Thursday, May 30, 2013



always having been
my Gulag Archipelago

But it wasn’t—
until Yaddo that
I really knew

Across the hallway—
Chester Himes had
drinks with me

We talked—
and talked & talked
long into the night

I was horrified—
by his Chicago
rat stories

But even more—
by his feeling guilty
for his black skin

Is that why—
I exiled myself
to Switzerland?

I could be—
white as snow
not feeling guilty?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013



“They danced marvelously together,
swooping back and forth across the
floor to the erotic rhythms of the tango,
sometimes the waltz.”—Patricia Highsmith, 
Little Tales of Misogyny

We made love marvelously—
together both us so young &
carefree. The disco crowd
at the club loved to see us
dance our exquisite Tango

The dance floor would be—
our playground, I’d go down
on him with the raunchy
Lady Gaga music in the
dark smoky jaded nightclub

I’d get my lips & hands—
around it, his tight pants
down all the way past his
swaying hips and ankles
strangling it to death

He’d get weak in the knees—
fainting finally falling over
my bent shoulders as he
slowly excruciatingly shot
what brains he had outta him

My greedy Gaga throat simply—
insatiable, my dears, but then
he started cheatin on me so one
Sat night during a Tango I got
him good and simply cut it off!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Nice Piece of Ass


“A young man asked a
father for the daughter’s
hand, and received it
in a box – her left hand”
—Patricia Highsmith
“The Hand,” Little Tales
of Misogyny 

I made the mistake of asking a young
man who I presumed liked me for a 
“nice piece of his fine ass.”

Unfortunately, her girlfriend took
offense and murdered him, slicing
off a “nice piece of ass” for me

She mailed it to me FED-EX—
but unfortunately the bloody box
stunk something awful, you know?

I got arrested by the authorities—
for being an accomplice to an
awful cold-blooded murder

I got the electric chair for being—
a dirty no-good fucking faggot
in possession of a piece of ass

They strapped me into the chair—
gave me the juice, and man o man
that really like fried my pubes!!!

It just wasn’t fucking worth it—
all that voltage and the hot seat
just for a nice piece of fine ass!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tom Ripley in Drag


Please forgive me for this rather prolix Ripley Review piece of piffle - with its frankly disturbingly gushing fashion - as nothing more than a camp pop Pompidou Centre quickie tour of Paris (comparing it to a blow-up doll). 

Or better yet a West Berlin drag show swan song with Miss Highsmith as Marlene Dietrich singing “Falling in Love Again.”

These passages I quote and play around with could have been lifted directly from Highsmith's own diaries or notebooks. The Boy Who Followed Ripley seemingly having fallen together in a pile of scattered pieces - like some odd William Burroughs cut-up montage.

After reading the novel, I’m left rather simply amazed that The Boy Who Followed Ripley for some reason lacks the urgency of others in the series (although as an aside, I should note that such is my enthusiasm for Ripley that truly only Patricia Highsmith could have written an entire novel consisting of Tom gardening, playing the harpsichord and sauntering around in drag in a risqué Berlin disco.)

It’s almost as if Patricia Highsmith is more relaxed than she’s ever been about her sexuality and lifestyle – compared with The Taste of Salt and her other suspense novels. 

Which is, in effect, what happens for the segment of the book set in West Berlin, where Tom travels with Frank Pierson, the handsome sullen sixteen-year-old American heir to a fortune who has latched on to (and who idolizes) him. 

And doing drag to both save the handsome boy from kidnappers – and perhaps even Ripley saving himself. From who he or she is - with Highsmith’s outré drag act doppelganger act?

According to Andrew Wilson's 2003 biography of Highsmith, Beautiful Shadow, Highsmith travelled to Berlin expressly in order to research her fourth Ripley outing. Much as Truman Capote took Alvin Dewey and his wife after their In Cold Blood novel & film ordeal on a visit once upon a time to a gay drag disco bar in Kansas City. 

