Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sebastian, Mon Amour


“He comes to us in sections,
scaring us a little at a time,
like a movie monster too
horrible to be shown all
as once.”—Vito Russo,
The Celluloid Closet


A monster sacré—
Sacrificial like Jesus Christ
A profane version, of course.

A human actor’s face—
Too gauche to be a young god
A boyish Sebastian instead.

Miss Vidal constantly—
Arguing with the Jesuit censor
Adapting “Suddenly, Last Summer.”

No cute Sebastian’s face—
Allowed on the Silver Screen
Simply too obscene, my dears.

Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t see—
That old closety song goes
Driving Miss Vidal simply nuts.

“Suddenly” much too sudden—
Liz as Sebastian’s chic procurer
Her see-thru bathing suit shocking!

Hustling the young jail bait—
There on the tourist boy-beach
Cabeza de Lobo Oh La La!!!

Mankiewicz’s 1959 shocker—
Voluptuous Liz in her see-thru
Revealing white bathing suit.

Cathy the brand-new Fag Hag—
Bitter Violet Venable left out of
Williams’ faggy dramaturgy.

Sebastian’s gay seduction—
Of the cannibal boyz of Cabeza
Luring them with Liz’s nude flesh.

Permitting Sebastian to be—
A part of the pearly str8t tableau
Of young male desire & sacrifice.


My dear, if only his—
Garçonnière could talk:
Sebastian’s private studio.

Sickly, pill-popping aesthete—
Sullen and paranoid with his
Only friends being “fag hags.”

Violet Venable his first one—
Then Catherine Holly next,
Beautiful, big-breasted cousin.

Who was more the fag?—
Sebastian or Montgomery Cliff?
Only Liz Taylor knows for sure.

Sebastian Venable—
His misshapen sexuality
Profoundly troubling toe str8ts.

He’s a hybrid creation—
Of ancient mythology both
Intolerable and troublant.

Liz as queer bait—
Suddenly jerking cute bad boyz
Into young male flesh awareness.

Queer bait for jail bait—
Sebastian gets the str8t ones
On the beach of Cabeza de Lobo.

The only voice-over is his—
Inside Sebastian’s head as he
Sucks off chicken heterosexuals.

Liz as his muy macho lure—
A homosexual recruitment device
For getting the young good stuff.

Liz’s flashback dialog—
Mankiewicz’s favorite mode:
Sebastian’s to-die-for boyz.

Tantalizing suspense—
The story of what happened
Suddenly that last summer.

Whispering Sebastian’s secrets—
To Montgomery Cliff slowly
Dissolves lisping into flashbacks.

The nun’s surveillance—
At St. Mary’s asylum with rules
Against Liz smoking cigarettes.

Liz puts it out in the palm—
The clinging nun as censorship
Like with Williams’ “Baby Doll.”

Slowly bit by bit—
Liz reveals to Cliff line by line,
Letting the flashback images flow.

So that we want to know too—
The play’s enigmatic narrative
Now the film’s cinematography.

Moving slowly but surely—
From epistemology of the closet
To describe gay pornography.

“I can’t wear that,” Liz says—
“I’d be nude as a Jay-Bird!!!”
But she wore it anyway…

A one-piece bathing suit—
Water making it transparent
He dragged Liz into the water.

She came out all wet—
Looking totally naked with all
The boyz pawing the fence…

Feasting their hungry eyes—
“Suddenly” brutally becoming erect
Bulging in their skimpy suits.

Sebastian’s homoerotic tableau—
His psychic wiliness provoking
The spectacle of young male sex.

The queer fugitive’s mode—
Getting off on cheap thrills using
Liz’s body for his fleeting pleasure.

Nights down on the beach—
Flashback blowjobs slipping off
The edge of the movie screen…

Anonymous young men—
Chicken beefcake poses suddenly
Diabolically-possessed jailbait.

Such queer straight bait—
Getting off on Cabeza de Lobo
Sebastian sucking them dry.

A surge of protuberances—
Liz’s shame his kitschy insignia
“Suddenly” adolescent cum!!!

