Verdad Magazine Volume 6
Spring 2009, Volume 6
Poetry by Nick H Venden
Oscar Wilde in the O.C. Gaol
London - 3 April 1895
After Bosie went all balmy on the crumpet and rejected me, the blue devils took me. Out of snort, I called in a rent boy who procured the drug, and soon we were feeling all boomps-a-daisy. My boy was posing semi-classical on the oriental divan with a calla lily clutched between the cheeks of his bum, when a Constabulary broke down the door. I was blottesque and slurred, “Bunk off you cockchafer!” I spat in the bugger’s mug, then seizured and swooned into his arms.
In my delirium I felt an epoch pass. A Chimera in my brain roared. Its tail thrashed. Strange tubular lights clicked and flickered, and I was awakened by their unholy light.
Santa Ana - 22 May 1995
I was imprisoned. Sixty-four men, all flagrant flesh, were supined upon their kips. They awoke. One hundred and twenty eight eyes turned on me. There is only one thing in life worse than being stared at, and that is not being stared at. A sinewy blackavised Nubian approached. A blue-green tattoo dragon slithered across his bare chest. Its jaws tore into the flesh of his neck; its tail disappeared down into the crotch of his draw-string pantaloons. I imagined where the lurid tail would end--and stared. I can resist everything except temptation. I beheld Art at its most elemental. “What you mugging’ at, you Hoe Cake -Sucka?! He called out, “Jay Chrizzle Weebles, we got us a Silver Fish Jaw-maican!” Oh dearest, this may not turn out well; all men kill the thing they love.
The DragonMan pushed my face into the wall. “Here’s the 411.” The sign before my bloodshot eyes read: Rules: no spitting, no bare feet, knock before entering the shower, it’s a private-time area. Desperate for privacy, I the tried slang I’d learned from my rent boys. “Sir, I need a sluice.” “Cut throat!” “Sir?” “Stop jaw-jabbin,’” “Stop wagging my pow?” “Yeah, shut the fuck up. You wanna be bloody now or later, Sucka?”
I just wanted to present a clean corpse to God. We compromised.
“I’m gonna flip my script and let you shower, before I Luficate you Rip-Nut Hoe. You think you the PimpJuice, huh?” “Yes Sir, I believe so, yes.” “And use the shower shoes!” The salty taste of blood was already on my lip.
If all men kill the thing they love, my consolation at Death shall be the knowledge that I have been loved.
I knocked on the shower door. Inside, pasted across an entire wall and sealed behind a translucent veil, was an astounding découpage of female body parts cut from some couleur livre-journal. Disembodied aureoles, like constellations of mauve stars hung in a flesh-pink couleured sky. Airy, tufted clouds of pubic hair were suspended in fold upon fold, pli selon pli, of voluptuous flesh. It was a masterpiece unlike anything in the Duke of Cornwall’s pícaresque gallery. I imagined all the breathless onanism practiced in this room--or in his Majesty’s gallery for that matter--and felt faint and feverish.
I was considering the aesthetic, poetic distancing-effect wrought upon the découpage by the translucent water-tight veil, when the mural turned black. After an unknown interval, I opened my eyes and found myself on my back, naked on my deathbed of cold, wet tiles. Hovering above me was a Fierce Dragon. I turned my head to gaze at the masterpiece and said, "Sir, I was wrong, for one hundred years wrong--the wallpaper is marvelous."
It was then that I lost sight of Art--forever.
BIO: Mr Venden is a professional musician and composer. He's the recipient of a national endowment for a four-channel-electronic ballet score Mandala, three Joe Jefferson theater awards Chicago. As a conductor he's worked in film Once upon a Love with Bo Derrick Glenn-Glenn scoring stage Hollywood; most recently conducted the North American Tour of Les Miserables; as a recital pianist and musician has worked in Tokyo, Hamamatsu, Sendai, Paris, Baden-Baden, Shanghai, Seoul, and every major city in North America. As a poet he's under the care and feeding of J. Epley.