Tom Ripley features in this fourth novel again, along with a couple of fresh faces, two Berlin associates of Reeves', Eric and Peter, who regard the legendary, unpredictable, mercurial – and, yes, courageous Ripley with something approaching awe. 

In the end, the sexual aspect of Tom and Frank's relationship is less important than the psychological one. Because at its root the book is a study of a conscienceless man who wonders if he's perhaps found a young kindred spirit: a killer, like himself; not quite on the same scale – just the one murder to Tom's "seven or eight" – but even so, someone he can guide, "steer", maybe even mould. 

That Tom is mistaken provides the tragedy in the tale; for Tom Ripley, the "font of evil" (as he so memorably puts it in Ripley Under Ground), can never truly be anyone's savior – quite the opposite, in fact, as the gauche American couple who decide to stick their noses into the Murchison affair in the final book in the Ripliad, Ripley Under Water, discover to their cost... 

Ripley the disappointed sugar daddy finds that his young Prince Charming has been snatched away, not only by greedy Berlin kidnappers - but by the boy himself who is hell-belt on a some guilt-imposed suicide trip, ho-hum, the usual gay cop-out device I suppose.

Not so much feeling guilty for pushing his millionaire father off a cliff in his wheelchair down into the rocky ocean shoreline – but more along tacky lines having to do with his unrequited love with some dizzy teenage sweetheart more enamored with herself than she is with the boy. 

Subsequently, in order to retrieve Frank, Tom dons full drag, ostensibly as a disguise so he can follow the kidnappers who are holding Frank for ransom. But also, perhaps, to titillate his rich boyfriend (Frank) into a more seductive and perhaps more enduring gay relationship than the one with his so-so sweetheart.

You know like Bruno (Robert Walker) and Guy (Farley Granger) in Strangers On A Train. Or Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) and Ripley (Matt Damon) in The Amazing Mr. Ripley.

Fully made-up, wearing a wig and dressed in a "very pretty" pink, white and transparent gown, Tom takes to the dance floor of a gay club as he waits for the kidnappers, feeling "exhilarated and stronger" - delighting in the freedom his new disguise affords him. Well, maybe she should do this more often, she says to herself!!!

Of course, this isn't the first time Tom has disguised himself: in Ripley Under Ground he assumes the identity of the painter, Derwatt, donning a fake beard and applying makeup, and his rescue of Frank – which he accomplishes still dressed as a woman – recalls some of the giddy, freewheeling insanity of that Cold War Berlin Wall drag novel. 

And there are other nods to Under Ground besides, as well as to Ripley's Game: Ed and Jeff from the Buckmaster Gallery are mentioned, as is Murchison, the art collector whom Tom bludgeoned with a bottle of red; Tom is taking lessons for the harpsichord he bought in Game; and Tom's friend, the fence Reeves Minot, goes upstairs in order to avoid awkward questions. 

Frank clearly arouses in Tom a protective passion that's usually reserved for those times when he's engaged in deadly acts of self-preservation; when Frank admits to Tom that he killed his own father, uncharacteristically Tom grabs Frank by the dick and tries to dissuade him from running away from him. 

Not long after, Frank hides from Tom in the woods behind Belle Ombre as a kind of test; when Frank appears from behind a tree, Tom feels "exquisite relief, like having an aching orgasm." Hardly a closet case, my dears. Miss Highsmith seems to come out of the closet with this novel quite adroitly.

That episode is echoed by another once the action moves to Berlin, where Tom takes Frank on an impulse. Having spent an evening with Frank in a gay drag disco bar (where else?), the next day the two are walking in the woods at the edge of the city when Tom sucks off Frank as if they were a couple of passionate Wandervogel youth making out in the Black Forest. 

Tom is totally shaken by all these turns of events, "thoroughly shattered by the boy's male beauty” in a sense that more accurately gives the gay undercurrent of the relationship some believability.  Tom wants to be for the first time perhaps - a cherished hoodlum sugar daddy to Frank's new found desire for a happy kept boyhood. 

