Rent Boy


By Louise M. Hart

He silently sits in a busy underpass

Raggedy man reflecting his soul like glass

“Only the poor give to the poor,” He thinks

A benefit scrounger inserts a pound coin

Between his teeth

And drops it into raggedy man’s hat

He eats empty plates of thoughts for dinner

And dreams of being fat

His heart has no home

Less, his body resides in the West Midlands of nowhere

He does not even own a cat

Called Bob

Man, it is boring here

Where he cannot afford a beer or a filtered cigarette

His brow is lined with the sweat of circumstance and distress

And all because his Mother called him, “a sinner”

He was big in Moseley once

Now he is invisible in an underpass

Wanker banker leaves work at 5.33

He passes Mr Raggedy

And notices the curve of his lips

His hungry brown eyes

And delicate finger tips

He rubs his wallet

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This Charming Man


“Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate”
(Morrissey and Marr)

Salford in the late 1950’s formed a landscape of entrapment. Back to back houses confined back to back people to a life filmed in black and white. There were no intermediate shades. One either was good or bad, right or wrong, a working class hero or a self-aggrandising snob.

Geoff pushed his ailing bicycle down the hillside. Flatter than Jo’s bosoms, its front tyre flopped against the rough terrain. It was nearly 5 miles home and Jo would be waiting for him to cook dinner. “Bugger me,” he swore under his breath. He was hungry and anticipating the long walk home made him feel even more dreadful than the inevitable and unenviable task he faced, mending his punctured bike.
Making his way to the road, Geoff stumbled over a stone and landed on the ground with an embarrassing thud, his bike crashed on top of his skinny legs. “Ouch.” Geoff pushed aside the bike and clung to his right knee. Oblivious to the figure who sauntered behind him, he imagined blood seeping from the wound beneath his trousers and felt quite faint.
“Poor boy, you look quite ruffled down there,” Said the stranger. Surprised to see the elegantly dressed older man peering at him, Geoff looked down at his feet and screeched,
“And I’ve scuffed me Italian Casuals.”
“Let me help you up,” Said the man. His strong arms reached out to Geoff and he gripped his shoulders. The man’s masculinity merged with his own fragile form, their muscles straining in unison to secure Geoff’s safe ascent.
“Thanks ever so much,” Said Geoff, now erect. He looked up at the stranger’s handsome face and felt his cheeks flush.
“Can I offer you a lift…anywhere?” The man’s offer was tempting. “I am staying at a nearby hotel. I could take you there and tend your wounds.” Geoff could hear his heart beat inside his ears. The beats reminded him that not only was he alive, but that he was free to do what he chose. He briefly thought of Jo and the dinner he had offered to cook for her.
“That would be lovely,” He replied.
The man, who claimed to be named, Rex supported Geoff to walk to his car, which was parked nearby. Once again, Geoff felt giddy. He had never ridden in a Jaguar before. Rex opened the passenger door and Geoff crumpled inside. The seats were made of mahogany coloured leather. His fingers caressed them, eager to experience sensuous pleasure.
The hotel was situated only a few minutes away. It was the one where all the swanky people stayed. When Geoff walked in he looked at the floor, afraid of suspicious stares. Rex, however, seemed unrepentant, gaily abandoning any fear of others’ disapproval he might have possessed. Rex’s room was suitably grand and his bed as appealing as the silk pyjamas that were folded beneath his pillow.
“Would you like a drink, Geoffrey…a little something to calm your nerves?” Before Geoff could answer, Rex picked-up the phone and requested a bottle of champagne. Geoff had never tasted champagne before…but there was a first time for everything.
Whilst they were waiting for the drink to be delivered, Rex offered Geoff a cigarette. He did not smoke, but failed to inform Rex. Gauloise were very sophisticated and now that he was on the threshold of sophistication, Geoff felt that he should prove himself a man.
“Thank you ever so,” He spluttered to his companion.
When the champagne had been delivered, Rex poured 2 drinks and sat on the bed. “Why don’t you come and sit with me, my boy. You look awfully lonely over there.” Geoff summoned every ounce of courage he possessed and sat beside his new friend. They both drank quickly. Rex looked at Geoff in a way no one had ever looked at him before and said, “Take your trousers off. It’s time to tend your wounds.”
2 hours later Geoff arrived home in a large red Jaguar car. Jo had tired of waiting for him and eaten over an hour earlier. “Where have you been?” She asked, as he entered the house carrying a shiny new bicycle.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” He replied. Though his body hurt inside, his spirit felt feather light, for his nature had finally, transformed him from nervous boy into a man, who would one day have charm on his side

I DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME


The Lesbian

Reclining in satin sheets of purple yonder
My mind was locked between the nag of thought and the will to slumber
I knew not whether to sin I pray

