Poetry, self-help, science fiction, horror, erotica - self-publisher Perry Brass is a man of many genres, and a master of them too. With Warlock, he's taken a pinch of SF and a splash of porn and a dash of horror whisked them into a novel bubbling with social commentary and served up a steaming dish of supernatural.
Add another genre to his menu. And, to the annals of gay lit, add a most unusual hero - a shy, self-effacing, everyday bank clerk with a really small cock, so small it shames him. So when his wee member mesmerizes the well-muscled, well-moneyed man he meets at the baths, one Destry Powers, he can't believe his luck - or anticipate his fate.
Brass tackles a number of contemporary themes in his compelling tale of dark arts, among them Chelsea Boy attitude, sexual idealization, class divisions, and - most particularly - the mysterious world of high finance, all of which he addresses with brash opinion. Mostly, though, he spins an old-fashioned fantastical entertainment
Richard LaBonte, Book Marks.
Suspenseful. Voluptuously erotic. A demonic, queer Rosemary’s Baby, set in the glittering, international world of greed and power. Allen Barrow, a shy bank clerk, dresses out of discount stores and has a small penis that embarrasses him. One night he meets Destry Powars—commanding, vulgar, seductive, successful—who pulls Allen into his orbit and won’t let go. Destry lives in a closed, moneyed world that Allen can only glimpse through the pages of tabloids. From generations of drifters, Powars has been chosen to learn a secret language based on force, deception, and nerve. But who chose him—and what does he really want from Allen? What are Mr. Powars’s dark powers? These are the mysteries that Allen will uncover in Warlock, a novel that is as paralyzing in its susp ense as it is voluptuously erotic.
An Excerpt from Warlock, A Novel of Possession
(from Chapter Four)
He was wearing a leather suit, but not what you'd think. No garden variety S & M gear. No, this
was gorgeously, artfully tailored. Beautifully cut, black leather pants whose side pockets flared out
deftly, like a well-cut English suit would; with a fetally soft, anthracite-black, leather sports jacket, to match. The jacket draped fluidly, like another skin. It made my herringbone tweed look like a piece of dreck from the Salvation Army. His was maybe Armani; who knows? With it he wore a simple, very fine, white cotton T-shirt; its simplicity, I realized, only called attention to its expense.
"You look good," he said. He kept smiling at me. But the smile had a funny quality. It was stiff. "I didn't want you to get so dolled up, but you look good. Hey, y'know, it's good you could do this. I
thought we'd just go and have some fun. Kick back maybe. Know what I mean?"
I nodded. I did not know what he meant. At all.
He pulled me to him. It started to rain more outside, but next to him I felt this incredible security
and the headiness of his smell—his leather, his muscular skin; the subtle, spicy cologne that he wore
that I could not place—I'd never smelled anything like it—and then the smell of the car: clean,
marshmallow-soft leather; gleaming polished wood; his breath, that scotchiness with a slight, distant
hint of garlic, maybe. Something in his mouth, something in him. I wanted to fall all over him. What
could I say? He kissed me. His cheeks slightly scraped me. I loved their slight bristle. I felt
overwhelmed and yet definitely, sadly, awfully apprehensive. "You like me, don't you?" he said.
He pressed my crotch, then rubbed the khaki. "I like that," he said in a low voice. "I wanna take you away. Wouldja let me?"
I tried to smile. "Where?"
"Why ask? When you trust someone, you don't ask questions. You're like me: I know it. You're
gonna trust me, Allen. You're gonna give me everything. Please, I'm asking you, will you?"
"But I don’t have anything," I protested.
The rain got harder, and the car glided through it like a black swan. I felt like I was no longer in
New York. I was in another place, one of those places you read about in the "Style" section of the
Times, where people are beautiful and life is effortless and no one ever thinks about the right-hand side of the menu, where the hard prices wait with a coy wink. He pulled me to him and started kissing my neck. His tongue rolled over my Adam's apple and he softly sucked on it. This little arpeggio of coolness rolled down the nerves of my spine. My neck prickled as he sucked delicately at me, then bit lightly, creasing the skin. Yes, I thought, I will give him everything . . . but what does he really want?
The car was now on the East Side and we were going all the way up Madison Avenue. The
temperature in it was perfect, not a drop lower or higher than comfortable. I heard the driver's voice
ask, "The same place, Mr. Powars?"
