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    AC Benus
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose - 30. Carl Morse “A touchdown pass never reached its tight end”

.

Dream of the Artfairy

 

One day over the course of a week or so,

all the art ever made by fairies

became invisible to straights,

starting with the Sistine Chapel.

It was mid-July, and thousands of riled-up visitors

demanded an apocalypse or their money back,

although it was noticed certain persons

continued to point and giggle at the ceiling

—for the fairies could still see perfectly well.

 

Then the Last Supper went.

And some noted art historians tried to get back their vision

by clumsily attempting a gross indecency or two,

and traffic in forged fairy papers became a nightmare.

But nothing worked

—including the ethically dubious practice

of tempting real fairies to simulate

the shapes of the Elgin marbles.

 

And then to indelible effect

a Tchaikovsky symphony disappeared

in the middle of Avery Fisher Hall,

but for a piping fairy here and there

who could still read the music on the page

and one panicky but determined violin.

 

And the bins of Sam Goody bulged

with the unsold silent discs of Broadway hits,

and hum-along fairies ruled the Met,

and Take-a-fairy-to-Tanglewood clubs were formed,

in case any Brahms or Ravel was played,

and the first Easter passed without even one Messiah.

 

And then in the classroom of our days

the fairy voices died—in mid-pronunciation. So:

 

—I taste a liquor never brewed

from tankards ______ __ ______,

—The mass of men lead lives __ _____ ___________,

—A rose is a rose __ _ ___,

—They told me to take a streetcar _____ ______,

—Out of the cradle _________ _______,

—Call me ________,

—Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw

me . . . Mama! Fourteen years have gone by! —I'm dead!

—You're a grandmother, Mama. — . . . I married George

Gibbs, Mama! —Wally's dead, too. —Mama! His appendix

burst on a camping trip to Crawford Notch. We felt just terrible

about it, don't you remember? —But, just for a moment

now we're all together —Mama, just for a moment let's all be

happy —Let's ___ __ ___ _______!*

 

And the publishers failed when so many books

went blank in mid-fulfillment,

and no-one but fairies passed their bar exams.

 

At last only Clifton Webb kept making love

to the hole where Garbo used to be,

and a touchdown pass in the closing game

never reached its tight end on the screen,

and all hell really broke loose in the land.

 

And the Good Fairy saw that it was bad,

or at least not so hot,

and that a sense of justice can go a long way.

So she kicked the transmitter

and the straights woke up restored.

And the earthfairies didn't mind so much,

since they had more time to draw

—and interpreting isn't the best of jobs,

no matter how you get paid.

 

-----------------------------

 

 

* If you filled in any of the above, even in your head, you may be a gifted fairy.

 

 

…scooped in pearl (Emily Dickinson)

…of quiet desperation (Henry David Thoreau)

…is a rose (Gertrude Stein)

…named Desire (Tennessee Williams)

…endlessly rocking (Walt Whitman)

…Ishmael (Herman Melville)

…look at one another (Thornton Wilder).

 

-----------------------------

—Carl Morse,[i]

1982

 

 

 

 

 


[i] “Dream of the Artfairy” Carl Morse, reprinted in Gay and Lesbian Poetry in our Time [Carl Morse and Joan Larkin, Editors], New York 1988, ps. 268-270

_

Copyright © 2021 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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And why, oh why, did I miss this gem in Modern Lit 101 in college? It would have been both enlightening and amusing - thank you for bringing it to me today. 

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On 11/15/2021 at 2:31 PM, Parker Owens said:

And why, oh why, did I miss this gem in Modern Lit 101 in college? It would have been both enlightening and amusing - thank you for bringing it to me today. 

Thanks, Parker. The inclusion of the Our Town playwright was ballsy, not became Wilder's orientation was ever in doubt, but after his death, his cashing-in sister (who'd won his literary estate after his death), hired a team of loud lawyers to keep her moneymaker's image free of the H-word taint. She'd sued -- and won -- against many who'd even casually mentioned her brother's private relationships, and Martin Greif (The Gay Book of Days, 1982) only included "T.W. - American Playwright" in his list of those he dare not name for reasons of legal exposure. So that Morse published the name in the same year as Greif's reluctance to do so says a great deal about Carl Morse's bravery :)      

Edited by AC Benus
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