Monday, December 31, 2012

Gay Supermarket

A Gay Supermarket in California 

“What thoughts I have of 
you tonight, Walt Whitman”
Allen Ginsberg
A Supermarket in California 

“think of Ginsberg’s A Supermarket 
in California, for instance—a revision 
that, come to think of it, gets us past 
the avant-garde/mainstream, or post-
avant/School of Quietude, faultline 
that has troubled our thinking on 
poetry for so long.”—Barrett Watten, 
“Entry 06: Sylvia Plath’s Collage” 


What thoughts I have of you tonight—
Walt Whitman, as I cruise down the aisles 

Under the neon lights with a headache—
Self-consciously thinking of my hungry fatigue 

Shopping for images, cruising the supermarket—
Dreaming of the cute pouty grocery boys!

What peach-fuzz and penis penumbras!—
Old queens shopping at night! Aisles full of fags!  

Queering the avocados, fondling the tomatoes!—
And you, García Lorca, going down on zucchini?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, boyless & lonely—
Poking among the cold meats in the locker 

Eyeing the grocery boys like I’m doing now—
Asking things like: How’s your pork chops doin?   

“What price is your big banana, cute Angel?”—
As I wander along with other moiling queens 

Followed in my imagination by the store dick—
Tailing me down the open corridors of Safeway 

Such fancy-tasting artichokes, my dear—
Possessing every tender chicken delicacy

Where are we going now, Walt Whitman?—
Which way does our beard point tonight?

I touch your book & dream of your odyssey—
You & Miss Ginsberg here in the supermarket 

We stroll all night through the solitary aisles—
Dreaming of the lost America of love past due

When will it finally arrive, my fellow lonely Poet—
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old teacher?

What America did you have in mind back then—
When lilacs last in your dooryard bloom’d?

And the great star early droop’d down in the—
In the great western sky of the night

As I mourn’d, yet shall mourn with each—
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to bring

Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star—
Thinking of him who Charon took away

Now here I am in a CA supermarket—
Lost in aisles full of black water’d Lethe?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Queer Cinema Theory


“I’m seeing you 
as you really are
for he first time”
—Joan Crawford in
“Mildred Pierce” (1945)

“Just how notorious is Joan 
Crawford’s gay Cult status?”
—David Halperin, “The Passion
of the Crawford,” How to Be Gay

Baby Boomer Bijou
Curse Of The Cat Woman
Young Frankenstein
The Wasp Woman
The Bride Of Frankenstein
Dracula’s Daughter 
I Sucked Off A Zombie
Sorry Wrong Number
Glen Or Glenda


And so, here I am at the Bijou—
Soon it will be a Bingo Parlor

My Baby Boomer days are over—
I’m the last Baby Boomer Badboy

The old Snake Pit Drive In Theater—
Gone like Vegas Elvis the Pelvis

No more hot Sexploitation skin flicks—
Like Creature from the Black Lagoon

Gone like the Giant Gila Monster—
And the campy Devil Girl from Mars

Attack of the Giant Shrews so bad—
And the awful Atom Age Vampires

The thriller I Walked With A Zombie—
Werewolf In A Girls Dormitory

The cheesy Plan 9 From Outer Space—
The Attack of the Giant Leeches 

No more Saturday night booze & dope—
Getting a Blowjob in the backseat

Gone all those high school basketball games—
Cruising up & down the town’s Main Drag

I got married to The Wasp Woman—
I ended up The Man Made Monster

I live in The House on Haunted Hill—
Don’t Look in the Basement cause I’m there


It happens sometimes you meet somebody—
And go home with them for some drinks  

You may go to bed with them & then find out—
They’re a troublesome Transylvanian Trick

Their Slutty eyes glitter, they Slink & Swish—
They’re pretty but deadly Predatory Panthers

You find out they’re tormented with the—
Curse Of The Cat Woman and doomed

They have a Tendency to claw to death—
Anybody they might fall in love with

They stalk the dark streets at night—
They cruise for guys in the shadows

And when you ask “Who’s there?”—
It’s already much too late, my dear


Young Frankenstein has escaped the Castle—
Where the Baron put the make on him

He was much too cute & good-looking—
To waste on some Bride of Frankenstein

Some bitchy sewed-together Elsa Lancaster—
Who didn’t get off on butchy Monster Meat

“Gimme a break,” the Kid Monster said—
“That living Dead pussy’s a real drag man!”

