Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old Queen at the Movies

OLD QUEEN AT THE MOVIES 


—for the wonderful Steve Hayes

NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)

The classy way—
Cary Grant sort of
swishes his way

Down a lonely—
highway by a
deserted cornfield

Or pulls up—
Eva Marie Saint
off Washington’s nose

Into the compartment—
honeymoon bed of the
speeding Super Chief 
_______________

LOLITA (1962)

The utterly—
depraved look
on his face

James Mason—
sitting in the
backyard  patio

As Sue Lyon—
does her little
hula hoop act

Shelley Winters—
simply fuming
with jealousy
_____________

SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (1961)

The way that—
Natalie Wood
goes down on

Warren Beatty—
(his film debut)
leaning aloofly

back against—
a wall in that
sexy scene in

William Inge’s—
sexy Sixty’s
Teen Tearjerker
_______________

IMITATION OF LIFE (1959)

The awful way—
Troy Donahue
beats up poor

Susan Kohner—
for passing as
a White Girl

Or the way—
Lana Tuner
looks shocked

When her slutty—
daughter goes down
on John Gavin
_____________

THE BIRDS (1963)

The way those—
simply awful crows
went berserk

Pecking at—
Tippi Hedren’s
eyes up there

In the attic—
even the cute
little Love Birds

Turning into—
vicious mean
evil creatures
______________

PSYCHO (1960)

The look on—
Anthony Perkins’
Peeping Tom’s face

Then doing drag—
there in the old
Bates Motel

The awful—
slice and dice
scene with

Pretty, nude—
showering lovely
Janet Leigh




Monday, July 29, 2013

Shit Happens


SHIT HAPPENS 



"a nostalgia for 
the present "
—Frederic Jameson, 
POSTMODERNISM
____________

Not that I’m Miss VENUS IN FURS—
even tho I used to feel like a crummy 
Cockroach all the time

A simpering queen utterly trashed—
for my rather gay problematic 
tacky insectoid existence
__________

But I got beyond Gregor Samsa—
a gay victim of queer alienation
once I got out of the closet

So much for faggy apologies—
my new freedom & detachment 
got rid of any Str8t nostalgia






Venus in Furs

Egon Schiele Sebastian Portrait

VENUS IN FURS 



“This picture corresponds directly 
to the painting in which the narrator 
of Sacher-Masoch's story first sees 
Severin & Wanda "Venus in Furs"
—S. M. Coyne, Kafka and Postmodernism
_______________

The last thing in the room—
that last thing that was mine
they couldn’t take away

A magazine clipping that—
"showed a lady, with a fur cap 
on and a fur stole, sitting upright”
_________

“Holding out to the spectator a—
huge fur muff into which her whole 
pussy had vanished!" (METAMORPHOSIS)

"A beautiful woman resting on an—
ottoman, supported on her left arm
nude in her dark furs just for me
___________

Her right hand playing with a lash—
while her bare foot rested carelessly on 
me, lying before her like a abject slave

For I am Gregor Samson—
nothing but a Cock soon sliced away
like Delilah did to butch Samson



Coco Chanel

COCO CHANEL 


“Ultimately, even Craft agreed that 
the controversy comes back to his art, 
as it rightly should. As the critic Paul 
Griffiths put it in an email, "I think 
music is deeply sexy, but which way 
it swings I can't tell you."—Rick Schultz, 
“Robert Craft explains writing about 
Stravinsky's homosexual affairs," 
July 18, 2013, Los Angeles Times

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-stravinksy-craft-20130721,0,6906602.story 
__________________

Nijinsky was adroit at seduction—
Sergei Diaghilev, the Ballets Russes 
all of them fell in love with him

Widely regarded as the most—
Influential ballet company of the 
20th century one wonders why?
_______________

The same with choreographers—
composers, designers, and dancers, all 
at the forefront of their several fields

Composers like Stravinsky & Debussy—
artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse &
of course, the goddess Coco Chanel

.



