Old Queen at the Movies


—for the wonderful Steve Hayes


The classy way—
Cary Grant sort of
swishes his way

Down a lonely—
highway by a
deserted cornfield

Or pulls up—
Eva Marie Saint
off Washington’s nose

Into the compartment—
honeymoon bed of the
speeding Super Chief 

LOLITA (1962)

The utterly—
depraved look
on his face

James Mason—
sitting in the
backyard  patio

As Sue Lyon—
does her little
hula hoop act

Shelley Winters—
simply fuming
with jealousy


The way that—
Natalie Wood
goes down on

Warren Beatty—
(his film debut)
leaning aloofly

back against—
a wall in that
sexy scene in

William Inge’s—
sexy Sixty’s
Teen Tearjerker


The awful way—
Troy Donahue
beats up poor

Susan Kohner—
for passing as
a White Girl

Or the way—
Lana Tuner
looks shocked

When her slutty—
daughter goes down
on John Gavin

THE BIRDS (1963)

The way those—
simply awful crows
went berserk

Pecking at—
Tippi Hedren’s
eyes up there

In the attic—
even the cute
little Love Birds

Turning into—
vicious mean
evil creatures

PSYCHO (1960)

The look on—
Anthony Perkins’
Peeping Tom’s face

Then doing drag—
there in the old
Bates Motel

The awful—
slice and dice
scene with

Pretty, nude—
showering lovely
Janet Leigh

Shit Happens


"a nostalgia for 
the present "
—Frederic Jameson, 

Not that I’m Miss VENUS IN FURS—
even tho I used to feel like a crummy 
Cockroach all the time

A simpering queen utterly trashed—
for my rather gay problematic 
tacky insectoid existence

But I got beyond Gregor Samsa—
a gay victim of queer alienation
once I got out of the closet

So much for faggy apologies—
my new freedom & detachment 
got rid of any Str8t nostalgia

Venus in Furs

Egon Schiele Sebastian Portrait


“This picture corresponds directly 
to the painting in which the narrator 
of Sacher-Masoch's story first sees 
Severin & Wanda "Venus in Furs"
—S. M. Coyne, Kafka and Postmodernism

The last thing in the room—
that last thing that was mine
they couldn’t take away

A magazine clipping that—
"showed a lady, with a fur cap 
on and a fur stole, sitting upright”

“Holding out to the spectator a—
huge fur muff into which her whole 
pussy had vanished!" (METAMORPHOSIS)

"A beautiful woman resting on an—
ottoman, supported on her left arm
nude in her dark furs just for me

Her right hand playing with a lash—
while her bare foot rested carelessly on 
me, lying before her like a abject slave

For I am Gregor Samson—
nothing but a Cock soon sliced away
like Delilah did to butch Samson

Coco Chanel


“Ultimately, even Craft agreed that 
the controversy comes back to his art, 
as it rightly should. As the critic Paul 
Griffiths put it in an email, "I think 
music is deeply sexy, but which way 
it swings I can't tell you."—Rick Schultz, 
“Robert Craft explains writing about 
Stravinsky's homosexual affairs," 
July 18, 2013, Los Angeles Times


Nijinsky was adroit at seduction—
Sergei Diaghilev, the Ballets Russes 
all of them fell in love with him

Widely regarded as the most—
Influential ballet company of the 
20th century one wonders why?

The same with choreographers—
composers, designers, and dancers, all 
at the forefront of their several fields

Composers like Stravinsky & Debussy—
artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse &
of course, the goddess Coco Chanel


On the Lido

Nijinsky on the Lido by Leon Bakst


The waves, the waves—
all it takes is one simple
young male gesture

The waves stop—
the sun overhead stops
the bathers all stop

Ballet asserts itself—
the ancient Rite of the
Death of the Moment

It lasts only so long—
just a brief snapshot of
the young mise-en-scene

The Rite


"Incredulity towards 
—Jean-Francois Lyotard

It takes more than a key—
to unlock a door that’s been
locked, barricaded, forbidden

One has to be rather—
Kafkaesque, my dears, and
pose as a lowly Cockroach

with tres sneaky postmodernist
literary tricks of the trade

Foregrounding the old stories—
with new intertextual twists
like parody, pastiche & allusion



"Letters are the only source 
for love affairs, since no 
autographed condoms survive"
Robert Craft, Stravinsky: 
Discoveries and Memories

Stravinsky was kidded—
about having once shared the 
same bed with Nijinsky

People would laughingly ask—
“How was it?" to which his answer 
was “You will have to ask Ravel."

