Saturday, June 29, 2013

Young Ettore

Ettore (Ettore Garofolo) 
Pasolini’s “Mama Roma” (1962)


—for Larry King, 15-years old

“where a young
peasant of the Roman 
Campagna sleeps amid 
rags, his penis erect”
—Pier Paolo Pasolini, The
Ashes of Gramsci 

Funny how I keep thinking—
of that kid in Oxnard lately
because he was so much more
advanced than me I guess…

Drag, my dear, in junior high—
that’s a grand step forward for
gender expression as they 
called it in his obituary…

A good way to die young—
high-heeled boots lipstick
eye-shadow and maybe a
swish & limp wrist or two?

Too gay for me back then—
when I was young, surely I
would’ve been tres dead
being so gay that way…

That’s what I mean by—
being more advanced than
me because he was more at
the cutting-edge of queer

The vanguard of the gay—
doing his gayness the way
he wanted to after all it’s a
sophisticated LA suburb…

Larry King reminded me of—
Jake Gyllenhaal in his fem 
gay role as Jack Twist in
Brokeback Mountain…

Well, kinda, anyway—
not butchy and hunky
and troubled and moody
like Heath Ledger tho…

Nascent gayhood—
the kid expressing his
Bildungsroman direction
with style and panache…

Isn’t that what freedom is—
the chance to see your
life as conceptual art if
that’s your thing?

Oxnard was troubled tho—
young illegal aliens and 
boyz down at the beach 
and the bad economy…

Throw in the usual—
poshlust peer-group push
toward politically correct
performance art…

It wasn’t as easy as—
clicking your magic red
Wizard of Oz high heels
back then, was it, my dears?

The New Depression—
the end of Weimar and
wars in Persia only made
matters more difficult…

The whole push toward—
gay marriages is fine but
what about the young ones?

What did we do for the—
young gays back then
in the trenches, my dears? 

Giovane Ettore


-Per Larry King, 15-anni

"Dove un giovane
contadino del Romano
Campagna dorme in mezzo
stracci, il suo pene eretto "
-Pier Paolo Pasolini, Il
Ceneri di Gramsci

Divertente come Continuo a pensare-
di quel ragazzo a Oxnard ultimamente
perché era molto di più
avanzato di me immagino ...

Trascinare, mia cara, alle medie-
questo è un grande passo in avanti per
espressione di genere in quanto
chiamato nel suo necrologio ...

Un buon modo di morire giovane-
Stivali con tacco rossetto
ombretto e magari un
Swish & zoppicare polso o due?

Troppo gay per me allora-
quando ero giovane, sicuramente mi
sarebbe stato tres morto
essere così gay in quel modo ...

Questo è ciò che intendo per-
essendo più avanzato rispetto
me perché era più a
l'avanguardia di queer

L'avanguardia del gay-
facendo la sua omosessualità nel modo
voleva, dopo tutto si tratta di un
sofisticato sobborgo LA ...

Larry King mi ha ricordato-
Jake Gyllenhaal nel suo fem
ruolo gay come Jack Twist in
I segreti di Brokeback Mountain ...

Beh, un po ', in ogni caso,
Non butchy e Hunky
e travagliata e lunatico
come Heath Ledger tho ...

Nascent gayhood-
il ragazzo esprime la sua
direzione romanzo di formazione
con stile ed eleganza ...

Non è che ciò che la libertà sia-
la possibilità di vedere il vostro
la vita come arte concettuale, se
questa è la vostra passione?

Oxnard fu turbato tho-
giovani stranieri illegali e
boyz in spiaggia
e la cattiva economia ...

Gettare la solita-
poshlust peer-gruppo di spinta
verso il politicamente corretto
performance art ...

Non è stato facile come-
Cliccando tua magia rossa
Mago di Oz tacchi alti
allora, era, miei cari?

La Nuova Depressione-
la fine di Weimar e
guerre in Persia effettuate solo
conta più difficile ...

Tutta la spinta verso-
matrimoni gay è bene, ma
che dire dei giovani?

Cosa abbiamo fatto per la-
giovani gay di allora
in trincea, miei cari?

