Thursday, October 31, 2013

Deep Gossip


“how deeply complicated it is’”
—Dennis Cooper

It gets more & more—
Complicated the further
You get into loving a guy

It gets more and more—
Inarticulate as time goes 
On and on, my dears

Looking back on the—
Ones I would’ve died for
They’re all so-so now

Married, wrinkly—
There’s no way out
Male beauty just a memory

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

TO BABY JANE? (1962)

Blanche: “You wouldn't be able
to do these awful things to me
if I weren't still in this chair.”

Jane: “But you are, Blanche!
You are in that chair!”

It was just simply awful, my dears—
And I thought VIRGINIA WOOLF was bad

Bitchy, sarcastic, so tres trashy—
I was depressed for weeks and weeks

I avoided the Bijou Theater after that—
The glaring lewd marquee upset me so

I’d just graduated from high school—
But now I was completely a wreck

How could I ever go to college now—
Knowing what Hollywood told me?

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford—
My Blanche and Jane gay alter-egos

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


“I swear if you existed
I’d divorce you”—Martha

But what did I know?—
I knew Nothing back then

Blanche and Bette Davis—
Were bad enough for me

My big mistake was going—
To the Bijou Theater again

There in my ding-bat little—
College town for a movie

The worst movie I could’ve—
Picked after graduating then

It would have to be awful—

It was all so crazy—
Truly Theater of the Absurd

Just ask Miss Genet—
Beckett or Edward Albee

It’s all so Absurd—
Their plays say so what?

Like just look at me—
Was I scared or afraid?

Was I afraid of her—
Afraid of Virginia Wolf?

“What a dump!!!”—
Elizabeth Taylor remarks

She and Richard Burton—
Back from a faculty party

The old Bette Davis line—
Updating to the dreary now

The dreary-deary Now—
Their dumpy shabby home

Such a lovely college town—
Way out there in the sticks

Both of them sick of it—
And both sick of each other

Sound familiar maybe—
Whether gay or straight?

Marriage so very lovely—
Whether Hetero or Homo

Pretty soon we all get—
Disgusted with each other

So we invent Lies and—
Absurdist melodramas

To keep up the fa├žade—
Even tho Life’s a Dump

And so, my dears—
My life ended up ruined

I ended up afraid of—
Bette, Joan and Elizabeth

But even worse—
I ended up awfully afraid

Looking at myself—
There in the mirror…..

Dennis Cooper


“the teenage demonic”
—Dennis Cooper

Hold on, hold on—
I know you’re here
Translate me, baby

Haunted by it—
My teen transgressive
Inarticulate Muse

Hold on, hold on—
I’m hurt but I can’t
Like get enough

You send me up—
To the highest peak
But I must hold on

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bad Boy Bijou


“It’s something that’s 
part of me, that I grew 
up with, especially movies”
—John Ashbery

Funny isn’t it—
How dreams are like

This morning I had—
A Gay Whooperdoozie
A Bad Boy Bijou flick

Mostly movie dreams—
For me are usually dreams
Inside other dreams

I’ll wake up from some—
Riveting Melodrama and
Be inside a Dream Theater

Then the dream continues—
But with a dream audience
All of us onerically enthralled

Then I'd wake up and—
Realize I'd been dreaming
Just a dream-inside-a-dream

Has that ever happened—
To you maybe, like when you
Wake up in bed for real?

My dream this morning—
I woke up under the Marquee
Outside the Bad Boy Bijou

The funny thing is—
Throngs of cute chicken
Couples were coming

Coming and going—
Out of the Bijou Theater
Pairs of Justin Bieber lovers

Deconstructing Detroit

Collage-Ghosting 1

Collage-Ghosting 2

Collage-Ghosting 3

Monday, October 28, 2013

Interview with James Whale

Interview with James Whale

“It's alive, it's alive, 
it's alive, it's alive, IT'S ALIVE!!!” 
—Colin Clive 

James Whale: I started having these nightmares—the worst kind.

Ed Wood Jr: What kind of nightmares?

