Kate Durbin

Excerpts from Kept Women

Divine Destination

The Gothic Tudor-style mansion is tucked away on six acres that enclose a greenhouse, game house, guesthouse, zoo, tennis courts, and swimming pool. The flamingos, peacocks, African cranes, macaws, monkeys, rabbits, llamas and dogs milling blissfully about add a rainbow hue to the otherwise green-dominant color scheme. There are many intimate paths that wind their way around this enchanting Eden, with many nooks for hidden rendezvous. The wide lawns are spacious enough for vast tents under which to host parties such as a Midsummer’s Nights Dream lingerie gala. There are several sloping hills, idyllic for topless slip n’ sliding in the summer or sledding over a gleaming expanse of imported snow in the winter. A marble panel is visible just inside the video monitored main gate, presenting a depiction of Aurora, Roman goddess of the sunrise, guiding a group of young Eves into the southern Californian dawn.

Stone Sanctuary

The estate profits from a waterfall, streams, koi pond, and in-ground pool, all organically linked. There is a rock grotto and a tiered flagstone patio with a bar and a bathhouse made of natural stone. Modeled on prehistoric caves in France, the grotto’s glass ceiling is implanted with panels of prehistoric objects and insects rapt in amber. At the bottom of the pool are many bobby pins and shards of broken glass. In the various pool nets are condoms as well as a tangled balls of hair in stages of blond. The bathhouse contains a shower that resembles a cave, ideal for a post-dip cleanse, or a native photo shoot. The sponges in the shower were once natural, living creatures.

Kate Durbin is a writer, fashion artist, and performer. Her first full-length collection of poetry, The Ravenous Audience, is available from Black Goat Press/Akashic Books. Her chapbook, Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator's Boot, is available from Dancing Girl Press. She has another chapbook, Kept Women, forthcoming as part of the PARROT anthology, from Insert Press. She is founding editor of the project Gaga Stigmata: Critical Writings and Art About Lady Gaga.

1 comment:

  1. The one time I visited "The Mansion" I found it delightful--the rabbits, the spider-monkeys, the peacocks, the cave with a step sensor so when one walks in it lights up and there's an amazing aquarium--or am I misremembering--set into the faux-grotto walls (plus a big gorgeous parrot? But why would a parrot sit in the dark?) and of course the humidified pool cave! I guess the LLamas are a more recent aquisition!

    Adam Strauss