On the Lido

Nijinsky on the Lido by Leon Bakst

ON THE LIDO



The waves, the waves—
all it takes is one simple
young male gesture

The waves stop—
the sun overhead stops
the bathers all stop
__________

Ballet asserts itself—
the ancient Rite of the
Death of the Moment

It lasts only so long—
just a brief snapshot of
the yonng mise-en-scene





The Rite

THE RITE 


"Incredulity towards 
metanarratives"
—Jean-Francois Lyotard
__________________________

It takes more than a key—
to unlock a door that’s been
locked, barricaded, forbidden

One has to be rather—
Kafkaesque, my dears, and
pose as a lowly Cockroach
___________

Faking METAMORPHOSIS—
with tres sneaky postmodernist
literary tricks of the trade

Foregrounding the old stories—
with new intertextual twists
like parody, pastiche & allusion





Nijinsky Mon Amour

NIJINSKY MON AMOUR 


"Letters are the only source 
for love affairs, since no 
autographed condoms survive"
Robert Craft, Stravinsky: 
Discoveries and Memories
_________

Stravinsky was kidded—
about having once shared the 
same bed with Nijinsky

People would laughingly ask—
“How was it?" to which his answer 
was “You will have to ask Ravel."
___________

Stravinsky was involved with the—
gay and lesbian community artistically
especially with LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS

RITE far from being tres "masculine"—
was totally, fantastically, flagrantly, madly
the vehicle for gay expression for a century





Doing Nijinsky



DOING NIJINSKY  



“Amaze me”—Diaghilev 
___________

Doing Nijinsky—
on the ferry all the
way to Vashon Island

In the backseat of—
my Mercedes that night
behind tinted-windows—
_____________

A new stunning version—
of Diaghilev-Stravinsky’s 
moonlit Rite of Spring

Cloud shadows scudding
down low throuth the 
high whitecaps, clouds


Miss Venus in Furs

Klaus Kinsky

MISS VENUS IN FURS 



“the picture of the lady
swathed in furs. At the
very least this picture
would be removed by
no one”—Franz Kafka
THE METAMORPHOSIS
_____________

My company was charming—
opposite me by the massive
Renaissance fireplace she sat

A casual lady of the world—
a chic Mademoiselle Cleopatra
Miss Venus in Furs herself
______________

Despite her dead stony eyes—
she purred like a cat wrapped
up head to toes in a huge Fur

A chill ran thru my Bone—
I simply couldn’t understand 
how her Whip turned me on




Dizzy Dilettante

PUNCH,
OR, THE LONDON CHARIVARI
VOLUME 98, MARCH 22, 1890

MISS DIZZY DILETTANTE II 



It’s curious, however, that although he—
aims at being considered a poet, an artist, 
a dramatist, and a musical composer…

The Dilettante gay moderné rather—

affects the society of those who are like him,
amateurs of imperfect development
______________

Like those who’ve hardly attained fame—

by any professional effort, but may be seen 
occasionally at various stylish parties

Making one wonder how so strange—

a medley of second-rate incompetencies 
can gather together into one room
___________

It is noticeable that the Dilettante—

loves the society of flitting queen bees, 
and isn’t adverse to mocking Domestica

He finds a sense of wit and satire—

in fancying that he’s somewhat remarkable, 
that his evil tongue wags sophisticated havoc 
_________________

No Dilettante can be considered genuine—

unless he expresses a pitying contempt for e
verything that he pretends to be

He gives a practical expression to his scorn—

by quavering in a queenly voice, the feeble 
chansonnettes of an inferior French composer
____________

And by issuing a volume of poems in which—

the good taste of English Grammar is swished
under the rug, and replaced with depravity

In his lyrical effusions he lashes out at—

the cold and cruel heartlessness of the world 
with a snotty, snively, tres nasty noble scorn
_____________

He addresses his ennui rather cleverly—

blaming all the skeletons in his tacky closet
dishing those gaudy pleasures of Dorian Gray

Having read these efforts to an admiring circle—

he betakes himself with infinite zest discussing
aesthetic tittle-tattle over a cup of tea 
____________

