Poems and Texts

[older I get] by Wayne Koestenbaum

Wigs Near Me: A New Performance by Wayne Koestenbaum
Friday, December 13, 2019, 8:00 pm

[older I get]

older I get, more serious I become
_______about wearing
_______makeup and wig.
caftan, too. always interested in a rub, kind sir:
_______love yr eyebrows.
_______admittedly, my pix
_______disguise age.
mix turquoise, king’s blue, bluish purple: impose mix
_______on passive quinacridone
_______violet’s impersonality.
try to figure out how clearly delineated
_______“subject positions” find
_______angles of mutual
_______pleasurable engagement without
_______destroying each other.

Joan Rivers baking Xmas cookies seen sideways
_______through tunnel window’s
_______mirror lake Simi-
_______lac® simulacrum.
“this administration is the worst thing to happen
_______to orange since
_______Agent Orange,” quips pundit.
every novel I love is fragile. red stars
_______on black duffel bag
_______triangulate with
_______Lynn Redgrave’s in-
_______dependent sources of self-
_______esteem, not harvested from Lear.
wrongly seeking sublimity in barn-roof gutter crevice.

lucent ceiling corrugations a dauphinois
_______potato when his Pompeii
_______gaze claims me, then disappears.
kouros-carved lips, stone lingerie, scandal
_______pudding: congregated
_______shames comprise a menu.
hives on my calves, awaiting Purim-Benadryl’s
_______alleviation: sob-collapse
_______throws ash on coffin
_______lowered: crowded town
_______car back from cemetery
_______to capers, cream cheese.

abstract expressionism is what happened at the hospital:
_______fools disputing climate
_______change, Tiffany
_______blue establishing shot’s
_______concentrated inattention.
“I’m glad you gave up the figure,” she said:
_______but I haven’t
_______stopped pursuing nudes.
to be the dread golem, aloof in Prague, boning
_______up on feuilletonisme,
_______Eton pea-coat toggles
_______unclasping gelt-Jocasta.

Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Wayne Koestenbaum

Wayne Koestenbaum—poet, critic, artist, performer—has published nineteen books, including Camp Marmalade, Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Humiliation, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist).  His next book, a collection of essays, Figure It Out, will be published by Soft Skull in May 2020.  He has exhibited his paintings in solo shows at White Columns (New York), 356 Mission (L.A.), and the University of Kentucky Art Museum.  His first piano/vocal record, Lounge Act, was released by Ugly Duckling Presse Records in 2017;  he has given musical performances at The Kitchen, REDCAT, Centre Pompidou, The Walker Art Center, The Artist’s Institute, and the Renaissance Society.  He is a Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and French at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.