At night on the beach—
No annoying public visibility
Just Liz’s forbidden allure…

Her phantom nudity—
Enough to turn on the whole
Transubstantiation mystery…

The typical blowjob scenario—
Fantasy fellatio generating its
Own str8t young male excitement.

A young male grateful and—
Not caring whether it’s woman
Or man’s lips bestowing it at night.

Taking advantage of Sebastian’s—
Faggot cocksucker lips and money
Ogling at Liz’s big American tits.

The Cabeza de Lobo beach—
Like Fire Island a gay getaway
For young damp translucent males.


How could such a lovely—
Exquisitely innocent embodiment
Of beauty end up lobotomized?

All of her instinctive—
Physical charm and grace reduced
To disgusting blithering nothingness?

Surely Tennessee Williams—
Thought of himself ending up into
The same damned-to death setup?

Sharing on the stage and screen—
Far more than the anxious-making
Images of handsome young men?

If Williams had been the one—
Viciously lobotomized like Liz or his
Sister, then life would be pure hell.

Wasn’t Williams actually Sebastian?—
Both with gnarly Violet Venable mothers
Bent on lobotomizing any competition?

All of Williams’ physical pleasures—
His plays and Hollywood movies the
Nervous retelling of what could’ve been?

Letting the world know the secret—
His masculine psychic castration that
Might have happened to him instead?

No hot-and-bothered romances—
Castrated/lobotomized before desire
Mock-heroic, dangerous, paranoid?

Ending up creatively morphed—
Sebastian’s invisibility there on the
Catholic censored Silver Screen?

No Marlon Brando animality—
No Montgomery Cliff sensibility
No Blanche DuBois gay fantasy?

All of being who he’d become—
“Suddenly” not Summer but instead
Locked inside a Coffin-Closet?

Everything taken for granted—
Kip and all his other young lovers
Lobotomized, cut-out of his heart?

Not just brain-dead puzzlement—
But a deep sad prefrontal resentment
Full of tragic rage for his sister…

Who could’ve been himself?—
Done in the same way Violet Venable
Doing in Liz in “Suddenly, Last Summer.”

Consider such striking paradoxes—
Contradicting our gay common senses
And ask ourselves, what if it was us?

Even the youngest kid—
In the movie audience would’ve got it
The paranoid point right away pronto.

Don’t ask, don’t think—
Lobotomizing the gay psyche simply
Keeps us Sebastian boyz dead.

“Suddenly” queer desire—
Unbridles the bait paradox by
Telling us something that’s not…

Behind the fantasmatics—
Liz’s flesh used to bait youngmen
Male flesh revealed instead.

Sebastian’s same-sex indecency—
No more than a hand, a pair of legs,
A pair of Cabeza de Lobo lips…

Such flashback obviousness—
Liz’s body releasing the male genie
Magic lamp granting fag wishes.

And so we approach now—
Without censorship Sebastian’s
Homosexual “murder” climax.

Cabeza de Lobo lobotomy—
Tennessee’s perhaps lesbian sister
Blanche DuBois Lesbos as well?

The kindness of strangers—
A gang of cages-aux-folles twits
Lame plumage and tiara crest.

Dark lines of death—
An elderly polite Heurtebise doctor
As insane asylum chauffeur.

“Homosexual panic”?—
How does a playwright resolve
His own Night of the Iguana?

Tied up in a hammock—
Mariachi Mexican boys dancing
Ava Gardner cooing swan songs?


This Sebastian sketch—
So sparse, its minimalist details
Hinging on a one-act play.

To see one’s Lobo paranoia—
Persevering over its prefrontal
Lobotomized boyhood flashbacks.

To see Gore Vidal adapting—
That word “Suddenly” into a new
“Suddenly” kind of fresco…

Frisson, fiction, seamlessly—
Juncture of crossbreeding plays
And films into new queer venues?

Tennessee’s gender itself—
As a gay male rendered eerily
As surreal literal Autobiography?

Surely it wasn’t very easy—
Or very comforting to see a new
Neo-narrative version of one’s story?

Having already put distance—
Between one’s homo-panic & desires
Versus his lobotomy close-call?

Ending up worse than Minnelli’s—
“Tea and Sympathy” film version of
Tom Lee’s gay “coming out” affair?

