The poem “Bananas” is a true story. I was flat broke in Hong Kong, strolling along Kowloon’s Nathan Road vaguely wondering how to pay my rent. But also thinking poems. Suddenly this stunning black GI on R&R from Vietnam stops me and asks where he can get a massage. There are big neon signs everywhere blaring MASSAGE. No, that’s not what he wants. But maybe if I could…? The rest of what went down, including me on him, is poetical history. Next night an English guy picks me up (this is not in the poem); and after we’re done doing what we do in his room, his bed, says: “The moment I saw you I knew you were queer.” “How perceptive of you,” I reply. “I didn’t know until last night.”
Wrote the poem years later, in London. When I was again mainly straight. And whilst recalling the sweet black bananas I used to eat in Tehran. As well as a young Chinese Malaysian cock I’d once sucked in Bangkok but which turned me off. Because it was shaped like a banana.
Later still, in Amsterdam, at the Happy Hooker Xaviera Hollander’s house, I met Yaron Ben-Nun. Former jet pilot in the Israeli air force and now a documentary filmmaker. He was making a flick about Shai Shahar, professional gigolo turned cabaret artist. Recited “Bananas” for him and he loved it. Enough to adapt it as a short film.