Stravinsky was involved with the—
gay and lesbian community artistically
especially with LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS

RITE far from being tres "masculine"—
was totally, fantastically, flagrantly, madly
the vehicle for gay expression for a century

Doing Nijinsky


“Amaze me”—Diaghilev 

Doing Nijinsky—
on the ferry all the
way to Vashon Island

In the backseat of—
my Mercedes that night
behind tinted-windows—

A new stunning version—
of Diaghilev-Stravinsky’s 
moonlit Rite of Spring

Cloud shadows scudding
down low throuth the 
high whitecaps, clouds


A Fancy Portrait of my Laundress,
doing her Handiwork, washing the
Dirty Linen of Today's Modern Society

VOLUME 98, MARCH 22, 1890


Bourgeois TV no longer gives us—
squint-eyed “Byzantine bubbleheads"

Peeping Toms of the Empire, my dears—
now disparage & make martyrs of us all

Saint Sebastian's death is coming soon—
Thom Gunn’s Boss Cupids are here!!!

It can’t be portrayed in print anymore—
the Youth simply YouTube Nincompoops!!!

Miss Venus in Furs

Klaus Kinsky


“the picture of the lady
swathed in furs. At the
very least this picture
would be removed by
no one”—Franz Kafka

My company was charming—
opposite me by the massive
Renaissance fireplace she sat

A casual lady of the world—
a chic Mademoiselle Cleopatra
Miss Venus in Furs herself

Despite her dead stony eyes—
she purred like a cat wrapped
up head to toes in a huge Fur

A chill ran thru my Bone—
I simply couldn’t understand 
how her Whip turned me on

Dizzy Dilettante

VOLUME 98, MARCH 22, 1890


It’s curious, however, that although he—
aims at being considered a poet, an artist, 
a dramatist, and a musical composer…

The Dilettante gay moderné rather—

affects the society of those who are like him,
amateurs of imperfect development

Like those who’ve hardly attained fame—

by any professional effort, but may be seen 
occasionally at various stylish parties

Making one wonder how so strange—

a medley of second-rate incompetencies 
can gather together into one room

It is noticeable that the Dilettante—

loves the society of flitting queen bees, 
and isn’t adverse to mocking Domestica

He finds a sense of wit and satire—

in fancying that he’s somewhat remarkable, 
that his evil tongue wags sophisticated havoc 

No Dilettante can be considered genuine—

unless he expresses a pitying contempt for 
everything that he pretends to be

He gives a practical expression to his scorn—

by quavering in a queenly voice, the feeble 
chansonnettes of an inferior French composer

And by issuing a volume of poems in which—

the good taste of English Grammar is swished
under the rug, and replaced with depravity

In his lyrical effusions he lashes out at—

the cold and cruel heartlessness of the world 
with a snotty, snively, tres nasty noble scorn

He addresses his ennui rather cleverly—

blaming all the skeletons in his tacky closet
dishing those gaudy pleasures of Dorian Gray

Having read these efforts to an admiring circle—

he betakes himself with infinite zest discussing
aesthetic tittle-tattle over a cup of tea 

They will then take pleasure in persuading—

one another without any difficulty, that they 
are indeed the fine flower of elitist beings

The Dilettante, moreover, is a constant—

devotee at the first nights of certain theatres
and operas of high society gossip & elegance

There amongst inner circles of Dilettantia—

a jargon, both of voice and of gesture, passes as 
humoresque, but is quite unintelligible 

The butchy bourgeois outer world of tacky—

Philistines means nothing unless, of course,
some cute rough trade number is appealing 

Then the wrists dangle, the hands shake—

emphasizing those delicate finger-tips that
distinguish the plaintive cadence “oh, dear me”


The fashionable Dilettante usually smokes—

cigarettelets (a word coined to express their
petite size) but she never attempts cigars

Miss Dilettante affects a gait and manner—

of the most mincing delicacy, seeking to impress 
others with her sense of superior refinement

In later life, she’s apt to lose her hair—

disguising the ravages of time with rouge, 
toupee, wrinkle cream & cosmetic surgery

Yet she deceives nobody, getting buried—

in a wicker-work coffin covered with lilies while
her rival Dilettante friends simply yawn

Dizzy Dilettante

VOLUME 98, MARCH 22, 1890


“Ivan Yakovlevitch was 
dumbfounded. He thought 
and thought, but did not 
know what to think.”
—Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

She can’t help it—
she's really such a
dizzy dilettante

So ditzy and dizzy—
an Old Queen at the Movies
flitting from flick to flick

So faggy, my dear—
so tres feuilletonistic‎
such a silly queen

Some dayz she's—
simply much too much
tres kitschy Kafkaesque

There’s nothing worse—
than waking up as a 
silly Gogolesque Nose

Unless it would be—
some crummy Cockroach
with an awful hangover!!!


