Monday, December 17, 2012

The Seance


“shadows not of
flesh and blood”
—William Faulkner
Absalom, Absalom

The chimes began ringing midnight—
Melodious slow and faint in the snow

The visible murmur of vapory breath—
Quentin and Shreve staring at each other

Shreve was doing the trance talking—
While Quentin was bringing it through

Then suddenly  it was the four of them—
Bon, Henry, Quentin and Shreve all One

One voice with many heads speaking—
Rag-tag & bob-ends of Deep South back then

People that once existed now back again—
Having lived and died but Shadows return

Distance and time shrivel & shrink away—
A sort of hushed and naked talk begins

Chimes Chinoiserie 

Living there in my Chimes Street apartment—
I was in no hurry with Miss William Faulkner

Yoknapatawpha was pure luxury for me—
Southern decadence eased & oozed my way

Deep South Dixie Denouement—
Was nothing new down by the Mississippi

Things kept sluggishly flowing each day—
New Orleans ancient seaport simply yawned

Nothing surprised or bothered the Big Easy—
Not after 400 years of stinking, rotting humanity

I slid rather nicely into this noisome milieu—
Quentin and Bon were there to help me thru

Bayou boys floating in green lagoons—
Cajun couples under bayou canopies

Decadent orchids, snakes, alligators—
Flanks of nude Creoles in their pirogues 

Gnarled, twisty magnolias and cypresses—
Humid fragrant nights drifting lazily by

Queer Quentin’s Séance

Although reality sometimes got bleak—
I was surprisingly content there on Chimes

A minor modest inheritance enabled—
A petite bourgeois poète maudit existence

I didn’t care how long it would take—
To slavishly earn my English baccalaureate

I had become somewhat a dinge voyant lately—
Like Madame Sosostris in Eliot’s Waste Land

My séances and soirees were Quentin-inspired—
His romantic communiqués with the Dead

Delving into Absalom, Absalom at Harvard—
Queer Quentin reaching back into time

Reliving the Sutpen Curse and Tragedy—
That haunted Henry and Bon the Beautiful

Revisiting the Sutpen love affair through the—
Queer Quentin connection to Dinge Beauty

Dinge Clairvoyante

The problem of séance has to be—
Dealt with seriously in our time

We’re not so greatly advanced from—
The days of the Pit and the Pendulum

There are problems in all human relations—
Some more advanced than the others

Each individual with their particular—
Advantages and drawbacks and faults

Some men with homosexual lives—
Can reach out telepathically to others

Bon saved Henry’s life way back—
During a Civil War Battle but then

Henry shot Bon dead back home—
At the gates of the Sutpen Plantation

Quentin wanted to know why and so—
Did his Harvard lover Shreve McCannon

Bon the Beautiful

Manly miscegenal brotherly love—
The Voice on the ouija board sighed

Sharing the same blood as your lover—
Henry Sutpen said from back in the past

Knowing Bon the Beautiful all the way—
Getting fucked by a New Orleans stud

It was Eulalia’s ultimate revenge—
Against Colonel Sutpen’s white pride

To have both his son and daughter—
Screwed by the estates true heir

Bon the Beautiful being the First Son—
After Sutpen married pretty Eulalia 

Knowingly and yet unknowingly—
They were all part of Sutpen’s tragedy

Eulalia didn’t want Sutpen to see his son—
Because she was mulatto as well as French

The Haitian Plantation owner had rewarded—
Sutpen for putting down a slave rebellion

His reward to Sutpen was his lovely daughter—
But Sutpen didn’t know Eulalia was mixed-blood

One look at the naked boy baby & Sutpen knew—
The kid’s prick blemished with the Mark of Cain

It was shamefully black as the Ace of Spades—
Sutpen quickly got rid of Eulalia and the kid

William Faulkner

I went deeper into the Harvard trance—
Revisiting through Faulkner’s own dark past

Faulkner’s own miscegenal genealogy—
His philoprogenitive black heritage

After generations of Southern breeding—
Miscegenal blood flowed in all veins

Faulkner’s hidden genealogy known—
To him quite intimately & historically

He had this ongoing dinge obsession—
With Lucius Quintus Carothers McCaslin

The Bible and Snopes legacy had him—
Firmly gripped in Yoknapatawpha 

Southern slaver’s heritage of human—
Ownership and sexploitation became

Faulkner’s apocryphal history of the—
Old Colonel’s mulatto shadow family

Opening this material to fictional—
Adaptation risked opening Pandora’s Box

Faulkner’s creative writing of his family—
Projecting the image of himself into

Ongoing fictional performance that—
Historicized William Clark Falkner 

Quentin’s repeating “I don’t hate it”—
At the very end of Absalom, Absalom

Was Faulkner’s attitude toward himself—
And the guilt that all Southerners share

Loving all of it even while he had to—
Hate some of it because he knew that

You love because you love despite—
Despite all the faults and bad errors 

“That’s what created me”—
Quentin says to Shreve McCannon

Eulalia Bon

The four of them in that drawing room—
Baroque brittle New Orleans back then

They are together the four of them—
In the cold tomblike Harvard dorm too

Quentin and Shreve McCannon—
Henry Sutpen and Bon the Beautiful

“So she’s fallen in love, the poor thing—
With my handsome son Bon the Beautiful?”