James Whale: I’d be standing in front of the mirror—then suddenly I’d see the Frankenstein monster there ogling and staring at me. It was like having a nightmare—I couldn’t run away. I felt nervous all over. I couldn’t wake up!!! At first just—half-realizing the awful truth. Then one morning—suddenly knowing… The Monster in the Mirror—it was me. I was the Frankenstein monster!!!

Ed Wood Jr: You’d created this horrible monster—and the monster was you!!!. Not just one Frankenstein monster tho—you’d spawned a whole Hollywood cottage industry of them. A vast long tiresome line of Frankenstein monsters—going around the block!!! Across all of America—all the local RKO theaters!!! All the local Bijou, Granada, Strands—all the Lyric, Varsity and Neptune Movie Theaters!!! All those ‘30s Movie Palaces…

[Whale sips his martini—smirking at him. If Ed Wood Jr. only knew—what the studios could do to a man.]

James Whale: Ah yes, Eddie. Palaces of exquisite shame and wonder… Palaces of Hollywood Babylon!!! Tod Browning loved it—gutter roses and jewels. He’d do anything to ogle at some leg—nice ankles were his fetish.

Ed Wood Jr: Even with midgets and pinheads?

James Whale: The vaudeville carnie lust—him and Lon Chaney. It was just Awful, my dear!!! Dracula was just another roadside attraction—compared with Zip and Pip. One loathsome Creature of the Night after the other—getting worse and worse…

Ed Wood Jr: Naturally The Bride of Frankenstein didn’t care—all she wanted to do was spawn more horrible monsters!!! Anything was better than Boris Karloff or Charles Laughton!!! Elsa was making up for lost time!!! Fast!!! It was simply Shocking!!!

James Whale: Yes, Eddie—so very true. Endless mobs of young pimply-faced teenage Sons of Frankensteins!!! Vast progenies of tall gaunt gangly Frankenstein creatures!!! Gangs of gawking gangly grotesque killer Karloffs!!!

Ed Wood Jr: And all of those tacky Bela Lugosi sycophants!!! The same hoity-toity Miss Thesiger types!!!

James Whale: Mad jealous Scientist queens—all of them plotting murder, mayhem & Hollywood mischief!!!

Ed Wood Jr: Tell me, James. What were some of the worse ones?

James Whale: Well, my dear, they go on and on.

Ed Wood Jr: Baclanova could channel the future?

James Whale: Well, of course. How I hated them all. Let me count the ways:

Andy Warhol’s Flesh of Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein Reborn!!!
Frankenstein: The Real Story!!!
The Curse of Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein Unbound!!!
Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman!!!
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed!!!
The Ghost of Frankenstein!!!
House of Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein Created Woman!!!
The Revenge of Frankenstein!!!
The Evil of Frankenstein!!!
Dracula vs. Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein and Me!!!
The Horror of Frankenstein!!!
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein!!!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein Punk!!!
Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster!!!
Blackenstein Frankenstein Island!!!
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein!!!
Lust for Frankenstein!!!
The Daughter of Frankenstein!!!

Ed Wood Jr: My dear!!! The Daughter of Frankenstein!!! [James Whale nods knowingly. Then, taking off his robe, he throws it in the air and starts doing a simply insanely intoxicated and obscene hoochey-koochey act for all the boyz in the pool, singing:

She's the Daughter of Frankenstein!!!
And she's everybody's dream!!!
She's the Daughter of Frankenstein!!!

She ain't got stitches, she's got seams!!!
She's the Daughter of Frankenstein!!!
And she's the real thing!!!

[Loud music in the background—young male laughter]

She's the Daughter of Frankenstein!!!
She's got all the right parts in all the right places!!!
She's good at filling up those naughty spaces.
She puts all those smiles on all those faces—all right.
Try not to love her: I bet you can't!!!
Try not to love her: I bet you can't!!!
She's a wonder to behold: she can charm and enchant.
She's a wonder to behold: she can charm and enchant.
All the way down—to the Laboratory and back!!!

She's the Daughter of Frankenstein!!!

