Monday, September 5, 2011

Queering the Bridge


Calvary Express
Mexican Mistake
Hart….Crane (2012)

O Carib Crabs
Eucalyptus Palsy
Brooklyn Bridge

Hart Crane / Tennessee Williams
Driven At Last To The Parks

Repulsive New Yorkers:
From Fifth Avenue Up
Fifth Avenue Going Down
From Third Avenue On
Seen from the “L”
Sailorboyz in Bed

Suddenly, Last Summer
Big Easy Boy

At Hart Crane’s Tomb
Panorama Prima Donnas
Key West
To Walt Whitman
Lost Boyz of Paradise

Calvary Express

“emblematic of a
century’s missteps”
—Brian Reed, Hart Crane:
After His Lights

Unwritten, suppressed, sidelined—
Blacklisted, deferred, feared, doubted,
Postponed, closeted, don’t ask or tell,
Even by Hart Crane himself.

Garcia Lorca in Brooklyn too—
Testing, transforming the future:
Transnational, multiracial, multilingual
Coalition of gay avant-garde writers.

At a party in Brooklyn the crux—
Crane at one end of the room with his
Sailors and Lorca at the other end
With his bunch of cute sailorboyz.

Dialog deferred as lost opportunity—
The Anglo-Black-Latino gay diaspora
That Calgary Express could’ve healed
The Bridge’s queer salvific vision lost.

Mexican Mistake

“What would The Bridge
have looked like if Crane
had possessed the time,
resolve, health, inspiration
to fulfill his 1928 scheme?”
—Brian Reed, Hart Crane:
After His Lights

Mexico was a big mistake—
Crane lamented at the end of
His ill-fated Guggenheim stay
In the Land of the Aztecs.

The Broken Tower too big—
Too old and ancient, too vast
And immense for just one poet
To encompass it all in one work.

I should’ve stayed in the States—
Explored the Mississippi and
Finished The Bridge up there
Written The Calvary Express.

Instead I got diverted—
No immediate literary context
No African-American poetics
I’d left The Bridge undone.

Hart….Crane (2012)
—for Paul Kaufman

They feared you, Crane….you were gay.
They hated you, Crane….you eclipsed their str8t sun.
They smirked at you, Crane…with your Orizaba dive.

They need you, Crane…your Bridge outta nowhere.
They want you, Crane…they’re calling you back.
They write about you, Crane….like I’m doing now.

I see you, Crane….in gay bars and queer clubs.
I read you, Crane…online, naked, unashamed.
I know you, Crane…suicides are common with us.

I ignore you, Crane….I’m not a poet.
I discuss you, Crane….in bars, classrooms, offices.
I gossip about you, Crane…your sailorboy exploits.

I understand you, Crane….your salvific solitudes.
I think about you, Crane….each day I go to work.
I know you’re gone, Crane…yet you’re still here.

I like you, Crane….your Bridge, your Tower.
I wish Crane….you could’ve finished Calvary Express.
I know you, Crane….but you know me better.

O Carib Crabs

I’ve got the crabs bad—
I must’ve have got them in Mexico
Or maybe down below deck with that
Handsome mulatto kid on the Orizaba.

Each little itchy crab—
A terribly unnerving tarantula scuttling
Around down there, zigzagging like
Fiddle crabs side-slipping in my shorts.

The leering drugstore pharmacist—
Narrows his mustard scansioning eyes,
Invariably when crabs breed themselves
They’re conscripting to shadowy pubes.

Then the glozening decanter dims—
The shiny crescents of their tiny bellies.
Slow applause flows into dead synosures
There but for the grace of God go I.

Eucalyptus Palsy

I don’t mourn my subversion—
There’s nothing down there in the white
Sands of the coral beach other than the
Anagrammatized names of everything.

I suppose I could count them all—
The nacreous frames of tropic deaths
Brutal necklaces of shells, lobster loves
Eucalyptus palsy in wrinkled shadows.

But I’m not into past names now—
Lovers' names, goodbye names, death’s
Little tombstone crypts for everything.
Sighing syllables coming and going.

But at least down here—
I’m Captain of the Doubloon Isle
Mildew takes care of everything above
The kid’s groin keeps me busy below.

