreal phantom audition existing with images—a surrealistic alibi for performing filmic fiction.





Friday, July 29, 2011

Coming Out of the Cornell Closet




Coming Out of the
Cornell Closet


“A large box is handily made
of what is necessary to replace
any substance. Suppose an
example is necessary, the
plainer it is made the more
reason there is for some
outward recognition that
there is a result.”—Gertrude
Stein, “A Box,” Tender Buttons

Cornell’s boxes aren’t necessarily closets—they don’t enclose, they open up things. They bring about an outward recognition of things—like Barthes’ obtuse filmic third meanings.

So that Cornell’s “Rose Hobart” is a surreal readymade montage box—very much like Brian Frye says in his review:

“In Rose Hobart, Cornell holds Hobart in a state of semi-suspension, turning the film itself into a sort of box. She moves her hands, shifts her gaze, gestures briefly, smiles enigmatically, perhaps steps slightly to the side, and little more. The world appears as a sort of strange theatre, staged for her alone.”

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2001/cteq/hobart/

Some critics see Cornell’s boxes as closets—while others see his boxes like Stein saw boxes in Tender Buttons. As “an increase,” “the other,” an “outward recognition,” a “singular arrangement to make four necessary,” as a “doubling,” as “winged,” as “a choice,” as a “spark brighter,” as a “result hardly more than ever.”

Rather than seeing Cornell as a “mystic closet-case” as some critics do—why not think of “Rose Hobart” & Cornell’s readymade surreal boxes as closets opening up? An opening-up of the immediacy of perception—interacting with the world as essential for creative production, releasing us from habitual modes of seeing & opening up a more primordial vision, rather than a closeted closing down?

A common view of Cornell as a “voyeur” stargazing in the closet with his boxes of “found objects”— trapping, capturing, framing & holding their captives tightly away from the world. This POV heightens the sense that some critics have of Cornell as a nostalgic closet-case dreamer trapped in the past & detached from world.

The alternate view of Stein and Ashbery is that Cornell opens up “the unbiased seeing of childhood” again—releasing us from our preconceived biased closeted outlook on experience. This POV comports Cornell as an early classic surrealist—who continues his Surrealist Group “Irrational Enlargement” research into the eclipsing & stargazing at what’s going on around us, sweethearts...

Whichever way you wanna go—it’s up to you.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Filming Degree Zero



Filming Degree Zero
for Joseph Cornell

Me? I pursue an
image, no more.”
—Gérard de Nerval

“The still offers us
the inside of the fragment.”
—Roland Barthes,
“The Third Meaning,”
Image-Music-Text


Boxes as "Stills"

Cornell’s boxes institute a reading that is at once instantaneous & vertical—it scorns cinematic narrative “talkie” horizontal time.

The boxes are “stills”—still-shots that show us how to dissociate technical restraint from what is cinematically indescribable: the “third meaning.”

The boxes are “silent” screenplays—they’re “stills” from a film that isn’t simply seen & heard cinematically, but rather stops in time & space so that the “fragment” can be scrutinized and listened to attentively.

This seeing & hearing enables the “box” to be a “still” that’s a “ready-made” object, a ready-made scene within a film that exists in a new way, i.e., thru the “third meaning” which is vertical not horizontal narrative.

This Barthes-esque “third meaning” has its own way of structuring the film differently as Cornell does creating his “Rose Hobart” (1936) film out of the “East of Borneo” (1931) talkie motion picture.

Cornell’s “third meaning” emerges with the “stills” & condensed imagery of “Rose Hobart” (19 minutes)—compared that of Borneo (77 minutes).

Cornell’s “film” begins only when language & “talkie” metalanguage ends.

Everything that can be said about “East of Borneo” can be said in a written text entitled “Borneo”—except this third or “obtuse” meaning. One can gloss everything in “Borneo” except the obtuse quality of Rose Hobart’s face, her gestures, her actions.

This obtuse filmic lies in the region where Rose Hobart herself pauses, stops, smiles, looks, moves, lives & performs for us her own story—and language or cinematic dialog or the soundtrack can’t really describe this third world of nuanced, obtuse meaning that’s seeable but not describable. Except with Cornell’s surreal aesthetics & readymade filmics..

“The emphatic truth—
of gesture in the important
moments of life”
—Baudelaire

Language seems to go thru a dark passage to beauty but the creative act of the filmic itself seems to find a way. Since we’ve been forced to see movies as “talkies” rather than “silent” stills (boxes)—is it any wonder that the filmic should be so rare?

A few flashes come from Cornell’s work—perhaps elsewhere? Not much though—so that one might have to say that the “filmic” doesn’t exist—there’s only “talkie” cinematic language, cinematic narrative, cinematic dialog, cinematic plots, cinematic acting, cinematic direction.

The cinematic isn’t the same as the silent surrealist filmic—it’s as far removed from the filmic as the novelistic is from the novel. Can write & exist in the novelistic—while not writing novels?

Paradoxically, the filmic doesn’t seem to be able to be grasped while its happening, in the movement, in its “motion picture” state—but only as artifact, the “still.” Perhaps Cornell sensed this after “Rose Hobart”—and concentrated on his surreal boxes after that?


After Miss Dali acted out her bitch-scene tipping over the projector & then complaining that Cornell had telepathically stolen the same “Rose Hobart” idea for a film from him, well…can one blame Cornell from concentrating on surreal box-art after that?

What is a still? A photo from a film? Something from the pages of Cahiers du cinema? Pictures in a textbook? A department store catalog? A pornographic picture from “My Baby Is Black”?

What if the so-called obtuse filmic lies not in movement or catalogs of picture books or porno? What if a diegetic horizon is needed to “freeze-frame” & configure the filmic mobility theoretically as a framework for a presentational unfolding combining the stills with a story (diegesis) so that a new “third obtuse meaning” is born from the lower depths?

