This is culture and this is the idea that kidnaps itself. The wild hour come, a dissolving logic through the brigade and its assembly — toy-sized dramas, precessions at excellent volumes, the inevitable cruelty displayed in boys, those who are unreachable as they are always reaching for themselves and missing and reaching again. This is the precious purpose made up of some things defied and some things gilded and swollen, unknown again. The beautiful world on the edge of a declivity, tilted and casting into sorrier vestibules, adorable like sugar and salt water, instruments desire. And returned alone, this is the hero: liminal and yearning. He is male. And this, the music. The boys dance on the tables, flicker like rumors, holding spilling drinks, for any song. The hero feigns boredom, is shadowed — he fingers inside his invisible cavities and finds an incautious tract where the draw blossoms into blunt jealousy. The hero suffers temptation; he swallows hard and bites his tongue, rubs hair in the wound. He wants to suck off pretty and universal cocks, swallow unfathomable rhetoric, digest all their names, place-names, and the place; ack, nothing coalesces — the fragments of what is wanted tear about its disappearance. Poor hero, up against his megalithic desire. Look but do not touch, he decides, this time. Stay away from the party sounds, he decides, make polite conclusions. The revelry’s taken form has a dress of veils thrown upon it; it disappears underneath like a magic trick that isn’t really real — its vestigial anti-miracle wavering behind, afloat in the dark before it tinkles to the floor, undead. There is nothing gay in the state of things, no gaiety in the antechambers where sexy bods tangle up in their cyclical discourse. The information flashes so fast, he thinks, I blink. A despotic president, the melodrama in America, laughter of the winking eye — there is nothing gay in such starless pursuits; the semblance of gaiety only ventriloquates from a threatening recess, up the spine of stylish damage, out hungry throats and their silvered lips. There is nothing over-qualified about this, to qualify this. There is nothing gay in the chrome spirit the boys rode in on or how they found out to make love so different than they knew about back home. The hero opens his mouth wide and says Awww.
“As for, fuck, his desire: How retarded it was and fueled irrational by a horny lizard brain grown up like a tumor in some soggy nook under the organ of his better intelligence. He was often possessed despite himself, screaming for no mercy but the pleasure available just out of touch. ‘Will you, rubbing hair in the wound, smear a tongue across the shaved chest of a ripe and toothsome boy who dances invested in his proud youth — will you stuff your cock in powder-blue undies and slide it across the night; smack the shapely ass beyond reason, into joy, into glorious post-apocalypses where sex sparkles lightless and intractable, where boys play with each other religiously and undeclared, never to grow or waste, never to say no or yes. Will you?’ he pules — ‘Will you allow me an audience to your worst advantages?’ And some lucky times this prompts a dreamboat who tugs the beggar’s sleeve and carries him into the arrested place where smoothness presides, and desire. He cherishes the vacation, waddling after the fabulous alphabet that the slender set mouths and mouths in service of the rule — nothing, nothing and friends. The nervous clump of tissue rattling in his skull paralyzes in fascination, defaults into dumb hope that that is true, that it represents an accessible system of experience, that the dress of veils is the matter, not what hides the lack — or whatever this surface makes up. The enormous city glitters, is empty: hooray…
“This next piece is also a prose poem,” the hero said, benignly holding a white sheet between his thumbs and fingers before crumpling it into a gentle wad. He gaped his mouth-hole wide, popped the poem in like candy, and chewed. The upper lights fell down purple and gold upon the dainty stage, raised a foot from the blackened floor, only a foot risen above the congress of sexual boys gathered in undress and semi-writhing; their attentions for the bodies, for the drinks, for the voices in the ears, and the breaths into the clavicles. So the hero alighted, poem scratching his esophagus, and some pink rays came from the ceiling and made garish shadows around the timid lump of cock wrapped in the crotch of his skinny pants. He swallowed a hot sigh, the poem landing in his belly, and watched nobody betraying they listened or realized he was up before an audience. His arm rose in the pink and then the electric green shades; he studied his wound. It is an earnest wound, was his creative thought, it means tried and true. It was actually annoying. The injury looked black at its center and a medical kind of deep ruby around where the epidermis had shed to reveal his private layer, which faded into an insincerely raw band around the ovoid mess, the border between the unbroken skin, mottled with fine hairs, and the big question of that wound. The hero raised his arm to his serious mouth and kissed the wound like it was pursed lips. He drew the arm up toward the crown of his skull and swished his bangs down onto the wound. Rub hair in the wound, he promised, make a dream come true.