"Yeah," he said, drawing away from me. “Y'know, my club!" he started laughing. "Wait'll you see
this place. It's such a hoot! It's called Toyland. It's fun. Just like the song, 'Toyland, Toyland, little girl and boy land!'—I take guys from Europe there all the time. Europe. South America. Hong Kong. You won't believe it. They got good steaks, too. Wait'll you taste 'em."
The car stopped in front of an anonymous commercial building on a side street off Madison,
somewhere in the blocks above Central Park, in a neighborhood of bodegas, take-out joints with
flickering signs in Spanish, housing projects, and tenements. It was dark, wet, with big cars around,
looking like sullen whales at a feeding ground. The driver parked, then got out with a large black
umbrella to open the door for us.
"Thanks, Winchell," Powars said. "I’ll call you when we're through. Go get yourself a pizza or
something. Just don't get out of range, okay?"
"You got protection?" Winchell said in the rain.
"You think I’m gonna carry protection in there? You think I’m nuts?" He smiled coyly. "Sure, I got
He opened his jacket and I could see a slight budge in it, hardly bigger than a child's hand. I
swallowed hard. Winchell escorted us with his umbrella to a canopy, where a group of doormen, dark-
skinned with very dark glasses waited. A small sign with discreet white letters said, "Private Club." I
wondered how the doormen could see anything, but they smiled at Destry Powars and then ignored me,
like I was just a little tail that had been attached as an afterthought to a powerful dog. As soon as the
black door began to open, Winchell disappeared. I looked out into the rain as the big car turned and
neatly cut a slice of water in its wake.
"You're gonna like this place, Allen," Powars promised me. "It ain't got the kind of stuff you
probably dig, but once you get into it, you’re gonna think it's—"
Inside, it was very loud; we were in a huge room filled with tall poles and suspended catwalks and
almost naked women. About a dozen of them were either strutting on the walks or churning around the
poles. They were dancing, gyrating, bending way over, bouncing up and down, or were on the floor.
Some were crawling around down there, or kneeling. Men would pet them like dogs, and stick wads of
bills into their bikini bottoms. The women wore pasties over their nipples, but sometimes even those
were transparent. "They keep trying to clean this place up. The girls used to be—well, you could see
everything. Pussy, the whole thing. But now it's a bit more wholesome." He laughed.
"How you doin', Mr. Powars?" A big man with a tiny, smooth, dark olive complected face, wearing
a baggy Italian-style suit that still looked like a stuffed duffel bag on him, approached. "Nice outfit
you got on tonight. It's—" The big man placed his forefingers and thumbs together to form neat little
circles. I noticed that his small hands had several large rings on them. His bejeweled pinkies were
extended. He could not quite find the words.
"Thanks, Baby. Allen, this is Baby Zoula. He runs the place. Baby and I go back—not a lot go
back, but, hey, nowadays, you know, go back can mean something like a year. I love you, Baby. You
got a good crowd tonight."
Baby beamed and rocked on his heels as he spoke. "Sunday here is good for us. Nobody likes
t'leggo of the weekend. The Wall Street dudes, they gotta work their butts off, so they wanna come up
here, eat good, drink good, have some fun. Some action, maybe. A guy needs his right t'do that,
don'cha think? The guvment always wants to watch ya ass. But a man's gotta have that right, ya
"Sure," Powars said seriously. "I booked a table. Is it ready?"
Baby led us into an adjacent dining room. It was low-ceilinged and intimate and smelled of thick
cigars from a bar and hefty, char-broiled steaks from the kitchen. We sat down at a table on the side
that seemed to have been made for the two of us, or three of us. I noticed there was an empty chair.
We had menus, but Powars ordered for us. Two large rare Angus steaks, baked Idahos, salads, blue
cheese dressing. He ordered a single malt scotch for himself and I had a red vermouth with a twist.
The drinks came. They looked as if each should have had a couple of goldfish swimming in it, they
were so big. Along with the drinks, and later the food, came a line of girls. They would come up and
smile, and ask if they could sit down. Powars would pat them and kiss them, feel them up a bit, give
them a squeeze, then they’d leave after being tipped.
He cut into his steak and forked off a big red chunk of it that he stuffed into his mouth, while
drinking scotch and talking. "I love women," he said, swallowing.
"Sure. Who doesn't? They're fun. They never ask as much from you as guys. You give 'em a little
squeeze and a hug and they're happy. I mean I could fuck 'em, but no girl wants to get fucked if she
can get the dough without getting fucked. That's a universal law, don'chu think, with girls."
I shrugged my shoulders, and then ate some of the steak. It was actually very good, but why not?
