Lust in Translation

          Reaffirmation of my multitudes,


Whitmanesque in my delusion’s choice of companionship,
any bad decision of mine is missing
no chance, wasting no opportunity, to bed
my demise, to meet my narrative’s conclusion
sinking like dragons’ teeth into a deluge
of meat-headed myths elusive as lasting happiness,
a feathered serpent of a dénouement diving
in to be downed by them, pigeon-holed
by my albatross of sin into the
skulls of fools, of ham-fisted dudes, bona
fide mimbos, whose fantasies include me only
as a perverse curiosity, a reluctant courtesy,
or reparation for their ignorant ancestors’ massacre
of my invisible minority, twenty centuries of
mourning seemingly perpetually an innocence now so


distant even I, secret pain painted over
with a grin so wide singing songs
of so much experience, wonder if it
ever did truly exist, whether birth precedes
or follows it, if this is it,
and death only a sentence imprisoning us
now just as much as it did
them then, what did them in echoing
a parade of words burning their bones,
their ashes and tears threading tragedy into
threnody, dirgeing an elegy of warm charcoal
onto walls of stone, indifferent to self-inflicted
affliction, my own name a tag smouldering
hieroglyphic in a June sun reminiscent of
lost wisdom returning as if from ancient


Egypt, after journeying by night going forth
by day, which is bullshit, the same
sort occultists traffic in and misattribute the
pseudepigraphies of their autohagiographies with, spelling out
a whole book recently and reluctantly unearthed,
as if I were not simply sexting
but Sexton, and confessionalism was back again,
I am unafraid to admit my provenance,
transfixed by my misery’s Phœnix heat, disintegrating
like an Old World city collapsing under
the silk-screened hammer-and-sickle blanket of a renewed
Cold War’s nuclear winter, under the thunderous
weight of anachronism, a Weimar wit’s deflated
zeppelin, or a misfired invective’s fizzling missile,
self-seeking æsthete deemed a pariah by my


so-called kind, denied acceptance even among the
self-segregating faction I cannot escape and eclipse,
the only thing of which I am
ashamed is this Uranian bend in my
psyche which I cannot change, this gay
being of mine which stymies any pride
I might wish never again to hide,
but what I feel inside is abandon,
this kink in the coiled hose of
my brain cutting off Kundalini’s rapture, erupting
into a crippling dissatisfaction fed and perpetuated
by an insatiable hunger, a thirst no
tryst can quench, no matter how many
times I repent or repeat this quest
I never seem to reach the end


and end up lost, wilderness is no
one’s friend, not when every potential companion
ends up a demon in disguise, inconsolable
loneliness in drag, a cavalcade of beasts
cheating me with cheap pretensions to camaraderie,
touching the stone of my heart only
long enough to make me jump, then
they run off instead, and I am
the masked one left uncertain of the
meaning of these crimes, the bandit of
my own lost time, more Byronic than
Proustian or Kafkaesque, sequestered in my bawdiest
house in a stand-off against my desires,
lame-footed and infamous, pacing a fiery line,
questioning if passion ever blossoms into love


or only always bombs into lust, musk
of men a delirious exuberance, a suffumigation
of my ego’s altar, an invocation of
poetic license against silence, suffering this visceral
indifference of my unequivocal uninterest which serves
only to entice them and yet, when
they approach, I do not deny them,
an undefined unrefinement of borderlines blurred in
every sweating moment my defiant stance vanishes
into a no-man’s-land of compliance, ‘What would
really shut me up would be having
your tongue in my mouth right now,’
said the last one, a dog drawling
with dirtbag swagger, dragging it out, dragging
my dignity through the dirt, vamping for


his crowd of cowards who devour lovers
for sport as if the injustice of
“just because” were justification enough for such
rapaciousness, this is how they work, coming
out at all hours all wood, hardened
hearts inuring these fiends to sympathy, stiffs
crawling after cock after dark, craving chaos,
intentions black as crows, they sense my
loneliest heart and want to feast on
its death like leather-jacketed jackals, every anonymous
Anubis I let conquer me, every orifice
a tomb pulling in indecencies of demagogues
playing at being demigods who seek release
through my body, who seek we fools
who flee respectability, exiled dissidents eager to


feed each other grapes and address one
another by our stage names, performers who
stage on streetcorners metaphors whoremongering words, pejorative
perverts warring against every protest, using each
other like tools, a chorus chewed up
then cast out, speaking of a personal
renaissance of renewed self-righteousness, attackers who have
me asking am I attempting to be
open and ready in a different sense
for once, my heart for a husband,
that is, anticipating a different set of
long-term consequences? This poem is my answer,
long-winded as ever, verbose to a fault,
once it starts the honesty never stops,
knowing Plato told us in his Phaedrus


writing is just a poison which kills
memory, I persist as an agonist does
against his oppression, by expressing my Self,
articulating my struggle for an audience, say
what you want about language, which is
perfectly natural, it is writing which is
artificial, so far, as a species, we
have only invented three ways to make
thoughts and speech tangible: I am talking
about the ideographic, the syllabary, and the
alphabet, this is how I capture the
essence of and elaborate my personal hell,
what enables me to bottle and sell
it to others, in whose minds and
mouths it will potentially distill into what


I wanted all along to feel, a
sort of catharsis I have always needed
and had hoped would appear without me
having to steal a stranger’s heart the
way mine was by every stranger I
let use me to get them off,
as if that was any way to
heal, I was complicit, playing sacrificial victim
to a lost cause, making of wanting
to be wanted a false religion in
which flesh was god, respect the cost,
worshipping what I was not, I am
that I am, always becoming someone else
until I return to my original form,
the Ur-version who does not care anymore.