They will then take pleasure in persuading—

one another without any difficulty, that they 
are indeed the fine flower of elitist beings

The Dilettante, moreover, is a constant—

devotee at the first nights of certain theatres
and operas of high society gossip & elegance
________________

There amongst inner circles of Dilettantia—

a jargon, both of voice and of gesture, passes 
as humoresque, but is quite unintelligible 

The butchy bourgeois outer world of tacky—

Philistines means nothing unless, of course,
some cute rough trade number is appealing 
____________

Then the wrists dangle, the hands shake—

emphasizing those delicate finger-tips that
distinguish the plaintive cadence “oh, dear me”

______________


The fashionable Dilettante usually smokes—

cigarettelets (a word coined to express their
petite size) but she never attempts cigars

Miss Dilettante affects a gait and manner—

of the most mincing delicacy, seeking to impress 
others with her sense of superior refinement
______________

In later life, she’s apt to lose her hair—

disguising the ravages of time with rouge, 
toupee, wrinkle cream & cosmetic surgery

Yet she deceives nobody, getting buried—

in a wicker-work coffin covered with lilies while
her rival Dilettante friends simply yawn




Dizzy Dilettante

PUNCH,
OR, THE LONDON CHARIVARI
VOLUME 98, MARCH 22, 1890


MISS DIZZY DILETTANTE 


“Ivan Yakovlevitch was 
dumbfounded. He thought 
and thought, but did not 
know what to think.”
—Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
THE NOSE
______________

She can’t help it—
she's really such a
dizzy dilettante

So ditzy and dizzy—
an Old Queen at the Movies
flitting from flick to flick
_________

So faggy, my dear—
so tres feuilletonistic‎
such a silly queen

Some dayz she's—
simply much too much
tres kitschy Kafkaesque
________

There’s nothing worse—
than waking up as a 
silly Gogolesque Nose

Unless it would be—
some crummy Cockroach
with an awful hangover!!!




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Nichtsnutz

The Swordzman


NICHTSNUTZ 


“Nichtsnutz, noun—wastrel, 
useless bungler, no-account, 
no-good, good-for-nothing,
an utter waste of a person 
and a mind; human sludge,
a dweezle, a wastrel”
—Urban Dictionary
______________________

Ah, nothing like a whiff—
of POMO Lit Crit to like
queer the Kafkaesque

To say that Miss Kafka—
scholarship is actually
writing about writing
_________________

How one becomes—
Kafkaesque, my dears
like really doing it?

Writing the way—
Kafka wrote when
he wrote in crisis?



I Was a Teenage Cockroach


I WAS A TEENAGE COCKROACH 


“When Gregor Samsa
woke up one morning
from unsettling dreams”
—Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

___________

It was simply awful—I became Kafka's Cockroach. It was much worse than being transformed into Gogol’s Nose or Roth’s Breast. It was the worst Oedipal thing that could possibly happen to a teenage kid. It wasn’t a matter of adolescent hormones or hormonal desires—it was a wretched curse outta the blue. A primitive impulse—suddenly had appropriated my body and soul.

If puberty is a boy’s entry into the symbolic order of Adults—then my situation was just the opposite. Suddenly I found myself regressed and not knowing what I was—at least until my first shocking ogling glance into my all-knowing, smirking bedroom mirror.

__________

There’d been a hideous Metamorphosis, a truly naked Nightmare that could never possibly be true. I looked at myself in the mirror—I’d become a Dick!!! A huge male organ with a gimpy pair of legs with a couple of tiny bulging bloodshot eyeballs and ugly varicose veins and arteries running and wiggling up & down my obscene phallic girth and grotesque phallic length. It was just awful—I'd actually become a Kafkaesque Nightmare!!!I'd shamelessly become poor Gregor Samsa's grotesque cockroach!!!