The slow evisceration of my brain—
It’s a long-term lobotomy matinee
Even tho the kid wants to visit again
Brooklyn Bridge my former haunts.

Brooklyn Bridge

“whispers antiphonal
in azure swing”
—Hart Crane,
Brooklyn Bridge

How many hung-over dawns—
How many inviolate sailorboy curves
Filed away, never to be disclosed
But hastening again in other eyes?

Cinematic, panoramic scenes—
Fast as speeding skyscraper elevators
Dropping us from our day down
Into another sailorboy lay.

Speeding subway shuttlings—
Sailor dives down by the wharves
Under the shadowy piers I’ve waited
Submerged in cabled curveships.

Cipher-scripts of Crane’s lovers—
Young sailors legs bent in bed
Their cabled male cordage coiled in
Tight soft nutsacs full of jizz.

Blacked pubic tides flow—
Delirium of liquid fleshy pearls
On the half-shell, oyster-thick
Seaport sullen and moody.

How many seagulls dipping—
And pivoting their wings overhead
Immaculate dirty sailorboyz undone
Squirting their brains out for him?

Hart Crane / Tennessee Williams

He’d just disappear sometimes—
He’d be gone for days, taking subways
To lonely Coney Island, doing what
Poets did, doing what Tennessee did.

Crane lost his sailor loverboy—
Williams took the same sordid path
After losing Kip in P-Town on the beach
So easy to be brutal, cruising after that.

Dark pungent streets—
Seamen’s dives along Brooklyn and
Hoboken waterfronts, it was all there,
Same roughtrade path to destruction.

Self, self, self—
How wearisome and ugly. Poisoning
His work, cruising compulsively, rudderless
Distracted, corroded energy, loneliness.


“And of course
there is Hart Crane”
—Tennessee Williams,

Escaping from words—
Into sensations like Rimbaud
Turbulent with revolution, permitting
Articulation thru nights of absinthe.

Trading the fire that burns—
Destroying everything, even oneself
Such self-immolation, how does it
End-up so reasonable inside a book?

Depending on oneself is like—
Depending on a broken reed, inclined
To extravagance of speech, too much
Dependence on kindness of strangers.


“his sister confined to an
asylum, never to be released,
a gnawing fear the same
mental disarrangement
may develop in him”
—Lyle Leverich, Tom: The
Unknown Tennessee Williams

Writing constantly—
Frantically, feeling like Hart Crane
Growing gradually demented like his
Sister, so that he had to write more
Than Crane did, before it was too late.

Driven At Last To The Parks

“I have been driven at last
to the parks. The first night
brought me a most strenuous
wooing and the largest
instrument I have ever handled.
Europa and the Bull are now
entirely passé.”—Hart Crane,
Letter to Wilbur Underwood
Collected Poems, Selected Letters

You gave me your Big Daddy, you naughty Bad Boy of Central Park! All your Laurels, your Everlastings, your Peonies, your hardy Perennials, your precious percipient Posies!

Your blooming, pubescent Effulgence, glowing in the dark underbrush of our secret Saturday night rendezvous hideaway.

Oh Snooky, dear! Oh Honey Lou! I’m Leda, stunned in the reeds. I’m poor dizzy Blanche, ravished and fucked silly by that dumb Pollock Stanley Kowalski.

Gasp! Gasp after Gasp! How can I possibly describe your Enormous Youthful Endowment? Such lush drippings, so lavender, so mid-mauve, such honeyed outpourings!

How can such an innocent Cherub-winged, angelic little hustler, be burdened with such an excessively well-endowed, veritable flash flood of youthful rude male libido?

Such an enticingly monstrous piece of exaggerated, sensuous, flaring, erect self-indulgent oozing, dripping, gushing my way?

Woman to woman, let be share the pulsing truth with you, how beyond all natural proportion, his insane Ka-splatting shamelessly up my nose?!

The Peek-a-Boo, the shock of my honey-heart turned into mincemeat, my Tartlet lips pricked, parting a modest bush, stuck like a fly to cheesy, sticky Head!

