Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big Daddy


Big Daddy
Has Been Orpheus
Dramatic Monologue
The Gay Menagerie
How Grimly Do Petunias Pout
Night of the Iguana
Traumatic Eye
The Young Stonecutter
Simply Speechless

Big Daddy

“The dust of those
who have been
by Furies”
—Tennessee Williams,
Orpheus Descending

I had a séance with Big Daddy the other night, drinking a solitary toast to the great Southern poet, Tennessee Williams.

It was the eve of his 100th birthday—after his departure from his suite at the Elysee Hotel in New York in 1983.

“My dear, I need your help. Get me outta this goddamn hole, here in this dumpy Calvary Cemetery in gawdawful St. Louis, Missouri, will you?”

I was shocked, simply shocked—by this Voice from the past haunting me so. He’d ended up there, because of his brother Dakin Williams' insistence.

“I’ve long told my friends I wanted to be buried at sea down there in the Caribbean, the same place as the great poet Hart Crane, my dear.”

I had to grease some palms and pull some strings, but I managed to get Tennessee’s remains whisked away from stoggy Missouri and down to the Gulf.

And so, one lovely sunny day, on a tramp steamer not much different than the original Orizaba, I released Tennessee deep into the sea.

Unfortunately, I caught the hem of my mourning dress on a protruding hinge of the coffin. And down into the Blue Carib went I as well, sadly to say.

Has-Been Orpheus

“Now Orpheus, crawl,
O shamefaced fugitive,
crawl”—Tennessee Williams,
Orpheus Descending

I was the fugitive kind, there’s no doubt about it. I knew how to crawl, down there on my hands and knees. Crawling, bawling, falling, falling…

Everyday was a descent down into hell, Dante’s Inferno was nothing new to me. I did it alone each time, down through the magic liquid mirror.

Heurtebise ditched me a long time ago, leaving me in a cloud of dust and fumes. Pushing me outta his Rolls-Royce, out onto a dirty Vieux Carré curb.

The cry of “Brother!” such a sad, dreadful lament, down through the crummy centuries kept locked in the closet. Hidden in darkness, silently stranggled.

It’s a dangerous word, but the human tongue likes to wrap itself around it. And squeeze it tight to death. It’s inflamatory, it disturbs the str8t populace.

—for Kip Kierman

He was the kind of guy that don’t have legs, all his life always floatin on air. It’s true, that’s the way he was. He was light as a feather, pretty as a dove.

He was like Orpheus descending, falling down to earth. But he just kept fallin, and never landed anywhere. Invisible wings, keepin him up there?

Cocky camouflage, that’s what it was called. Hawks and eagles, they don’t catch guys like that. It takes a professional to get them, to woo them into bed.

You know how beauty, comes into a room. Too quickly, too boldly. That easily corruptible look, shadowy bedroom eyes that look away from you?

They squeeze into our world, thru entrances in space that we’ve never entered. Goodlooks worth dying for, a snowy gull that dips above a wreck…

The way light touches him, more flatteringly than the pic in my billfold. I’ve seen it on his living face, out there on a Provincetown beach. But Kip is gone…

I almost believed for a moment, in a well-ordered life living with him. Crossing the line, living a mannerly, settled life, married to the guy I loved.

I would’ve accepted everything, the coarse fibers of experience. Looking outta a high window, seeing sunlight cut shaft of light between tall buildings.

Feeling cold and pure and disassociated, beyond everything happening around me. But the dirty, uncompromising verb to be got me in the gutter.

Dramatic Monologue

After awhile I gave up on manifestos, trying to define everything intellectually. Undeterred, I lapsed deeper into self-pity and sentimental self-loathing.

I gave up on satire, just looking at the mirror was enough. It cracked, and I cracked up too. Like Miss Burton tied up in her hammock, Night of the Iguana.

Everything had been useless, the crummy treasure chest in my head. The one that stored up the vast
Anglo-Saxon wordhoard, it was utterly destroyed.

All I had left was unanswered letters. So many letters left unanswered, because there was only one letter. The one I kept writing, there inside my head.

The Gay Menagerie

I ended up as a character, as well as being the narrator of a dimly lit story. Not a very realistic story, but then after all it was a gay menagerie.

So much weepy melodrama, so many ridiculous True Confessions. How could such a long struggle to represent being gay, end up being so kitschy?

