Love is All

January 19, 2020

 

From buildings painted grey and blue like wedding spoons,
we fell out like teeth. How desperate of it to stick, to become

the aftertaste of itself, this love. The dog wags himself out
of your daughter’s arms. We holed up with boxes, without hangups,

putting the animal down. We let eyelet curtains turn to ghosts.
In the old movies, someone smiled wide through their tears

and was received like a parade of pageant girls. But we just cry,
inglorious, ever the picture you never noticed in the living room.

The slogan of lovers is briefly debated. Stage fright, someone says,
nailing their hand to the wall. Forgiveness, says another.

And there is a pause. It is enough. Pages curl away into nothing,
you hold onto your breath and my coat. There is a pause. It is.

Suzanne Highlan

Someplace

January 19, 2020

“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”

L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

magically burst forth

January 19, 2020

Writing and reading are the only ways to find your voice. It won’t magically burst forth in your poems the next time you sit down to write, or the next, but little by little, as you become aware of more choices and begin to make them – consciously and unconsciously – your style will develop.

Dorianne Laux
The Poet’s Companion: A Guide To The Pleasures Of Writing Poetry

“My wildest fantasy involves dominating a man and a woman at the same time in a cuckolding scenario. I love thinking about humiliating a man by making his wife orgasm over and over. My straight woman friends seem like they can never find a partner who does them right, especially in our age range. I always feel kind of bad because lesbian sex has always been so explosively satisfying for me and I get such an ego boost from eating a girl out until she’s shaking. I love it so much, I could do it all day. When a friend tells me that some guy just got his and didn’t return the favour or she faked it, I get competitive. I love women, I want to show them how good sex can be. I do think about tying the boys up and seducing their girlfriends. Throw in some edging, like a hand job/blow job where he doesn’t get to orgasm, and then go back to her and finger her and eat her out. Maybe she’s talking about how she’s never had it this good before. All the better if he’s also sickly enjoying this.”

— Ashley, 25

Carina Hsieh
Women on Their Hottest Sexual Fantasy

talking dirty

January 19, 2020

My first wife suffered with a form of Narratophilia. She could only orgasm by talking dirty – and I mean really dirty – during lovemaking. It was a tad disconcerting to be honest.

At that time and in that place, deep in a nearby wood, there was a slender stream which lost its way through the thick shrubbery. We would often picnic there in the summer. Taste happiness together. I have a memory of her laughter in the still air, nymph-like, quite free.

She was a crystal ball: you could see into her, but not through her. Ultimately, she wasn’t what I’d thought her to be. She was pure smoke and mirrors…But in truth was I any better? We were both so young…

Anyway, on one sundrenched day we made love beside that stream. She shrieked obscenities from her potty mouth. And, unexpectedly, I heard a woman’s voice crying out:

‘Children, children, do come away.’ Apparently, a class from the local junior school were out on a nature ramble; their teacher was busily herding them away from the two half-naked, rutting beasts at the water’s edge. ‘Don’t look children. And put your fingers in your ears…!’

How very embarrassing for all concerned.

done battle

January 18, 2020

I have been married, divorced, faithful and unfaithful. I have battled with depression and enjoyed moments of bliss. I have had an abortion, I have been raped and I have stripteased. I have loved myself and loathed myself. Throughout my life, my exterior and interior have done battle – not just on account of being born one nationality and living quite another…

Ulrika Jonsson
Honest

When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a colour, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardour, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex

poems are bodies

January 18, 2020

I do think there are poems that work better out loud than on the page. Spoken word poems can be exhilarating in performance and one-dimensional on the page. Likewise, there are poems that rely on the authority of the type itself, and the physical relationship between the words, the white space on the page, and the reader. I often tell my students that poems are bodies; we visually take them in and feel them in our guts even before we read the words. William Carlos Williams’ “Red Wheelbarrow” is pretty unglorious out loud. I’ve heard a recording of Williams reading it. His voice sounds like the Sherriff on Deputy Dawg, and he reads the poem without emphasis or opinion; it’s over before you know it. Now, on the page, that poem is endlessly compelling. Near-rhymes, stanzas that are visually constructed to look like wheelbarrows, the splitting of compound words into their constituent parts: wheel from barrow, rain from water. I think as my work has matured it may have become less entertaining at a poetry reading and more interesting on the page. As I have aged I have also become shy.

Diane Seuss
Interview in The Smoking Poet (Winter 2009/2010 issue)

writing is inevitable

January 16, 2020

I write for nothing and for no one. Anyone who reads me does so at his own risk. I don’t make literature: I simply live in the passing of time. The act of writing is the inevitable result of my being alive.

Clarice Lispector
A Breath of Life

the true intensity of life

January 16, 2020

We…talk of the purpose of art and poetry, and how when we read a poem or look at a painting we are led into the true intensity of life, the one right here as we walk down the street and are struck again, as if for the first time, by the changing of the leaves from green to gold, that brief glimpse into the final hallway. Maybe the purpose of art is to help us apprehend the loud silences, the shimmering depths, the small intensities of ants going about their business, tunnelling out whole cities beneath our sidewalks, and awake us to the absolute mystery that is life. Art asks us to contemplate death rather than to simply imagine it or even press ourselves up against it as we do in our youth. It’s coming, no matter how fast we run from it or toward it, and art asks us to stop and confront death rather than being merely tolerant of, tempted or titillated by it.

Dorianne Laux
Interview in The Smoking Poet (Winter 2010-2011 Issue)