In some ways this has already happened with graphic novels & comix. Such innovations represent the “still-shot” as filmic when “doubled” within a series of frames not necessarily arranged horizontally but rather vertically. As with this Crazy Kat cartoon. Notice it’s vertical storytelling schematic.



The last “still” of Krazy Kat in the pond offers us the inside-story as a fragment of the whole vertical narrative. In this shot the center of gravity is no longer between horizontal frames of other stills but rather “inside the shot”—the accentuation of the last fragment expands the absurdity of the whole story.




This vertical “diegesis-complexity” lies with accentuation within the fragment—as Cornell does with his vertical boxes composed of various “frames.” Each box has a vertical reality of articulation—as opposed to the cinematic horizontal narrative effect.

Cornell’s vertical filmic narrative is at once parodic & absurd. The obtuse or third meaning isn’t “a specimen chemically extracted from the substance of the film,” but rather “a trace of a supercilious bits, hints, clues” experienced in a “stop-action” still-shot.

The “stop-action” still-shot is the fragment of a second text whose existence never exceeds the fragment. Both film & still find themselves in a palimpsest relationship without being o top of each other or extracted from each other. There’s a surreal co-existence of images—doing their Cornell box-thing.

The “still” throws off the constraint of cinematic time—as with Cornell’s boxes which aesthetically as well as technically & theoretically like a silent text or screenplay that’s not committed to logico-temporal order when readymade time is free.

The “still,” Cornell’s boxes, institute a readymade reading at once both instantaneous & vertical—what happens when this happens?

Cornell’s boxes as well as his “Rose Hobart”—perform a vertical mutation of filming degree zero. But what is that?

Boxes & Film

Boxes of wood and glass—
Little intricate worlds in a shoebox,
With plenty of night & day inside.

Movie stills with real objects—
Detritus for every moment,
Used, unused & abused.

Photos, maps, money—
Stamps, pins & needles:
Tidbits of time...

Memory cinema—
Without tacky soundtracks
And stupid kitschy dialog.

Hollywood studios—
Cages for movie stars
Norma Desmond wannabes.

My own voice echoes—
In the four corners of the box
Shadows play hide-and-seek.

Volcanoes burn in mirrors—
Eclipses come & go silently
Rose Hobart, Borneo doomed.

One has to commit a box—
The way one commits a murder
Objects try but fail to hurry away.

Slot machines of chance—
Conversations come & say goodbye
Bijous of creeps & crocodiles.

Minimal, surreal fragments—
Your own record of ruined romances
The same as Hollywood History.

Theater of neo-narrative—
Sliding causality & closure thru
The usual sliced eyeball.

The cruelty of Mexican boyz—
Buñuel’s Los Olvidados hustlers
Futile gestures in the ghetto.

The indiscrete charm—
Of young Destroying Angels
Locked away in a cathedral box.

Apparitions as manifestos—
For closet-cases Breton & Dali
Black magic of the absurd.

Joseph Cornell’s boxes—
No music or unnecessary words
Just the visible moment.


Filming Degree Zero II

—for Joseph Cornell

“I decided I liked photography
in opposition to the cinema,
from which I nonetheless
failed to separate it.”
—Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Is Barthes cinephobic? Like Joseph Cornell? Mistrusting the hypnotic spell exerted by cinematic narrative?

When equating a film—with its story & interpretation, is the third meaning, the obtuse meaning, the surrealist meaning lost?

Barthe’s “obtuse meaning”—isn’t that what Cornell does? He has this lover’s discourse, this quarrel with “talkies” cinema as opposed to silent film & stills?

It seems to me to be that way with Cornell’s treatment of the early “talkie” film “”East of Borneo” (1931)—criss-cutting, condensing, removing the sound track. Changing the frame-speed to the silent film level when creating his surreal film “Rose Hobart” (1936).

That & the fact that Cornell spent so much of his life after “Rose Hobart” down in his NYC basement studio constructing his surreal “boxes”—which could very well remind one of movie stills—3D scenes from an ongoing surreal readymade film of his surreal “secret flix” (Jack Smith) imagination.

I see both “Rose Hobart” & Cornell’s boxes as example of Barthes’ “Writing Degree Zero”—in the sense that Barthes’ obtuse and/or third meaning concepts can be applied along the lines of “Filming Degree Zero.”

Filming Degree Zero III

—for Joseph Cornell

“For most criticism, by equating a
film with its story and interpretation
fails to acknowledge that this “third”
meaning can exist on any level at all”
—Jonathan Rosenbaum, “Barthes
and Film,” Placing Movies

This third meaning that Barthes defines as the “obtuse meaning that can proceed only by appearing and disappearing”—what is it?

In some ways isn’t it the face of Garbo, the face of Brigitte Bardot, the face of Audrey Hepburn—and the face of Rose Hobart?

The critical faculty of the moviegoer—isn’t that what’s being invoked in this third obtuse meaning sense in a surreal film or Cornell readymade box?

Loosening the “talkie” cinematic, narcissistic, suspended-belief glue’s grip on filmic consciousness?
The hypnosis of verisimilitude, the suspension of disbelief that makes cinema so narcissistic?

Silent film, the still image, Cornell’s readymade boxes—is this the obtuse, third meaningful, perverse way out?


Filming Degree Zero IV
—for Joseph Cornell

“When he reached the other
side of the bridge, the phantoms
came to greet him.”
—F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu (1922)

The idea that surrealist film not only includes “Rose Hobart” (1936)—but the readymade boxes of Joseph Cornell as well... That future cineastes such as Jack Smith would pick up on this filmic idea and use Cornell’s surrealist insights—filming his own degree zero movies like “Flaming Creatures” (1961) in NYC back during the “Midnight Movies” period of experimental American cinema.

