Friday, June 6, 2008

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Sex

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Sex
A nod to Wallace Stevens

one
Between the flannel fitted and the percale top sheet,
The only moving thing
Was the tip of his finger.

two
I was of two heads
Like the queen
of a porno flick

three
The desire came to me
wrapped in song.
Beyond desire, all else pales.

four
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are kinky.

five
I do not know which to prefer,
The seduction of words
Or the racy taunts of her tongue.
The bed rocking,
Or just after.

sex
Candlelight stabbing the dark
With hallucinating effect.
The bigger the flame,
The longer the objects appear
To be moving to and fro.
Desire burns Without reason.

seven
O card-carrying AARP men,
Why do you imagine trophy wives?
Do you not see how her denied desire
both succeeds and shames you?

eight
I know French accents
And lurid, cabalistic double-stops;
But I know, too,
That desire compels
A fiddler's fingers.

nine
When sex deceives even the simple farmer,
It sets itself up as sinful,
one of seven.

ten
At the sight of her naked body
Tied to the four-poster,
Even Samson handed over
The scissors.

eleven
She rode over him
with her boots on.
Once, he wore his ten-gallon hat
and nothing more.
He received nothing less.

twelve
Desire is mounting,
Sex must be imminent.

thirteen
It was evening all afternoon.
They were sweating
And they were going to sweat.
Replete with desire
and dampened sheets.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Everyone tells me I should read Wallace Stevens. (The only work of his I know is the one about the old brown hen and the blue sky-- something about a silent conversation?)

Now that I've read this, I think they are right. How facilely you jump from the sensual to the cerebral! It's amazing that you've also slipped in a bit of humor. Number four cracked me up.