“She’s wearing my neck-knobs out— 
All the Way down to the fucking nub.”

Why waste a nice big ugly Killer Dick—
It once belonged to a Mongoloid Idiot

The mob was pounding at the gates—
They wanted to get Fucked by the Freak

The kites were flying from the parapets—
The electricity was Zapping & Sizzling

Herr Doktor Pretorius pulled the Lever —
The Castle of Frankenstein Blew Up!!!


The Wasp Woman was a real Bitch—
Talk about Grande Dame Guignol Kunt

She had cruel heartless lascivious Lips—
She had a mean Stinger for a Tongue

She needed a young guy’s brainstem—
She’d pierce him and suck him dry

She survived from Casual pickups—
She wasn’t picky about her tricks

Once she imbibed the Sex Serum—
She became a foxy young Chick again

She never needed any face lifts—
She sucked the Fountain of Youth dry

She developed a bad case of obscene—
Puffy Giveaway Greedy Foreskin Harelips

Too much teenage male testosterone—
But she was addicted to the Hormones

She needed them young, dumb and—
Full of Cum not to be a Hag again


If I was the Bride of Frankenstein—
I’d scream bloody murder just like her

The look on Elsa Lanchester’s face—
Says it all, my dears, and even more

Born Karloff wasn’t a Goodlooker—
Then tho he had a nice big Schlong

His neck bolts were sizzling hot—
The kites in the Storm zapped him good

Ernst Thesiger had amputated just the—
Right well-endowed Killer Cock for the job

A vast Legion of Indecency on the march—
An Army of young Frankenstein Clones

So we ditched the whole Heteronormative—
Monster Marriage Fucking Game Plan

Perverted Genetic Reverse Engineering—
Sidestepped Elsa for our test-tube Marines


If I were Dracula’s Daughter—
I’d be one hot Dyke Bloodsucker

If I were the Son of Dracula—
I’d be one famished Cocksucker

Lesbos is looming down in the Crypt—
Young pussy just isn’t safe these days

Dracula rubs his cold hands together—
Vampire daughters make the best Fag Hags

The Count uses his Slutty Vamp Vixen—
To lure young sailors to their doom

Young male bar crawlers have been—
Known to simply disappear in thin air

They end up getting sucked dry—
Down in Dracula’s dirty dungeon

Dracula loves to Titillate his Tonsils—
With tasty spastic Last Dickwads  

He’s a Jack the Ripper for those—
Street hustlers and cheap tricks 


Director Tourneur didn’t have to—
Tell me how to do the Zombie movie

“I Walked With a Zombie”—
Was my kind of Queer Cinema

Darby Jones was just my type—
I craved catatonic Carib cock

That old Black Magic was right—
Up my Dark Alley, baby

I loved Hoodoo Voodoo Guys—
Doing Jones in the dark Cane Fields

It had jizzy “Jane Eyre” jive—
And lotsa Val Lewton drums

When I sucked off my first Zombie—
I nearly fainted with Mandingo love

I can still taste the Undead jizz—
The Zombie spunk on my lips


I was always pretty good at it—
Picking the Wrong Number at the Bars

Most were very disappointing—
Others rolled and robbed me

I was a naïve sucker for rough trade—
I’d get done Bad every fucking time

There’s something about male femme fatales—
They make me a Victim of Dark Fag Noir

I don’t cruise the bus stations anymore—
Cheap white trash in Volunteer Park

I don’t cruise the Clubs anymore—
Capitol Hill gentrified by rich Str8ts 

I’m like Barbara Stanwyck now—
I can hear that last Wrong Number

Crawling up the stairs to get me—
Gonna Strangle my scrawny throat


A Grande Dame Guignol Has-Been—
Ed Wood Schmaltzy Auteur Esquire

Queen of Hollywood Kitschy Cinema—
The ultimate trashy Contessa of Camp

Director of Plan Nine From Outer Space—
In the tradition of Bella Lugosi Horror

The lights, the amah, the premiers—
It was all Night of the Locusts anyway

Dumpy old drag queens with their—
Blue rinse frizzy shiny balding heads 

Salvaging old costumes for street clothes—
Does anyone remember Ed Wood Jr.?

What a dump you’d probably say—
All those faggy flicks long gone now

Glen or Glenda his drag classic movie—
What if he saw “Birdcage” or “Baby Jane”?