The crowd parted attentively over there as the popular kid slunk toward and then right by the hero, slanted glance aloof and practiced and so assured; the hero looked away in agony. The popular kid is storied for nothing, which is what a boy gets famous for here, the hero considered, his art is sentimental and base. Look at him then: he was not smolderingly hot, but not uncomely; his nerdy and exaggerated features read as distinctive, made to work, accepted, finally deserved — desired. There is no prosody I could find or invent to write a poem for that retard to love me, the hero cursed. He would still fall for him again. The poetics of that kid hoisted up on aestheticism, from him his sexuality signified in lovely, vapid waves: an abstract expression across the artful plane. Let us forget about this, was the hero’s thought. “I have to pee,” murmured the popular kid to absolutely nobody. Cute symmetrical heads swiveled on their pedestal necks above their Grecian bodies — taut chests with jewels pasted on their salmon nipples and glitter in their pubes — listening to the popular kid’s ejaculation like it was the Constitution. Those nearest quivered anticipatorily in the direction of the wash closet at the far end of the mirrored bar, but the kid’s statement did not correlate to his objective: instead he was taking the stage. The hero’s esoteric protests were the warm-up act, tendered to an empty room full of interesting people, but now the popular kid was ready to present the main attraction. He hopped upon the stage and it became his rosy marble sepulcher. He delivered the stage in grace, turned it into something: a monument for the impossible contexts he and they always bought with American money and negative capability. This was a mock funeral in foreverland. The hero glowered at the suave ruse. Churlish, he projected himself onto the popular kid soaring an infinite foot above the gaily thronging hipsters and twinks. Ready — ? The kid opened his dick-sucking maw and released the argent poetry.
The popular kid, colloquial and effortless, recounts endless narratives of the application of his sex. The lovely anecdotes trickle out like yummy poison, pricking up a new tense, a new rhythm of spanks and tugs, punctuation in saliva-drenched dots of armpit stubble. The light rains down silver upon him, a semen-colored nimbus growing around his haircut. He is our representative, giving us our very story, licking the words into our gag reflexes. We, overawed at our becoming, remember nothing of the specifics — the content, as pellucid as a perfect sky, spills over our reason, gratifying the surfaces of our desires. We can tell: his language void of floridity, his dramatic structure punchy and slick, his thematic resonance affirmative and complicit — the elements of poetic craft tinker away transparent in the generation of magical thinking, pounded into the pulse of our dazzled brains. We rub our undressed bodies, slide our hands and neighboring hands down the smalls of our backs and into the puffy crevices waiting beneath our underwear, coax a finger traced around the puckered asterisks of our rims, pulled in fleshy O’s; readied to get digitally known. Enhance us. The only metaphors the kid employs are in the form of pronouns — we know “I” is a metaphor for us; “he” is a metaphor for us all, too; “you” is a metaphor for him; “it” is a metaphor for this. The erotica spun: each hook-up, the places on some body where his pre-come dripped, the complex desire manifest across his lover’s face when he let the dick slide into the condom and into his butt, the way the trick twisted around himself and where a leg splayed across the unimpeachable skin of the kid’s shoulders — and where it happened and when — he delivers a message we decode and savor together as it is ours. The circumstances of the fun detailed: the emotional grind between two embodied prerogatives, the clever idiosyncratic dabbling, the maneuvered psychology, and observations of dynamics of power and desire at play — we mouth it up in the air before us, nutritionless as it is delectable. Everything is qualified, everything is hypothetical, everything is twirling hysterical under the moon of our eye. We could remain here until everything else around us turns into mirrors — reflecting nothing, then shattering, then cutting us up. We would love it.