What a woman has to go through, the manly morasses, the big ball blandishments, the mystery of being mired in so fancy, so candied a quagmire?

Surely every thing is downhill after this, leaving me unsatisfied and needy for more. All modesty has been thrown out the window, what shall I do now?

I fear future tricks will now only be disappointments, a few insignificant penis-peninsulas and asshole-archipelagos. Nothing Platonic, I’m a sizequeen now.

Repulsive New Yorkers:
From Fifth Avenue Up
—after Djuna Barnes

Someday beneath some bright—
Capricious marquee, spreading its
Blinking lights, we’ll know you for
The queen you really were.

For though one look at you—
Squirreling your way outta the staid
Midwest, gave yourself away with
Your legs half strangled in lace.

Seeing you in Central Park—
Your cool pale eyes straining to
Touch those languorous anonymous
Obscene pricks and nice thighs.

Like Tennessee Williams—
You managed to escape to feel
And recoil in fear what those fertile
Fields urged in your blushing ears.

Fifth Avenue Going Down
—after Djuna Barnes

In the humid Brooklyn night—
In the heat your damp chemise lies
Pulsing beneath the beat of young
Sailorboyz fucking you like crazy.

See yourself sagging, bulging—
Your composure beginning to slip
Wishing you had some vague vagina
Instead of a tight, sore, orgy asshole.

Once we would have called this—
Not very womanly or manly either
Saliva dripping from your puffy lips
Plunging your face into the pillow.

What would your mother say—
Back there in conservative Missouri
That naked grimace look over your
Shoulder, complaisantly full of cum?

From Third Avenue On
—after Djuna Barnes

And now you cruise the docks—
Whenever the Fleet comes in and
What trick or game of dice will you
Use to seduce roughtrade tonight?

Cruising the waterfront late—
You sleep all day long without any
Conscience or desire to confess your
Skanky, upturned legs of the night.

They swear in your ears—
Dirty prayers and hurried curses
All your friends have dispersed
Thru your window stars aghast.

You have a vacant space—
There on your face and your grin goes
Vacantly off into space with nothing
But your high hurt cries to hear.

Seen from the “L”
—after Djuna Barnes

Crane stands nude stretching—
The molested young sailor thrown out
Down the dusty length of stairs
Another one’s always there.

She doesn’t really care much—
You’ve seen one you’ve seen them all
Chain-smoking her way down into vice
Slipping thru crooked alleys into crime.

Crane has lost his petulant youth—
He no longer blooms vividly vivacious
He’s uncouth and repulsive-looking now
Hung-over, drooping eyes looking down.

It’s twilight time for the illicit—
His satiated fingernails digging into
Her sweaty palms, dark-rimmed
Sunken bedroom eyes bleary

Sailorboyz in Bed
—after Djuna Barnes

Sailorboy A

He sprawled out in bed—
A shifty-eyed, sexy tramp steamer
With a tough sinewy muscular look like
That kid below deck on the Orizaba.

Sailorboy B

He gave a hurried shove—
Like the Titanic sinking down fast
With a look on his face like some
Dumb mug of beer gone flat.

Suddenly, Last Summer
—after Tennessee Williams
(and Hart Crane’s Voyages)


Fresh truffles scare me—
Especially young Spanish urchins
Leering at Liz there on Cadenza del Lobo
In her pee-a-book see-thru bathing suit.

But it excites me to no end—
Knowing I have what they desperately
Want and ogle at with their tight
Skimpy trunks revealing all.

And in answer to Liz’s screams—
As I drag her off the beach into the
Foaming sun-beat folding waves
My gaze at them tells what I want.

Sunburned, lean, half-naked—
They know I want to caress their thighs
To get my lips on what they deny
Knowing my cruel lips goes with the tits.


My faggy wink at cute boyz—
Rimjobs and lewd louche leanings,
Their hard bellies moonward bend down,
Blowjob inflections of my love.

Take this Fag-Hag, she’s yours—
As long as I get your scepter smegma
Your young str8t piety for Liz’s breasts
While I slowly demean your dick.

And afterwards in the hotel—
Adagios of islands, young Prodigal sons,
Complete their dark confessions nightly
Letting their big veins spell out lust.