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Anatomy of Wit


—for John Lyly

—for John Lyly

It is Wit, yes Wit, my dears—
That maketh us Ladies of Leisure 

That maketh the poor Rich—
The base-born into the tres-Noble

The mere Subject into a Sovereign—
The Peon into a gracious Queen Bee

The Deformed into the Beautiful—
The Sick Whole, the Weak Strong

The most Miserable into—
The Most Happy and the Most Gay


I try to be Gaceful and Witty—
Just like that Queen John Lyly

I try to illustrate Intellectual Fashions—
And favorite Themes of Renaissance Society

Can there be Wit in today’s England?—
Can Prince Harry possibly be my Pomopdour? 

Can I be Artificial and Mannered like—
Back then when it was so Gay, my dears?

Highly Artificial and Mannered in Style—
Tres Moderne and Petite Pallace of Pettie?

The plots so Unimportant & Existing merely—
As Conversations, Discourses and Letters? 

Mostly concerning the Subject of Love—
As in George Pettie's "A Petite Pallace of Pettie” 

My Pleasure in Tacky Sermon Literature—
And all those Boring, Closeted Vatican tracts

Perfecting the Distinctive Rhetorical Devices—
On which the Gay Style will be Perfected


There are two principal and peculiar gifts—
In the nature of man: Knowledge and Reason

The one Commandeth, my dears—
And the Other obeyeth down on her knees

These things neither the—
Whirling Wheel of Fortune can change

Nor the deceitful cavillings of worldlings—
Separate, nor sickness abate, nor age abolish


Is it not far better to abhor Heteronormatives—
By the remembrance of their Tacky Faults?

After all my dears, the Repentance of thine—
Own Follies surely can’t compare to the Straights?


Can any treasure in this transitory pilgrimmage—
Be of more value than a treasured gay friend? 

In whose bosom thou mayest sleep secure—
Without fear, whom thou mayest make Partner?

All thy secrets without suspicion of Fraud—
Partaker of all thy Misfortune without Mistrust

Who will account thy Bale his Bane—
Thy Mishap his Misery and Sympathy?

The Pricking of thy Finger—
The piercing of his heart?


How frantic are those Lovers carried away—
With the gay glistering of the fine Face? 

The Beauty whereof is Parched with the—
Summer's blaze and cool with the winter's Blast

Which is of so short Continuance—
That it Fadeth before one Perceive it Flourish


My dear coy Neapolitan Ladies of Leisure—
Let us Discuss the Queenly Qualities of Mind

And whether the Composition of the Man—
Is more worthy of our astute Attention

Time hath weaned us from Mommy Dearest—
And Age rid us from our Father's Correction 


Lucilla, considering her father's reaction in—
Abandoning her fiance Philanthus for Euphues

A sharp sore hath a short cure, my dear—
The fickle Fervency of Men is Commonplace

It may be hard won without Trial—
But be of great Faith, they are so fickle

But alas, my dears, what truth can be—
Found in a mere One Night Stand even now?

What could be more like the Wind than—
Our own ever fleeting Plighted Perjury 

When We and They hoist sail?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mommie Dearest


Well, my dears, so where do I begin—
Where does any fag actually begin?

Obviously with Mommy Dearest—
And, honey, ALL of us girls had one!!!

Even in the best mansions in Brentwood—
There’s always Coat-Hanger S/M going on!!!

Even in the crummiest suburban dump—
There’s a Valley of the Dolls going on!!!

But don’t pay any attention to me, dear—
I’m just a trashy gossip queen for profit

Doing this purely-for-entertainment confession—
But Jaysus Christ, somebody’s got to do it

After all it made Christina Crawford wealthy—
And a famous Hollywood celebrity back then

And talk about that movie “Mommy Dearest”—
She fucking cashed in Big Time there in LA

My story of mental, verbal, and physical abuse—
Raging alcoholism & bipolar obsessive compulsions

To say nothing of allegations of homosexuality—
Is nothing, sweetheart, compared to Christina

Or should I says that poor Christopher Crawford—
The hell that awful Joan put that kid through…

The astute film critic John William Law says—
That there was no male version of the male

Grande Dame Guignol tradition of movies—
Like “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Because it was less believable to directors—
And screenwriters somewhat back then

But that was then and this is now, honey—
A male drag version of Baby Jane Hudson

Has appeared in Billy Clift’s “Baby Jane?”—
Starring stunning drag queen Mathew Martin

So that on a psychological novel, my dears—
Christina and I have gone through great pains

