Sunday, September 18, 2011

Betrayed By Rita Hayworth

MCONDO Late Show

Betrayed By Rita Hayworth
Spider Woman

“I needed more
space and freedom”
—Manuel Puig

Suddenly finding oneself—
Doomed to the awful fate of
Miss Borges’ pathetic fictive
Pierre Menard…

Helplessly subverted by—
Being queer Solzhenetisyn
Toiling away in some tiresome
Weary Str8t Gulag…

What’s a poet to do?—
How to translate Rita
Lying dormant like some
Infantesque Frankenstein?

Miss Puig turns to me—
Saying forget Autobiography
My dear, imitate some gay
Writer and entertain me!

Writing Against Oneself

Stultified & stultifying—
The story of so many lives
The political alternate being
“Too Gay, Too Gay.”

15-year-old Lawrence King—
Eighth grader at E.O. Green Junior
High School in Oxnard shot dead
By McInerney a str8t classmate.

King supposedly taunting—
And flirting with handsome McInerney,
Wearing jewelry and makeup to school,
Often in high-heeled boots.

Shot twice in the back—
Of his head while typing an English
Paper in a computer lab in front of
The teacher and all the students.

Is this the choice gay youth—
Must make, living in the closet
Or being bullied and murdered
For coming out too gay?

No wonder young Puig—
As film student at Cinecittá
In Rome ditched directing
In favor of writing instead.

Being a spectator—
In front of the screen rather
Than authoritative director
Behind the Silver Screen.

Subverting Rita Hayworth

Film scripts soon—
Showing how autobiography is
Simply much too complicated for
One’s own cinematic site of creativity.

Subversively translating Rita—
Reconstructing the plot of the film
As a device Puig uses all the way up
Thru Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Monologues, conversations—
Letters, diaries Molina’s forms of
Everyday narration serving to relive
Her past, loves, identity, sexuality.

Film unveiling mass culture—
Thru her cellmate, a political prisoner
Helping us to analyze the values
And ideologies ruling lives & desires.

Miss Puig writes against herself—
Sticks to spoken texts or written ones
By the characters themselves, giving
Chapters descriptive titles.

Like “Toto’s Monolgue, 1941”—
The characters speak for themselves
Rebelling against authority and yet
Struggling with it as well.

Gay/Str8t Betrayal

There’s this scene—
In Journal of a Thief when
Genet’s lover Stilitano gets
Lost in a House of Mirrors.

The fairground audience—
Laughs at the spectable and
Miss Genet does nothing to
Help his handsome gangster.

Genet betrays Stilitano—
Weeps yet takes a gay perverse
Satisfaction in being a voyeur
To this one-armed youth’s angst.

Usually it’s the other way—
The gays continuously betrayed
By the aloof stra8t coolness
Even homicidal Oxnard hate.

So when Puig plays with—
Betrayal “by” Rita Hayworth
It’s his femme fatale alter ego
That’s getting even, my dears.

Authority frightens fags—
And yet we’re drawn to it
As surely as a nelly moth
Is drawn to butchy flame.

Blood and Sand

Outed by a flick—
It’s easy for such a thing
To happen to a girl creating
Mucho ambivlance & desire.

Tyrone Power so primal—
Just ripe for filmic betrayal
Filling Puig with gay sexuality
And unresolved queer longing.

Whether his father—
Or how many Argentine men
Betraying Puig with muy macho
Distainfully dishing his faghood?

Who is Rita Hayward?—
It’s Puig her filmic pseudonym
Margarita Cansino, daughter of
An ambitious Spanish dancer.

Puig is the star herself—
She sees & imagines her own image
Up on the screen betraying lives
As star & agent of infidelity…

An androgynous exercise—
Betraying Stiltano and Powers
While being ambiguous minipulator
Ending up betraying herself too…

Muy Macho / Male Incest

“The polyvalence of
the original title reflects,
mutiple betrayers and
betrayals.”—Suzanne Jill Levine,
The Subversive Scribe: Translating
Latin American Fiction

The novel ends with a letter—
Unsent by Puig’s “father to an
Older brother he once loved.

Seeing oneself as the victim—
Of betrayal by those who one
Deeply, passionately loves
Creates a Labyrinth of Desire.

A Machiavellian conspiracy—
Of irresolvable ambivlence
Toward oneself and others
Unresolvable & never-ending.

Betrayal is “born”—
By this kind of Outing being
Betrayed by oneself both the
Victim and victimizer.

To “be” betrayed by-
Rita Hayworth as well as
“To know” the betrayal
A cumly conundrum.

The vulgar vagarities—
The colloquial immediacy and
Gallery of betrayed voices
Inside one’s desperate heart.

To love & be loved—
By a handsome Tyrone Powers
Or a hung Stilitano kid brother
To betray and be betrayed…

Blood and Sand—
Betrayed by Rita Hayworth
To be outed by Hollywood
Blood and Sperm.

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