It was like an Oedipal Curse, a marked House of Cards come tumbling down—there went any kind of normal sexual pleasure or desire for any future lovemaking. Not that I was a Romeo or Valentino or anything like that—I was an innocent virgin and not exactly God’s gift to women either. But then what pimply-faced eighteen-year-old chicken is? I was still naïve and in the middle of having nocturnal wet dreams out of the blue. In fact, it was right after waking up from one such rather embarrassing emissions—that I discovered my maddening erotic Metamorphosis.

__________

Was there any connection between the two—the wet dream and my skinny teenage 5 foot 6 inches turning into a tense engorgement of muy macho erect Maleness? There I was standing nude in front of my bedroom mirror—a totally obscenely embarrassingly erotic Monstrosity. 


I wanted to grow up just like any other man, of course—but this kind of quickie undignified speeded-up Virility was simply ridiculous!!! Surely I was literally the Embodiment of some kind of Rude Masculine No-Brainer Accident? I noticed with horror that my new phallic body even had a pair of erect quivering blushing pink nipples!!! And they were pierced!!!
__________

And to make matters even worse—I could feel the blushing rush of blood coursing through my new body making it difficult to move. The more I looked at myself—the more erect I got. Where was all this burgeoning blood coming from—was there no end to my stiff-as-a-board hard-as-nails Erection? My legs grew weak—I started getting faint. Oh, dear me!!!

And then to make matters even more worse—I had another one of those terribly embarrassingly uncontrollable Premature Ejaculations!!! Ten times worse than my usual normal All-American Boy unconscious Dream-Boat nocturnal emissions. I had no control over it—I became a Kafkaesque Cock!!!

________________

It was as if some uncanny Spastic Being had descended into me and possessed me like that Jacques Tourneur horror movie I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE!!! I could hear moody Hoodoo Voodoo drums beating incessantly down in my loins, I could feel myself becoming tall stoned Darby Jones the dark Guardian of the Crossroads in the dark moody Cain Fields of the Voodoo Night!!! 

It was like something supernatural!!! Or something super-natural like the Killer Hurricane Katrina—or the devastating meteor explosion in Siberia called the Tunguska Explosion that flattened everything for miles and miles around. Except it was me this time that got flattened...
________________

My shy thin skinny teenage hips shivered and quivered like Popocatepetl
shooting and squirting a megaton of runny goop outta me all over my bed and hitting the ceiling. It was just simply awful—so totally awfully rude. 


But to make matters worse, right in the middle of this unexpectly orgasmic Spasticity—my mother knocked on my door reminding me I should hurry up and get out of bed to go to school. Luckily I always locked the door—but I’m sure she perhaps heard what must have sounded strangely like some tramp steamer's bilge pump hard at work emptying its gobbledygook load down by the docks before sailing off for Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.
_____________

"But how can I possibly go to Schmuck High School this morning looking like this?"—I said to myself sprawled on the floor looking up at the obscenely sperm-splattered ceiling. I’d surely be the laughing stock of everybody at school
—especially in the gym class. All of them leering at me in the showerscalling me truly a real Dickhead this time!!!”  


After all, I wasn’t exactly an exquisite Greek male statue of beauty—I was hardly a classic study of Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” Even though the last line of Rilke's poem did seem to fit my predicament—“You must / change your life.” 
_____________

But it had really happenedthis simply bizarre, mysterious, whatever-happened moment had actually happened. My still-dazed imagination simply couldn't comprehend it all—this prickly pusillanimous predicament I was in!!!

Not only that—there was the gay gym teacher and the fag wrestling coach. They had insatiable phallic cravings that went beyond the beyond—one look at my new ultra-virile erotic masculinity and they'd go coo-coo. My new obscenely e
ngorged bod would surely cause a riot down there in the locker roomwhere obscene things went on all the time anyway. My doomed sense of lost chicken innocence was growing more & more...

____________

Knowing that it would be fruitless to avoid the ceaseless appetites of my gay gym teacher and queer wrestling coach stultified me. There was also all the nelly nascent fags and closet-case voyeurs just waiting for me in the locker-room. 


