Dirty talking shadows in
dimly-lit, smoke-filled bars
stir restless gonads to
and sweet, nasty lies.
The scent of body sweat
mingles with department store
perfume like oil and water,
leather and silk —
unlikely, yet strangely magnetic.
Oh yeah …
I love the way the lie
exuding from your posing stance
binds my wrists and genitals,
pulling me to my knees;
demanding nameless submission.
Across the distance we begin a
sultry dance of anonymous flirtation:
I turn to catch your stare,
you look away;
my eyes drop to my cocktail,
yours slowly scan my torso and loins.
I acknowledge with a smile and you
walk away because I broke the rules,
was too eager to collude fantasy
with reality and was, therefore, unsafe.
You feign indifference as you watch me
leave with another two hours later.
And I’m already half-spent as
I prepare to torpedo our dirty talk
into the bowels of my compromise.
Responding to the call
of a warm summer night,
the muscled youth surveys the
streets from his Oakland stoop
with the vigilance of a vulture.
He soothes the heat
pervading his loins
with beer and cigarettes,
and gyrates to rhythms
from his Sony Walkman to
intensify his baiting scent.
At the passing off each female,
he extends greetings and suggestions —
lastly to a haughty one who
requests that he kindly ‘drop dead.’
The youth throws a kiss and laughs
in sport and self-defence,
until he spies the adoring stare
of another boy, and yells:
“What are you looking at, faggot?!!”
You know — I hardly recognised you
out-of-drag this afternoon!
Your clever disguise
enabled you to sit down
before I could run away.
You both surprised and intrigued me
when you lamented the slow
passage of time — for I
have often envied and despised
your freedom, and almost fickle
sense of reality.
Funny how …
all these years …
I regarded you as crazy.
But now that we share disillusionment
with expectation and time,
I recognise you in myself.
LET’S GET SOMETHING STRAIGHT …
Let’s get something straight …
I am not ‘gay’, and this is a
one-time thing … so don’t
go expecting anything more;
don’t say ‘hello’ to me on
the street, at the mall or at the gym;
and for God’s sake don’t you ever
tell anyone about this …
(if you know what is best for you.)
Agreed? Good! Now ‘manhandle’ me bitch …
Yeah!!! … now THAT’s what I’m talking about …
CELLULOID SEX MAGIC.
Slap me with your sex magic,
and drive me home via my nipples.
I’ve found my silver lining
in the strand of pre-cum
drooling from your precipice.
Tease me with the flex
of your oiled biceps
as you grab me by the hair
and draw me into the
chasm of celluloid beauty.
Tempt me, force yourself upon me,
and — for God’s sake — stay in my
consciousness while I examine
the photo on the next page.
Being the old-fashioned faggot
that I am, I delight in
chasing straight boys
until they catch me.
I buy them drinks,
light their cigarettes,
and tell them they are
the biggest and the best.
Then I take them home
and give them what they want
and deserve —
as deep and as hard as
THIS CRAZY VISION OF MINE.
I lie on the sofa – half-asleep in a wet dream,
my body lubricated with sweat and the
room pungent with the imagined scent of
dripping man-cunt and semen.
The ringing of the telephone disrupts my fisted dance
with an impudence that only can be described
in four- or five-letter words, and a disturbing
feeling comes over me – somehow
I know that something is amiss –
this crazy vision of mine offers no
humane release; there is no humanity
anymore – only the immorality of
so-called ‘morality’ and idleness.
They say that idleness is the work of
the Devil, yet society binds us to
television and global propaganda
ranging from politics to advertising:
a sadomasochistic mind control.
Big Brother is not watching us –
we have become Him willingly,
embracing uniformity and ratting
out suspected dissidents – be they
enemy or friend, neighbour or mother.
I pick up the receiver and before
I manage to grunt ‘hallo’ I hear
a husky breathing sound –
not quite panting, but a
emanation evolving from
the caller’s spleen.
After two minutes of mutual
breathing into the receivers,
I excuse myself to go get
a cigarette, and we continue
our duet – my caller singing
the baseline while I willingly
exhale the melody.