Maybe not coat-hangers but still hung-up with—
The travails of having a bad Mommie Dearest

Mommy Dearest Two


Describing my events and their relationship but—
Also how it made Mommy Dearest obviously feel

We were both suffering a LOT of pain because—
We were both under constant autocratic control

Straight society always felt like it was in a—
Bottomless abyss of gay loneliness and despair

Honestly, although my family life was probably—
The best a fag could ever expect or hope for

With me it was for other reasons, my dears—
But I can say we both had feelings of desperation

Yet one cannot help but wonder who suffers
More whether it’s the Straights or us nelly fags

I mean, there are three sides to every story—
The Straight side, the Queer Side and somewhere

In the middle the Tacky Truth haughtily resides—
An unholy bitch, bent on destroying us all…

Every facet of the life of the gay son is so empty—
Who has any feelings other than hatred for us?

Am I like Christina the world's most ungrateful—
Undeserving, rebellious and insolent child?

Feeling so awfully slighted and maligned that—
I wrote this confession out of dire need for money?

Or am I saying these things for undue sympathy—
To get some kind of revenge for being trashed?

Probably just a cheesy mixture of the two—
Certainly, many, many poor queens feel like I do

To have publicly come out in defense of fags—
Despite DOMA, Death and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

Many people have bore witness to my story—
My abuse by many others, including my family

My younger kid brother simply hates my guts—
All because I’m a chicken queen who desires him

I catch him in the shower or in the bathtub—
Constantly beating off & masturbating himself

He’s such a selfish little prick who would let me—
Have even a little dab or exquisite jizzy squirt!!!

Perhaps I’ve been much too blatantly faggy—
A pushy queer Christina older brother perhaps

I wonder if young cute Christopher Crawford—
Got hit upon and seduced by naughty Christina?

In truth, and yes, this is my True Confession—
I will take the liberty of weighing in for Joan

I am more apt to believe, at least sympathize—
With Joan that the two brats were just No Good

I know I wasn’t, honey, Bad Seed did me in—
Some other Mommy Dearest ditched me real fast

Nevertheless, I still believe in Christina’s laments—
Mostly to be believed, but not everything, my dears

I hardly think it’s nearly as bad as she makes it—
After all, she was ensconced in plush Brentwood

The naked truth, the ugly nasty whole truth—
It rarely makes for down & dirty good storytelling

At the very least, I embellish quite a bit—
But either way, it’s better than reading a book

Watching porno movies, I get the feeling that—
Christina was rather rebellious just like me

Mommy Dearest Three


The same with Christopher in the shower—
Just like my troublesome sullen hung kid brother

The so-so strict parenting styles back then—
That Mommy Dearest respected so in Hollywood

At least for appearance sake to make it look like—
Joan Crawford was Good Housekeeping Divine

Rather than the ungrateful, disrespectful—
And rather hell-bent pushing of her Ambition

I pushed my mother's buttons every time—
Flaunting my goodlooking boyfriends at her

I considered it the kind of punishment that—
She deserved for beating me with coat-hangers

She just knew I was getting the hot young stuff—
Which was of course right up her fucking alley

But it wouldn’t be the first time I caught her—
In bed with one of my handsome young tricks

It was worst torture in the world to suffer so—
Mommy Dearest getting my boyfriends in bed

Was I just some slutty Lottie Lenya male pimp—
In that “Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” flick?

Mommy Dearest was a lot like Joan Crawford—
She dished it out pretty much to get even

Not aging well was standard for the times—
Along with wire hanger beatings, being tied up

Being beaten with tubes of Ajax plus endless—
Spankings, face-slapping, supper-less nights

It was all par for the course, honey, plus—
Being alcoholic, bipolar, obsessive compulsive

One's disease doesn’t make excusable all those—
Horrible things it makes one do, that’s for sure

It’s the basis for extra tolerance & understanding—
Maybe that’s why I’m manic depressive too

I can genuinely empathize with Joan but—
Even mores so with poor Christina & Christopher

Finally, and this is the last on the subject—
At least until the next time for a dry martini

Why did Joan leave Christina out of her will—
People ask that question a lot, I suppose

What were the “reasons well known to her”—
And the same with Christopher Crawford?