I felt completely helpless and frustrated not knowing what to do with my embarrassingly insatiable size-queen thing. To say nothing of all my various & sundry fucked-up fem-butch bipolar disorders slouching around inside me like Monsters of the Id from FORBIDDEN PLANET. My newly transformed body had created nightmarish problems that I’d have to deal with to surely endurescandalous post-traumatic syndrome horrors that would surely taint the rest of my so-called life!!!
________

I heard my parents drive off to work—and all I could think about was their shock and horror if they could only see me now. Surely they’d ship me off to some two-bit Carnival—where they’d show me off like one of Browning's FREAKS. A replacement for aging burned-out Prince Radian
the ugly human stump with no arms or legs. 


Except with me it would be slightly different—at least I had a pair of spindly legs to wiggle around. And some toes so I could roll my own cigarettes. I'd have to wear a brassier because of my pair of mutant tits—even though they were a nice pair of pert pick nipples. 
___________

Although the rest of me would surely get all the attention—hidden away in some secret sideshow carnival tent in some back-alley dive, flopping around in the sawdust like poor pitiful Olga Baclanova the squawking cross-eyed Chicken Woman after the Freaks got done with her!!!

To think, spending the rest of my so-called awful miserable life
being ogling at by the leering eyes of crude lascivious slobbering rubes there in the dismal shadowy depths of some rural fairground. Getting groped and fondled by some dumb ignorant country farmboys for a rude cornfield quickie? To be nothing more than the embodiment of cheap lewd young male gangster gaucherie? To end up being a mere irrevocably kitschy freaky monstrosity—the one & only Human Penis that could talk?

______________

Talk about NO EXIT—No Escape for the Wicked. Then to be the object of quack scientific studies, to be put on TV, displayed in obscene Youtube videos and gossiped about on feral FOX-News, to become the Parody Prick of Bourgeoisie Worship interviewed on the Oprah Show, fondled by fickle Freudians and touted in lascivious Las Vegas Liberace striptease acts. To be constantly disrobed in front of leering strangers, to be propositioned by dirty old men for lewd porno flicks, to be dished by the NYTimes and laughed at in the infernally obsequious blithering Blogosphere?

To even think about such things—filled me with the worst Fear, Paranoia and Self-Loathing ever imagined. It was the eye of the hurricane as far as my brutal claustrophobic Prickhood predicament was concerned. It was simply devastating thinking about the way all the gross events of my life kept piling up so quickly and unexpectedly
toward only one possible Denouement: a life with no purpose or meaning. Just unending inescapable no-exit Dickhood!!!

_____________

I could do nothing but lie there on my bedroom floor—dazed in a kind of deluded daydream full of the worst most possible post-orgasmic 
depression and icky ennui. I drifted off into La La Land—daydreaming it all wasn’t “real” and surely simply whatever happened to me that morning hadn't really happened at all! 


That decisive moment must have flipped some power switch somewhere—pushing some magic button that suddenly transformed me back into the person I'd been in the first place that strange morning of Dick Destiny. That fateful morning when I'd unfortunately become—a truly rude Cock-roach Cock that changed my whole life completely.
________________

Yes, I’d become a Creature of my own perverted teenage male imagination—somehow I’d been detoured down into some back-alley of sheer depravity. All surely because of ceaseless teenage habit of getting stoned and masturbation
beating my brains out every chance I got. Leering at porno mags—and thinking about cute girls at Blowjob High.


It was surely all my fault for being so sexually, obscenely
preoccupied with getting off—surely my addiction to dick caused my various nefarious nocturnal emissions. And somehow some strangely coincidental meaty morphing of my preoccupation with sex turned reality into a nightmare?
_____________

It had all happened to me like some tacky crummy Circus Act—kitschy klieg lights combing the sky, announcing the Premier of some new kind of Horror Movie Creature-Feature at the Roxy. 

Somehow I’d become a Snake Pit Drive-In Hollywood CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON flick—waking up in some sick director's unnatural Sexploitation Cesspool!!!
______________

Time slowly passed by that morning—it must have taken an hour or so. But somehow it was time enough—to transcend the horribly weird condition I’d fallen into. Surely it must have been some dream or hallucination all along—I said to myself looking in the mirror. 