[James gets the cross-eyed dizzy look of Una O’Connor on his face, counting his fingers for each new crummy Frankenstein flick to ooze out of Beverly Hills…]

Frankenstein Reborn!!!
Frankenstein: The College Years!!!
Billy Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein on Campus!!!
Frankenstein & the Werewolf Reborn!!!
Boy Frankenstein!!!
Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman!!!
Frankenstein: Un histoire d’amour!!!
Kiss of Frankenstein!!!
Barbara Frankenstein!!!
Camilla Frankenstein!!!
Lenore Frankenstein!!!
Casanova Frankenstein!!!
Baroness Frankenstein!!!
Baron Wolf von Frankenstein!!!
Marilyn Monroe Frankenstein!!!

[Finally Whale stops counting, simply exhausted with the nightmarish progeny of his tortured mind and unrelenting campy horror at what his innocent pusillanimous Pacific Palisades peccadilloes had created. As Karloff said: Better dead!!!]

Ed Wood Jr: But it wasn’t your fault, Clive. I mean—James. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was a freakish accident. Like Browning’s Freaks. Just another carnival sideshow for the rubes. Step Right Up!!! See the Bearded Lady!!! See the Penguin Boy!!! See Zip and Pip—the Pinhead Twins. Pass the Popcorn!!! Gimme an Orange Crush!!! Gimme…”

James Whale: That’s right… It wasn’t my fault. It was all those Proposition Hate Queens—down there in La La Land!!! It wasn’t my fault. It was an act of god—praise the Mormons!!! Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley and the Bride. Colin Clive as the Baron and Basil Rathbone as Henry Frankenstein. Valerie Hobson as Elizabeth. Charming Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorius. Lovely Una O’Connor as Minnie.

Ed Wood Jr: Certainly not nelly Gavin Gordon as Lord Byron. How could anyone blame Lord Byron? And I’m sure Douglas Walton’s not to blame either—that dark and stormy night with Percy Bysshe Shelley!!!

James Whale: Nor E. E. Clive as the Burgomaster. Nor Tricky Dick Nixon as the Hermit. Not Dwight Frye as Karl What’s His Name. Surely not John Carradine as the Hunter. Surely not River Phoenix as the Gypsy Boy!!!

Ed Wood Jr: Surely not Joan Crawford as the Forest Nymph. Not Norman Mailer as the Archbishop. Not Charles Laughton as the Barmaid. Not Eva Braun as the Berlin Ballerina.

James Whale: Surely not Zsa Zsa Gabor as the Queen of Outer Space burgomaster’s whore!! For gawd’s sake—surely not Universal Pictures!!!

Ed Wood Jr: Yes, Baron—excuse me, I mean James. You’re indubitably correct. It boggles the mind—by the way can you loan me $1,000,000? Bela has upped his salary—because Tor Johnson and Vampira never know their lines.

James Whale: What lines?

Ed Wood Jr: Well, actually my dear, I’m off to San Bernardino for the weekend. A minor cash flow problem—you know how it is? We’re filming this lovely scene on the train with Yeats and Gloria Swanson—as they consummate their wedding night with Gloria doing automatic writing on the ceiling of their compartment…

James Whale: Yes, Yeats has real class. Too bad he’s dead you know. But then that probably makes it even better though, my dear. It’s orange blossom season, you know.

Ed Wood Jr: Well, as a matter of fact—I just happened to be over there last week. Talking to a meatpacker plant owner—who wants his son in The Bride and the Monster…

[Whale nods knowingly—gets out his checkbook.]

Ed Wood Jr: BTW James, the Tinsel Town gossip is you’re ditching that handsome young Pierre Foegel your French chauffeur & kept man?

James Whale: I suppose Foegel is getting tiresome, Eddie—not because I’m tired with him but rather he’s tired of me. After all, I’m just an old Hollywood queen—they got rid of as soon as they could.

Ed Wood Jr: Oh well, what does one expect though—from low-life Parisian bartenders though…

James Whale: Ah, yes—kept boyz get that way. Spoiled—simply spoiled-rotten and ever so demanding. Especially down here in sunny CA.

Ed Wood Jr: Then there’s that young man—the young muscular handsome male nurse who’s taking care of you.