Christina says Mommie was a two-faced bitch—
That she’d turned into an unholy Bitch Queen

But Joan probably found out thru the grapevine—
Daughter dearest was composing her memoirs

Waiting until Blanche finally kicked the bucket—
Then cashing in on the tres scandalous expose

Joan found out all about it because after all—
She certainly found out about everything else

She had the last laugh with Bette Davis—
Her box-office royalties from “Baby Jane”

She got 15% compared with Bette’s 10%—
The flick was a huge success and blockbuster

A whole new Grande Dame Guignol genre—
Opening up for all the aging queen bee stars

And so Joan probably decided that Christina—
And Christopher could enjoy their Royalties too

“Mommy Dearest” indeed a great success—
Succès de scandale both as book and film

There was no final slap in the face—
The only monster was Hollywood Babylon

It’s what Christina did to Joan Crawford—
It’s what Joan Crawford did to Christina

It’s what I did to Mommy Dearest—
It’s what my Mommy Dearest did to me

That’s really the Storyline, my dears—
The more gossip-column trashy the better

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Roman Spring of Mr. Stoned



The Contessa provided me with—
More than just pretty Roman boys

Such an ancient city had many—
Vices and pleasures of the flesh

The usual hashish and cocaine—
Among the decadent things to enjoy

She even provided me with an—
Antique hookah to enjoy the delights

Of being a retired California caliph—
Or should I say a retired LA queen

My filmography is too filthy to bore—
You, my dear, so I simply shan’t

Other than to say that Vivien Leigh—
Captured my louche retirement well

What does an aging movie star do—
When her looks fail and roles disappear?


The immense stone staircase descended—
From the Trinita di Monte all the way

Down to the Piazza de Spagna where—
The derelict horde tumbled down all day

Urchin vendors of false American cigarettes—
Counting their wads of filthy paper in private

I found myself at the Via Veneto where—
American Express tourists moiled there

A sullen Piazza Trinity di Monte youth—
Waited underneath my upper windows 

My ancient palazzo at the top of the stairs—
Informed with the beauty of so many youth

The kind of male beauty celebrated by statues—
And sculptures in all the fountains of Rome

The dreadful poverty of his clothes and the—
Stealthy slinking waiting for me all the time

I was used to the Contessa at the nightclub—
With her usual coterie of young gigolo boys

This one though was rather uncouth & dirty—
A dark overcoat and no shirt beneath


I tossed down the keys to my apartment—
Wrapped in a white silk lace handkerchief

His face became suddenly alert as if that’s—
Exactly what was waiting for forever

In my living room his mouth tightened—
Secretly fearful of appearing shameful

Then taking off his overcoat revealing his—
Body that had been hungry for many days

It was nothing new to the youth of Rome—
And nothing new to me by that time either

We were both surely starved for love but—
Perhaps I was even more starved than him

He knew I desired what all American tourists—
Were looking for, something young and pagan

Then nude like an erect Egyptian obelisk—
His smile like cryptic old but new engravings

My ancient palazzo apartment had probably—
Known the grandeur of how many such moments?

I was trying to forget Paolo’s lost male beauty—
No longer so alluring to me since the nightclub

But here in Rome I was just another old ruin—
The gift of a merciful kind of dissemblance


I avoided all the other tacky ogling Americans—
Their boring tongues inclined to uncouth gossip

Their eyes much too greedy & overly instinctual—
Revealing too closely my own gay desperation

Usually I didn’t chat with the lewd Contessa—
Business was business & friendship was put aside

I dealt with her like I dealt with American Express—
Basically because she could be overwhelming

She had a way of cutting through all my rather—
Paralysis and defenses, requiring that I surrender

It used to be only my hairdresser knew it all—
But now it was the Contessa who knew me too well

Certain things had to be discussed and arranged—
Things in my life that nobody ever shall know

There were times in my life that grew clouded over—
Bored with myself with a sense of gay unreality

My rational will or what passed for it back then—
Turned to a kind of drifting, drifting vulnerability

Tricking indirectly saved me there in Rome—
I needed a procurer as well as a handsome boy


So I said to the Contessa: “Yes, my dear—
Please come over this afternoon to my apartment”

“We can talk, I have so much to tell you”—
But then I got frightened of exposing too much

It grew even worse when the Contessa showed up—
With none other than an old dying queen I knew

Star of James Whale’s campy “Bride of Frankenstein”—
Ernest Thesiger slithered into my living room

As if I were an aging Elsa Lanchester old friend—
In need of a boring Boris Karloff for a hot date

And then Colin Clive, Una O’Connor and—
Valerie Hobson and Dwight Frye showed up

As if I needed to be reminded of Hollywood—
Or worse Norma Desmond & dreary Sunset Blvd