There wasn’t anything really “mock-heroic” about being human again—for all I knew it could happen again any moment without a hint of what was to come. For all I knew—it could be something even worse the next timethan the nightmare I’d been through before. Worse than waking up a crummy Cockroach—worse than waking up a Cock once again? 
_____________

It was as if I’d been through—some kind of infernally weird Joker’s cruelly distorted anatomy lesson. The abnormal signs of teenage adolescence coming back to haunt me with a vengence—with all the truant, tacky, absurd, comic and tragic consequences of being a young bumbling Adolescent.


Becoming myself again was actually hardly a consolation to me now—after being totally horrified by my sense of young teenage maleness gone amok. It had been breached so rudely, crudely and cavalierly—by whatever or whoever did it to me. Something with a sick sense of humormixed with putrid parody and seamy satire. 
___________

But maybe I wasn't the only kid on the block back then or even now—to become inextricably, complicatedly a rather strange Dick for a Day? That whole day—I stayed home in my bedroom. I was glad just—to be me again. I thanked the Powers That Be—and didn't beat off for a whole week......





Gay Kafkaesque Writing

Nachan


GAY KAFKAESQUE WRITING 


 “In Kafka’s world the sacred and
the profane cannot be untangled,
and “seeming” may be the weightiest
word in his writings.”
—Saul Friedländer, Franz Kafka: 
The Poet of Shame and Guilt 
_________________ 

  Franz Kafka (1883–1924) is one of those authors whose impact on gay literature cannot be underestimated. Kafka was the precursor for what we call today the Gay Diaspora of Literature – creating a new exile gay fiction that we take for granted because of its now fairly well-accepted and ongoing modern homosexual literary ubiquity.
______________

Franz Kafka struggled during his short life to reconcile the irreconcilable: 1) his gay life, 2) his gay imagination and 3) his gay writing. 

Kafka’s texts at the time - and even now - demonstrate a perplexing problem for the Heteronormative literary establishment which slavishly treats Kafka’s queer oeuvre with an air of str8t mystification and myopic misrepresentation.
____________

For example, it’s commonplace for str8t literary critics and hetero littérateur queens to say something like: 

1) “Obviously the quality of Kafka’s work is clear yet it resists all attempts to approach it by way of traditional (str8t) reading”; 
2) “Our (str8t) imagination and understanding fall short of grasping Kafka’s textual world”; 
3) “Kafka’s gay texts demand a (str8t) transdisciplinary and comparative approach”; 
4) “It’s so perplexing: We understand the words and sentences of Kafka’s texts, but when it comes to envisioning the (gay) universe of his texts and its internal queer logic, we encounter almost insurmountable barriers. 
________________________

Insurmountable barriers? How boring and tres bourgeoisie, my dears. Str8t literary critics and commentators set themselves up as losers from the very outset. 

These so-called readers of Kafka’s texts seem to want to fail from the very beginning. And be doomed in their attempts to understand this so-called ‘uncanny’ queer world of Miss Kafka, created supposedly out of nowhere by an alien from the planet Mars!!!
___________________

C’mon now, my str8t dears. Is an alternate gay existence with its own queer dimensions such a difficult thing to entertain? 

Another thing these supposed str8t literary critics and hetero littérateur queens introduce into the Kafka conversation is the term “Kafkaesque” – an uncomfortable paradoxical little linguistic tidbit of str8t thinking: 
__________________

1) “We can understand Kafka’s texts but we struggle to follow their logic and the mysterious gay world created by them”; 
2) “The term ‘Kafkaesque’ suggests a dimension of Kafka’s texts that we perceive as strange, uncanny, and resistant to any str8t classification”; 
3) “Str8t authors have tried to adopt the ‘Kafkaesque’ situating themselves in the literary tradition of the uncanny that relies on the world of the mystified city of Prague with its long Jewish tradition as well as on Romanticist and ‘Gothic’ texts”
________________________

Of course, one can read a wide selection of Franz Kafka-esque texts by other contemporary authors as well as authors from other cultures and eras (J. Joyce, W.G. Sebald, T. Pynchon, H. Mulisch, Ph. Roth).