The hero presently managed the company of interest. A boy pert of definition: short and winsome, his cherry smile turned up and pointing at his batted lashes, his curious brown eyes leveled at a latest object. The hero grazed his recklessness, handling the smallish lump wriggling under the peppermint shorts, wiping the outline across his palm. Nothing verbal was required in this automatic prelude. The hero fell cool and dumb as his exploratory measures yielded their agreement. A brand new tumescent pique crowded away his normal contumely. The go-go boy took him around the side of the stage and drew him behind the curtain there, through a small flap in the fabric; there was a secret hideout back there; there was no light back there and it took time for their eyes to adjust, but they didn’t wait. They blindly caressed themselves pressed against each other, fondling the soft features and mashing the wetnesses together, and the hero’s new friend yanked his tight shorts off and his erection whipped up and was welcomed in the hero’s grip and then his face as the hero maneuvered his shirt unbuttoned and shucked it and ripped open his belt and fly and thrust out his hairy dick and rubbed it against the boy’s leg. The boy’s leg felt like a cold plate. The hero slurped the skin of his stomach and matted down his tuft of pubes with drool. He rose and the go-go boy turned around and grabbed the curtain fabric with wet hands and lifted his butt up toward the hero’s interested dick. They were acclimating to the total dark — first blurry shapes, stage equipment and foregone props, then something else was visible, and the hero started: two big black dudes hunched over on a trunk in the way corner, unmoving but watching the hero slather the hole in spit then poke at his bent-over body and slip inside his ass as he reached down his front and pulled at the scrotum. The hero squinted at the pair of men. The go-go boy noticed them also, over his shoulder, amidst the thrusts that shook fey moans from him. The boy implored them to get lost, then he closed his eyes and bared his upper row of teeth. The hero’s hands clasped the boy at his hips and slid him on the axis of the cock in him. The silent interlopers made no indication of hearing the request to leave, nor did they move at all. The hero did not know what to say here so he grunted and let his neck go limp and his chin clonked into his breast. He sniffed and a gem of sweat fell from his nose tip and went silently splat on the skin of the leaning boy’s shoulder. The hero straightened his neck and stared into the curtain and pretended it was a starless sky at night; then he realized he wasn’t wearing a condom. He waited for the go-go boy to remark upon the oversight, but his program of inoffensive gasps and moans went untroubled. The dudes watched expressionlessly. They would all soon return to this place and the boys would run together, reaching, and the popular kid would bathe himself with faucet water in the plastic sink behind the bar and he would make his art. The hero jabbed at the blushing spread-open butt; the boy yelped and chewed on the curtain. The hero was sweating — lines of sweat drawling from his hair, down the side of his face, behind his ear, down his shoulder blade, and into his calf hair. A gem of it fell off his eyebrow and landed on the wound. He winced and drew in a suck of air through his clenching teeth. The wound was stupid. The accident that made the wound was useless. The pain and the stinging sweat-drop were without consequence. He could not write a poem about any of it. And, worst of all, the wound would never become a poem. It would only heal up again, leaving a faint white scar that signified less than what he wanted but more than he deserved. You can share desire but you can’t get rid of it, he remembered. The periplum was undrafted and remains so. The room behind the curtain felt terrifically empty. The hero went, To hell with it, and nothing happened, and he raised the arm up toward the crown of his skull and he rubbed hair in the wound.
Lonely Christopher is a poet and filmmaker. He is the author of the poetry collection Death & Disaster Series (Monk Books, 2014) and the short story collection The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse, which was a 2011 selection of Dennis Cooper’s Little House on the Bowery imprint of Akashic Books. His plays have been produced in New York City and China. He wrote and directed the feature film MOM (Cavazos Films, 2013) and his stories have been adapted for the screen in Canada and France. He lives in Brooklyn.