I simply sat there in a sheer state of shock—
The Contessa sneered at me as if I were trash

She’d intended to cultivate a choice clientele—
To get rich quick with old Hollywood queens

But the way Miss Thesiger obscenely leered at me—
The more it made me feel like a dirty old man


Lotte Lenya was grotesque enough, my dears—
As if I needed to be rudely reminded of yet

Another unendurable face lift here in Rome—
In this three thousand year old ancient city

How old was I just a mere fifty or so—
Compared with the ancient grandeur of Rome

The only difference being that as Rome aged—
Its beauty and grandeur got more magnificent

While just look at me languishing at the party—
Full of other ancient decaying Hollywood wrecks

Leering Baron Thesiger posing as Dracula—
Feeding off the young male hormones of hustlers

Screaming, shrieking Senor Una O’Connor—
At the precipice of the infernal Pit of Despair

Reaching out to grasp the gnarled dick of—
None other than the Frankenstein nude monster?

Colin Clive in his most seminal, memorial role—
Leaning back against the steel operating table

Having an orgasm while gasping indecently—
“It’s ALIVE, it’s ALIVE!!! The THING is ALIVE!!!”


“Go away, go away, all of you!!!” I shouted—
“And take your female pimp Contessa with you!!!”

Miss Thesiger was shocked, simply shocked—
Never had she been spoken to so rudely

The Contessa in her mink with blue tiara—
Sneered at me cynically saying “Wunderbar!!!”

And then suddenly I was alone with myself—
The last person in the world I wanted to be with

Standing on my balcony in my loneliness—
Gazing down from the balustrade high above

Down there the reticent shadowy youth—
Standing alone looking up sadly at me

He’d been waiting for this moment of time—
When I became disgusted with everybody

Knowing I needed something less chic—
Less knowingly sophisticated and expensive

And I saw him pick up my lace handkerchief—
With the palazzo keys dangling inside

And then he unlocked the door and closed it—
Standing there in the stillness of my life

He was shirtless beneath his worn overcoat—
Not an experienced jaded gigolo like Paolo

I needed somebody naïve and naked—
Somebody to give me back my dignity

Even though it was impossible of course—
I could try to start all over again perhaps


I was a rather successful Fag Poet—
The male chic lit genre was my specialty

My books dealt with the hardly cataclysmic—
Events in the gay world, the usual boring stuff

Any lingering traits of drag or effeminacy—
I tried to efface by foolishly butching it up

Unfortunately what came out of my mouth—
Was more like a screamy drag queen lament

Especially with pearls and a taffeta dinner gown—
I ended up rather trashy transvestite for all

I abhorred provoking visible and knee analysis—
Which made my poetry a rather hesitant horror

Despite being the Poet Laureate of Topeka—
I simply had to flee from it all back then

That’s how I happened to meet the Contessa—
At a cocktail party on a terrace one evening

Flattering looking in the shadows, still she—
Had the face of a vulture or chicken hawk

Peering from the edge of an awful cliff—
With a strange sense of sensual doom

She knew the Roman panorama well—
Visible from the roof of all the palazzos 


She responded with skeptical nods & doubts—
Every word that I said as I was saying it

That look on the Contessa’s face so very knowing—
Knowing that I was lying about everything I said

It was too intimate and embarrassing for me—
A distasteful topic of lewd sexual matters

Writing about it was easy compared with—
Being in Rome where pleasure was business

The Contessa sized me up and pigeon-holed me—
She had Paolo picked out as just my type

Sullen, vain, always absorbed with himself—
I was just a typical fag tourist who pay for it

I didn’t need some precious little Romeo—
Slithering under the sheets wanting money

So she set me up with a smooth, disgusting—
Vain hustler obviously in love with himself

He made an unhappy impression on me tho—
He smiled with a comic grimace of disgust

Another spoiled famished American faggot—
I could hear him say to himself immediately


Did he pretend to want to avoid copulation—
Setting the stage for me to drag him off to bed?

He always acted like I could simply drop dead—
But afterwards he was ready to be paid well

The party had a sort of pretend elegance—
Stately queen and a cute epicene dandy

It made me want to escape but wasn’t that—
Why I’d fled to Rome to get away in the first place?