How Grimly Do Petunias Pout

How grimly do petunias pout, on things mostly unspeakable. For those dear creatures who lurk, there inside the closety academic grove.

Such sharp and moral eyes, such a big fuckin nose you’ve got Grandma. The better to eat you up after class, the Wolf says locking his office door.

Back then in the Sixties, str8ts ruled trouble Academe. With consummate disdain, they smirked at anything gay. Forget Miss Whitman, Crane or Stein.
They blushed down to their mincing toes, when men came into the Allen Hall tearoom. They fainted if they saw a stud, through the pissoir glory hole!
Night of the Iguana

Young iguanas are wanton, young iguanas are quick. Here in my hammock, Ava sings lullabies to me and the young iguanas dance.

I was going thru my heeby-jebbies—going thru the usual lush withdrawal and panic attacks. The shadows darkening the way, I regreted every day.

But young iguanas are foolish, so gay and blind in the sun. Only at night can one safely gaze, gaze and glance at their lovely nude behinds.

They laugh for no reason, except to shake their mirachis and wiggle their cute asses. Young iguanas are so gay, foolish and blind.

Traumatic Eye

I’ve got this traumatic eyeball, it ogles and stares at certain things that embarrass me. It’s right in the center of my forehead, where dirty pictures live.

Conceiving menace in certain young males, causing cries of alarm and sirens of desire. To whine and howl late at night, dialating me with fear.

This shameless and perverted eyeball, a dreadful Cyclops revealing the sordid truth of it all. My heart stripped of pride, my mind erect with penis envy.

It used to happen in the Bijou balcony, sometimes down on the dirty, Coca-Cola sticky floor. Then at the YMCA and even in the dorms late at night.

Surely that’s where enchantment lies, I mused. Beguiled by the Eye’s erstwhile errant ways. It loitered, it forgot, it taught me vagarant ways.

It still guides me even now, casting its evil spell on my weak-kneed ways. Looking back on my life, a long series of vagrant, vanished interludes.

The Young Stonecutter

The young stonecutter’s angles, so marvelous and graceful. All seven inches of him, lifting his uncut challice toward my worshipping lips.

Carving tombstones with compassion, his craftman’s hands taking pity for the dead. Feeling even more pity for the living, more than I ever dared for.

He always had that uplifted look, as tho some impalpable thing were inspiring him. I felt the same way, when he stood nude in the workshop.

The young stonecutter died, everytime he quietly lost it. Seven inches for seven angels, each angel I knelt in the rain and prayed for most fervently.

He was pale as a ghost, working inside the tombstone factory all day. I’d catch him after work, and take him home for dinner and a lay.

When he came and cried out, the angels held me back. Then none of them lifted a finger, when my lips slipped & sipped his slimy hard marble stomach.

And then I knew why, all the angels seemed to envy. How a young stonemason like him could create such stonework, and then get stoned at night with me.

The young stonecutter had his own angels, seven inches angled upward against his hard stomach. Hiding his face in the pillow, I could only taste him.

The angels stuck close to him tho, keeping their counsel down there in his pubic hair. Each evening coming to share, their mobile and vocal powers.

I could hear them at night, after he went to sleep. Quarreling over the date in harsh, falsetto voices, when they’d take him away to be with them.

But they would calm down and put contention away, once the delicate marble rose of the day was grasped in his strong hands, chistled and hammered.

His hands are callused and hard, they make me forget north or south. The veins on his arms are like vines in a vineyard, his eyes friendlier than words.

But often when we made love, I heard the angels lonely overhead. Struggling against the wind, calling me to hold the young stonecutter tighter and tighter.

Simply Speechless

I must confess it’s no speech or act of divine utterance from my lips and lisping tongue. It’s a gay enigma, like being struck by lightening playing golf.

I’m victimized everytime I’m around him, but I simply don’t give up. I’m cross-eyed with wonder and pain, myriad petals of delusion confuse me.

Until at last I finish him off, my young strengthless Atlas drained dry down to the last squirt. Such a dark and moody look he gives me, now I know.

From then on I’m an exile, I’m in a foreign country every step I take. He speaks a foreign language, his taste is bitter-sweet and I want some more.

He doesn’t like my tongue up his asshole, and yet he sits on my face more and more. Thin hips mean and cruel, grapes of wrath legs more than I can endure?

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