The Swordzman


“Nichtsnutz, noun—wastrel, 
useless bungler, no-account, 
no-good, good-for-nothing,
an utter waste of a person 
and a mind; human sludge,
a dweezle, a wastrel”
—Urban Dictionary

Ah, nothing like a whiff—
of POMO Lit Crit to like
queer the Kafkaesque

To say that Miss Kafka—
scholarship is actually
writing about writing

How one becomes—
Kafkaesque, my dears
like really doing it?

Writing the way—
Kafka wrote when
he wrote in crisis?

Kafka Lite


In January 1912 Kafka had noted
in his diary: “I am supposed to
pose in the nude for the artist
[Ernst] Ascher, as a model for
St Sebastian”—Saul Friedländer,
Franz Kafka: The Poet of
Shame and Guilt

Yes, my dears - plainly and succinctly put – I prefer KAFKA LITE. Nude, tied to a post - my own personal precocious S/M Boss Cupid. Erect nipples, pouty Prague Prick - the struggling, suffering queer quintessence of St Sebastian himself.

But why should I consider it necessary to ramble on & on like this about Miss Kafka - because you already know as well as I do what I'm going to say next: Miss Kafka Lite is exquisitely gay 'kafkaesque'.

Much more 'kafkaesque' than you or I could ever want to be I suppose. After all who wants to be ‘kafkaesque’ anyway – you don’t have to be if you don’t want to be. On the other hand, if you’re a closet-case like the person in Kafka’s parable “Before the Law” – you may or may not enjoy being tres ‘kafkaesque’ and stuck in some proverbial closet the rest of your life.

The closet-case parable “Before the Law” is a quickie preview of what comes later on in Miss Kafka’s gay oeuvre - the tortuous treadmill of THE TRIAL and the even more tortuous transgressive transformations of THE METAMORPHOSIS. I don’t want to kvetch too much though – nor am I pretending to pull the ivy down from THE CASTLE walls of Yale University. Understanding Miss Kafka, Gregor Samsa & the other gay protagonists in Kafka’s various  ‘kafkaesque’ novels, short stories, parables & queer diary entries is a fairly easy exercise – in fact Miss Kafka hints, suggests, invites it.

“Kafka Lite” is a phrase that sounds rather like some kitschy bourgeois cliché. And yet it’s like Franz Kafka posing in the nude as St Sebastian for the artist Ernst Ascher in his Prague studio.

As if the infamously enigmatic Miss Kafka could or would possibly reveal or divulge himself to anybody – just by posing nude in an artist’s studio. The Sebastian-esque pose is quite revealing though – a kind of burlesque ‘kafkaesque’ coming out of the closet portrayed in the parable “Before the Law.”

What other self-revealing ‘kafkaesque’ portrayals exist down along the line of Miss Kafka’s oeuvre of coming out of the closet? Could the “Before the Law” trope be a key – to unlocking the closet-door of what it means to be a Prague Austro-Hungarian fin de siècle fag?

Miss Kafka worked as an attorney and insurance agent for the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia. The job involved investigating and assessing compensation for personal injury to industrial workers; accidents such as lost fingers or limbs were commonplace at this time.

Did Kafka’s work with the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute somehow train him to see himself as a typical legal-insurance “case” no different than all the cases he handled and was responsible for.

Does Kafka’s writing reflect investigating and assessing compensation for his own perceived personal injuries—accidents of more than just lost fingers and limbs?

Is there a cure or compensation for 'gay kafkaesque'?

The Closet Case



"No one else could ever be 
admitted here, since this gate 
was made only for you. I am 
now going to shut it."
—Franz Kafka, Before the Law


You grow up in this small cramped closet. You notice that the closet door is open, but closed enough for you not to see anything out there.

The closet has this doorknob that can lock and talk. The doorknob is a guard that always says, “You may not pass without permission.”