When my suitor abruptly
hangs up the telephone
I fall back onto the sofa,
finally spent – and
I cannot get the experience
out of my mind, it is forever
embedded in my libido and
I will never again be the same.
THE ADOLESCENT YEARS.
The adolescent years caught us off guard.
Fighting the travesties of acne and war
in a world we did not really know,
we marched through youth as soldiers of mercy
compelled by the romanticism of mass dissent …
feeling much, with little certainty.
If knowledge vanquished gullibility,
then surely inexperience bred expectation;
and faith cradled us in naked dreams
of prodigious sexual love yet bereft
of both lust and rationality.
I remember how you once told me that
the sexiest word in the French language
has to be “pamplemousse”.
You broke up in laughter and exclaimed:
“It means grapefruit. Can you believe that?
I laughed because your amusement was contagious.
Looking at your wild eyes and farm-girl smile,
I fell captive to your callow charm and
soon we were deep in each other’s arms,
We awoke from our laughter gazing at
one another in momentary sobriety.
And then, I buried my head in your breasts
and our seriousness died laughing.
Rain into Faith, your woman,
Up in the barrio last Saturday.
She wanted to know how her ‘homeboy’ is.
I told her you was still doin’ time.
Her ma won’t let her write,
but it ain’t been the same, bro’.
Little Julio’s started dealin’ crack,
and she’s two months pregnant.
When I asked her if the kid
was yours, she started cryin’.
I didn’t know what to do, man;
So I put my arm around her
And mumbled: “You gotta keep the fai…”.
Then I stopped, dried her tears
and smiled, while sayin’:
“If Homeboy was here, he’d tell you
to keep the baby, Faith.”
In the guises of feminism and masculinity,
we paced and stalked definition
with the cunning of a mother lion:
’round and ’round, closer and closer,
until our precarious showdown brought us
face-to-face with insecurity and dream.
As the war-drum heartbeats of a
million Amazons prepared to vanquish
my masculinity at its first indiscretion,
I loaded my tongue with silver arrows
and mercilessly catapulted the words
‘I love you’ against your brazen shield.
And simultaneously we fell … breathless.
RHYTHM AND TEARS.
The rhythmic atonalities
of steely, staccato tears
pelt graying pigmentation
But the romance of flesh
frozen emotionless by
half-dried ablutions is
the poetry of endings
muting into beginnings.
PSYCHE AND PHANTASY.
Psyche and Phantasy play artfully
at suggestion and intrigue;
their lovemaking weaves miracles
through the fabric of dreams.
There, in the Valley of Styx,
endings mute into beginning
like swirls of blue-grey smoke
creeping toward alabaster palaces
in primordial consciousness.
And soon, the fiery ashes of
one zillion charred impulses
rain heavily upon furrows
of creativity, cultivating
retrospect with expectation.
The way your staring green eyes
had suddenly bleached to grey;
your gaping mouth and stiffened muscles —
all frozen into a photographic still;
the stillness of space around us,
empty of airflow and sound;
all confirmed by the syncopated,
racing rhythms of my own heart —
and I knew that the moment had …
While the allure of the secret garden
lay in the promise of Paradise regained,
the strange fruits hanging from its
lowest boughs yield but bittersweet
marriage of affection and need.
Knowing that no entity is complete in
itself, the Children of the Voice Divine
adjust their own shortcomings and
graces after the responses of those
they interact with.
Together, their diverse personalities
conspire to reach the more distant but
sweeter fruits of harmony, and in that
unity find divine love and realization
in an otherwise imperfect world.
(My original Norwegian version.)
Som bestandig er iblant
de best kledde i byen,
men som aldri bruker
penger når du er ute.
Så sjenert at gutter
leter etter deg inntil
du fanger dem.
Så ensom. Så lei.
Så redd for deg selv.
Er det rart, eller …?
(Spanish adaptation by Fernando Rodríguez)
las mejores vestidas
de la ciudad,
pero que nunca
gasta un peso
que los chicos
hasta que tú
de ti misma.
– all works copyright Adam Donaldson Powell, and all previously published.