Feasting with Panthers

Feasting with Panthers

“In this world—there are
only two tragedies—one is
not getting—what one wants
and the other—is getting it”
—Oscar Wilde

The Characters

Alfred Wood

I’m the Empire—at the end of a decadent age
Who cruises—short blond hustlers in London

While composing—lazy indolent love poems
In a style of gold—dancing on languorous pools

My solitary sick soul—dense with ennui
All my clothes—splattered with erotic shame

Without love—I’m feeble with sluggish desires
With love—my existence is surely doomed

My true will—the desire to feel you die a little
When you’re drunk—and laughing at me

When you get drunk—I eat and devour your
Every exultant inch—I’m on fire for you

Empty boy—my neglected pouty slave
Alone with you—an unnamable ennui pains me

Sidney Mayor

You contemplate—your young male beauty
Nude in front of the mirror—after making love

The wind weeps—the rain against my window
Next door a piano—sadly plays a ritornello

How sad life is—after making love
How slowly time flows by—when you leave

I yearn for your body—atom by atom
In the infinite screen—of lonely nothingness

Only a few have—deciphered our love
But is it really love—this thing between us?

You’re my type—you fit my melodramas
My vices, grieves—my melancholy sickness

And when you sip wine—and disrobe
You turn me into—a bright golden dandelion

Then London reclaims you—none of you remains
Except everything is down—loneliness continues

Charles Parker

Painted pretty boy—of Piccadilly Circus
Like some sharp knife of ice—deep in my heart

Black dark ice—turned to fire there shopping
With my wife Constance—at Swan & Edgar’s

It was like a day—by the ocean all alone
All you had to offer to nothingness—was yourself

What precious smirky smile—what a delectable smirk
No fortune teller—could tell me what I already knew

My anxious heart told me the truth—this was it
The young gutter rose—habitual truant love

Invisible Piccadilly—wrapped me up in transparency
Nobody knew I was drunk with love—except the boy

Freddy Atkins

But Freddy Atkins—I was deeply in love with you
Everybody knew it—didn’t you or did you forget?

One evening—I went cruising out in the night
I found you hustling—in a cathedral back alley

You were showing a little leg—as usual
Preferring rich cardinals & popes—to mere priests

Oh Johnny—you’d lose it so very innocently
As if you were still a virgin—in some convent school

No wonder the moon would pale—and swoon
You procession of tricks—made the city tremble

Did you find comfort—prostituting yourself?
Staining—the stained glass with obscene love?

How the broad onyx droned—in the darkness
Driving the flames of the tapers—toward you

They were drunk like the breezes—with you
Your smell and songs of virtue—and vice

Robbie Ross

Once upon a time—there was a Saint
His name was—Saint Robert of Phillimore

Every night—while the sky was jet black
He’d rise from his bed—and fall to his knees

He’d pray to God that he—of all his lowly Minions
Would cause the sun—to rise & brighten Earth

And always, when the sun rose—he’d kneel again
Young handsome—Robert of Phillimore

Thanking God—that this great Miracle had
Been vouchsafed—once again

Then, one night—Saint Robert overly wearied
By his vast number of—good deeds that day

Slept in so soundly—that having woke up
The next morning—grew troubled & grave

Because the sun—had already risen without him
And the Earth—was already bright and alive

So after a few moments—the flummoxed young
Saint Robert fell to his knees—and thanked God

Despite his all-too-human—neglectfulness
Saint Robert—had still caused the sun to rise!!!

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