Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Caloub: Duchesse de Guermantes' Son

Caloub: The Duchesse
de Guérmantes' Son

“The jaded palates
of refined voluptuaries”
—Marcel Proust,
Le Côté de Guérmantes


“Young scum!”—
I thought to myself
Irritated by the youth’s
Rather icy lack of greeting

[Une sort d’âpre—
Satisfaction] in this
Boy I sucked off each
Morning, worshipped

“Really, I’m too kind”—
Well, now it was my turn
To ignore him, I said
“You little bitch.”

I was much too miffed—
To remain quietly alone
To myself without another
Listener enjoying my words

I could’ve called him—
A fop, a gigolo, or even
A jaded chicken who didn’t
Appeal to my jaded tastes

To render his rudeness—
Gamier and intoxicatingly
De rigueur matching my taste
For bitter disappointment


A bitter satisfaction—
Suggesting sophistication
Of the first order, Caloub’s
Smirky connoisseurship

Bemused contempt—
Rather than feigned
Disillusionment, Caloub’s
Perspicacious cruelty

He played it cool—
Realizing I no longer was
In love with the Duchesse
de Guérmantes cute son

Of course, my love—
For the Duchesse spoiled son
Must be taken with a bit of
Grilled crawfish in white sauce

The dizzying play—
In Recherche with its
Many gay closetries


Albertine’s ambiguities—
The gender of the sexualities
The crooked de Guérmantes
Couldn’t be more tres gay

Duchesse de Guérmantes—
Heterosexualizing presumptions
Same-sex desire perfumed
Boy her gay son on weekends

What was at stake—
Was I wanting to be the fool?
A snob with connections
Camouflaged in my closet?

Caloub was a bad boy—
My gay love for Marlene Dietrich
Her son the bright star in my
Homosexualized str8t family?

At the Hotêl de Guérmantes—
My wasp-waisted chicken trick
And me his ersatz sugar daddy
As gay as gay can certainly be?

Soon I lost my typical—
Fetishistic masochistic
Obsessiveness worshipping
The duchess, her cute son


Encountering that great truth—
Eventually getting what you want
When you no longer want it…
How cute tricks lose their charm

Such libidinal disappointments—
With revenge plots, angry, petulant
Resentments, with str8t queering
Of one’s dearest queer critique?

I became l’étrange gourmet—
A diet designed to prevent getting
Jaded, for becoming sophisticated
In the worst Adult ways

How is love to survive?—
The discovery of one’s own powers
Not to turn excrement into gold
Or gold into its worthless opposite?

How to turn a badboy like Caloub—
Contaminated by bad taste into
A newly desirable tantalizing
Contemptibility, my dear

A de Guérmantes kid—
A gay alchemy, gay science
A gay gourmet appetite
For bad boy bad good taste?

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