All the Suave Swans


—for Truman Capote

“Black on flat water 
past jonquil lawns”
—James Merrill
“The Black Swan”

LA CÔTE BASQUE wealthy ladies—
gliding by like suave swans on a lake

Truman Capote with his catty little glare—
doing his still-unfinished unspeakable novel 

ANSWERED PRAYERS indeed but not for—
many of Capote’s High Society female friends

The beginning of Miss Capote’s social suicide—
spilling the beans on the dying Jet Set queens

Norman Mailer shrugs saying “So what?”—
“Let’s hear some really indecent dirt”

“I know he’ll share some exquisite gossip—
if people only knew what Filthy Rich do”

“All it takes is a martini or two to get—
them bitching & moaning about themselves”

Using pseudonyms for their real names—
Capote squeals on the Suave Swans

A private chic chaos swirling in his wake—
the Swan Outlaws uneasily questioning

Their black necks arching in distain—
singing their bleak bitter Swan Songs

What did they expect from the bitchy—
journalist author of IN COLD BLOOD?

Needless to say much shock & rage—
chagrin & embarrassment shared by all

The pain of the petulant Sleek Swans—
betrayed beyond their worst expectations

Some swallowing sleeping pills to die—
others fleeing to Europe to mope & weep

The coy Enchanter sipping his cocktails—
all the time plotting, scheming to trash them

The illusion of upper class invulnerability—
turning hollow, marrow of cold winter

The hollowness of Suave Swan sorrow—
did they think it could possibly last forever?

Were they no different than the ex-cons—
deluding themselves like poor Perry Smith?

Were they any less rapacious than Killer—
Dick Hickcock haunting Holcomb Kansas? 

Like some innocent blond child there—
on the bank admiring the graceful swans

Capote could see no difference between—
Fifth Avenue elite and ex-con hoodlums

Cruising the brilliant ice-cold waters—
the suave sophisticated Society Swans

Emblems of spoiled evil Black Swans—
marveling at their own bliss & sleek suavity

LA CÔTE BASQUE shattering illusions—
that whole Jet Set jettisoned adieu 

Is that what happens when a writer—
gets disillusioned with things?

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