Gay Inferno


“Either we are subhumans
or we are equal citizens”
—Andrew Sullivan on
Andrew Cooper

We’ve all been down there—
dark and deep, thick with
clouds of str8t inferno

Young Ettore imprisoned—
down in Pasolini’s hellish
“Mama Roma” (1962)

It doesn’t take a Dante—
to know the dread abyss
of the Divine Commedia

But now Judge Kennedy—
uses the word “dignity” nine
times in today’s decision

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Ashes of Pasolini


“But while I own history,
it owns me; it illumines me.
But what use is such a light?”
—Pier Paolo Pasolini, The
Ashes of Gramsci 

Life and literature—
Pasolini bound them
together so close that

He confused them—
canceling each other
out like Dante

Pasolini was reborn—
as a civil poet with 
his own Inferno

Something like us—
our new gay utopia 
a negative theology

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Amy Lowell: Imagiste


● Amy Lowell: God made us queer—but also made us gay poets. 

● We use the language of gay speech, employing always the exact word, not the nearly-exact, nor merely str8t words.

● The Pound Era: The apparition of fags in a crowd, bumps on a wet, dark street.

● We create gay moods—as the expression of new gay consciousness—we don’t copy str8t syntax, which merely echoes old moods. 

● We don’t insist on “free-verse” as the only method of writing poetry. We schmooze with it as a different kind of lifestyle. 

● We believe that the individuality of a poet may often be better expressed in gay-verse than in heteronormative forms. 

● In poetry, a new swish means a new idea.

● To allow gay freedom in the choice of subject. 

● It’s not gay art to write only good things about queers and queens; nor is it necessarily good art to write well about fag poets. 

● We believe passionately in the artistic value of modern gay life, but we wish to point out that there is nothing so uninspiring nor so old-fashioned as gay marriages ending up like str8t ones.

● To present an image (hence the name: “Imagist”). 

● We are not a school of painters, but we believe that poetry should render particulars exactly and not deal in vague generalities, however magnificent and sonorous. 

● It is for this reason that we oppose the str8t poet, who seems to us to shirk the real difficulties of a good blowjob.

● To produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.

● Finally, most of us believe that camp is of the very essence of poetry.

Des Gay Imagistes





 “Cold, wet leaves”
—Amy Lowell, The Pond

Floating belly-up in the pool—
while croaking old frog me
ogles at you in the twilight


“I could see to
write you a letter”
—Amy Lowell, A Lover

If I could catch a green—
lantern full of a hundred
flitting glowing fireflies

I could sit down tonight—
and write a charmingly
haunting haiku for you


“the purple vine leaves”
—Amy Lowell, Autumn

All day I’ve watched his purple veins
there in the water, bulging in the
sunlight, fringed with pubes


“I have no wish for
doing any thing”
—Amy Lowell
Nuit Blanche

I’m really not very horny tonight—
i don’t feel like doing much anything
tricks don’t do the trick arousing me
they don’t fit my mood I guess

Not even humming violin strings—
can coax me with calm cadences
not even the most handsome marquise
can pluck me from my strange silence

Here in the dark I hear their feet—
dilly-dallying there in the gravel
a red moon leers down through the
drunken sycamores with a sigh

A lurching boy, nimble as a clown—
runs his fingers down his stomach
cuddling his burning wiry pubes
kiss me, his red lips say tonight


“What torture lurks 
within a single thought”  
—Amy Lowell, Fixed Idea

Thinking can grow too constant—
my weary mind gets bored and aches
it becomes a rather tiring habit

Dull forgetfulness sometimes better—
than unceasingly remembering things
old delights can get painfully refined

Sometimes it’s better to just relax—
and enjoy that old delight in just
not thinking about anything at all

Giving one’s broken heart a brief rest—
forgetting about constantly struggling
not thinking so much about love


“Why do you hide yourself?”
—Amy Lowell, The Artist

Why do you hide yourself in words—
why do you dim yourself with pulp fiction
I can buy books in any bookstore

I’d rather enjoy your silence—
the evenings when your pale body
can be so startling and quiet

The way you curve upward—
shooting a jet of quivering cum
the way you waver and tremble

I would rather tremble too—
knowing you, feeling you shoot
your beauty untainted by words


“The chatter of little people”
—Amy Lowell, Aliens   

The chatter of little people—
like Ezra Pound & Miss Eliot
burdens my Sapphic Muse

