Friday, September 4, 2009

Cadillac Love

Cadillac Love

Scene One

Jerome hated it—being mulatto
But I loved it—every inch of him
Jerome’s hair—was bright orange
Just like Mommy Dearest—Amy Jane
Jerome’s complexion—albino mauve
Except down there—between his legs

Jerome was shy—and self-conscious
He didn’t want to—take a shower
Jerome locked—the bathroom door
Because he knew—I wanted in
Jerome stayed up—and watched TV
Because he didn’t—want to go to bed

Jerome was 16—and I was twenty-one
The court appointed me—his guardian
Jerome got an allowance—just enough
I didn’t care if—he dropped out of school
Jerome was laidback—he didn’t care
Got him a Cadillac—so we could drive

Jerome loved to drive—late at night
With the top down—and radio going
Jerome drove for hours—and hours
Out in the country—on the highway
Jerome could drive forever and ever
Old Route 66—abandoned at night

Scene Two

We lived alone—there in Ingeville
On Come Back Little Sheba Street
He’d never heard of William Inge
So I took him to the Granada and
The Snake Pit Drive In to see most
Of Inge’s movies—like Picnic

The helicopter aerial shot above
The wheat elevators and town of
Hutchinson was very breathtaking
But he got off on Natalie Wood
Going down on Warren Beatty in
Splendor in the Grass (1961)

I got Jerome to read the plays—
Come Back Little Sheba then
The movie with Burt Lancaster
And Shirley Booth—as well as
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
& naturally Bus Stop with Monroe

Later on after he joined the Navy
To get out of town—away from me
I read Inge’s “black” novel in 1979
Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff about
An interracial love affair between
A school teacher & a black janitor

Scene Three

I really didn’t care—what Jerome did
He dropped out of school—no big deal
I pretty much left him alone—“kinda”
Going to Ingeville Teachers College
Getting my degree in English was the
Main thing on my mind—“sort of”

Jerome slept till noon—I came home
For lunch everyday—he was still in bed
He’d be lying there—waiting for me
Smoking a cigarette—listening to music
I forget when we—started doing it
Pulling the sheets back—for love

Jerome was the tall—quiet type
Long and lanky—with his eyes closed
He played basketball—with the guyz
In the park—on campus sometimes
But most of the time—he laid around
Doing nothing but playing with himself

After a month—in the big mansion
He moved into my bedroom and we
Slept together—such brotherly love
I got to know intimately the other
Half of me—the dark double that was
The Night of the Iguana in me

Scene Four

That’s when I started writing—
About us—about him and me in the
Big house—there alone together
On Come Back Little Sheba Street
For a whole year until he was 17
And then joining the Navy

I was pretty stoic about it all—
Good things like that just don’t
Last forever—even though time
Stopped each day & night—
Stretching out like a long smooth
Highway in the moonlight

It wasn’t easy for Jerome—
Being a Negro in Ingeville KS
It was bad enough having a
Gay half-brother like me in
Love with him—sleeping with
Him—wanting him all the time

Writing about Jerome was—
Hard and yet it was easy since
He had a way of stopping time
For me—all he had to do was
Lounge on the sofa—in his puce
Kimono—looking at the ceiling

Scene Five

Ever tasted a Family Tree?
I have and it’s awful tasting—
The writhing roots of shame
The bent branches of love
Chicago ran thru his veins—
His sac full of saxophone love

African roots and branches—
All the way from West Africa
On slave ships—Caribbean
Cane plantations—and rum
The New Orleans slave block
His Mississippi sluggish cum

I got to know my other half—
The dark doppelganger love
That dares not mention its name
Jerome ashamed of how queer I
Was for him—how infatuated
I was—down to the last wiggle

I knew the dinge queen truth—
Once I’d gone black there was
No turning back—I was turning
All at once into my kid brother—
Unashamed headhunter for
Deepest Darkest African love

Scene Six

Down in the dismal basement—
Down behind locked doors and
Hidden inside safety deposit boxes
That’s where the bank held our
Family Secret—one of mother’s
Photo albums—and some letters

I showed Jerome—a photo
Taken in Chicago back during
A nightclub performance and
How Jerome looked like him and
How goodlooking his father was—
The reason mother loved him

She never stopped loving him—
But love-affairs aren’t forever
And so she left Chicago and
Came back to Ingeville to live
With her parents—leaving Jerome
With his relatives in Chicago

How was I to know that first
Time I met him—how was I to
Know how much I’d get to know
Him—how was I to know how
Deep Magic Negritude ran thru
Him—oozing inside me too

Scene Seven

I remember the first time—
How much Jerome blushed and
Blushed some more—deeper shades
Of Mandingo mauve each time he
Let me touch him—become him
When he lost it—all the way home

That’s why he finally dropped—
Out of school because of gym
The other guyz ogling at his
Incredible jet-black endowment
While the rest of him was so
Pale delicate white chocolate

Lean licorice-smooth man—
The rest of him so albino-white
That he glowed in the dark—
But only I really knew just how
Pink his head got concealed by
That nice Congolese foreskin

I wanted to know the truth—
Just how much could I become
My kid brother each time he lost
It and lost it some more—that’s
When I knew I was doomed to
Be his slave forever and ever

No comments: