jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2015

DIANA GOETSCH [17.130] Poeta de Estados Unidos


Diana Goetsch 

(Brooklyn, Nueva York, Estados Unidos, 1963)
Diana Goetsch (antes Douglas Goetsch) es autora de Nameless Boy, The Job of Being Everybody y varios volúmenes de poemas. Su trabajo ha aparecido en The New Yorker, Poesía, Poesía, El Gettysburg revisión, The American Scholar, Best American Poetry, El Premio Pushcart y numerosas otras revistas y antologías. Entre sus honores son becas de la Fundación Nacional para las Artes, la Fundación de Nueva York para las Artes y el Premio Donald Murray.

Diana es profesora de escritura experimental e innovadora que ha enseñado en universidades, conferencias y programas de AM, además de la enseñanza privada -uno-a-uno,  el grupo de talleres en su apartamento de Nueva York. Es también editora de Jane Street Press.




La Fabric Factory, circa 1987

“No tienen que irse a casa, pero no pueden quedarse aquí”,
dice Roy, el barman bajito de bigotes
en el único bar de travestis seguro de la ciudad de Nueva York
a las cuatro menos cuarto de la mañana. Nadie se mueve,
hasta que él sube las luces y grita “¡Se van, carajo!”
pero es difícil dejar el hogar. Somos travestis de closet
atreviéndonos a ser vistos, aunque más no sea por nuestra cofradía de inadaptados.
También filipinos pre-operación con sus muñecas delicadas y lampiñas
cotorrean en tagálog mientras escanean a los hombres avergonzados
como a sospechosos en una rueda de identificación, y se preguntan cuál los va tratar
como las damas que son y pagarles sus operaciones.
También prostitutas shemale infladas con silicona de contrabando,
perdidas en el espejo, sacuden el pelo como Cher,
giran, hacen pucheros, susurran puras chanchadas en los oídos
de los cazadores de travestis, les prometen mamadas que les vuelen la cabeza
en sus autos estacionados. También drag-queens de espectáculos nocturnos
con playback, chicos gay altos como delanteros de la NBA
con voces profundas que hacen cosquillas, maquillajes de dibujo animado
y rellenos de cadera y rellenos de tetas
y tetas falsas sobre las que se podría doblar la ropa.
También cross-dressers de fin de semana que viven fuera de la ciudad,
pilotos, viajantes, profesores de universidad, constructores,
de Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Boston.
Algunos se visten aquí, suben las escaleras de los sótanos, vacilantes
sobre tacos de plástico como potrillos recién nacidos entregados a
un cielo incierto. Algunos se vistieron en su casa,
se escabulleron hasta sus autos al anochecer, desafiaron la mirada de los cobradores
     de peaje,
se arriesgaron a que los detuviera la policía, se subieron la falda
para mostrarles las ligas a los camioneros del otro carril,
a la espera del bocinazo de aprobación. Algunos tienen ropa robada
de los closets de sus esposas, que combina con las pelucas rígidas,
las uñas pegadas, los zapatos talle 44. Una vez cada tanto vemos
una esposa —una GG, genetic girl—que acompaña a su compañero emperifollado,
y lo llama Nancy, Penélope, lo que ella quiera,
asegurándose de darle solo besos en el aire para mantener in-tacto el labial,
la muy envidiada pareja sin hijos con un cuarto entero