James Whale: Yes, his real name is Ripley—as in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” I met him at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica.

Ed Wood Jr: I thought it was Pasadena?

James Whale: You’re right Eddie. First it was Las Encinas sanitarium in Pasadena—that’s where they store all the tragic “Whatever Happened to What’s His Name” types and all the Who’s Who of Hollywood Has-Been’s and Old Wrinklies. Former great stars—like Mae Clarke, John Barrymore and me left to play Bridge and chat about the past…

Ed Wood Jr: I guess they really tried to scramble your brains down there in Pasadena—with all those primitive horrendous shock treatments. The huge zapping zig-zagging special effects—did it remind you of being down there in Baron Frankenstein’s laboratory?

James Whale: Ah, Baron Frankenstein’s laboratory. How innocent and naive. Compared with the greenish hellish basement of the Las Encinas sanitarium. No wonder I was having Evil Science nightmares—you could smell all those burning electrodes glued to those poor hapless blue-rinse temples at night. Poor Evita Peron…

Ed Wood Jr: It’s just shameless isn’t it?

James Whale: The Frankenstein Nightmare—I created it. The world became my Nightmare. I launched this horror into the world—and nobody could stop it. I look back on it now—and I wish I’d never met Karloff or Universal. I look at my watch—it’s always 13 o’clock. I look at myself in the mirror—realizing what I’d done….

Ed Wood Jr: Do you feel yourself typecast?

James Whale: Duh!!!—do they waltz in Vienna? Does the sun come up in the East?

[Whale pauses—nervously exhaling his cigarette in Ed Wood’s face. Shrugging, he continues…]

James Whale: I realized that Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) had laid a curse on me. That and The Invisible Man (1933)—their success had a way of starting to depress me. Even Show Boat (1936) didn’t really make me feel liberated—from the typecast horror movie inertia that I found taking control of me. It was like an undertow on the beach—it kept reaching up and pulling me under.

Ed Wood Jr: Charles Laughton tried to cheer you up?

Whale: Yes, he and Elsa got me to design the sets for a couple of “minuscule musicals” to stage in NYC. The first was The Duke and the Dairymaid—based on a story by Max Beerbohm with lyrics by Sam Rosen and music by Ray Henderson.

[A cute UCLA twink strolls by, holding a towel around his neck and that’s about it. Except his flip-flop sandals—smoking a Camel. Whale smiles, winks.]

James Whale: The second play was a nightmare—“Happy Anniversary 2116.” It was a “science fiction” opera of all things. I designed two or three miniature sets for visualizing this marionette-robot factory of the future—populated by these strange little Ray Harryhausen animated things. You know, like he did with King Kong and all that dinosaur crap. I ditched it because of the simply amateur first drafts by Ray Henderson. The only set design still interesting to me—was the pool and being retired here on Amalfi Drive. Hollywood bores me—it always did.

Ed Wood Jr: Hmmmm.

James Whale: Unfortunately, the space opera thing reminded me of all those depressing moody gothic German Expressionist sets—you know the weird slanted windows, the bizarre staircases and all that. That and all the sickening sequels like Son of Frankenstein with Basil Rathbone.

Ed Wood Jr: Hmmmm.

James Whale: It was so embarrassing—Bela Lugosi going queer for the Monster. Pawing and prodding him—hiding him away down in the crypt. Poor Basil just a bundle of nerves. It was rather incestuous—after all, Basil and Karloff were both Baron Frankenstein’s sons, right? Basil couldn’t wait to get the big hunk upstairs into his compy bedroom!!!

Ed Wood Jr: Talk about an odd couple, my dear. Sort of like, well, “Glen and Glenda” don’t you think? You know what I mean, James? Now there’s an idea for a schlock masterpiece: Rathbone and Karloff!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Miss Thesiger



I wasn’t picky like she was—
Miss Elsa Lanchester the so-so

I was more the rather—
Tres fickle faggy kind of
Happy Honeymoon Homo

Who needed Colin Clive?—
And Ernest Thesiger doing
Their evil Transplant Surgery?