The death of St. Sebastian—
The Death of a Thousand Gay Cuts
The death of Tennessee’s sister…

Such a “close call” to near-death—
Almost losing all sense of queerdom
Sexual identity and being a writer…

“Suddenly, Last Summer”—
As the reenactment of the nightmare
Grotesque surgical façade.

All squeezed into one act—
Lasting only 40 minutes in performance
Amplified into excruciating 2-hour film…

Violet Venable the old witch—
Katherine Hepburn dramatizing
Tennessee’s brutal shrewish mother.

Subjecting her own daughter—
Lobotomized martyrdom like Liz
Do my faggy eyes deceive me?

This recurring traumatic trope—
Castrated Brick, enraged Stanley,
Dying Sebastian, Orpheus descending?

Liz supposedly cured by Cliff—
A single line for each screen scene
In that insufferably hot London studio.

Mankiewicz wanting to ditch Cliff—
Too strung out on pills and booze
But Liz insisting on Cliff’s role…

Tennessee’s identification—
With Sebastian with all the same
Gay pathogenic side-effects.

Did Tennessee have the—
Premonition of knowing that his
Psyche would be ever whole again?

Do corporal manifestos—
Whether on stage or film treat
The symptoms of his Lobo-pain?

Or does memory retrieved—
Have a lower priority then merely
Dr. Cukrowicz’ license to heal?

How does one get around—
The “prefrontal lobotomy” drama
“Suddenly, Last Summer” flashback?

Would some truth-serum help?—
Injection giving access to truth,
Would hypnosis relieve anxiety?

Does psychomancy work?—
When it comes to “talk therapy”
Show and tell dramaturgy?

Can we related to such a story—
Find ourselves sharing the simple act
Of having our brains cut, disconnected?

Is it a deep-down sickness—
Is it a fresh show of force to undo
The unconscious Cathy cathexis?

How to counteract sad relapses—
A literal backsliding, a déjà vu sliding
Off the wagon of str8t sobriety?

Tennessee lifting himself—
Into a standing position on the stage
Opposite himself in the audience.

Can any music track salute—
The achievement within oneself
Projecting oneself on stage or screen?

Simultaneously becoming oneself—
Both str8t and crooked all the way
From eyeballs to anus once again?

“Suddenly” may be too sudden—
Perhaps advanced sexuality has its
Problems no playwright can resolve?

Did Tennessee Williams expect—
Catharsis to clinch things up nicely
Offering him a “No Exit” way out?

Is “Suddenly” relevant to all this—
Beyond the force of St. Sebastian
A tribute to SM wishful thinking?

The troubling performance—
Then waiting for the NYTimes reviews
Like Williams and Kazan did?

Liberating yourself like Liz—
Talking your way outta Lobotomy
Thru Cliff’s Cukrowicz so wise?

Better left to the professionals?—
Forgetting sway of romance & revenge
Do we delight in Lobo-horrors?

“Suddenly” it’s all over—
Str8t or gay or bisexual young Eros
We return to polite solitude?

Solicitude becomes indifference—
A last & not least Sebastian-esque
Reason for feeling unlucky in love?


“Suddenly, Last Summer”—
Becoming an object of some interest
A film crit obsession of mine.

The Sebastian image saturating—
The Renaissance with endless portraits,
Representations of homo-desire.

Yukio Mishima has an orgasm—
Gazing admiringly at young Sebastian
Tied-up, pierced by sharp arrows.

Invisible Sebastian Venable—
Yet nothing stops the immense gay
Semiotic enrichment that happens.

“Suddenly” without noticing—
Explicit erotic male images
Addressing homo-paranoid eyeballs.

Seeing through Tennessee Williams—
The prefrontal lobotomy fears he had
His sister needlessly subjected to.

The same with electro-shock voodoo—
Doing in James Whale and Sylvia Plath
Plus how many other innocent victims?

The castration and sacrifice—
This Sebastian-esque lobotomizing of
Homosexual desires into nothingness.

Making me realize perhaps—
How as well as why “Suddenly”
Opens up gay oeuvres for us all.

Sebastian Venable poses—
In the Garçonnière of our minds
Modern mythopoetic perspective.

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