The idea of adding kitschy camp to the repertoire of the surreal filmmaking process is nothing new—but American kitsch added gay connotations to surreal cinema very different in many ways from Breton’s patriarchal straight-laced hetero-straitjacketed surrealist manifesto agenda.

Jack Smith’s kitschy surrealism was closer to the Thirties Lesbos-Parisian surrealism of Gertrude Stein-Djuna Barnes-Mina Loy—with such works as “Nightwood,” “The Lost Lunar Baedker” and “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.”

The 19-year-old Smith was an usher at the Orpheum Theater in Chicago in 1951—when Maria Montez’s untimely death inspired the management to undertake an extended festival of her films. It was then that Smith fell in love with Montez like Cornell fell in love with Rose Hobart.

Only in America could people believe that Maria Montez was Cobra Woman, Siren of Atlantis and Scheherazade. Jack Smith also became entranced with most Dorothy Lamour sarong flix—in that turbulent Sixties milieu along with other cult film intelligentsia: Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, John Cassavetes, Edgar G. Ulmer, Jonas Mekas, Stan Braklage, Ron Rice, Ken Jacobs, etc.

These filmmakers shared the surrealists’ taste for the tawdry exoticism of despised film genres—junky spectacles, cheap horror flicks, anonymous pornography.

For example, Jack Smith’s “The Perfect Film Appositeness of Maria Montez” argued that the acme of cinematic expressiveness is to be found in a series of exotic, juvenile swashbucklers produced at Universal studios during World War II as vehicles for Maria Montez.

The same with the surrealist’s favorite movie Josef von Sternberg’s “The Shanghai Gesture” (1941)—which they improvised into delirious fantasy elaborations based on their “irrational enlargement” filmic method.

Filming Degree Zero V
—for Joseph Cornell

The Surrealist Group

Luis Buñuel (LB)
Joseph Cornell (JC)
Jack Smith (JS)
John Waters (JW)
Ed Wood Jr. (EW)

Data Towards the Irrational
Enlargement of “The Shanghai Gesture”

In this Barthesian “obtuse” experimental film treatment of von Sternberg’s classic, the fairly straight hetero Surrealist Group is replaced by other surrealists—and the irrational enlargement shifts to a more perverse, decadent derisory impudent concrete criticism with totally automatic responses, of course, that bein the sole criterion for this study.

What is Poppy’s perversion?

“Clasping an octopus tightly to her distraught pussy with her kimono pulled up & thighs smeared with lots of greasy K-Y.” (LB)

“Stretched out spread-eagled on the green felt of a backroom pool table, as Victor Mature detaches pearl after pearl from Poppy’s damp pouty convulsing pussy.” (JW)

“Poppy has no sexual perversion other than the intense sensuality she gets on a poker table surrounded by cynical Shanghai gangster card players & a cocaine-intoxicated handsome young sailor on a lucky streak.” (JL)

“As Poppy permits a Peking pinhead to slowly stick his tiny sleek dwarf shiny shaved head up her tight moaning & groaning pussy in the hushed silence of Mother Gin-Sling’s personal private parlor.” (JS)

“Fellatio of a self-confessed, intensely masochistic nature beneath a bronze Shiva in the bathroom making the whole gambling joint tremor, premature ejaculations swallowed by greedy goldfish in the nearby toilet bowl, as an octopus winds its tentacles around her legs, while men in the casino suddenly get s whiff of a strange odor of distraught pussy emanating from beneath all the gaming tables with Poppy down there on he knees between the legs of the croupier’s legs. (EW)

“Purposeful masturbation with a peacock feather—that once belonged to Rudolf Valentino and was used by an arrogant smirking slave boy who tortured the Sheik mercilessly in his tent late into the intense desert hashish night there in his secret tent of horrible decadent jaded male desire.” (LB)

“In a Japanese sushi-bar aquarium way down there in the bottom of the sea where sunken Spanish galleons & old Greek temples lollygag in the silent Atlantis seabed abyss of Laundromat dirty gossip, scuttling crabs and the Forty Thieves’ homeboy where Poppy is ravished day & night by hoodlum LA gangs & pimply-faced runaways from the Poughkeepsie suburbs.” (JS)

Young Black Moses




Young Black Moses

He was so embarrassing—
He got so much skanky attention
People would just shake their heads.

I felt so awfully ashamed—
He’d limp like he had a lame dick
He’d point to me like I sprained it.

What can I say about him—
About such a cute black loverboy
Such a hot piece of teenage jailbait.

A straight young Mandingo—
He sure be flauntin his swishy ways
Limpin’ & gimpin’ & grinnin’ that way.

He be draggin around that lizard—
That fuckin anaconda down his long leg
People on the street just gawked.

He’d take it for a walk at night—
Parting the crowds in a gay bar like
A young Moses & the Dead Sea.

His Ten Commandments were—
Ten inches of Hell & Paradise, honey.
Pharaoh didn’t want him to go!!!

He came down from the Mountain—
Every fuckin night in bed with me
His Burning Bush between his legs!!!

Moses be Black, baby, and I be blue—
Hold on he’d say, I’m not done with you
He reamed me real good, thru & thru.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Three Joseph Cornell Surreal Boxes










Three "Rose Hobart" Surrealist Boxes
for Joseph Cornell

Rose Hobart


Joseph Cornell, Box for Rose Hobart, 1936.
16 mm film, 20 min




Rose Hobart


Secret Surrealist Flix—
Terrifying, awe-inspiring even
In waking life inspiring dream.

Beyond Surrealist Astronomy—
There in the South Pacific with collaged
Eclipse “East of Borneo.”

It falls out of sight disappears—
Into the depths of outer space
Id the cinematic unconscious.
________________



Inserted by Cornell another world—
It shows a small crowd, heads tilted sky,
Watching an alien craft eclipse.

Echoing Eugene Atget’s photograph—
L’Eclipse (1912) which Man Ray placed on
Cover of La Révolution Surréaliste in 1926.