But for now teasing them—
Their penniless urchin palms needy
For rich tourists like me who knows how
To bend foam and waves with money...


Such cumly consanguinity bares—
These tenderized little toughie hoodlums
Retrieves them from the sea and blue sky
Resigning themselves to my reliquary lips.

Sucking it, stroking it, swallowing it—
Liz has him above, I have him below
Once he’s swollen and enthroned in
Bed, his sullen lithe limbs grow weak.

Presuming the worst, fag carnality—
Each single wad a transmemberment
There’s nothing quite like it back home
The way Spanish boyz can go until dawn.

Liz enjoys my wide spindrift gaze—
Paradise please and another martini!
O Conquistador galleons of Latino boys,
Bequeath us your hidden treasures!


Count the cumly hours and days—
Suppose a spectrum of spluge and waves
Part the sea with seagull wings high
Get them loaded so their cum can flow.

Chilly albatross curse me not—
What greater love can bad boyz give
Other than a sneer and pushing me
Away, how greedy I am for immortality,

All male fragrances really stink—
Irrefragably young hoodlums really
All they do is simply mooch and sneak
Around wanting to steal everything.

I pretend to ignore their boldness—
Their criminal pretending to be simply
Innocent boyz, when really they’re not
Which made fellatio even better.


Liz feels sorry for them—
Feels motherly and sickeningly sweet
And overly-protective for them, but
I treat them like the dirt they are.

As the summer wears on—
The suddenness wears out, they pout
And whine, I begin to tire of them,
Bored with the Cabeza Beach Resort
Yawning at the same old tricks.

Maddeningly they realize my ennui—
Boyz are logically good at picking up
Such Sugar Daddy vibes, it’s their
Business to know what Kept Boyz know.

And so, the gang got together—
Batting their eyes and licking their lips
Easy come, easy go was the word that
Got spread around, pissing them off.


But before we could flee Cabeza—
Fatal tides caught up with me and
The carnivorous boyz seeing revenge
Gathered together to get me good.

All the mutual blood and sperm—
Mingling and shared in our bodies,
Down my throat and up my ass,
There was no brotherly love left.

Obscene words, nasty insinuations—
Mad Liz and I worried expectant, secretly
Trying to get a taxi for our getaway
Only to be cornered in the streets.

Merciless sneering eyes staring—
Snaking along the bay estuaries
Their frozen cruel smiles and swift
Steps behind us as they trailed us.


They didn’t want Liz—
Only they knew the greedy touch
Of my lips and hands doing to them
What no tourist had ever done before.

Their eyes flashed in anger—
“Surely you misunderstood me,” I said
knowing full well that I’d raped and
molested them down to the last drop.

But now, they were chasing me—
Up the hill thru the streets and back-alleys
There was no escape from their curses
They wanted to get even with me.

There was no dark dungeon—
Good enough for filth like me and
I knew that that bright day in Spain
I was going to be eaten alive.


The once cute swimmers—
Were now naked, hungry cannibals
Wanting to devour me like I’d done
To them so many cumly times.

At the top of the hill—
Liz screamed bloody murder as
They caught up with me and did
What savage headhunters did.

I screamed and screamed—
And steadily as a shell secretes
I oozed and oozed my life out.
How sharp their canine teeth…

It was a cruel and savage death—
Not quaintly pierced by little Cupid
Arrows for queer bishops and gay
Roman Vatican Cardinals.

Other Sebastian queers—
Got off easy compared with me
Such ferocious unspeakable pain.
Liz just screamed and screamed.

Big Easy Boy
—after Hart Crane,
“Southern Cross,”
The Bridge

I wanted you bad, and I got you—
Big Easy Boy of the Deep South,
Utterly and completely as surely as
Scarlet O’Hara got hers but good.

You were so high, cool and aloof—
Calmly, slowly smoldering like fire
Not of the lowly heavens above
Surely from Atlanta burning below.

Whatever you wanna call it—
You naked handsome Adam god
In the dormitory showers standing
There totally fig-less, so erect.

How proud and vain you were—
Derisively scorning my totally
Amazed stare, how you made me
Crumble with one single smirk.