Because of the tormenting, twisted, violent impulses inherent in so many of Highsmith's male-on-male (as it were) novels, the gay dynamics become very prominent here, the subtext of homosexuality that's usually latently present – at least in many of the Ripley novels – suddenly rears its rather pouty, sullen, moody shocking head for all the readers to madly fantasize about. I know I did, honey.

The question of Tom's sexuality (or lack thereof) is a constant background buzz in the Ripliad; in The Talented Mr. Ripley it was evident that he was in love with Dickie Greenleaf (or at least the idea of Dickie), and his marriage to Heloise thereafter is, if not completely sexless, then devoid of any noticeable passion. 

For her part, Highsmith always denied Tom was gay, although latterly she did acknowledge that he might have been suppressing homosexual tendencies. Really, my dear? But in The Boy Who Followed Ripley, she seems to address the queer question more directly than at any other point in the series of Ripley novels. 

Early on, when Antoine Grais, a friend of Heloise's, arrives at Belle Ombre unexpectedly, Tom – who we're explicitly informed is reading Christopher Isherwood's Christopher and His Kind – is caught by surprise. 

Antoine catches a glimpse of Frank, apologizes for disturbing Tom, and then, with "a nasty curiosity", asks if his "friend" is male or female. 

"Guess," Tom replies. 

The teenager tracks Tom down in France having heard of him thanks to a Derwatt painting (actually a Bernard Tufts fake) Frank's father owns (see Ripley Under Ground for the story behind Derwatt/Tufts). 

Tom soon learns that Frank's father, who was confined to a wheelchair, was killed when he fell from a cliff behind the family mansion just before Frank fled America, and that furthermore, Frank believes he was responsible. Did he? Didn’t he?

What Highsmith is setting up here is yet another spin on her familiar theme of two men becoming strangely fascinated by and fixated on one another. 

The problem is that in this instance, it's an implied more aggressive relationship for both parties. What made previous takes on the theme so compelling was, of course, the tension of the manipulative, malicious – and ultimately murderous – nature of at least one of the protagonists, whether it be Bruno in Highsmith's debut, Strangers on a Train (1950), or indeed Tom himself in Talented, Under Ground and Game. 

Here, however, Frank – despite apparently offing his father – is utterly guileless, almost brainless, a typical sixteen-year-old seemingly helpless and adrift with himself. While Tom takes on the guise almost of a Highsmithian mother hen – eventually reworking her own excursions, which she documents in her notebooks, for the novel. 

Who knows what Taste of Salt lesbian analogous love affairs went through Highsmith’s mind – writing late at night, jotting in her notebooks, thinking about her jaunts to West Berlin and her many various love affairs in New York, Texas, Yaddo and elsewhere…

After initially being confused by Berlin after repeated trips, Highsmith had become fascinated by the city, a fascination that's almost tangible in The Boy Who Followed Ripley. 

The Berlin section feels by far the most alive of the book, and that remains the case even more so now with the Berlin Wall coming down and all that youthful pent-up Eastern German butchy skinhead thug repressed sexuality now able to finally come out in the open. 

Perhaps a second Berlin go-through at The Boy Who Followed Ripley after the Cold War and the Wall came down would’ve been apropos at one time or another?

What the rest of the novel lacks though is any real sense of existential danger for Tom. Other than a momentary fear on his part after getting Frank back to his Maine mansion – that the boy would perhaps shove Ripley off the same cliff that he pushed his hapless father off of.

Such existential danger as in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground and even, to an extent, Ripley's Game where Tom has to fight for his very survival – which is to say his liberty and his idle, comfortable way of life (in Ripley's Game, his own actions leading directly to an assault on his rural French home, Belle Ombre).

With The Boy Who Followed Ripley (which, in the mutable timeline of the Ripliad, is set roughly six months on from Game), the Berlin escapade aside, Ripley’s preoccupied for the most part with saving Frank from himself. 