In the photo, people on a bridge—
Looking up at the sky through special filters
The way Cornell watched “East of Borneo.”
__________________



Hollywood potboilers work best—
The synthetic criticism of the Surrealists
Wandering from cinema to cinema.

Making a new form of art—
Consisting of absorbing & collaging
The art that preceded them.

Cornell watched East of Borneo—
Saw it as a flâneur like Andre Breton
Skipping from scene to scene.
____________________



Creating his own film—
Seeing it as a Surrealist so thoroughly
He robbed the mind of Dalí across the sea.

He watched it with a longing—
For the lost arts it evoked with that
Yearning beyond the conscious mind.

East of Borneo the sun fell—
Outta the sky and into the ocean
Where could finally see the eclipse.
_________________



The eclipse of the conscious mind—
Into the yearned for mystifying Id taken
Beyond the limits of the civilized world.

Only from a volcanic island—
Where time reversed itself oneirically
East of Borneo, East of Eden.

Jack Smith piecing together—
A portrait of his own unconscious mind
Transcending Borneo & New York City.
__________________



Maria Montez his Rose Hobart—
Camp kitschy logic working thru dreams,
Memories and forbidden desires.

Flaming Creatures of Cobra Island—
UFO Eclipse a receptacle of echoes
Resonant images of the mind.

Images of the Hollywood screen—
Assembling the moments called for
Maria Montez on the phone.
_______________



Leaping from image to image—
Gesture to gesture like Cornell unveiling
The way the mind works when freed.

Not trapped by logic or narrative—
Not confined by the limits of Hollywood
A peephole into the secret-flix.

Rose Hobart 2



Joseph Cornell, Box for Rose Hobart, 1936.

16 mm film, 20 min

Rose Hobart

Gay Surrealists see Rose Hobart—
As cinematic synthetic criticism,
Attempting to analyze the film.

Trying instead to redo impressions—
Made on them by experiencing an erotic
Borneo queer poetic equivalence.

André Breton’s Surrealist approach—
Modeled on the ideal of the hetero flâneur,
Wandering from cinema to cinema.

Following a goodlooking Parisian guy—
Watching a few scenes of one film before
Moving on to the next cineplex flick.

Releasing the imagery from the—
Straight shackles of narrative film
Doesn’t take a great deal of talent.

Gay cineasts make themselves into—
Camp receptacles for Marlene Dietrich &
Maria Montez, queenly interlocutors.

Surrealist urgency begins with—
Serious flâneur cruising at the movies
Being irrelevant but still rather focused.

“Automatic” means to ditch the usual—
Conventional film-making practices revealing
The boring embodied everyday ennui.

By creating gay collage poetic cinema—
Outta any lowbrow popular jungle flick
Cornell performs evocative dream-stuff.

Latent content can be found anywhere—
Trashy cult of kitsch Hollywood potboilers:
Translated into contemporary camp.

“Tarzan and the Leopard Woman”—
Just another kitschy cult psyche ready to
Be plumbed by queer consciousness.

Taken even further, Acquanetta morphs—
Into sultry Temptress of “Cobra Island”
Full of nude homo jungle jive comedy.

Jungle jive images in quick succession—
Can evoke the process of queer desire
For forbidden dreams & hidden agendas.

Moving associatively with collage art—
Flashing to hot moments of male tension
Whose import isn’t clear but unmistakable.

Circling again & again back through—
Some gay related but obscure male scenes,
As if trying to decipher them by dishing them.

Jumping to gay images outta hetero—
Collaging them entirely faggoty-wise
The uncanny segue to what one knows.

Joseph Cornell & Jack Smith—
Both inhabiting the marginal area where
The conscious & gay unconscious meet.

But where, ultimately, is that?—
Each crosscut fragmented scene curiously
Astonishes us with new gay meanings.

Does Rose Hobart reject filmic meaning—
The slipperiness of nothing expressed not
The same old storyline we’re used to?

“Tristes Tropiques / Rose Hobart”—
Suggest associative, impressionistic forms
Titles that trigger emotional responses.

Semantic connotations smack of—
Accidental allures for Cornell with eclipses,
Exotic lands curving with tropical kitsch.

One could say the same thing about—
Mysterious Cobra Island with Maria Montez as
Slinky hoochy-koochy Cobra Queen worshipper.

Miss Cornell descends onto the remote—
Volcanic island of Niuafo'ou to view eclipse,
An isolated palm-covered Pacific speck of dirt.

The King of Tonga joins with entourage—
All his dancing girlz & court astrologers
All them worship the King Cobra Eclipse.

Orgies, eclipses & astronomy have always—
Attracted lovely virgin handmaidens to be
Sacrificed on little coral islands of shame…

The shadow of the moon over Borneo—
Its path passing over coral islands of lust
And then plunging into the sea forever.

In the final scene of Rose Hobart—
An eclipse occurs & the sun falls outta
The sky into the placid ocean waves.

Cornell edits the eclipse footage—
A flaming queen (standing in for the sun)
Falling into water, leaving pulsing ripples.

The entire montage is not linear—
The neo-narrative is inside your head,
The way the unconscious orders dreams.

After the eclipse comes tumescence—
The sun loses its magnificent poetic size
And shrinks into just another movie prop.

There’s a shift from figurative to literal—
The eclipse of Rose Hobart’s lover into
Just another unconvincing limp noodle?


Rose Hobart 3


Joseph Cornell, Box for Rose Hobart, 1936.
16 mm film, 20 min


Rose Hobart


At the first screening of Rose Hobart—
In December 1936, Salvador Dalí throws
A bitchy temper tantrum out of spite.

She knocks over the projector—
Screams in Spanish at shocked Cornell
Who flees but later is informed…

Miss Dali called Cornell a plagiarist—
A telepathic con-artist who stole Dali’s
Idea for doing a similar movie.