Their tiresome misogyny—
such Patriarchal Pricks
creepy Closet Cases

They’re like water-drops—
slowly wearing the rocks
of Gay Modernism away

But Sapphic Modernism—
Lesbos Imagism will perhaps
give us Sylvia Plath again


“Gushing from the mouths”
—Amy Lowell, In a Garden

Gushing from the mouths—
of granite-lipped stone cherubs
down into overflowing basins

The running waters rushing—
the passing wind whispering
in the close-clipped lawn

Turning the garden into Eden—
spreading out under the sky
glutted with dabbling daffodils

Damp smell the delicate ferns—
tunnels of stone, full of the trickle
and plash of marble fountains
Splashing down on moss-tarnished—
old steps, then falling, throbbing,
gurgling, leaping and running

The deep, cool murmur of the—
night with you nude in the shining
silver-flickering swimming pool

The scent of the lilacs heavy at night—
you in your whiteness bathing and
letting me see how much you’ve grown

Unburying Amy Lowell


“Robert Lowell, writing to Elizabeth 
Bishop in the 1950s, reports a 
conversation with Robert Frost, in 
which the latter Robert said of the 
former Robert’s distant cousin, 
“somebody really ought to unbury 
Amy.”—D.A. Powell, “Amy Lowell: 
“The Garden by Moonlight,” 
Poetry Foundation

A black cat slinks in the roses—
through the leery snap-dragons and
petunias under the dark midnight moon

The sweet smells of heliotrope—
in the night-scented garden schmoozes
with opium dreams of my pretty poppies

Taking a toke from my bubbling hookah—
finding sweet asylum in the golden glow
of tip buds of alyssum flowers nearby

Swarms of blinking fireflies through—
leaves and trellises while cicadas drone
away after their long 15-year return

Moon-spikes shafting through shadows—
only the little face of my wary black cat is
as alert and staring like me tonight

Padding between the roses, stealthy and—
quiet as my beloved sleeping here next to me
drained dry by my greedy mucous slug lips

Ah, Sweetheart, do you see my orange lilies—
they knew my mother, but who will know
them when I am gone? 

Diana Ross and the Supremes


Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart

Baby, baby
I'm aware of where you go
Each time you leave my door
I watch you walk down the street
Knowing your other love you'll meet
But this time before you run to her
Leaving me alone and hurt
(Think it over) After I've been good to you ?
(Think it over) After I've been sweet to you ?

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over

I've known of your
Your secluded nights
I've even seen her 
Maybe once or twice
But is her sweet expression
Worth more than my love and affection ?
But this time before you leave my arms
And rush of to her charms
(Think it over) Haven't I been good to you ?
(Think it over) Haven't I been sweet to you ?

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over

I've tried so hard, hard to be patient
Hoping you'd stop this infatuation
But each time you are together
I'm so afraid I'll be losing you forever

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart

Baby, think it over
Think it over, baby
Ooh, think it over baby...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Dressing Gown


“Highsmith’s closest friend
presented me with a gift—
Pat’s old dressing gown”
—Andrew Wilson, Beautiful 
Shadow: A Life of Patricia 

I tried the gown on—
it was like slipping under
the skin of Patricia Highsmith

It was dark blue wool—
with black, blue and
beige stripe cuffs

Its lining was a rather—
fine twill with a soft
tasseled waist cord

Purchased at Harrods—
strands of grey hair still
nestled around the neck

A strange air of—
otherworldliness even
suggested her nearby

Taking my clothes off—
so I could feel the gown
next to my bare skin

Easing my arms—
through the same soft
dark spaces and

Tying the waist-band—
feeling the nuances of
her gown around me

I looked down at—
my hands and they
were Highsmith’s hands

I picked up a pen—
and I began writing
like she would have

I listened to her—
most intimate thoughts
flowing through me

I felt Tom Ripley—
doing drag there in
that Berlin disco

But it was that—
exquisite feeling of
Pat’s soft dressing gown

Against my own—
naked skin that really
turned me on

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Doing Drag with Highsmith

Andrew Wilson / Patricia Highsmith


—Carl Rollyson, Beautiful Shadow:
A Life of Patricia Highsmith by
Andrew Wilson, Reading Biography

Doing drag like Ripley does in a gay Berlin disco in Highsmith’s novel The Boy Who Followed Ripley— sets the stage somewhat for something rather seemingly self-indulgent, I must say my dears, for the esteemed biographer Andrew Wilson.