I tired of chastising myself so mockingly—
With such cruel clarity as I grew older

As a lady of leisure and some wealth—
I came from a society that disguised old age

While here in Rome everything was ancient—
I could disguise my fading life all the ruins

Here in Rome decay brought no scornful pity—
Instead it was regarded in wonder and awe

This crumbling golden antiquity of a city—
Meant renewal for me rather than senility

I didn’t care if the New York Times critics—
Were snickering at me in their gossip columns


I got rid of them like shedding a snake skin—
Infatuated by a series of young Roman studs

My female-pimp Contessa of the gigolo clique—
Busy even though she hid behind a fake title

But there was so many Contessa-pimps in Rome—
There were many down there in Capri as well

Some were dowdy and wicked old queens—
Down and dirty schemers like Lotte Lenya was

It was the Drifting I hated so very much—
Drifting without a reason to keep living

Oh I could insist on some literary reason—
Something more plausible, more writerly

Yes, there was so much traveling to do—
The momentum of Drifting that got me here

Finally I ditched the expensive Contessa—
I felt myself shuddering with self-disgust

The party of sycophants was simply over now—
I had had a moment of queer clarity at last


Writing saves me from obsessive fear and guilt—
It may be said that my work is my freedom

A permanent struggle to overcome those traumas—
By making fiction out of them, it’s simple

I’ve always felt myself a dweller alone—
In Hart Crane’s “Broken World” full of fear

All the personal and social sins that render my—
Infernal falsity because of the cruelty, violence

Corruption that makes it a broken, shattered—
World and now the fear of old age and decay

I’ve always been one of the “peculiar people”—
The unprotected, the innocently sincere

The injured, the estranged, the queer—
The defenseless, the abandoned, the maimed

I’ve tried to redeem myself somewhat because—
I am one of them, the lost, the broken, the gone

I too have felt the scorn, indignation and the—
Indifference as well as all the misunderstanding

Not being one of the safe and sane ones—
The comfortable majority, so I fled to Rome


“My God!!!” Paolo said, “Have you forgotten?”—
What Paolo? I said, surprised there at the table

“You invited the Contessa and some friends—
To look at some of our home movies tonight”

I invited? I paused there at the little café—
“You invited” or “I invited” what’s the difference?

“We must hurry anyway, Mr. Stoned—
They’ll be at your apartment very soon now”

What rudeness and indignity I said to myself—
Only Paolo could get away with such insolence

The Contessa and all those old fading queens—
The arrogance of Paolo surely knew no bounds

Sacrificing my dignity like Signora Coogan—
Simply used by the beauty of Paolo’s abuse

And now was it my turn to be the Sucker—
An aging doting Juliet taken advantage of?

In the car’s rearview mirror I gazed at—
The rapacious glare, not luster, in my eyes 

Beneath the diffuse mess of my quaint toupee—
How could I face the pearl-draped mob?


Letting them discover my carefully guarded—
Most intimate sexual secrets about myself

The indignity of being leered at and overwhelmed—
With the shame of being in love with Paolo

Now as the car returned us to my apartment—
Paolo suddenly leaned over close to my cheek

Pressing his moist young pouty lips against—
My blushing nervous distraught face

I grabbed him between his legs hissing quickly—
“But I’m not Signora Coogan, my dear Paolo!!!”

“I’m not that wretched old fool of a woman—
With a wig and only two teeth in her head”

“I’ve got more than just my money, Paolo—
Surely that’s not just all you wanted from me?”

My degree of intensity alarmed him—
He tried to twist my hand away from it

His tender young Italian manhood that had—
So seduced me with its dark curly pubes

“Look at me, Paolo,” I pleaded insanely—
“What for?” he said, “You’re just crazy!”


And so it happened, it finally happened—
I’d lost all my dignity after all, my dears

I was frantically grabbing his svelte crotch—
When the car arrived back at the apartment

The car turned up the Via Gregoriana—
Sobbing I let go to face the creepy guests

The car arrived at the gate of the palazzo—
I tried to regain my composure once again

It wasn’t a dignified subject but it—
Always seemed to rear its ugly head

It was the worst thing about love between—
The very young and an aging American fag

There was this terrible loss of dignity—
It almost seemed that it was called for

The Contessa & the Baron & Senora Coogan—
Were waiting like three lean starved vultures

A young film actress had been brought along—
To serve as bait for Paolo’s sexual interests

When she left right away, Paolo soon—
Followed her like a dog out the door

I was simply furious feeling put upon—
And set-up by the conniving scheming Contessa

It was the Contessa’s revenge for not—
Getting a dinner invitation like she’d expected