But does such a Comparative Literature approach really help to prepare our understanding of Kafka’s gay universe by comparing & contrasting it with the vast str8t oeuvre of all these other esteemed writers?

And just how much do we want to beat the same old ‘uncanny’ bandwagon circus act to explain away any understanding of what Miss Kafka could be saying to us? 
________________

For example, Kafka’s parable/short story UP IN THE GALLERY is hardly ‘uncanny’ or ‘mystifying’ or ‘unfathomable’ to either the Str8t or Gay Reader or anybody else along the GLBT spectrum of modern day Homonormative Identity Politics who takes the time to read this brief two-paragraph seminal little piece of ‘gay kafkaesque’ fiction.

http://www.kafka-online.info/up-in-the-gallery.html

In some ways UP IN THE GALLERY is like another one of Kafka’s brief snapshot parables, BEFORE THE LAW. The latter piece describes the gay closet while the former parable describes what it’s like to be a gay out of the closet before a mob of Str8ts.
_____________

UP IN THE GALLERY is like a three-ring Barnum & Bailey Circus Act that begins this way:

“If some frail tubercular lady circus rider were to be driven in circles around and around the arena for months and months without interruption in front of a tireless public on a swaying horse by a merciless whip-wielding master of ceremonies, spinning on the horse, throwing kisses and swaying at the waist…”

In the second paragraph, a sympathetic gay spectator is shocked and horrified by the tacky performance and rushes down out of the bleachers to somehow save the “frail tubercular lady circus rider” from such a cruel spectacle. 
____________

But the “frail tubercular lady circus rider” doesn’t want to be saved and actually enjoys doing the difficult circus act and relishes the applause and attention she gets from the adoring crowd:

“high on the tips of her toes, with dust swirling around her, arms outstretched and head thrown back, wants to share her luck with the entire circus—since this is how things are…”
____________

If there is some kind of ‘gay kafkaesque’ paradox involved here in these two parables, it seems to me it revolves around: 1) being in the closet (BEFORE THE LAW) and 2) being out of the closet (UP IN THE GALLERY).

Kafka seems to develop and elaborate on these various ‘gay kafkaesque’ parables later on – with his  METAMORPHOSES, THE TRIAL and THE CASTLE. 
_____________

Like the “frail tubercular lady circus rider” who doesn’t want to be saved and craves the attention of the audience - is the “frail tubercular” writer Franz Kafka doing the same kind of performance? Is Kafka  willing to perform this same kind of lady circus rider act like UP IN THE GALLERY - before a mob of str8ts? 

Is this what we call today being a ‘gay kafkaesque’ writer? 





Gay Kafkaesque

xiotima

GAY KAFKAESQUE 



Kaf•ka•esque 
Pronunciation: (käf"ku-esk')—adj. 

1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or resembling the literary work of Franz Kafka: the Kafkaesque terror of the endless interrogations

2. marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies.
________________

If one reads Franz Kafka’s parable, BEFORE THE LAW, as an example of what it’s like to be a gay closet-case, not being able to escape one’s own closet because of one’s own sexual guilt, fear and self-loathing – then wouldn’t that interpretation lead to a new definition of plain vanilla ‘kafkaesque’?

A ‘gay kafkaesque’ that pertains to Kafka’s fear of “endless interrogations”—fear resulting as much from endless guilty interrogations by himself as from various and sundry bureaucratic interrogators such as the ones in THE TRIAL?
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Wouldn’t these self-interrogations be even more “senseless, disorienting and menacing” than by unknown faceless entities – since, after all, nobody knows Kafka as well as Kafka knows himself?

In other words, nobody knows how gay and closeted Kafka really is, nobody senses the guilt and self-loathing that Kafka feels – other than Kafka himself.
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And nobody is more aware of the senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity of being a closet-case in a society that imposes bureaucratic restrictions on GLBT individuals – than a fellow bureaucrat (attorney & insurance executive) who stands BEFORE THE LAW.