de su casa desplegado como closet. También Kylie, de visita
desde Tenessee, naturalmente preciosa, que está desarrollando unas tetas soberbias
para competir en el desfile de Miss Sureña el año próximo
en New Orleans (después de eso, no más hormonas -jura),
mientras se envuelve en vendas Ace para patrullar el jardín central
de su equipo de softball, que solo conoce a Steve.
También Sally Ann, que se probó por primera vez lingerie a los 55
por pedido de una novia, y se hizo adicta
y busca novios, cuando no trabaja como seguridad
en Staten Island (“Howard” bordado en el bolsillo de su uniforme),
con su anhelo de retirarse y convertirse en un marica full-time. También Bill,
el veterano de Vietnam con su vestido estampado y sus chatitas Mary Jane,
con pinta de ser la tía Harriet de alguien, esposado a una mujer negra y joven que conoció
      en un club S&M.
También, si tenemos suerte, una visita de  International Chrysis,
a la que vimos en la televisión por cable y en el Post cuando salía con algún
actor de Hollywood (hay rumores de que fue amante de Salvador Dalí),
con su entorno de mariposones taciturnos a la rastra, su biografía
demolida una y otra vez y exquisitamente corregida, brillantina hasta el fondo
de su escote fruto de la progesterona de catálogo
que le comería el hígado en tres años más.
También yo, vestida como una secretaria con una blusa de Talbot
y pollera tubo, zapatos de tacón negros, aros de presión
que ya dolían a medianoche, medias color piel, el vello del antebrazo
afeitado para arremangarme, el vello del pecho depilado
para desabrochar el primer botón, el pañuelo de seda para tapar la nuez de Adán,
el tinte azulado de la barba subcutánea visible bajo el flash de una cámara,
pero, salvo por todo esto, una maravilla.
    Éramos, porque éramos nosotros,
aunque solo fuera por pocas horas los sábados en la Fabric Factory,
que también se había sometido a una transformación, de bebedero
donde los ejecutivos del Garment District bebían sus almuerzos
detrás de los vidrios oscuros, a enclave furtivo donde
una bola de discoteca hacía brillar sus facetas evanescentes  en las caras
de las personas que éramos a veinte años de tener
alguna palabra respetable para nombrarnos, tomando y posando, temblando
con la esperanza de que no llegaran las cuatro a.m., pero siempre llegaba,
y Roy decía “No tienen que irse a casa, pero no pueden
quedarse aquí,” después lo decía furioso: “¡Se van, carajo!”—
“¡Se van!” y subía las luces. Y salíamos
tambaleándonos hacia West 41 street, nos dispersábamos como cucas
por las cuadras de la ciudad, hacia los subtes, algunos al volante
para manejar borrachos hasta sus realidades suburbanas,
otros se precipitaban a los taxis hacia el centro a los afterhours
donde las “damas” entraban gratis, después se metían en problemas.
Estos éramos, y teníamos otros nombres, y andábamos
sin nombre, negociábamos con las urgencias que dominaban nuestra vida
como matones en las sombras, y no teníamos ni idea
de qué hacer con nosotros mismos hasta el próximo sábado,
cuando la Fabric Factory nos abriera sus puertas,
y Roy-tan caballero él- estuviera detrás de la barra
para darnos la bienvenida, diciendo “¿Qué van a servirse hoy, damas”?