A cigarette poised hungrily between my lips
I inhaled its forbidden pleasures
Like the scent of sex
Between temptation’s fragile hips
Only to extinguish it, like an illuminated candle wick

Scorched by flames of hell’s fire and unreason
An aromatic olfactory seizure
Of sensuous womanhood and images of naked human flesh
Impressed its vivid presence upon my perceptual prowess
Then I fell asleep and dreamed of being undressed
By the hands of a lascivious lover

Woken by whispers outside my room
“Let me come inside your maiden’s chamber
For I am the spirit of love and pleasure’s saviour”
I observed, standing before my frigid bed
A vision of such heaven sent beauty
That I wished myself dead

Praying to be freed of my grand illusion
I attributed its existence to thought intrusion
And my evident psychical confusion
“It is a sickness as old as womankind,”
Said my doctor, with sympathetic eyes

When, three months later we became betrothed
The mouth of the love, whose name I did not know
Was forever silenced
But my inner voice still speaks out and proud
In gay abandonment of my secret truth and imaginary life

If you have enjoyed reading my work, you might be interested in reading my first poetry collection.
A LIFE REBORN by Louise M. Hart is currently available for the bargain price of £1.14 at amazon.com
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My debut novel, THE GENERAL PARALYSIS OF SANITY, a mere £1.57 NOW at amazon.com

Camping out with Priscilla!


Last week, in the midst of a maelstrom of personal stress about my own physical health, arrived my birthday. I think many of us feel strangely inadequate if we do not experience joy on that day of the year when the terminus of our mortality seems a little nearer. Thus, I tried to mask my tears beneath grateful smiles. The following day, however, promised a release from pressure and a visit to the theatre.
My Mother kindly surprised me by buying tickets to watch a stage production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I have seen and enjoyed the film version on numerous occasions, reveling in its mixture of crude humour and unabashed campness. The prospect of seeing the musical theatre version seemed to offer a level of unrepentant escapism, I have rarely experienced in the last few years. Thus, I thankfully accepted my Mother’s invitation and boarded a train traveling to Glasgow.
Glasgow is a city of polarity. Beggars and bakers stand back to back on streets crammed with pleasure and pain. I would like to shout out for Glaswegians and their friendly acceptance of difference and verbal barbarism. In a world that seems to become increasingly smaller and homogenous, shows of individuality are to be applauded as acts of bravery against the will of the mainstream. Because of this, I enjoyed being in Glasgow and the spirit of a stage show, which embraced difference, not because it is different but, rather, is shared by all.
I smiled within at the groups of older women in the audience whooping and hollering at the gay male characters on stage, reminded of their counterparts in the 1970’s, who fawned over gloriously camp celebrities, like Liberace. Portrayals of effeminacy have always appealed to aspects of the female psyche. The portrayal of flamboyant sexuality is secretly desirable to many of us. It would be interesting to know how many heterosexual women secretly yearn for the freedom of the camp man; to have or to be, that is the question!

Dirk Bogarde: Gone but I shall Never Forget Him


In my previous post I reviewed the novella, Death in Venice and feel that no discussion of the book is complete, without reference to the extraordinary film version. Upon first viewing, Visconti’s (1971) masterpiece, ensnared me in a mist of visual eloquence. Transported by the narrative, I entered a realm which suggested, behind a veneer of bourgeois respectability, the presence of decay. Fundamental to the portrayal of this, was the performance of Dirk Bogarde as the central character, a man in search of an ideal.
In a career defining performance, Bogarde chilled the screen with his icy presence and projected meaning in subtle facial expressions. A face, which had once graced the bedroom walls of the hearts of 1950’s British teens, had become distorted by the ravages of age and interpretations of desires, which did not speak their names. Dirk Bogarde had matured from matinee idol into middle-aged master of menace and finally, metamorphosed into an old man of European art house cinema and an interpreter of directorial dreams. He had become a hallucination which was 100 per cent real. A hallucination of his own feelings; the reality of the man hidden behind the propaganda of his acting career.
Until his death in 1999, Bogarde publicly denied his homosexuality. In private, his shared his life with his long-term male partner and manager. The world was naïvely fooled; gay people, however, had always known; the clues were not obscured but, were as apparent as the quiff he wore in, The Blue Lamp (1950), the first film, in which he appeared, which hinted at darkness behind his pretty façade. A façade which constituted more than indulgence; it was a necessary method to uphold a career in a society which, even in 2013, does not accept or want to watch films starring gay movie stars.
Society is an ass! Why has not the world accepted that not everyone is straight. Move away from your position peeping through closed curtains, go outside and embrace the nearest queen!