Matthew Burgess: Gentlemen Prefer Gentlemen

Poolside in a cruise
   ship gymnasium
Jane’s scene opens

in gay Hollywood
   heaven: flanked by
a bevy of Olympic

beefcakes in flesh-
  s colored short shorts
she’s aghast at

their curfew: Holy
   Smoke! 9 o’clock!
That’s just when life

begins! Fountains
   squirt on either side
of a slide rainbowing

into Technicolor water
   when coach blows
his whistle: lens pans

from a ripped blonde
   looping the high bar
before a faux Greco-

Roman wrestler fresco
   to an inverted torso
revolving ass to

crotch and again
   to an array of stone-
faced men doing

stylized calisthenics:
   flex, plié, cartwheel,
high-kick. Enter Miss

Russell in a sleeveless
   black catsuit, earrings
like two turquoise

penises. She struts
   through their routine
caressing bulging

biceps and twirling
   badminton rackets
down a line of supine

men scissoring legs
   skyward: Doubles
anyone? Court’s free!

Alas the oblivious
   Olympians can’t be
distracted even

by Jane’s famous
   cleavage and erotic
innuendo: I like

big muscles and red
   corpuscles (thrust,
wink) and pout

goes wry growl
   as climax approaches:
Ain’t there anyone

here for love? Anyone?
   Jane balls up at
pool’s edge as divers

knife over her rapid-
   fire until one thin
extra clips her and she

tumbles in. Howard
   Hawkes eyed the ac-
cident in the dailies

and kept it—then shot
   the revised finale so
two buff gymnasts

raise dunked Russell
   out of the water
onto their shoulders

as a white tuxedoed
   waiter angles over
with a platter of

cocktails. Batting
   diamonds from her
eyelashes, she lifts

a martini and toasts
   the shirtless huddle
of sexy extras.



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