You thought maturity was strength disguised
watching amber walls.
You thought happiness was endless chatter.
You thought success entailed
your cult of personality over ingrained traditions,
money and charm were party favors,
And you knew the terrors of locked hotel rooms,
the swallowed withering abandons,
the seizures of pitiless doubts.
A fine congee perfected paternally,
honed by a mother’s misbegotten unconcern.
They never let you grow up.
We can hear the disaffected child in your voice,
pleading for the strange, the different,
the feeble and effeminate, the weak,
those detested derelicts of your youth.
“A writer of uncommon grace and sensitivity,”
the critics proclaimed when you finally debuted.
A revealed understanding of the lonely
stuck in the margins, so you made them believe
and you did not demure;
instead, you dazzled, delighted,
a magician’s enchantment,
the consummate host, the enabler,
a regal majordomo
hobnobbing with the hobbled rich,
waltzing with extreme wealth.
You asked these moneyed scalawags,
“What’s wrong, dear?”
“What can I do to make your lives better?”
The swans bowed their jeweled heads
and fluttered, the peacocks flared.
Worthy by way of envy, Truman Capote learned
the keeper of lofty secrets could only
topple affluent empires
after his own was sunk, lost, and woefully forgotten.