The place was expensive, despite its location and the sleaze factor. But expense and sleaze seem to go
together now. I tried to smile at him and not hear a word he said. The cigar smoke was bothering me. I
wanted to get the hell out. I hated the way he talked about women. It upset me. Did he talk about me
Suddenly, a tall, drop-dead gorgeous young woman breezed up to us. She looked like she'd popped
out of some big Las Vegas revue (all sequins, ostrich feathers, and bleached, beefy gay boys who do
magic) and had very dark black skin that shimmered with a tawny-red North African glow. She had
long, perfect legs, like a dancer, and perfect breasts, too. They reminded me of lustrous little crème brulées, but black-licorice flavored. I could imagine them glistening, standing up neatly by themselves, on white French café saucers.
Her little nipples, like candy flower buds, peeked out of the narrow silver halter top she wore. She
had on a black leather microskirt—and had amazing hair. It cascaded down her sylphic neck to her
shoulders. It was sable-black with real, sparkling highlights, like something Diana Ross would have
envied. In Miss Ross's photos, her hair always looked too chemical, but this wasn't. She was young
and fetching. Okay, she fetched me. She shot a porcelain-white smile at Powars. "Bambino! Comè
"I'm good," he said. "How 'bout you, Felicia? You're the prettiest girl in the world. Allen, this is
Felicia, the Queen of Sheba. I mean it. She's African. And from Italy, too. She's from all over the darn world. She's special, really!"
"Tu è kind, bambino." She made little kissing noises as she spoke, stringing her consonants together
so that they became extra hard. "Noi faciamo bella," she cooed. "I leev once in Rome. I make friends
weeth a nice Ee-talian count!" She giggled and ran her long fingers through her hair, like she was
untangling wet spaghetti. Her supple neck seemed to have about fourteen vertebrae in it, and she had
gorgeous wide shoulders, like a channel swimmer. Okay, she was boyish, but also girlish. She had a
tiny purse. She took out a mirror about as big as a teaspoon and looked at herself. Destry watched,
mesmerized. He winked, all grizzled dimples, at me.
She smiled at her reflected face. Her large, almond-shaped eyes were outlined in lapis blue. When
she smiled, her face lit up; the light extended all the way to the ends of her hair. Baby Zoula came up
to us. "Hi you, boys? Is Feleesh givin' you a good time?"
"Baby, she’s my girl," Powars said. "I could eat her pussy right here."
Felicia pretended to be embarrased. "Bambino, tu è bad!" she pouted. She demurely dropped her
mirror into her purse, then covered her face with her slender fingers.
"You want your private space, Mr. Powars? I could arrange that. You know we allow the lap-dancin' and
stuff like that all out at the bar, but we got our private spaces. You'd like that, right?"
"You want any other entertainment for your friend?"
Destry Powars looked at me. His eyes twinkled. "I told you you'd have fun here."
"I’m okay," I said. "I’ll just—"
"He’ll come with us!" Powars insisted, when what I'd wanted to say was that I'd just leave. I was
out of my depths. The money. The cigars. The sleaze. Of course, was it any different from God-
knows-what on Christopher Street, or in Chelsea? Here it was straight men with too much money.
There it was gay boys with too much time. I looked at Felicia, and she looked at me and then winked.
She smiled as if we had a secret together, just the two of us.
Her long fingers ventured to my face. She brushed my nose coyly. "I know what you want,
bambino. I do."
I felt the color rising to my cheeks. "You do?"
"Sure, Baby," she turned to Zoula and said dryly. "The three of us are gonna go up t' have some
fun. Just let us have Room B and shut the door for 'bout a hour. Okay?"
Winner Ippy Award from Independent Publisher Magazine, best Gay and Lesbian Book, 2002.
Warlock, 226 pages, $12.95, ISBN 1-892149-03-6
Suspenseful. Voluptuously erotic. A demonic, queer Rosemary’s Baby, set in the glittering, international world of greed and power. Allen Barrow, a shy bank clerk, dresses out of discount stores and has a small penis that embarrasses him. One night he meets Destry Powars—commanding, vulgar, seductive, successful—who pulls Allen into his orbit and won’t let go. Destry lives in a closed, moneyed world that Allen can only glimpse through the pages of tabloids. From generations of drifters, Powars has been chosen to learn a secret language based on force, deception, and nerve. But who chose him—and what does he really want from Allen? What are Mr. Powars’s dark powers? These are the mysteries that Allen will uncover in Warlock, a novel that is as paralyzing in its susp