Where on earth did Mr. Wilson dredge up “Pat’s old dressing gown”—and why for heaven’s sake would a biographer even want to try Highsmith’s dressing gown on, my dears?

Was it to get some deeper more-biographical feeling for the brilliant lesbian authoress—slipping it on, for example, in the British Museum stacks or the compy executor’s boudoir or perhaps there in her Swiss estate converted into some kind of Yaddo writer’s getaway?

Or was it perhaps more authorial—slipping on the old night gown to get the feeling for Tom Ripley’s penchant being an imposter posing as somebody else such as in The Talented Mr. Ripley? 

What better way to get to know Tom Ripley than through Patricia Highsmith’s very own dressing gown that she schlepped around the mansion in or typed away in her bedroom-study doing her masterpieces of murder and suspense?

It simply boggles the reader’s imagination to ponder the possibilities of just how deeply a Biographer would want to delve—in order to essentially “do drag” in order to become the biographical Subject herself, right down to the very dressing gown Highsmith slouched around in her cold dark Swiss mansion.

The Boy Who Followed Fiction








“There was not one 
thing I liked about her. 
There was an unredeemable
ugliness to her.”—Otto Penzler, 
Highsmith’s US publisher

My mother drank—
turpentine to abort me

No wonder, my dears—
I turned out to be

So disagreeable and—
mean-spirited as well

I was hard, harsh—
unloving & unlovable 

Such a Bitch Queen—
full of anger, hatred

Unfriendly, cold—
I was a nasty Kunt


“She was a totally
horrible woman.”
—Otto Penzler, 
Highsmith’s US publisher

I was pretty good-looking—
when I was a young dyke

I got ugly later on in life—
simply full of ugliness

Hatred for everybody and—
everything around me

It was always there down—
deep inside me I think

Have you ever tasted the—
taste of Turpentine, honey?

I did in my Bitch Mother’s—
wretched pregnant tummy


“In November, Highsmith
typed out a tally of how
much it cost to keep her
mother in her Fort Worth
nursing home”—Andrew
Wilson, Beautiful Shadow

A total of $15,000—
was needed each year

for Patricia Highsmith’s—
hateful, spiteful mother

Mary Highsmith’s pension—
coughed up $7,486 a year

That left a shitty shortfall—
of $7,814 Patricia paid

Patricia wasn’t very pleased—
her own ordinary expenses

For food and clothing weren’t—
as much as her Witch Mother 


“Work is more 
fun than play.”
—Noel Coward

Proust’s Questionnaire—
can be rather revealing

Thirty-seven loaded—
exquisite queer questions

My idea of happiness—
would be quite simple

To be Tom Ripley—
one novel after another

Who needs Miss Munch—
when one has a Derwatt

There’s nothing like a—
a fake to queer Picasso


“I would have thought 
she was conserving 
rather than mean.”
—Jack Bond

I figured that my money—
had been hard won

Writing Pulp Fiction—
doesn’t pay that much

Suspense/Murder Mysteries—
there’re a dime a dozen

Plus being a lesbian author—
a Sappho feminist writer

Has always got a lot of—
fucking flak from the Fascists

Just look at Amy Lowell—
enduring that bitch Ezra Pound


“The reward of art
is not fame or success
but intoxication.”
—Cyril Connolly,
The Unquiet Grave

When I’m plotting—
and writing fiction

I’m very fond of—
coincidences in plots

And situations that—
are almost but not

Quite incredible—
out of nowhere

They just pop out—
of my head…

How else can—
possibly say it?