Madame Dali just another jaded—
Old has-been Queen in Surreal drag
Posing as a pompous fascist prick.

Cornell takes footage from a jungle flick—
Chops it up, reorders it, discards the plot,
An adventure film East of Borneo.

He crosscuts it some more—
Reorders it, discarding tacky soundtrack
Focusing on gay oneiric ambiguities.

He’s obsessed with the quivering—
Halting beauty of starlet Rose Hobart,
Ditches the traditional movie narrative.

He cuts out reaction shots—
You rarely know who Rose is speaking to,
Why she’s reacting the way she does.

He crosscuts totally different scenes—
And clips together to appear in succession,
Confusing the matches of things instead.

The film seems deliberately worn—
There’s an aestheticization of filmic decay,

Kipple is making things wear away.

Strange eclipses fall outta the sky—
Accidents & deterioration are the style
Damaged passages, fading rooms.

Like today there’s no real consensus—
On the meaning of anything in the film
Or how Cornell perceives its significance.

Radical, shocking and new—
Seemingly sentimental, a misplaced
Lost silent film deliberately obsolete.

That era vanishing with the advent—
Of the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer,
Back in 1927 ending many dreams.

Cornell longs for the silent muse—
The poetic & evocative language of gestures
And expressions in the silent film.

The world of expressive silence—
Caught in the chaos of the new talking films
“Among the barren wastes…”

Transforming the talkie East of Borneo—
Into the silent film Rose Hobart is easy,
Just remove the soundtrack, play a record.

Brazilian music for a new screening—
Slowing the film down to silent speed
(16 frames per second vs. sound speed’s 24).

Projecting the film thru a colored filter—
Using close-up shots & featuring gesture
Rather than crymmy primitive speech.

Returning to methods & moods of silence—
Projecting Rose Hobart at silent speed &
Retarding the gestures & action of Borneo.

Not quite slow motion, but enough—
To lend them a nuance of another era’s
Gone elegance and protraction.

Cornell longs for actress Hedy Lamarr—
Comparing the meditative hush & poetry
Of silent films to Renaissance portraiture.

Apprentices of Caravaggio—
And Georges de la Tour with studio props
Fading into drama of tenebroso painters...

Lamarr enveloped in warm shades—
And shadows of Rembrandt like Renaissance
Portrait in the middle of a jungle flick.

His Mona Lisa is Rose Hobar—
Forgotten former actress discarded by theaters
Had she ever actually been an actress?

Never enough of a star—
To be properly forgotten, but her identity adds
To her mystery like a lost Renaissance portrait.

She’s faintly familiar, subtly engaging—
Opaquely inaccessible with her voice dissolved
And her forgotten narrative obscured.

She becomes a blank slate—
Like an artist’s model, subtracting her words
And plot simply adds to her ethereality.

The same tenebroso of light—
Creates Boy & Kimba’s secret love affair
In “Tarzan and the Leopard Woman.”

Homoerotic states are translatable—
From the usual straight storylines, Cornell’s
Rose Hobart a boy furtively lost.

There’s a gay irrationality—
To the implacable seduction of jungle heat
On the two boyz making love back then.

Cornell stresses the importance of—
Rose Hobart’s remoteness, her remaining out
Of reach if she’s to retain the fantasy.

Without a narrative to give the scenes—
The usual hetero structure & meaning goes,
Boy & Kimba develop their individuality.

We’re pointed indirectly to latent—
Gay meanings not manifest in the catalogue
Of discrete & politically-correct libido.

They swish through the twilight space—
The film strangely silent, paying no attention
To any distracting music or soundtrack.

The two young jungle lovers embrace—
Like Rose Hobart they’re becoming almost
Invisible, only their gestures remind us.

Just as Rose Hobart’s ethereality evokes—
Her transcendent, eternal beauty, private desire
We become cataloguers of gay avant-garde.

It doesn’t take the greatest film—
To become a high camp fetish of the action,
Making cult outta the one we’re watching.

A film’s gay beauty can be simply found—
In the broken moments liberated and—
Made free from the morass of talkies.

Any film can become a breathtaking—
Example of potential for surrealistic imagery
Within a conventional Hollywood mise-en-scene..

Liberated from its narrative causality—
A midtown-Manhattan movie theater can be
The scene for any avant-garde illustration.

Mimicking Michelangelo’s legendary manifesto—
“I saw an angel in the street & followed him
Into a movie theater where I set him free.



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back to Black



Back to Black
—for Amy Winehouse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1evzhSast8

You left no time to regret—
Kept your dick wet
With your same old safe bet.

Me and my head high—
My fuckin tears gone dry
Gettin on without my guy.

You went back—
To what’s her name
So different than you & me.

I doubled back—
Along my troubled track
My odds were stacked.

I went back to black—
Said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times.

You went back to her—
And I went back to them
My young black lovers.

I love it bad—
I love to fuck & suck…
I can’t get enough black.

I’ll never forget—
The way you rolled your eyes
You died a hundred times.

When you left me—
You didn’t even say goodbye
Now I go back to black.

Back to black—
Back to black, back to black
Back to black, babyboy.

I can’t say good-bye—
Can’t do without you no more
After getting it 100 times.

You go back to her—
She ain’t no fuckin good
And I go back to black.



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bomba, Bloody Bomba




Bomba, Bloody Bomba

Ho-hum. Another cinematic lay—
“Panic in the Streets” leaving me tres blue
Thinking about Tommy Cook young hoodlum.
Tall & slinky, skanky Jack Palance’s loverboy
What a kinky fag-noir chicken love-affair.

