Young Ettore

Ettore (Ettore Garofolo) 
Pasolini’s “Mama Roma” (1962)


—for Larry King, 15-years old

“where a young
peasant of the Roman 
Campagna sleeps amid 
rags, his penis erect”
—Pier Paolo Pasolini, The
Ashes of Gramsci 

Funny how I keep thinking—
of that kid in Oxnard lately
because he was so much more
advanced than me I guess…

Drag, my dear, in junior high—
that’s a grand step forward for
gender expression as they 
called it in his obituary…

A good way to die young—
high-heeled boots lipstick
eye-shadow and maybe a
swish & limp wrist or two?

Too gay for me back then—
when I was young, surely I
would’ve been tres dead
being so gay that way…

That’s what I mean by—
being more advanced than
me because he was more at
the cutting-edge of queer

The vanguard of the gay—
doing his gayness the way
he wanted to after all it’s a
sophisticated LA suburb…

Larry King reminded me of—
Jake Gyllenhaal in his fem 
gay role as Jack Twist in
Brokeback Mountain…

Well, kinda, anyway—
not butchy and hunky
and troubled and moody
like Heath Ledger tho…

Nascent gayhood—
the kid expressing his
Bildungsroman direction
with style and panache…

Isn’t that what freedom is—
the chance to see your
life as conceptual art if
that’s your thing?

Oxnard was troubled tho—
young illegal aliens and 
boyz down at the beach 
and the bad economy…

Throw in the usual—
poshlust peer-group push
toward politically correct
performance art…

It wasn’t as easy as—
clicking your magic red
Wizard of Oz high heels
back then, was it, my dears?

The New Depression—
the end of Weimar and
wars in Persia only made
matters more difficult…

The whole push toward—
gay marriages is fine but
what about the young ones?

What did we do for the—
young gays back then
in the trenches, my dears? 

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