“That is why so many 
bad artists are unable to
give it up.”—Patricia Highsmith

Not a very big bedroom—
a nightstand full of books

Mostly paperback books—
beat-up classic fag fiction

I liked them since I was—
a closety gay teenager

Cruising the drug store—
the bus and train stations

Maybe you think that’s—
queer I like Pulp Fiction

You should’ve seen me—
sucking off those sailors


“Tom saw blue jeans
and tennis shoes. The 
boy from the bar.”
—Patricia Highsmith,
The Boy Who Followed Ripley

It didn’t turn out to be a—
mugging, the kid was polite

He was goodlooking like—
some young ones are

And so I took him under—
my wing for the usual affair

Menace lurks in familiar—
places like a bulging crotch

My subversive cold logic—
usually puts 2 & 2 together

I was bored anyway, dears—
I needed a cute new trick


“Murder, in Patricia Highsmith’s
hands, is made to occur almost
as casually as the bumping of a
fender or a bout of food poisoning.”
—Robert Towers, New York
Review of Books

He was a cute young freshman—
so many of them around campus

The ordinariness of his male—
beauty was rather stunning

I was used to depicting the—
daily lives & mental mind-fucks

You know, like Miss Capote’s—
travails with “In Cold Blood”

Wooing and schmoozing with-
them, milking out the details

Young psychopaths on campus—
surely a dime-a-dozen, honey


“The domestication 
of crime in her fiction”
—Robert Towers, New York
Review of Books

Implicating the reader—
that’s only half the story

The sordid fantasy that’s—
being worked out, dear

It needs daily life and—
ordinariness of details

The daily lives & mental—
processes of psychopaths

It’s like food poisoning—
that tainted cumly taste

There’s nothing fictional—
about being a gay Author


“keeping us on his side”
—Frank Rich, NYTimes Magazine

Keeping us on his side—
demonic American hustler

Keeping Tom mock-heroic—
all the way going down

It takes more than just—
the usual str8t Circus Act

It takes a Trapeze Queen—
like a lovely Olga Baclanova

Entertaining a captive—
audience of astute readers

Takes a sociopathic gay—
con man like Highsmith


I suppose you’ll ask me next—
the social significance of it all

Being a Freak shouldn’t be new—
to any of you now however

Whether you’re a Queen Bee—
up there on the swinging Trapeze

Or down here in the gutter—
pearls wallowing in the sawdust

Tragic beautiful Olga Baclanova—
once Starlette of the Carnival

Up there above the unruly Mob—
heavenly Star of the Circus

Only to fall from grace down to—
the carnie sawdust of the rubes

Leered at as nothing more than—
a squawking CHICKEN WOMAN!!!

Clucking cross-eyed hopeless—
just another weird Freak

Fallen from heights of Beauty—
down into the depths of Ugly


“Savage in the way 
of Rabelais or Swift”
—Joyce Carol Oates
New York Review of Books

Murder happens all the time—
during office hours in Denny

No big mystery, my dears—
it’s like food poisoning

One gags and almost—
Vomits but not quite really

It takes patience and—
performance to do the Trick

Eliciting the exquisite—
menace of young teen meat

There’s nothing quite—
like it psychopathic pricks


“For eliciting the menace
that lurks in familiar
surroundings, there’s no
one like Patricia Highsmith”

Amidst all those old—
aging Hitlerjungend faculty

I considered myself lucky—
not to have that haunting

Sullen Schadenfreude—
during the rather ratty Sixties

I preferred Marlene Dietrich—
and her Weimar Swansongs

You know, like down in the—
lovely Reichstag bunker, dear

“I can’t help it” Marlene sang—
“I’m falling in love again…”


“Bonjour, madame” she
spat at him. She missed
his face, missed him
entirely, and plunged on
toward the Rue St. Merry”
—Patricia Highsmith,
Ripley’s Game

I never got along with my—
colleague Professor Schlong

Such a petty pompous—
Prick from the Fatherland

I suppose an ex-Nazi had—
to play it straight for Tenure

He couldn’t conceal though—
his haughty Hitler demeanor

His pompous Nazi prick—
oozing there in Denny Hall

The Faculty Bathroom stunk—
when he took his shit there


“Drag?” Eric gave a 
mystified smile. “Drag
for what? A party?”
—Patricia Highsmith,
The Boy Who Followed Ripley

It was down in the basement—
That’s where it was happening

The Real Party going on—
that Saturday Night back then

The usual Str8t Frat Party—
Going on up there upstairs

But down in the Basement—
That’s where the Action was

The hunky naked Crew Team—
dancing in drag on tables

Loud music and lots of dope—
male hunks make hot dames!!!!