Saturday, August 27, 2011

Poems for the Southern Review

Art deco murals on the downstairs walls of
Allen Hall long-time home of the
LSU English department

Poems for The

Southern Review

Trickle Down Haiku for Jane Springer
Pretty As You Please" for Jane Springer
Donchaknow for John Hazard Wildman

“Trickle Down Haiku”
—for Jane Springer

Allen Hall tea room—
Forces appreciation
Of the slutty word

“Pretty As You Please”
—for Jane Springer

Pretty As You Please (adj.): I was simply smitten with young handsome Bad Boy DuBois, but he turned me down when I asked him for date. Because he told me I’d pegged the wrong man.

It turns out he's the bastard of rape—his mom Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski his father, that rude muscular Pollack stud in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

He was so “Pretty As You Please”—hanging around Allen Hall in his loafers, cruising all the girls. I’m not sure, but I hear he's hung like a Kentucky Derby racehorse. Oh please Lord Jesus—I'd simply die and go to heaven, if he’d just whisper the f-word in my ears tonight in bed.

I’ve seen him guzzle down a six-pack of JAX, playing Poker all weekend with all those dirty Creole and Cajun boyz in the bayou. He gets stoned and then even the alligators and skunks go runnin for their lives. I would too—straight to bed!!!

He’s no good—just like his father that Big Easy thug Stanley Kowalski. Poor Blanche DuBois—the things a Southern belle has to go through. All those long humid nights—down on River Road by the Mississippi.

If only I could nibble on his stinkin pig’s feel—and peal back that water moccasin uncut foreskin of his. Slick as shiny frog’s skin—I’d suck the juice outta his crawdaddy head all night long.

Talk about cat on a hot tin roof—stark naked and necking in Allen Hall!!! Behind locked doors—spread-eagled on my desk. Surrounded by jars of empty K-Y—workin another one outta him.

—for John Hazard Wildman

“I’m kinda, dontchaknow,” he said.

“I know,” I said. “I’m kinda that way myself.”

That’s how John Hazard Wildman and I got to know each other—back then in the early Sixties. There at that great Southern Institution of Napoleonic Law and Huey P. Long Skullduggery.

“You’re not from around here, sweetheart,” he said.

I sipped my mint julep, took another toke of the Mexican joint and leaned back in bed. “Well, it’s a long story.”

Isn’t that what happens, after a couple of people get intimate? John was my creative writing professor, there in the English Department. That’s how people die in hotel fires, according to Tennessee Williams.

It was like living in a Banana Republic, back then in the decadent Deep South delta bourbon atmosphere of Louisiana State University. A Thirties nostalgic ambience oozed from the campus architecture, just like I oozed and oozed because of all the exquisite sensuous humidity.

The Kingfish still ruled over the university and Baton Rouge the State Capitol. His presence clung and hung down from the Stadium, the Huey P. Long Fieldhouse, the tall stately art deco-streamline modern skyscraper capitol building—everything simply reeked with Thirties melancholic Gone Kennedy Camelot nostalgia.

Both JFK and Kingfish dead and gone—assassinated by the same old usual suspects and jealous assassins of The People Who Be. It was like living in a sad Mausoleum of the Living Dead back then in the early Sixties—with the Viet Nam War coming down. And other big changes—like integration of the university for the first time.

Gnarled, ancient Magnolia trees—standing there so well-hung with Spanish Moss in the putrid sweet honeysuckle evenings. With the sluggish, muddy Old Man Mississippi—slowly oozing nearby west of campus. So turgid and moody in now hurry—flowing all the way down to the decadent Big Easy, the oldest seaport on the Gulf of Mexico.

We made love again—there in that decaying bungalow of his on Highland Road south of campus. He was my favorite professor back then—ensconced there in Allen Hall on the Quad next to the library. He retired in 1968 and went back to Mobile, Alabama. He’d got his Ph.D. from Brown—he’d published many books on English Lit and a novel or two.

I called him “Hazard” back then—his middle name. Because back then being gay was rather hazardous. Most of the other English professors in Allen Hall were, of course, str8t and taught their classes that way. But it takes a truly gay guide to teach such Southern writers—as William Faulkner I soon found out.

Reading “Absalom, Absalom” and “Sanctuary”—propped up late at night in bed. The scandalous love affairs of Quentin, Bon the Beautiful and Popeye… There’s a reason why decadent southern literature—was so exquisitely decadent, my dear…

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