You point out that you can easily get out of the closet, and the guard agrees. Rather than be disagreeable, however, you decide to wait until you have permission. 

You wait for many years, and when you're an old, shriveled wreck, you get yourself to ask: 

"During all the years I've waited here, no-one else has tried get out of this closet and go through the door. Why is this?" and the guard answers: 

"It’s true that no-one else has passed here, that is because this closet door was always meant solely for you, but now, that you’re dying, it’s closed forever." 

The guard then proceeds to close the door and calmly walk away. 

This is in fact, one of Kafka’s parables or short stories about being a closet-case, and it’s very typical of his style, i.e. kafkaesque.

Was Kafka a closet-case? 

All About Franz


“We all have abnormalities in common. 
Especially us Kafka literary critics.
We're a breed apart from the rest of 
humanity, we literature folk. We are the 
original displaced personalities.”
—Addison DeWitt (George Sanders)

For those of you who don’t read, don’t attend the movies, watch Orson Welles’ THE TRIAL or know anything of the world in which you live, it is perhaps necessary to introduce myself. 

My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is Literature. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the literary criticism.

That I should need to comment on Kafka at all suddenly strikes me as the height of improbability. But that in itself is probably the reason—Kafka is such an improbable person, my dears, and so am I. 

Kafka and I have something in common. Our contempt for humanity and inability to love and be loved, our insatiable paranoia, and, of course, our talent. We deserve each other.

Tell me, dear readers, what do you take me for? Is it possible, even conceivable, that you've confused me with that gang of backward academic literati and biographers who play games and tricks on you, even though I have the same contempt for you as they do?

Look closely, my dears. It's time you did. I am Addison DeWitt. I am nobody's fool, least of all yours. It's important right now that we talk, killers to killers. 

Dreary Digressions


— Waldo Lydecker New York Times 7/26/2013

“How singularly innocent 
I look this morning.”
—Waldo Lydecker, LAURA (1944)

Was Franz Kafka a fag?

Was Franz Kafka a closet case?

Was Franz Kafka fond of pretty Prague penises?

I’m shocked—simply shocked, my dears!!!

Nevertheless, such rude probing tacky questions need to be asked I suppose.

Not only by all of us esteemed literary Critics in the Big Apple such as myself—but by all the various and sundry esteemed hoity-toity riff-raff readers of the astute New York Times.

After all, Enquiring Minds need to know.

Now then, as all of you know by now—I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.

Yes, I know I’m not kind—I'm vicious. It's the secret of my literary critic charm.

I shall never forget the weekend Franz Kafka died. A black comet burned through the sky like a huge flaming magnifying glass. It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection. I felt as if I were the only human being left in Prague. 

For with Kafka's horrible death, I was alone. I, Waldo Lydecker, was the only one who really knew him, and I had just begun to write Franz's story when another of those tacky detectives from THE TRIAL came to grill me. I had him wait. I could watch him through the peep-hole in the door.

Fussy str8t literary biographers were also knocking at my door—all the way from SF to Poughkeepsie. As well as from NYC all the way to Bangkok. They were all anxious to burden me with their rude intrusive dreary digressions into the dirt of what really went on there in Miss Kafka’s bedroom.

I’ve always pleaded innocence when it came to spilling the beans about Kafka’s private life. Usually I act dizzy and simply dillydally about this and that.

I mean after all, get real. We live in tres moderné times these days. Especially now that once controversial gay marriage has become rather ho-hum commonplace these days. 

It seems truly the height of chutzpah to get too personal about what happened in Miss Kafka’s bedroom.

After all, anyone who’s read THE METAMORPHOSIS knows that something terribly seductive and forbidden and rather vulgar was going on in there behind locked doors. 

Something that most people would rather not know about too much. Unless, of course, they’re somewhat exquisite voyeurs and connoisseurs of Cock… Cockroaches, that is.

Yes, my dears, something disgustingly profane and much too outré was going on in Kafka’s penthouse. Shocking even for the smooth sophisticated dry martini crowd sipping their martinis and gossiping like the good old days back when Miss Capote was doing her thing.

I must say that Kafka’s “Cockroach Drag” routines were rather risqué back then—back when Miss Kafka threw parties for Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe and Addison Dewitt, the famed drama critic.

But the star was Franz Kafka. His native habitat was the Novel. In it he toiled not, neither did he spin. He was the ultimate high society critic and bitchy commentator. He was essential to Literature.

