A Visit to Priapus
by Glenway Wescott

Their Beginning

The consummation of their lawless pleasure
Was done. They rose up from the mattress;
Hurriedly dressed themselves without speaking.

They go out separately, secretly, from the house; and as
They walk rather uneasily up the street, it seems
As if they suspect that something about them betrays
On what sort of bed they lay down not long ago.

But for the artist how his life has gained!
Tomorrow, the next day or years after, will be written
The lines of Strength that here had their beginning.

-- C.P. Cavafy


Occasionally last winter Allen Porter would mention a young man of sonorous name and address, Mr. Jaris Hawthorn of Clamariscassett, Maine, who as a lover had briefly amused but not satisfied him at all, and who thereafter bored him as a friend. He said that he would not think of introducing him to any of us because (a) he is a bad painter and a pseudo-intellectual, and so obtuse and pushing and clinging as to make any merely social relationship with him a nuisance; and (b) his sex is so monstrously large that sexual intercourse with him is practically impossible. I must say that neither the report of his monstrosity nor of his ambitious and sentimental spirit really dismayed me. For Allen in bed is easily affrighted; and when it comes to talk of art, excesses of friendliness, etc., he has less patience than anyone. With his lively and improper sense of humor, Allen presented this phenomenal fellow to Pavlik, on account of the obscene way Pavlik talks and the freakish pictures he has painted. But nothing came of that, he believed. Pavlik as a rule is unwilling to risk getting caught in such misdemeanor by his darling, Charles, who, I presume, would simply feel authorized by it to go and do likewise or worse....


This story was copyright (c) 1995. Estate of Glenway Wescott. It has been withdrawn from this site.