About as bad as “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”—
Reviewed recently by Miss Steve Hayes
That “Tired Old Queen” there at the movies.
Based on Penelope Gilliatt’s screenplay:
Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head.

http://www.youtube.com/user/STEVEHAYESTOQ

But in my fag-noir jungle flick repertoire—
Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller & Brenda Joyce
Get sidelined in their tacky tree house condo
While Johnny “Boy” Sheffield gets all hot
And bothered by Tommy “Kimba” Cook.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he9fDSWWKr4&NR=1

Kimba be the cute sullen young brother—
Acquanetta the Leopard Skin High Priestess
Seducing Bomba into shedding his loincloth
Revealing what all of us wanted to see there
During hot Bijou Saturday matinee blowjobs.

“Tarzan and the Leopard Woman” (1946)—
Comes out 4 years before “Panic in the Streets”
Tommy’s 15 & Johnny’s 16 then—what dolls!!!
I can see why Tarzan & Jack Palance fell for
Cute Bomba & moody Kimba Leopard Kid…
____________________________

Cheetah simply gets green with jealousy—
Boy going down on Kimba & visa versa.
Nothing like getting it on down in the jungle
Skimpy leopard loincloths revealing what
Drives Acquanetta & the queens crazy!!!

Acquanetta catty Leopard Jungle Queen—
Deadlier than the mad males she rules!!!
Kimba her bloodthirsty jungle kid brother
Who’s gets the hots for dumb, innocent but
Cute young naked Bomba Boy so neat!!!
______________________

Catching my jaundiced eye somewhat—
In Tommy’s racy “The Gay Senorita” (1945)
Camping it up in “The Thing With Two Heads”
As well as “The Tab Hunter Show” and
“Teenage Crime Wave” with Molly McCart…

“Teenage Jungle Love” deep in Africa—
Young Tommy Cook & cute Johnny Sheffield
Getting it on up there in the Tree House
So much for Acquanetta & all that jazz
Time for some hot teenage jungle jizz!!!
___________________________

Funny how one’s faggy Filmography—
Takes on a life of its own like Sunset Blvd
Norma Desmond that old film noir slut like
Badboy Bomba in teenage loincloth drag
Wrestling with young studly African guyz.

Bomba, Bloody Bomba my downfall trick—
Pouty Tommy Cook what a sexy bombshell!!!
All my boyfriends up in the Bijou balcony
Fatal clones of those two male beauties.
Fuck the popcorn. Gimme jungle cock!!!
_______________________

Later on in “The Gold Idol” (1954)—
Playing a 23-year-old cheesy Bomba boy
The Watusi tribe kidnaps him to worship
As their hunky whitey built golden idol
Only to be had by mad S/M Arab queens!

Naturally or rather somewhat unnaturally—
I follow pretty boy’s Hollywood career closely
Not failing to notice “Killer Leopard” which
Catches the attentions of Beverly Garland that
Skanky whore of Corman’s “The Swamp Women.”
_____________________________

Bomba’s last film “Lord of the Jungle” (1955)—
Has him humping Wayne Morris down on the
Studio floor—what’s a guy gotta do to prove he’s
Still Lord of the Jungle, my dears. But then like
Nothing’s forever whether goodlooks or youth…
_______________________


Nefarious Tommy Cook checks out
Johnny Sheffield taking a shower.




Kimba brown-noses Jane, then gets into Boy's bulgy loincloth.





Johnny Sheffield tries out Leopard skin drag...




Bitch fight between Kimba and Bad Boy.



Acquanetta the Bitch Queen of the Jungle.




"Oh Bomba, harder please!!!"





"Tell us. Is it true, Bomba, you've got a nice Big One?"



"Now for some fun with zee cute American White Boy!!!"




Bomba & butchy Congo Boyfriend argue over who's gonna be Top.




Imagine this swinging nude on a vine through the jungle tree-tops?



"I wish that Kimba would hurry up & get his ass here!!!"




Looks like an Angel...but really he's a naughty little Devil.




"Oh, I suppose. If you really have to..."



"Cluck! Cluck!" said the chicken goodbye..........




Panic in the Streets (1950)



Panic in the Streets (1950)

“By stripping it of its
dialogue and mood
music, he transformed
its banality into an
oneiric mystery”
—Adams Sitney,
Visionary Film: The
American Avant-Garde
(1943-2000)

Joseph Cornell’s first collage film—
Often called his masterpiece was
“Rose Hobart” (1936).

He edited “East of Borneo” (1931)—
A jungle melodrama by removing
The plot almost entirely & reducing
It from 1 hour 20 minutes down
To 20 minutes without sound.

He kept only interstitial shots—
A loaded glance, a glass being
Lifted, palm trees swaying in
The wind, slowing it down to
Silent speed, playing a Brazilian
Music record as the soundtrack.

I did the same with Elia Kazan’s—
Panic in the Streets (1950), turning
The noir film into underworld ballet.
Smoldering passions that once
Never drove the film—slip into the
Fragmented Big Easy waterfront
Dream with Jack Palance as Blackie
& Tommy Cook as Vince Poldi the
Young hoodlum punk in love.





Sometimes in the barren wastes—
Of talking films a passage occurs
To remind one again of the love—
The profound & suggestive power
Of the silent film to evoke an ideal
World of male beauty, to release
Unsuspected floods of images from
The gaze of a boy’s countenance
In the prison of straight silver light.





Such film allows for profane poetry—
The mute gaze of a boy for a man
Which is profoundly overwhelming
Because unlike speech, a glance can
Descend down deep into gay sublime.




Always momentary, fleeting—
Beyond the grasp of most viewers,
The look Vince Poldi has for Blackie—
Tommy Cook for sexy Jack Palance.





A brief minor overlooked scene—
In a bar with Blackie & Jeanette,
Dramatizing the gay cineaste’s
Eagerness & distance from what
Is attracting him, stripping away
The glaze of interiority, a queer
Theater of desire, intermittent
Rupture momentarily jarring
But ever so jizzy-suggestive.





