“Maksim Gorky Pretends to be a Dom at the Bathhouse”
A serious(ly gay) interlude. After a few sleepless nights of quasi-Christian prayer (I cherry pick all the heart-warming bits and the foodie miracles and leave out the whole crucifixion-resurrection boondoggle; anything icky like leprosy; the Book of Revelation; everything by Saint Paul, and Satan, so like, sleepover, ‘Smores for two, paint our toenails red and Jesus is my woke BFF!! You GO, girl!!!), Buddhist meditation (aka tedium as a lifestyle, with sore legs, in order to acknowledge that life is tedious); dedicated carb gorging (Betty Crocker French Chocolate Frosting straight from the can, and I’m GLAD, I tell you! GLAD!) and kicking myself hard in the seventh chakra— —after this merciless spiritual reckoning, I’ve come, reluctantly, to a sorry and disheartening realization. My blog just isn’t gay enough. GAY ICONS No, wait, come back, hear me out! My blog truly has many, many strikes against it on the not-gay-enoughness front. Take gay icons, for example. We’re talking about those broads—always broads, gay men adore women more ardently than straight men do, minus the pussy pounding, so gay icons are always always female—with the wide lapels and the manly hands, drag queen hands big enough to clutch a Van Cleef and Arpels minaudière, a double vodka tonic, two uncut cocks and a Player’s King Size without batting a three-inch eyelash; the belter-broad gay icons with the voices like air raid sirens announcing their imminent incendiary bombing of our eardrums and their emotional trajectory from thinly-veiled hysteria to pulmonary embolism. Like, where are they? Where have all the drama queen, epicene gay icons gone, always assuming we don’t count long-time passing Bernie Sanders? Somewhere other than slowpainful dot com, apparently. Well, comb me out with hedge clippers and tuck me with super-glue, what an outrage! The tut-tuts continue. To my eternal shame, my blog never shrieks, with Bette Davis, “What a dump!” as it flounces into a room like a wind farm on heels; it doesn’t bawl its eyes out with Barbra-Fanny for My Man. With almost perfect certainty I can attest that my blog, horrified by Olivia’s predicament, takes pains to avoid wasting time trapped in a wrought iron elevator getting all musky and feral; I will beg to sign a confession stating that it has never, suddenly, and last summer, traveled with Viola and Sebastian to see the Encantadas, with the beach the color of caviar and the sky all alive, all alive. My blog, if you can believe one more impossible thing before breakfast, doesn’t even sing the Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall album, not even at three in the morning after all the boys have made dramatic exits ostensibly because of perceived slights and then reassembled once they’re around the corner in front of the bathhouse entrance so that everyone in the world is having wild porn sex without me. Feeling distinctly bitter about this. But, like a thinner, more delusional Sally Bowles standing in the darkened wings of my self-esteem, I lift my face to the hot love-lick of the follow spot, switch on my synthetic thousand-watt smile and Fosse myself back to center stage where, after an arch wink and a couple of back-flips, I straddle the rickety bar stool of petty revenge. It’s gonna happen! Happen sometime! Maybe this time! CANCEL CULTURE Ever, ever less gay. Especially not gay enough with the cancel culture. My site does not throw half-chewed doggie toys at Mayor Pete for hobbing his nob with the Sally Ann, or RIP Ellen for being in the same airspace as George Bush and having the gall to not spit in his face. What’s being gay all about if it’s not about total self-absorption and carefully choreographed temper tantrums? Sorry, kids, no food from Sally Ann for you, but take a moment while your stomach rumbles to imagine how good we must be feeling for sticking to our principles as we stuff our faces with organic Christmas turkey! My blog is not holding up its end, so to speak, about complaining that Black Lives Matter is spoiling all the self-indulgent fun of PRIDE by daring to suggest that daily experiences of anti-blackness, including racial profiling, housing and job discrimination, and institutional violence by the police followed by a rate of incarceration almost three times the rate of white offenders, merit stopping the parade for a protest and requesting that the police not be present. White solidarity must be maintained because, after all, we’re progressive, it’s not really important if it’s not white, but we’ll pretend, and, by the way, we’re always sure to smile at black people on the street! Racist? We stopped buying Aunt Jemima pancake mix, months ago! It’s the Asians you gotta watch out for. (Asians! Which, to a Canadian, means, “Chinese.” Overruning the bathhouses with their smooth bodies and crazy language! And pushy? OMFG! Won’t take ‘no’ for an answer! Pushier than Jews, even! (Asians! Buying all the condos, aceing all the entrance exams, building inscrutable enclaves of dim sum restaurants and exporting COVID-19 and generally being all Asian about things. Buying all the condos! (Well, white Canadians, why don’t YOU go out and buy a condo then? And anyway, let’s nail this coffin lid shut: It’s not Asians who are buying all the condos. It’s property speculators. The problem is allowing speculation on property to the extent that the human right of accommodation becomes a commodity on a market and disappears. Not Asians.) THE PITS And in a final descent into the pit of social humiliation and incompetent gay blogger-dom, there are virtually no instances of gay guys shrieking at the sight of a vagina while waving their arms like partially unthawed chicken tenders; discussing “gay culture” (= drag queens and gay bars and gay clubs, and you can just take your Sistine Chapels and copies of Ulysses and place them in your anal gape while we gulp down some more GHB and lie face down on our beds waiting for the top to come along who’ll finally arrange that pervy gangbang every bottom’s been panting for since around 1756 but hasn’t experienced because everyone’s on meth and can’t get a hard-on, which means everyone’s a bottom; kind of like all those yoga instructors wanting to sell classes but everyone’s a yoga instructor); complaining, in a campy way that offers up our internalized homophobia in front of the whole world, that all those drag queens and naked guys and leather queens at PRIDE are “spoiling it for the rest of us”, ie, complaining that PRIDE makes us visible when visibility is the entire point of PRIDE and— Fuck it. Here’s a gay poem, which maybe, just maybe, will resonate while earning me some brownie points against my gay want. I dedicate this to the in-your-face drag queens and the leather daddies reeking of poppers and cowhide and the naked men with ordinary bodies, saggy or sweet human male bodies, and the transexuals who endure the venom and incomprehension and violence of the eternally entitled shoved off their pedestals, to all of you who who insist on being gloriously visible, shaking with fear inside but outwardly defiant, in full proud-peacock display. This is for you warriors, fierce in your integrity, who were and are the frontrunners clearing the safe space for all the rest of us bland wannabe suburbanites. Unlike your supple, quicksilver personas we’re just stiff, white picket fences yearning for any place like home. Quentin Crisp, the very model of a reluctant martyr, flamboyantly queer in 1920’s London when even mentioning homosexuality was unthinkable in polite society, once confessed: “It’s been agony but I couldn’t have done it any other way.” “Maksim Gorky Pretends to be a Dom at the Bathhouse” Peter Pinski
Said, “Come In-ski
Won’t you play with my foreskin-ski?
We could get a little… kink-ski
Make teabag-sky on my chin-ski!” Gorky taken quite aback-ski
“Let us take another tack-ski
If you feel it’s not too bold-ski
You will do as you are toldski!” Peter slut-ski
Shows his butt-ski “What a pit-ski!
Not too bold-ski,
But it’s fit-ski
You be told-ski: “See my tit-ski?
How I rub-ski?
Call me Mitzki—
I’m a sub-ski!” Subsequent-ski
Life was good-ski Landed gent-ski
Collingwood-ski. To be honest, I’m really quite gorky about it. ֍