Kafka lives, dies, writes, struggles - within his own personal ‘gay kafkaesque’ modern bureaucracy. He doesn’t need DADT or DOMA to tell him or guide him or restrict him or punish him or tell him what to do – because Kafka knows already. Only too well.
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Kafka is his own closet-case defendant – in his own personal trial BEFORE THE LAW. His closet was built just for him – by Society, Religion and his own tortured consciousness.  

The Closet’s power and influence over him - is based on his own nightmarish paranoiac self-imposed interrogation and TRIAL that goes on every day of his so-called ‘gay kafkaesque’ existence.
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That’s what an attorney, claims adjustment officer and insurance agent for the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia does best. 

Kafka’s job involves investigating and assessing compensation for personal injury to himself; accidents such as lost fingers or limbs are rather commonplace matters at this time in Prague. 
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But closeted Kafka does more than just that—he himself is his own Judge and Jury. 









Friday, July 26, 2013

Kafka Lite

KAFKA LITE 


In January 1912 Kafka had noted
in his diary: “I am supposed to
pose in the nude for the artist
[Ernst] Ascher, as a model for
St Sebastian”—Saul Friedländer,
Franz Kafka: The Poet of
Shame and Guilt
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Yes, my dears - plainly and succinctly put – I prefer KAFKA LITE. Nude, tied to a post - my own personal precocious S/M Boss Cupid. Erect nipples, pouty Prague Prick - the struggling, suffering queer quintessence of St Sebastian himself.

But why should I consider it necessary to ramble on & on like this about Miss Kafka - because you already know as well as I do what I'm going to say next: Miss Kafka Lite is exquisitely gay 'kafkaesque'.
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Much more 'kafkaesque' than you or I could ever want to be I suppose. After all who wants to be ‘kafkaesque’ anyway – you don’t have to be if you don’t want to be. On the other hand, if you’re a closet-case like the person in Kafka’s parable “Before the Law” – you may or may not enjoy being tres ‘kafkaesque’ and stuck in some proverbial closet the rest of your life.

The closet-case parable “Before the Law” is a quickie preview of what comes later on in Miss Kafka’s gay oeuvre - the tortuous treadmill of THE TRIAL and the even more tortuous transgressive transformations of THE METAMORPHOSIS. I don’t want to kvetch too much though – nor am I pretending to pull the ivy down from THE CASTLE walls of Yale University. Understanding Miss Kafka, Gregor Samsa & the other gay protagonists in Kafka’s various  ‘kafkaesque’ novels, short stories, parables & queer diary entries is a fairly easy exercise – in fact Miss Kafka hints, suggests, invites it.
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“Kafka Lite” is a phrase that sounds rather like some kitschy bourgeois cliché. And yet it’s like Franz Kafka posing in the nude as St Sebastian for the artist Ernst Ascher in his Prague studio.

As if the infamously enigmatic Miss Kafka could or would possibly reveal or divulge himself to anybody – just by posing nude in an artist’s studio. The Sebastian-esque pose is quite revealing though – a kind of burlesque ‘kafkaesque’ coming out of the closet portrayed in the parable “Before the Law.”
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What other self-revealing ‘kafkaesque’ portrayals exist down along the line of Miss Kafka’s oeuvre of coming out of the closet? Could the “Before the Law” trope be a key – to unlocking the closet-door of what it means to be a Prague Austro-Hungarian fin de siècle fag?

Miss Kafka worked as an attorney and insurance agent for the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia. The job involved investigating and assessing compensation for personal injury to industrial workers; accidents such as lost fingers or limbs were commonplace at this time.
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Did Kafka’s work with the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute somehow train him to see himself as a typical legal-insurance “case” no different than all the cases he handled and was responsible for.

Does Kafka’s writing reflect investigating and assessing compensation for his own perceived personal injuries—accidents of more than just lost fingers and limbs?

Is there a cure or compensation for 'gay kafkaesque'?