[inédito]
Versión de Inés Garland



THE FABRIC FACTORY, CIRCA 1987

“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,”
says Roy, the short mustachioed bartender 
at the only safe tranny bar in New York City
at a quarter to four in the morning. Nobody budges, 
until he turns up the lights and shouts “GTFO!” 
But it’s hard to leave home. We are closeted transvestites 
daring to be seen, if only by this covenant of fellow misfits. 
Also Pilipino pre-ops with little hairless wrists 
chattering in Tagalog as they scan the sheepish men 
like suspects in a line up, wondering which one will treat them 
like the ladies they are and pay for their operations. 
Also shemale prostitutes pumped full of bootleg silicone, 
lost in the mirror, flipping their hair like Cher, 
turning, puckering, whispering pure filth in the ears 
of tranny chasers, promising mind-blowing blow jobs 
in their parked cars. Also drag queens from the midnight 
lip synch spectacle, gay boys tall as NBA forwards 
with ticklishly deep voices, cartoonish makeup and hip pads 
and butt pads and fake racks you could fold laundry on. 
Also weekend crossdressers from out of town, 
pilots, salesmen, college professors, building contractors 
from Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Boston. 
Some dress here, ascending basement stairs, teetering 
on plastic heels like newborn colts delivered into 
an uncertain heaven. Some have dressed at home, 
snuck out to their cars at dusk, braved the gaze of toll takers, 
risked getting pulled over by troopers, hiked their skirts 
to show stocking tops to truckers in the next lane, 
waiting for the approving toot. Some have stolen clothes 
from their wives’ closets, to go with their stiff wigs, 
press-on nails, size 14 shoes. Once in a while we’ll see 
a wife—a GG, genetic girl—accompanying her decked out mate, 
calling her Nancy, Penelope, whatever she wants, 
making sure only to air kiss to keep lipstick in-tact, 
the much envied childless couple with an entire bedroom 
of their house deployed as a closet. Also Kylie, visiting 
from Tennessee, naturally pretty and growing superb breasts 
to compete in the Miss Southern Miss pageant next year 
in New Orleans (after that, no more hormones—she swears), 
meantime binding in ace bandages to patrol centerfield 
for her company softball team, who only know Steve. 
Also Sally Ann, who first tried on lingerie at age 55 
at the request of a girlfriend, and is now hooked 
and looking for boyfriends, when not working security 
on Staten Island (“Howard” stitched over her uniform pocket), 
longing to retire and be a full-time sissy. Also Bill, 
the Vietnam Vet in his paisley dress and Mary Jane flats, 
looking like somebody’s Aunt Harriet, handcuffed 
to a young black woman he met at an S&M club. 
Also, if we’re lucky, a visit from International Chrysis, 
seen on cable TV and Page Six of the Post dating some 
Hollywood actor (and rumored to be Salvador Dali’s lover), 
trailing her entourage of taciturn queers, her profile 
repeatedly demolished and exquisitely revised, glitter deep 
in the cleavage sprouted from mail order Progesterone
that would overtake her liver in three years time. 
Also me, dressed like a secretary in a Talbot’s blouse 
and pencil skirt, black pumps, clip-on earrings 
that ached by midnight, nude pantyhose, arm hair 
shaved back for rolled-up sleeves, chest hair cleared 
for the top button to be undone, silk scarf to cover Adam’s apple, 
blue tint of subcutaneous beard visible in a camera flash, 
but otherwise fabulous. 
        We all were, for we were us, 
if only for a few hours on Saturdays at The Fabric Factory, 
which itself underwent a transformation, from the watering hole 
where Garment District executives drank their lunches 
behind dark windows, to the furtive enclave where 
a disco ball shined its ever-receding facets on the faces 
of people we were twenty years away from having 
any respectable words for, drinking and posing, trembling 
and hoping that four a.m. wouldn’t come, but it always did, 
and Roy would say, “You don’t have to go home, but you 
can’t stay here,” then spell it out angrily: “GTFO!—
Get the fuck out!” and brought up the lights. And we 
staggered out onto West 41st Street, scattering like roaches 
down midtown blocks, into subways, some getting behind 
the wheel to drive drunk back to their suburban situations, 
others scampering into cabs headed downtown to after 
hours clubs where “ladies” got in free, then got in trouble. 
This is who we were, and we had other names, and we 
were nameless, trying to bargain with urges that ran our lives 
like bullies in the shadows, and we had no idea 
what to do with ourselves until the next Saturday, 
when The Fabric Factory opened its doors to us, 
and Roy—such a gentleman—was there behind the bar 
to welcome us, saying “What’ll it be, ladies?”