But who eventually will save Tom Ripley from himself – one might ask? The Boy Who Followed Ripley by Patricia Highsmith makes herself more visible perhaps in her personification of Ripley than any other of her superb suspense novels.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sick Synchronicity Story


Shakespearians say that
this miserable mise-en-scene

Surrounding us whether—
we like it or not, my dears

Is simply just a tacky Play—
our world nothing but a Stage

I try not to think about it—
but it seems as if sometimes

This Performative Meme—
pretty much says it all

Like when I cringe in bed—
waking from some Nightmare

Suddenly out of the blue—
everything seems crystal clear

The jig-saw puzzle goes—
CLICK inside my poor head

Sick Synchronicity comes true—
it’s worse than I ever thought

An ancient Catastrophe destroyed—
our world as we knew it back then

Now in suspended animation—
here we are meandering about

The astute Exopolitical theorists—
and our secret time travellers

Looking around & calling it our—
Synthetic Quantum Environment

Call it a kind of KRYPTON Effect—
4th dimensional “holding-pattern”

So in a way, I suppose, brave hearts—
Shakespeare was more than correct

The world a stage & here we are—
Tragedy having already happened

The Talented Gay Mr. Ripley


"He is quite shy about it. 
No strong emotions, and 
a little gay, I'd say. Not 
that he has ever done 
anything with it."
—Patricia Highsmith

“Hardly, my dear, Patricia—
you may be the author but
speak for yourself, honey”

“Your infamous lesbian romps—
and endless love affairs with
so many lovely women”

“How discrete of you, dear—
to exile yourself to tres gay
Europe to be an outré novelist”

“Those ever so raunchy Berlin—
gay bars and drag extravaganzas
Miss Ripley as your butch avatar”

“Especially faggy Frankie in—
RIPLEY, your cute 16-year-old”

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant


Dr. B. J. Big Head (Liberace) is a rich scientist experimenting with head transplantation. His young beefcake boyfriend lover, Danny (Scott Thorson), who is an extremely strong full-grown man, but he has the mind of a child. In an unusual turn of events,  a maniacal killer has murdered Danny. Dr. Bighead decides to transplant the murderer’s penis onto his boyfriend's head and turn him loose. The new creature, with the dickhead of a murderer and the mental capacity of sex-fiend attached to an extremely powerful body, begins wreaking havoc.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The boy who followed Ripley




“A figure had a flashlight. Tom saw
blue jeans and tennis shoes. The
boy from the bar.”—Patricia Highsmith,

Cute 16-year old Frank Pierson—
a runaway young rich American

He’d heard of Tom Ripley—
by now with quite a reputation

Mostly as a forger though—
rather than a cold murderer

With American Reeves Minot—
plus Bernard Tufts a painter

In a lucrative forgery racket—
faking Philip Derwatt paintings

Derwatt having disappeared—
committing suicide in Greece

After the original Derwatts—
ran out, they did forgeries

Pretending Derwatt was alive—
and hiding down in Mexico


“Frank can sleep with me,”
Tom said. “Neither of us is
going to know where we are”
—Patricia Highsmith, THE BOY 

Ripley had shot the lock off—
and got Frank Pierson away

The young kidnappers fled—
they were punks not Mafioso

Back in Eric’s Berlin apartment—
Tom got the kid into bed

They’d got him high on drugs—
injected him with narcotics

The kid had peed his pants—
Tom stripped him naked

Got him into bed between—
some decent clean sheets

The kid was lithe, handsome—
Tom realized he wanted him

He saved it for later on—
when the kid sobered up


“Frank smiled at all of them,
like a drunken child, and
smiled especially at Tom. 
Tom, dry in the mouth, had
taken a cold Pilsner Urquell
from Eric’s fridge.”—Patricia 
Highsmith THE BOY WHO 

Tom didn’t feel the same way—
he felt with Dickie Greenleaf

Not the same self-disgust and—
loathing Dickie made him feel

Taunting Tom in the rowboat—
making him feel like a nelly fag

That’s why he bashed Dickie—
with the oar against his head

Dickie flying into an awful rage—
his bloody streaming face

He’d gone insane with pain—
trying to strangle Tom to death

What else could Tom do but—
fight back & kill Dickie?