Kafka: A Different Kind of Closet Case

B. Barends


“For Kafka, who once declared "my way of life is geared solely to writing" and dreamed of a fusion between literature and life, for whom all kinds of literary experience were matters of life and death, the coincidence might have been one reason for his crush”— Marco Roth, 'KAFKA: THE DECISIVE YEARS,' BY Reiner Stach, “Franz the Obscure Review’ by NYTimes January 1, 2006

What coincidence? What crush?

Kafka and Brod had gone to visit Goethe's house in Weimar, where Kafka developed a crush on Margarethe, the hopelessly ignorant daughter of the caretaker. These things could happen to anybody. 

But Stach never tells us that Margarethe - usually shortened to Grete or Gretchen - is also the name of the naïve girl seduced by Faust after he makes his pact with Mephistopheles in Goethe's play

The biographer Stach's own indecisiveness turns this book into a kind of a choose-your-own biography which is more fun to read if you know about such Goethe coincidences with Kafka already. 

Successful seduction would have made Kafka a Faust. Pursuing her in a way that was doomed to leave him alienated and humiliated would put him in the company of Goethe. 

For Kafka, who once declared "my way of life is geared solely to writing" and dreamed of a fusion between literature and life—this so-called coincidence between Greta and Goethe would seem to be as good as any other excuse to fuse life and literature together as an “affair.”

This so-called Greta-Goethe crush and all the other various and sundry womanizing affairs could be said to be a closeted way of marrying literary experience with matters of life and death.

All this is speculative interpretation, of course, but gay biographers have earned the right to play and to indulge their gay readers' yearning to have other gay/closeted lives made sense of, as well as their own.

Film Review


“There is, however, one major
expression of modernist culture
that Kafka avidly soaked in:
the world of film.”
—Saul Friedländer, Franz Kafka: 
The Poet of Shame and Guilt

“They die—Dead!!!
I die—Alive!!!”
—Bela Lugosi,
Son of Frankenstein (1939)


What does it mean to be Ygor?

It means to live—a kind of living death. Ygor knows his fate isn’t simple—but he has a talent for portraying his nightmare-like inner life. Bela Lugosi does this much better in Son of Frankenstein rather than Dracula.

Ygor is still living in the gloomy dumpy castle—with its secret passageways and crypts below ground near some fuming hellish sulfur pits. There’s an old Count Frankenstein laboratory down there—and a special hideaway for the Creature.

Ygor asks the Baron’s son for help—to revive his friend from a deep monster coma. He got out one night during a lightening storm and got zapped by a lightening bolt right into his neck-bolts. What a orgasmic thrill it was—but it was too much even for such a huge terrible monster. He’d been half-dead half-alive ever since then—with Ygor worrying about him like an old woman.

Frankenstein’s monster tries to please Ygor—but he doesn’t have any energy left. Lightening is his mother—and he needs another shot of joy juice. Basil Rathbone struggles with his guilty conscience—but is persuaded to move forward with his father’s daring experiments. Ygor hangs out in the background—like a jealous lover. He knows he’s just an old aging hunchback—with a bone in his throat from a mishandled hanging.

Ygor wants his big brute lover-boy back—in fact in another episode in The House of Frankenstein Ygor wants his brain to be transplanted into the Creature so that he can escape his crippled body and have some fun around the joint.

But what is it like to be a Monster? Monsterhood is an exciting, wonderful livelihood—terrorizing the countryside and getting revenge for Ygor on the Burgomaster and his cronies. Ygor plays his crummy little flute—and there’s the Monster played by Boris Karloff mostly in a reclining position. But he manages to get it up and move around—thanks to Basil Rathbone and all that art deco electronics down below the castle. One by one Boris knocks off each petty official in Frankensteinville—all the creeps that had poor Ygor hung by the neck.

What’s it like to be a Monster—stitched together like a rag-doll with human arms and legs and all those squishy organs inside? To be reborn and not know who you are—except that your body is constantly struggling against itself and your brain belongs to a serial killer from Budapest? Nature embraces you with dubious binding spirits—and surely it’s the devil in disguise that peers at you from the mirror?

Being a Monster must be like the Living Dead—none of your organs no longer knows anything about where they came from or who once enjoyed this or that throbbing once-alive organ? It must be truly a bonfire of vanities—your whole body craving enjoyment but discombobulated so much that you don’t know what’s up or what’s down?