And not getting the $1000 loan she’d tried—
To milk out of me for her pimp services

Brandy had already turned her tongue into—
A viper’s wicked bitchiness to get even

The Baron was oblivious as usual to this—
His frozen stupid Doktor Pretorius stare

As always stilted, aristocratically ersatz—
Looking down at me as Paolo’s whore

He winked at the Contessa and smirked—
The poor simpering Miss Coogan oinked

Her upturned nervous nostrils trembling—
Her as always wounded snout all aquiver 

If she couldn’t have the handsome Paolo—
Then she was happy that I couldn’t either


Instead of getting angry at Paolo for exiting—
This stinky soiree of sagging, aging guests

I simply let their hushed, dirty glances—
Gloat with vapid excitement & Voyeurismo 

They’d created just the right mood—
The one they could gossip about later

But I didn’t give a repeat performance of—
When I lost my calm dignity with Paolo

Why cast my pearls before swine when—
It was what they were simply dying for

It didn’t surprise me any longer at all—
Recoiling in shock and horror at the scene

At first the feeling of being betrayed—
By Paolo in a sea of evil famished sharks

And then, all at once, a flood of light—
Swept me as I turned off the projector

The cute family movie of Paolo and me—
Having a happy time on the palazzo patio


The eavesdropping, beady-eyed Contessa—
The aging decrepit Baron with his death rattle

The confused as always stupid slut Senora Coogan—
Dabbing her eyes with a ratty silk handkerchief

Wishing she could have had pretty boy Paolo—
Rather than me or the young film actress

The Contessa uttered a startled gasp—
The others drew back guiltily in their chairs

I had simply turned on the living room lights—
Lit a cigarette and told them to all get out

The Contessa dropped her drink on the floor—
Suddenly consumed with a fit of nervous asthma

The Baron stood up nervously stammering—
Senora Coogan gulped and choked to death

“You heard me, now fucking get out!!!”—
Their discomfiture was rapidly increasing

Senora Coogan reached for another chocolate—
Only to discover the bowl was totally empty


In a desperate maneuver the Contessa—
Attempted to get up & instead fell on the floor

Then all at once I heard myself speaking—
“Get out, all of you, and take her with you!!!”

The Contessa could shed only one crocodile tear—
It was as much as her wounded pride could do

A series of mechanical apologies & goodbyes—
As the uninvited guests scuttled for the door

Finally at the door the Contessa turned—
“Wunderbar!!!” I said, beating her to the punch

She slammed the door & I could hear them—
Shambling down the hallway gossiping loudly

It had been like some summer scene from—
Some horrible Terme di Carcalla play

I went out to the terrace and then—
Below the sullen young Italian boy stood

I felt suddenly rather adroitly swank and—
Free of that bloodsucking mob of leaches 

I was rid of that female-pimp and her—
Coterie of slutty young male marchettas


I was free of that crummy cesspool—
I knew I ought to leave Rome soon

Surely my permesso di soggiorno—
Wouldn’t be renewed any longer anyway

”Oh Paolo!!!” I mocked myself—
What an ugly little rotten mean hustler

There were people with ears & tongues—
But I no longer cared about it anymore

I’d been puffed up with my own—
Self-importance and need for youth

But Rome was a very old City—
Three thousand years old and me?

How old was I? Fifty years old?—
Even that was a lie I could live with now

I had lost all of my supposed dignity—
My Paolo affair had been my undoing

I’d been caught up and swept away—
By the tempest and fury of the day

Now I’m drifting again, drifting I said—
But better to drift than sink in slime


Drifting over the ancient City—
Looking down at all the palazzos

Everything was drifting anyway—
An enormous drifting of time and space

Why should anything be fixed—
Oh yes, that Egyptian obelisk boy

Standing so erect and still down there—
He wasn’t drifting very much at all

I drifted out of the living room—
Out into the magenta Roman night

I paused at the balustrade looking down—
Down there he was still waiting for me

I tossed down my keys wrapped—
In a white virgin lace handkerchief 

It fell down, drifting down—
Hit the curb, slid over to his feet

He picked it up, opened it—
Saw the keys glistening inside

He looked straight up at me—
And went for the palazzo entrance

I paused briefly on the balcony—
Directionless and drifting

I looked at the Roman night sky—
Giving the impression of suddenly

Pausing briefly in the drifting—
I smiled to myself and whispered

After what I’ve been through—
I’ll risk getting my throat slit…