But Tom felt just the opposite—
with the helpless passed-out kid


Tom woke up to a hum—
in Eric’s quiet Berlin apartment

A coffee grinder’s cozy hum—
Frank facedown next to him

Asleep and breathing—
Tom bent over & kissed him

Putting on his dressing gown—
Tom left the kid in the bedroom

Eric was putting various—
kinds of bread, rolls & jams

On an extra festive tray—
for young Frankie’s return

The kid’s flight back home—
Tom would go with him

The millionaire’s young son—
what had he run away from?


The mother, the girlfriend—
the older druggy brother

The private investigator—
who gave Tom a big bonus

It wasn’t until they stood—
both Frankie and Tom there

On the high cliff overlooking—
the rugged Atlantic surf

That Tom realized why the—
millionaire’s young son did it

Pushing the wheelchair down—
off the steep precipitous cliff

Down into roaring rocky surf—
his father asked him to do it

Tom looked down at the kid’s—
broken crumpled dead body 

Twins in Trouble


I couldn’t help myself—
I was in love with my brother

It could’ve been worse I guess—
him and me Siamese twins

It was bad enough though—
wanting him all the time

It was Bad Seed all the way—
he really tasted just awful

Bad Biology all the way—
he made me swallow it 

Pretty soon I got addicted—
needed it all the fuckin time

I needed to get him off—
we got loaded every night

Twins are Double Trouble—
cause they know each other

He knew I wanted him—
even more than his girlfriend

She found out though—
after that she hogged it all

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cumly Creoles


“lady fictioneer from 
the sodden marshes 
of Southern Literature” 
—John Shelton Reed
Dixie Bohemia: A French
Quarter Circle in the 20’s

I was so far from New York—
when I moved to Louisiana 
I might as well have died.

I didn’t need to be a—
Bohemian queen there in
the French Quarter though

I was already rather gay—
opposed to genteel straight
society anyway, my dears

I was more interested in—
cute cumly dark-skinned 
well-endowed Creole boys

I was the kind of guy who—
was out to offend hetero
sensibilities but subtly so

Like in the dorm showers—
at Huey P. Long’s great
Louisiana State University

I let the French Quarter cum—
to me going down on the hung
Big Easy guys dontchaknow

Fuck New Orleans and all those—
tourist drunken nights down there
I was much more discrete, honey

Rather than courtyard romance—
the deep dark Spanish-moss hung
swamp Creoles appealed to me

I liked my meat nice and spicy
big thick water-moccasin types

New Orleans was too far away—
I preferred Baton Rouge college boys
falling and oozing off the map

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Seattle Noir


“The night was a time 
for bestial affinities, for 
drawing closer to oneself.” 
― Patricia Highsmith
Strangers on a Train

It’s a dark Highsmithian night—
perfect for murdering somebody

The clouds scuttling overhead—
the sun hidden for months

The monsoon depressing—
making you feel like a zombie

Better them than me, of course—
even tho sometimes it gets worse

The streets razor-sharp noir—
wet and sullen and slippery

The sidewalks dangerous—
I could slip and fall into the Bay

Your typical Seattle noir night—
totally completely gnarly

People on buses & high-speed rail—
crammed homicidally together

I should know because I’m—
one of them slouched in fear

As if I’m always on the run—
the mob constantly after me

Hiding out with my girlfriend—
young Seattle slutty chick 

She’d just as soon wanna—
turn me in for a lousy buck

Friday, May 17, 2013

Boy in the Bergfhof 1



“I have built up my religion out of Parsifal.  
Divine worship in solemn form ... without 
pretenses of humility ... One can serve 
God only in the garb of the hero"—Hitler 

In many ways, BOY IN THE BERGHOF is like the futuristic science-fiction novel SWASTIKA NIGHT (1937) by Katharine Burdekin.