There’s the exotic hoodlum lust—
Blackie, haunting & intriguing
To Vince the gangster kid whose
Lana Turner-esque bouffant of
Hair flaunts his femininity, feeling
Drawn to the elusive, dark, cruel
And mysterious eyes of Blackie.




Jack Palance cultivates & rewards
This homosexual hero worshiping—
Enamoring Vince so knowingly &
Suggestively—using his sexy moll
Girlfriend Jeannette who’s all over
Him in the barroom scene to hint—
At a sexy three-way at his place…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Queer Dubstep


Rihanna—Rude Boy (CHRISPY REMIX)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kv3BkWnhIc

Queer Dubstep

tightly coiled productions—
overwhelming bass lines and
reverberant drum patterns

clipped samples, vocals—
released back in the late ‘90s
dark, experimental, instrumental dub
__________________

2-step garage remixes—
incorporating funky breakbeat
dark drum & base 2-step

strains of dark garage music—
showcasing london's night clubs
forward (stylized as FWD>>>)
___________________

development of dubstep—
stylistic trends used in remixes
distinct from 2-step and grime

in a move foreshadowing—
endorsements of dubstep by r&b,
hip-hop mainstream figures like rihanna
________________

and britney spears pushing—
dubstep tropes with pop audiences
propelling the genre lots of airplay

black sexuality flaunting it—
rihanna’s youtube rude boy
tongues untied for sure.




Black Milk



Black Milk—Sound of the City

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZShzvo6kQ0A&feature=related

“I say to the people like
I’m saying to you, why you
come to me and talk about
the blues, you know?”
—Troyce Key, Long
Time Running

the idea of jazz in oakland—
interviewing troyce key
about black jazz history

philip-troyce-kosofsky—
long train running outta
outta then into the "now"

the hiphop dubstep "now"—
riggs rethinking his love affair
me doing the same with DJ
_________________

getting off—by popular demand
I can’t get DJ—outta my mind
why didn’t—it last longer?

he added something—to my nothing
so fine & smooth—it gives me the chills
black milk in the morning—so nice

listening to the—kick in the beat
excelente bass—fuckin’ awesome
black milk—the beat of the "now"
_____________________

how to docuverse it—

minnelli-parker tyler-barthes?

harlem renaissance—tongues untied?


jazz history-homo hip hop?—

queer dubstep outta south london?

sexy black milk outta Detroit?


backwards into madame bovary—

forwards into YouTube future?

how to dissolve my so-so identity?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Minnelli Milks Madame Bovary



Minnelli Milks Madame Bovary

http://vimeo.com/24034005

“Minnelli’s queer
modernist madness”
—David Gerstner, “The Queer
Frontier: Vincente Minnelli’s
Cabin in the Sky,” Manly Arts:
Masculinity and Nation in Early
American Cinema

First Minnelli milks Harlem—
With “Cabin in the Sky” (1943).
Then she milks Gustave Flaubert’s
Classic Madame Bovary (1949).

Minnelli rehearses her mad—
“Feminine” artistic aesthetics
Against the grain of racist
American cinema discourse.

If 1930s queer and African—
Film cultures found a unique
“Common ground” confusing
Both white & black critics alike…

Then what about Academe—
Madame Bovary as the Slut
Starring Jennifer Jones and
Louis Jourdan the Pimp?

With faggy James Mason—
As Gustave Flaubert flaunting
The queer ideal under the nose
Of butchy American capitalism?
___________________

“You asked for something
that consumes while it burns,
that destroys everything it
touches. I didn't want to be
destroyed.”—Louis Jordan
as Rodolphe Boulanger

Queer & African American cinema—
Dancing across the French classic
Stage to showcase divinely perverse
Minnelli in Madame Bovary drag.

An old Tennessee Williams trick—
Posing as View Carré “Blanche”
Putting the make on Brando &
Even the innocent paper boy!!!

Instead of “Cabin in the Sky”—
It’s cabin below deck, my dears,
Nothing like another Titanic flick
To add to the Box Office bucks.

Minnelli milks Madame Bovary—
For every tear & exquisite throb
Every excruciating love-jet that
She can milk outta Louie Jourdan.
_________________________

“The movement of the bodies,
the conceptualization of art
and/as bodies, and the centrality
of an urban-modernist milieu all
contributed to Minnelli’s queer
realization of the cinematic
experience.”—David Gerstner,
“The Queer Frontier: Vincente
Minnelli’s Cabin in the Sky,”
Manly Arts: Masculinity and
Nation in Early American Cinema

If “Cabin in the Sky” is a film—
Significant as cultural by-product
Of New York City’s sophisticated
and queer black aesthetics…

Then “Madame Bovary” likewise—
Shows how Minnelli milks the male
Hollywood butchy/faggy filmic Zeitgeist
Aesthetically of cultural queer excess.

Bringing together black, white, gay—
American directors & audiences into the
Troubling queer waters of “Polyester”
Mapplethorpe & “Fire-Belly” Wojnarowicz.

Along with Minnelli’s “Tea & Sympathy”—
“An American in Paris,” “The Bad and the
Beautiful,” “Designing Women,” “The
Reluctant Debutante” & “The Sandpiper.”



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Miss Titanic Sinks Again



Miss Titanic Sinks Again

“Not many years before
Titanic sank in 1912,
Thorstein Veblen wrote in
The Theory of the Leisure
Class that the ‘modern
Feminine’…leaves no
alternate direction in which
the impulse to purposeful
action may find expression.”
—David Gerstner, “Unsinkable Masculinity:
The Artist and the Work of Art in James
Cameron’s Titanic,” The Titanic in Myth
and Memory: Representations in
Visual and Literary Culture

Perhaps one could say today—
The same thing about the excesses
Of the Faggotization of Hollywood &
Queering of American Film Culture?

One only has to YouTube it—
Back to the original Titanic (1953)
With fastidious nelly Clifton Webb
Cruising cute boyish Robert Wagner.

