Boss Cupid

Thom Gunn

Boss Cupid

“Is there a double standard
that allows gay men to lust
after the young in a way
unacceptable for men who
lust after girls?”—William Logan,
“Verse Chronicle: The Way of All
Flesh,” The Undiscovered Country:
Poetry in the Age of Tin

It’s somewhat mortifying to read:
“He lost the wrestler with a smile
who pinned him to the mat of love
forever”—by an aging old fag poet

Especially after the fin de siecle
Specter of AIDS—the bodies dying
In the hospital sickbeds—70’s & 80’s
Breeding grounds—for drugs, disease

Thom Gunn’s trying to stay young
Trying to put the vamp—back in vampire
Mentioning his high blood pressure
Pondering gourmet Jeffrey Dahmer

Doing a Boss Cupid—myth reversal
Like Carol Ann Duffy—time changing
Not desire—but rather the meaning
Of it—stilted deliberate old queer poet

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