SWASTIKA NIGHT by Katharine Burdekin is one of the most imaginative alternate histories ever written. It takes place in the near future — 2013 AH (meaning After Hitler) — with a medieval Europe run by gay Nazi knights who worship Hitler as a god. 

If this novel were re-written today, it might have a very common Philip K. Dick thread moving through it as with THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE; but it wasn't written today, it was written in 1937 by Burdekin, a pioneer in feminist science fiction. 

Reissued by the Feminist Press in 1985, this novel easily stands among the great dystopian novels like 1984 by George Orwell, BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley and WE by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

Boy in the Berghof 2


“Therefore we must conclude that, even though some Nazi ideologues had reservations about Parsifal and despite Hitler's dislike of the "Christian mystical style" in which it had until then always been presented on stage, both Hitler and Goebbels were looking forward to new productions of the opera after the war.”—John Deathridge, Wagner Beyond Good and Evil, Univ. of California Press 

After the war, he retreated to the Berghof with me as his companion—to console him in his last years. He didn’t have much time left…

He turned over the Third Reich to Albert Speer—the only intellectual amongst the Nazi thugs that he surrounded himself with. 

Speer was an Artist like him—he would build the New Berlin and design the Third Reich that would last a Thousand Years.

A photo in Paris captures the geniuses of the Third Reich as they contemplated the future. Hitler, Speer and Becker taking in the Eiffel Tower—planning the New Berlin.

Boy in the Berghof 3


The BOY IN THE BERGHOF takes place soon after the Axis win the Second World War (now called the Last War). Germany now dominates Europe and Africa, Japan everywhere else. "Inferior races" have been wiped out, the few remaining Christians neutralized. 

The Nazi realm — a weird, retro-futuristic feudal society — based on extreme militarism, conformity and patriarchy, as well as a bizarre quasi-religion based on a divine Hitler, who literally created the Third Reich like a lightening bolt out of the blue by the Teutonic God of Thunder. 

The plot revolves around a clique of elite Nazi high officials who worship Wagner—especially the opera PARSIFAL. The novel’s plot further centers on a young Bavarian named Parsifal and his pilgrimage to "The Sacred Berghof" where Hitler has secluded himself after the tumultuous WWII.

As with Orwell’s 1984, after Hitler wins the "Final War," the State controls everything. New Berlin is beginning to loom over the ruins and rubble of a medieval-united Europe, driven by a history being altered beyond recognition. 

Hitler is now worshiped as a mythological god by a horde of bold SS Nazi knights are serving as his sycophantic  administrators. All books, records, and even monuments from the past have been destroyed to make the official Third Reich 'reality' the only possible one. 

But the Leader is bored... his beloved Eva is dead. Sacrificed in the bunker while he made his escape to Argentina — only to prevail with his Ultimate Weapon. London & Moscow vaporized — the rest of the planet subjugated & divided with Japan.

The plot of BOY IN THE BERGHOF hinges on Parsival discovering Hitler lonely & alone in the Berghof. A beautiful Bavarian youth with blonde hair and a virgin peachfuzz face. 

Parsifal becomes the secret lover of the Fuhrer —ensconced in his mountain mourning the death of Eva Braun from suicide. The Fuhrer retired now to his elegant aloof Berghof retreat — his vision of the future accomplished.

It is within in such a tragic Wagnerian setting — that the young Parsifal enters the scene. Making possible the heartbreaking dream possible — the grand opera tragedy of the FOURTH REICH. 

Boy in the Berghof IV

Q. Marcius Hermes Sarcophagus 


The End. After Speer und Eva died I stayed there in the Berghof. As the Third Reich ended, like Rome...