Along with Barbara Stanwyck—
Thelma Ritter, Audrey Dalton and
A bunch of other bitter old queens on
That doomed Luxury Liner of Death.

Fags & Straights, Rich & Poor—
All bidding Cruel Atlantic Adieu to
The fading Leisure Class Elite
Just like what’s happening now.
____________________

Young Wagner as below deck trick—
Rather than Clifton’s handsome son,
We all know that’s just a gay façade
Pretending it’s purely heterosexual.

Below deck the rumor is that—
They had a torrid love affair in
Their swanky cabin—plenty of
Oozing Caviar & Champagne.

So let’s get real, my dears—
Play it again with DiCaprio
Getting sucked off below deck
By famished Queen Cliftonetta.
_________________

And quote me some lies—
From Housman’s “Shropshire Lad”
About being one & twenty and
All that male romantic bullshit…



Saturday, July 16, 2011

DAMBALLAH




DAMBALLAH

Damballah Bad Boy

“Damballah—cosmic snake—hatched
an egg creating our world.”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“Palmnut & Hatched Love,”
Hoodoo Headrag

In the darkness he comes—
Digging outta death into
Near life thru himself again.

No time for lies or jivin’—
Truth is a big long snotty
Runny oyster outta the Egg.

I pick the kid up late—
Ruins stand around the Night
A dinge tourist attraction.

Where young gods bored—
Fool around the 7-Eleven
Darkness gives birth nice.

Human hisses at first—
Then outta pain & silence
Cracks his Palmnut bad…

Damballah Speaks

“When Loas speak faintly,
mountains cannot be seen.”
— Alden Reimonenq,
“Palmnut & Hatched Love,”
Hoodoo Headrag

When the kid loses it—
All the street lights blink out
Along the dark night street.

The eucalyptus trees—
Grieve for the way he moans
Dying in my arms in bed.

The pecan trees moan—
And drop their nuts for the
Sweet-tooth pecan pie crowd.

Damballah Dead whisper—
Esu laughs & Ogoun flows
A different kind of current.

Like sticking my tongue—
Deep into a light socket
The shock of Teen Dinge…

Damballah Moans

“But hunger in a fierce wind
knows no friend, peace, peer.”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“Palmnut & Hungry Loas,”
Hoodoo Headrag

They chase the jungle—
Away but the sugar cane fields
Come back south of campus.

The Loas suffocate bad—
When they built the Stadium
For Huey P. Long back then.

But the cane grows tall—
Down by the levee by the
Old Mississippi River Man.

He cuts cane all day—
Shirtless, muscular, sweaty
His razor-sharp machete.

Picking him up after work—
In my mother’s pink Cadillac
Spreads his legs just for me.

Damballah Groans

“And ancestor talk
creeps gingerly…”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“Crossroads at New Orleans,”
Hoodoo Headrag

Secrets & prayers—
They come easily from lips
Pouty, sullen, puffy.

Down in the Big Easy—
Katrina washes the dead
Outta their old cemeteries.

Dead shrimp & pelicans—
Wash up on tainted beaches
The Gulf of Mexico gone.

Deep Mississippi Delta—
When the kid shoots his wad
I hear gravediggers moan.

That’s when I get scared—
Feeling his disgust for me
Knowing he’s crossing over.

Mandingo Damballah

“Caught in his dream,
a slave demands payment”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“Buying What’s Free,”
Hoodoo Headrag

Caught up in a nightmare—
He strangles me one night
Hands tight around my throat.

“Too much wine” I simply say—
But I know it’s something else
A many-times wrong thing.

Suppressed anger admits—
A greedy slave master like me
Has been draining him dry.

I pay him more for love—
Out of self-mockery I tell him
To whip me like a whitey slave.

Spread-eagled in bed—
Face buried deep in a pillow
Beat me, burn me, fuck me to death.

He smacks my nelly ass really bad—
With the flat of his machete blade
When’s he gonna slice my throat?

Damballah Goes for a Drive

“No sounds, just moves creating
nature with each lithe pose…”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“Palmnut Talking Texts,”
Hoodoo Headrag

We go for long night drives—
Down on Levee Road where the
African night is cool & humid.

I let him drive the Cadillac hog—
Nude with Congo radio playing
Pealing back his taut foreskin.

Pink swollen Zimbabwe head—
Cheesy Africanity tart & slimy
Pony Boy smegma does me in.

His young manhood flows slow—
Mississippi meat moans & groans
Taboo love behind the wheel.

Caught up in his dream—
A young handsome slave demands
Payment from his faggot master.

Damballah Knows

“lust-engendered blood
brewed in self-hatred…”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“A Wedding of Colors,”
Hoodoo Headrag

I keep acting like I know—
Knowing the way he runs deep
Into the rocks into the soil.

I keep acting like I’m one—
With this black Louisiana kid
Getting it all I fuckin’ can.

I keep acting like it’s gonna—
Like last forever this dinge
Wedding of shame & cum.

I keep telling myself he loves—
Surely he loves me as much as
I love him both night & day.

I keep knowing it can’t last—
He’s hopelessly hetero & already
He’s a mile away from me now…

Damballah Offspring

“For it is a priapic dance—
no chance for fleshy birth…”
—Alden Reimonenq,
“Stealing a Birth,”
Hoodoo Headrag

The skanky snake god pouts—
Knowing that his manhood is
Wasted on the likes of fag me.

Getting legendary Ifé off—
Draining Esu of his jizz life
His heartbreaking babypaste.

My cocksucker lips know—
Hardened & bold with desperation
Cross-eyed & obsessed for sure.

Giving him priapic blowjobs—
His teenage genealogy getting
Squeezed outta him each squirt.

Something in his closed eyes—
Tells me to let the kid go, baby
Let him be utterly free again…