Eulalia laughed harshly a long time—
“And now her brother Henry in love too?”

It was all Eulalia could think about—
After being thrown out of her own home

Not a very pretty divorce, my dears—
Eulalia ended up with a grudge for life

She plotted and schemed every moment—
Getting an attorney to scheme with her

It all centered on Sutpen’s dumb son—
The one he’d had with lovely Miss Coldfield 

He was a clod-hopping country bumpkin—
Who needed some gentlemen’s training

That’s why Sutpen sent his son down to—
Ole Miss for some gentlemanly manners

But Eulalia schemed to have her son Bon—
Waiting at Ole Miss to fuck him up good

So they ended up Ole Miss roommates—
And Bon’s decadent training began

Teaching Henry how to lounge in a robe—
How to smoke cigarettes and hashish

How to drink champagne elegantly—
And be drunk like a gentleman should 

Miscegenal as well as incestuous sex—
Made Eulalia’s revenge so very sweet

The Octoroon Mistress

When Bon took Henry to meet—
His octoroon mistress with her child

Henry just ignorantly shrugged so what—
What did he care about the affair anyway?

But the mistress was the mother of—
Charles Etienne De Saint Valery Bon

Legal heir of the whole Sutpen Estate—
But then his octoroon mother died

After Bon was killed Judith was simply—
Distraught with unimaginable grief

Judith and Clytemnestra the maid began—
Searching all of New Orleans for the kid

Finally they found him and got him back—
To the Sutpen Plantation to grow up

He looked like his father Bon the Beautiful—
He was precocious and endowed as well

Judith was bashful about her memories—
She gave the boy baths quite frequently

She raised him to be the Plantation Master—
But slavery left a bitter taste in his mouth

Charles Etienne married a full-blood negro—
She had a mad raving son Jim Bond (Bon)

So that the Sutpen Curse continued down—
All the way to a mad mulatto offspring

But all that was in the future and there—
Was still the curse of Henry and Bon

Henry and Bon

Henry didn’t envy Bon—
If anything he wanted to ape him

The sight of Bon’s mistress—
And the boy Charles Etienne

Didn’t impress Henry at all even
When Judith wanted to marry Bon

Being desperately in love with Bon—
Made Henry realize the awful truth

Even if Colonel Sutpen died—
And Bon became Plantation Master

Sooner or later Color would—
Surely erect its Ugly Head

Bon would surely prevail—
Either through Charles Etienne Bon

Or through Judith’s dinge offspring—
Bearing another Plantation master

Eulalia’s Curse

The séance continued with—
Charles-Shreve and Quentin-Henry

Henry knew but he still didn’t believe—
Sutpen his father had destroyed them

Sutpen’s hatred for his own son Bon—
From that first naked moment of truth

The Pariah-hood passed through time—
Was Judith the next octoroon mistress?

What kind of Charles Etienne would—
Spring from Judith’s unknowing loins?

Did Judith know Bon was mulatto yet—
Bon with his devilishly dark Tool?

Would she throw a hissy-fit if she—
Found out the shocking dinge truth?

Would it be “Hush, Hush, Charlotte”—
With things shoved into the Closet?

Henry’s love for Bon was everything—
But could he share it in a Three Way?

Or would Eulalia’s and Sutpen’s Curses—
Conquer them all in sudden tragedy?

The Haitian sugar plantation’s daughter—
Wanting to ruin the House of Sutpen

Could things hold together for long—
Would the octoroon mistress queer it all?

Could Judith and Henry stand each other—
Jealously fighting over Bon the Hung?

So many curses, my dears, so little time—
Decadent Southern Drama magnifique!!! 

Jim Bond

The story ends with Rosa Coldfield—
Taking Quentin out to the old mansion

They break into the plantation wreck—
Brushing aside poor old Clytemnestra 

Climbing the stairs to the attic—
There to find the dying Henry Sutpen

He’s been hiding all these years—
Up there after killing Bon the Beautiful

But the truly shocking thing is—
He’s in bed with loony-tune Jim Bond

Doing what the Old Miss couple did—
Making passionate love to each other

Quentin was simply totally shocked—
But Rosa just said: “Told ya so!!!”

What a sordid Southern decadent tale—
You’ll never find it in Cliff’s Notes tho

No comments:

Post a Comment