Sliding down on my nelly knees—
A long-drawn out fainting spell
Swooning over such a primitive
Backward version of male ecstasy.

Yawning, knowing my problem—
Skipping my stammering utterances

Cramming your insolence all the way
Down past by quivering shy tonsils.

I felt you up, your tight hips flexing—
Your pink unloved virgin asshole just
Waiting for my tongue-tip attentions
After your unrehearsed snotty wad.

From then on I was your docile slave—
Your fag phantom roommate who
Was totally enamored with your thin
Breeder hips, all that spawning jizz!

At Hart Crane’s Tomb

Often beneath the Carib waves—
My bones down here in embassy row
Obscured by waves off Havana
Ache to be back in Brooklyn again.

I was a wreck before I jumped—
Leaving behind a broken tower full
Of hieroglyphic indecipherable portraits
Mexico’s Aztec gods getting revenge.

Down there in the Carib calm—
My charm and malice didn’t matter
Somehow reconciled down there deep
I wish I were a screamer again.

Brooklyn Bridge and East River—
Would’ve preferred to be my grave
Chic “jumping off” point for dead poets
That New York knows only so well.

Panorama Prima Donnas

“While nigger cupids
scour the stars”
—Hart Crane, “Marriage
of Faustus and Helen,”
White Building

The mood shifts with time-
Earlier Whitman, then Lorca
No one sleeps in New York City
Even the dead deny they’re asleep.

Skyscrapers full of mummies—
Iguanas and serpents live above
Below Brooklyn Bridge the corpses
Enter moonlit moody theaters.

Sleepless city up in the sky—
Even broken hearted ones don’t die
Cosmopolitan crocodile city where
No one sleeps, no one dies.

Manhattan skylines loom—
Those who died in childbirth stalk
Footsteps, pavements, subways
Waterfronts, cute young sailors.

The Broken Tower

The cordage that gathers—
Coiled in destroying angel groins
Crane cruised them relentlessly
Knowing that they needed it.

Broken towers know everything—
The Chrysler Building spilling the beans
Billy Budd’s loins into Central Park
Tempting Moby Dick size queens.

The young lean towers stretch—
Testicular sailorboy cordage tight
Then relaxed, hanging down loose
Uncoiling, unwrinkling softly.

Brooklyn Bridge broken towers—
Hart Crane’s desperate desire to
Know young sailor thighs flexing
Pulsing, squirting their brains out.

Tall veiny towers, cables below—
Blood, sperm, young beating hearts
Was it any different than the Aztecs
Spread-eagling it, copping a feel?

Key West

Sailorboy spluge, male meteorite—
White arch, wrist and biceps mine
Feeling him sink, Moon over Miami
How to be frugal, fuck me again.

Young Adam’s dick, not his rib—
My lips annealed to his erect tit
Sailors impartial, they don’t disown
I strike a match, we smoke a joint.

So what if each babypaste wad—
Ends up in some dead end street?
The kid’s progeny smears my lips
My tongue up his tight asshole.

Such strong towering legs—
Bent, weak, Brooklyn Bridge boy
Unraveling, uncoiling, undoing
His young manhood just for me.

To Walt Whitman

You who desired so much in vain—
Feeding your hunger with wounded
Union young soldierboyz dying there
In the DC still night tents of the war.

Daring to dignify being a nurse—
Cheering them in their last moments
Before the sweet, dead Silencer came
To whisk them off to Lincoln Park.

Candy, flowers, pen and paper—
Helping them to write letters home
Giving them some reconcilement as
They faded from the remotest mind.

Needing all your wit and humor—
To love, to bind, to somehow blush
The rubyless glistening eyes of boyz
Before the chill clay-cold closing night.

Lost Boyz of Paradise

They had come to me here—
From the sea all the way from home
Brooklyn Heights cliff and citadel
Making love with them in bed.

Thru eyes of mad Melville—
Limping gimp worse than Ahab
Young Queequeg harpooning them
Billy Budd riding doomed coffins.

The Bridge for me each morning—
Lost boyz of gone paradise sleeping
Fixing some coffee bleary-eyed loaded
Still tasting their heavenly jizz.

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