PEOPLE

Who are all these people…
ducking into boutiques, bouncing out
of cafés, younger, taller than ever—
Generation Dude? Generation
type w/my thumbs? We used to be
them, of course, only they don’t
have quite our panache, our cast
of characters; their dreams seem
so counterfeit; their exploits
pale in comparison to ours

as ours pale in comparison to the
madcap hijinks of the Rat Pack—
that jazz-crooning, highball-drinking,
fedora-wearing, celebrity-roasting,
mafioso-befriending, skirt-
chasing, ingénue-divorcing
cadre of song-and-dance men
that owned the strip and
ruled the night from Vegas
to Hollywood to Broadway,

predated, in turn, by young John Keats
and his circle of loyal Cockneys—
Brown, Hunt, Haslam, Severn—
who defended their bright star
from epically stupid critics,
and risked their lives to be with him
when he was coughing blood,
and Percy Shelley wrote from Italy
offering to nurse his rival—
a shimmering of humanity

that could never hope to rival
the ten-thousand-year sliver of time
in which a late Neanderthal spotted
an early Home sapiens across a clover field,
eyeing the humble hominid
of smaller head and smoother brow
with what had to be an emotion
unprecedented in human, or non-
human history, uttering (more or less)
“Who the fuck are you?”



UPSTAIRS

I am carrying a boy who fell asleep in the car
upstairs. This isn’t in itself unusual—nothing
in itself is. I could be rushing downstairs
in another house cradling a Yorkshire Terrier,
but that’s not how things have worked out.
The boy isn’t mine—though for the moment
I guess he is. He’s big for six. I need to grip
him tight. He has wooly hair and dark
alert eyes when he’s awake. He can’t stand girls
and likes a little of his mother’s pink
polish on his toes. Earlier, at the rest stop,
he and his brother played Rock, Paper, Scissors,
only it was Rock, Paper, Scissors, Black Hole!
which they cried, crashing into each other,
or Rock, Paper, Scissors, Supernova! or Atom Bomb!—
whatever disaster they could think up
to trump all previous disasters, though nothing
to match their father collapsed dead on the back deck
in his barbecue apron, or them being whisked
from the sight, as John Kennedy’s children
undoubtedly were, by some wise and quick-
thinking soul, perhaps to a room upstairs—these
stairs I’m walking up now, three years later
with a boy sleeping deeply. If you’ve never
done what I am doing and get the opportunity,
I would recommend it. You might find
you’ve never stepped quite so purposefully,
as though climbing out of life’s trouble
into a cloud realm, and laying down
a body that could be anyone’s.



JOE’S TAX

Are we ever more innocent than when doing taxes?
I’m not talking about how we rob the country
by deducting the case of Alpo we bought

on Take Your Dog To Work day, but just
the helpless look on our faces the week-end
in early spring we spend at a desk or dining room table

strewn with receipts and instructions
from a government so much bigger than us,
hovering in space like a circle of priests.

Even if we believe every hair is numbered,
who could possibly account for a year without
fudging, our glasses slipping down our noses

as we wonder which cab rides, how many square
feet of our home, what percentage of a phone bill
was business? I know a man who wrote off

dates with women, restaurant checks, gifts
of chocolate and flowers, and when they
audited him he told them he was a love poet

conducting research—he even brought along
one of his books. My grandpa loved to recount
the year he dumped a shoebox full of receipts

on the tax man’s desk, threw up his arms
and said, “Knock yourself out!”
Even if you rendered unto Caesar,

the IRS could still be waiting for you at the gates.
Here I’ve claimed $3400 in psychotherapy bills
under “Medical” expenses, but can I?

Joe will know. Joe at Joe’s Tax in Brooklyn
where I’ll take the F train tomorrow
and sit half the day in a storefront where

a sign reads, This is a waiting room. If you
are not prepared to wait then you are in the wrong room.
Joe works with his wife, son and six others

on a sort of platform a few steps up,
where everyone hears everything, so I hope
he doesn’t bring up the $3400 for psychotherapy.

The customers with their stubs and papers
look like ancient children outside
the principal’s office. Last year we all looked up

to see a guy break into a happy dance
when he found out he was getting a refund.
Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” blasted from somewhere,

Joe’s wife handed the man a pair
of blinking neon glasses, videotaped him
on her smart phone and posted it to YouTube

before Joe could say, Next! That’s
what I’d call good therapy, or religion,
or maybe just a full accounting.















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