Cabaret drag was simply—
Fabulous, my dears, for a
Needy Sissy just like me


Boris was such a bore—
Why did I have to get stuck
With Miss Boris Karloff?

Was simply bad enough
His laments so tres tiring

Ugly rough-trade types—
Just simply weren’t my 
Cup of tea, my dears

Neither was nelly—
Miss Charles Laughton 
Either with his pawing
Hands & big fat paunch

THE GHOUL (1933)

THE GHOUL was even—
Worse, my dears, with
Boris back from the Dead

Such a living bore—
But thanks to Anubis 
A boring dead man too

All it took, my dears—
The Jewel of Immortality
Clenched in his cold fist

The dreary-deary plot—
Conceals simply oodles
Of gay gallows humor


Miss Thesiger and I—
Have something in
Common, my dears

We’re both into—
Embroidery when it
Comes to Theater

Queen Mother Mary—
Sensed the value of
Ernest's postwar rehab

Theater and poetry—
Embroidering the
Tawdry reality of man

The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth

“Conspicuous!!!" Gasped
Mrs. Peniston. She bent
forward, lowering her voice
to mitigate her horror.
“What sort of things do
they say?”
—Edith Wharton,
The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth today is a sad snarky House of Pain and Sorrow—it seems like every Gilded Age goes thru the same thing. The Fall of the House of Usher—the Fall of Wall Street.

It had been a bad summer on Wall Street—where prices rose and fell in accordance with that peculiar law which proves stocks and oil prices to be more sensitive to the allotment of executive power—than many estimable citizens trained to all the advantages of self-government thought.

Even fortunes supposed to be independent of the market either betrayed a secret dependence on it, or suffered from a sympathetic affection—while Style and Fashion sulked in its Palm Springs villa, or came to the Big Apple incognito, the usual plays, operas and ballets discountenanced, snarky informality and quickies becoming the rule.

America amused itself for awhile—playing the dingy Cinderella role like they did during the Depression. But soon Society wearied of The House of Dinge—and welcomed the Fairy Godmother in the shape of a Magic Barracuda powerful enough to turn the shrunken Pumpkin back again into the Golden Coach.

The mere fact that many were growing richer at a time when most people were going bankrupt, losing their homes, paying indecent gas prices, seeing their retirement funds and investments shrinking was calculated to attract envious attention. And many today, like Bry and Rosedale in Wharton’s The House of Mirth, have found the secret of performing this miracle. Rosedale doubled his fortune, buying his newly-finished house from one of the victims of the crash. His stash of old masters and new masters—decorated his Fifth Avenue skyscraper.

New money was being made—while Old money was going down the tubes. The same now—many are prompt to perceive the general Snarkery of this Age. It affords them an unusual opportunity to shine—to set about with patient industry to form a background for a new growing Gilded Age of Glory and Splendor.

What would be a good name for this new age? The Age of Smirk? The Age of Scam? The Age of Snark? The Age of Dinge? Certainly not the Age of Innocence—Wharton’s follow-up novel to The House of Mirth. Some say The Age of Innocence is highly superior—to The House of Mirth. But The House of Mirth sold better than any of Wharton’s books—and the amount of secondaire literature and literary criticism generated by The House of Mirth staggers the imagination.

But nothing really, my dear, staggers the imagination of a Wharton or a James. Little things like getting lost while “motor-flighting” thru America or France or England—or trying to find the King’s Road. Well, that gets bothersome. But Wharton and James were experts about other things—like the characters in their novels. Dingy characters, for example. They don’t get better—they get worse…

Take Grace Stepney the dingy character in The House of Mirth, for example. She’s the epitome of dinge—she was born to be dingy. In Wharton’s novel, Grace Stepney is one of the chief purveyors of dinge—her mind was like a kind of sticky, skanky, gossipy, smarmy, snarky fly-paper. Just waiting to suck up—the latest National Enquirer dirt… When a bit of gossip came her way, Grace Stepney wasn’t very “graceful” about the way she snarked and “stepped” up the gossip to the next higher stage of Snarkdom and skuzzy Dinginess.

