Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Sunken Garden



“I want to be / at least 
as alive as the vulgar.”
—Frank O’Hara

There was this nelly—
Cheerleader who was
Simply shameless

Long before camp—
You should have seen
Him do the pom-poms

He had simply no shame—
He was one of the girls
He flaunted Fag Femininity


“you were made in the image 
of god / I was not / I was made 
in the image of a sissy truck-driver”
—Frank O’Hara

I tried to butch it up—
I was biting my fingernails
Deep in the closet

No matter how much—
I tried to act muy macho
I was still a sissy faggot

I admired you so much—
For your flagrant faggotry
You were “out” all the way!


“so that in the end you seem 
to be the only one who knows 
what the subject of a poem is”
—James Schuyler

The shame of being gay—
Seems so truly camp since
Everybody knew anyway

I swished, I minced—
I lisped whenever I dared
To open my faggy mouth

Yet you flaunted it—
At the Basket Ball games
Everyone simply loved it!!!


“Oh! Kangaroos, sequins, 
chocolate sodas! You 
really are beautiful! Pearls,
Harmonicas, jujubes”
—Frank O’Hara

It wasn’t New York City—
I didn’t work at the chic
Museum of Modern Art

I was a soda-jerk—
At the local Peter Pan 
Ice Cream joint 

I was good at making—
Hot Fudge Sundays and 
Jizzy fizzy lovely sodas 

I flirted with the local—
Campus jocks and studs
Scooped out free ice cream

Sometimes it worked—
The Kansas City boys
Smirked, but let me


“The stuff they’ve always 
talked about / Still makes 
a poem a surprise! /These 
things are with us every day”
—Frank O’Hara

The little things—
Growing up even like I
Did still in the closet

It was still a surprise—
So much young male
Beauty back in the ‘60s

Peter Pan was just—
A block south of KSTC
I was there waiting


“partly because of the 
secrecy our smiles take on 
before people and statuary”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

The Sunken Garden—
South of campus next
To gone Norton Hall

Like a scene out of—
Alma doing Earl Holliman 

That’s where I did them—
Guys I hustled for more
Than just a free soda


“Even more fun that going 
to San Sebastian, Irún, 
Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

Why go anywhere else—
Some exotic Mexican or
Polynesian sex hotspot?

When Kansas cock is—
Just as big and succulent
As the dick I got

And honey, I’m glad it’s
The Flyover State ‘cause
It leaves more to me!!!


“partly because of the 
fluorescent orange tulips 
around the birches”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

Especially in the spring—
That’s when I loved to
Give them blow-jobs

The gurgling fountain—
The lovely bushes for my
Trysts with Kansas cock

What more could a meek—
Mere William Allen White 
Faggy librarian ask for?


“partly because of my love 
for you, partly because of 
your love for yogurt”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

Hardly, my dear—
It was more like delicious
Hot Fudge Sundays

That was your favorite—
Me skinning back the ripe
Bananas like a foreskin

Then ogling you gobble—
It up knowing that I’d
Get you off after work


“it is hard to believe 
when I’m with you that 
there can be anything
as still as solemn”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

Down there in depths—
Of the Sunken Fountain
Late on Friday nights

The bottled fetuses—
Over there in the display
Cabinets of Norton Hall

Writhing in ecstasy—
As I gulped your cumly
Squirting nasty offspring


“just as at home I never 
think of the Nude Descending 
a Staircase”—Frank O’Hara, 
Having a Coke with You

Who needs Duchamp—
When I’ve got you to be
My fickle Freshman lover?

You prefer chicks but—
They all give you the usual
No pussy hanky-panky, guy!

Naturally I commiserate—
Here have a nice Fudge Sunday
Later getting you off succulently


“and the fact that you 
move so beautifully more 
or less takes care of Futurism”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

Who needs a Nude—
Descending a Staircase
When I’ve got you?

I’d take you home—
But you prefer the
Campus Sunken Garden

The way you flex—
Your ass when you cum
Who needs Miss Duchamp?


“when they never got the 
right person to stand near 
the tree when the sun sank”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

I was like Geraldine Page—
I’d won an argument that
I didn’t want to win

Being gay in a Kansas—
college town wasn’t the
easiest thing, my dears

I took a pill for my—
Nelly nerves though 
And calmly did him


“it seems they were
all cheated of some 
marvelous experience”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

So I stayed closeted—
Working there at William 
Allen White Library

In those calm Eisenhower—
Years like Elsie Pine my
Mentor wanted me to do

The same with pianist—
Vernon Sheffield who
Gave exquisite recitals


“wasted on me 
which is why I am
telling you about it”
—Frank O’Hara, Having a
Coke with You

So like a nelly fool—
I stayed, oblivious to
Nothing but my Muse

Wasn’t this where—
I was supposed to
Become Miss Barrie?

Peter Pan Park—
Peter Pan soda jerk
Peter Pan gay poet?

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