While Gerty Farish gushed over Lily—Grace Stepney was inspired—even had a fatal attraction for—anything charming or beautiful about her cousin Lily.

Why? Obviously to alienate Mrs. Peniston in her secluded watchtower above the fashionable torrents of Fifth Avenue traffic and wealthy mansions around Central Park.

Grace Stepney was what people called a “Snark Queen”—she snarked her way into the confidences of Mrs. Peniston—insinuating this and that. Grace was a real shark—when it came to Snark. Snark was a way of getting even—and a way of moving upscale in the Feeding Chain of Snarksville USA.

Grace lived in a dingy boarding house and envied Mrs. Peniston’s wealth and lovely drawing room. Grace was the ugly dingy niece—while Lily was the beautiful charming Cinderella. Grace was vain enough to think that Lily hated her—simple because she was ugly white trash.

But Lily could have cared less—about her dingy little ugly cousin. Lily had better things to do—like have a good time and marry a husband and enjoy the social milieu she was born into.

But Grace had a freckled nose and red swollen eyelids—she had a pinched pained look on her face like Madeleine Sherwood in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She was in a constant state of feeling offended by the world—especially beautiful people of the world like her cousin Lily.

Lily’s natural grace and charm were an insult to Grace’s dingy sensibility and dingy jealousy and dingy attitude toward life. Lily could easily fit into any tableaux vivant—whether Reynold’s Portrait of Mrs. Lloyd or Monte Carlo or Fifth Avenue or Paris. She was a natural actress—able to fit into any situation with style and finesse.

Amongst the Gilded Age nouveau riche—Lily was an amazing icon from a previous Age of Innocence. A haunting Art Nouveau flashback—to another world full of frisson and ancient synchronicity. When each act, deed and thought—was intertexted with the wonder of what was but never could be again.

Selden and Rosedale craved to posses her—to own her and use her and be her. So did the Gilded Age—the dowager queens and ambitious ladies on the way to the top. But Lily was elusive—she could only mimic the Age she was in, never be a part of it. Her flightiness made her vulnerable to the Furies—the skanky snarky dingy Furies that hate Beauty. That despises anything different—anything svelte, stylish and uncontaminated yet by the snarky greed that destroys the soul.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dracula Inc


It’s a lucrative Inc—
Kinky business, dears
Reliving one’s faggotry

What better way—
To enjoy immortality
Than queen bee forever?

If you can pay the—
Somewhat rather tres
Expensive Price

Anything is possible—
Retro-genetics more 
Pleasing than mere Facelifts

Daughter of Dracula


I didn’t really know—
But then none of us
Really knew the truth

Born-again vampires—
Back again for another
Nice eternal juicy suck

The game-plan of—
Vamp Sisterhood being
Rather tres simple 

When does a cute—
Little nouveau queer
Finally catch on?

Son of Dracula


Such a classic flick—
Lon Chaney the drunk
Doing his schmaltzy act

Playing his campy—
Hollywood version of
Bela Lugosi in drag

I didn’t know then—
But then when does any
Chicken know the truth?

That’s she’s really just—
Another fag cocksucker
Vampire on the make?

Miss Murnau


She did much better—
With Silent Films than
Most Hollywood directors

If she hadn’t been—
Sucking off her handsome
Cute Filipino chauffeur

In that big fancy—
Rolls-Royce convertible 
Going over the cliff

Sucking him off as—
He shot his wad then
Diving down into the sea

Cute Young Chauffeur


They found them—
Down there on the
Beach so tres dead

The young driver—
Such an angelic look 
His youthful face

Surely not though—
Anticipating the bite
That severed his prick

As Murnau and he—
Crashed that fateful
Day onto the rocks

Nosferatu Nouveau


“Our battle, our struggle—is to create Art.
Our weapon is the moving picture. Because
we have the moving picture, our paintings
will grow and recede, our poetry will be
shadows that lengthen and conceal, our
light will play across living faces that last
and agonize, and our music will linger and
finally overwhelm because it will have a
context as certain as the grave. We are
scientists engaged in the creation of
memorybut our memory will 
neither blur nor fade."
—Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Shadow of the Vampire

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