Quoting others: “Without scary, we don’t get to be brave.”

Some days, sitting down to write is painful.  Still, when you read other writers’ advice, it is always along the lines of the Nike ad:  “Just do it.”

There’s another ad out there which just struck me today.  I comes from Quicken Loans.  Get this:

The American dream is terrifying…the scary thing being the exact thing we have to do: cross that ocean, walk on that moon, fly. None of this makes rational sense, it only makes American sense. Here, the hard things show us who we are: leaving your job to start your own thing… Scary, sure, but no match for our colossal self-belief. We’re supposed to do scary. Without scary, we don’t get to be brave.

Quicken Loans spot, “Buy In

Today is Day 29 of NaPo.  Tomorrow will be the last.  Here’s today’s rough draft:

Maybe this is why all romances are written with “Happily for Now”
because when love dies, you’re disemboweled. The knife shoves in
and draws slowly up through the soft center of your body. You pray
for the heart to be pierced, for the quick death. But the next day
marches on and you still breath. So we tell ourselves the fairy tales
of love, avoiding the thirty-five or forty-year after. Happily, or not
is never the topic of that conversation. The first forty seconds though
contains what your stomach knows, and its bottom drops out – full
with your kiss, your scent, the taste of your breath. The stomach
knows what hunger is. It remembers. It knows that abundance
never lasts past tomorrow and it remembers the growl of want.

And yet we proceed against the very warnings of our belly. We move
forward each day closer to this disaster of desire, this want of you
and you’re gone – whether you’re dead, or found love with yet another.
Both are the same blade in the stomach and you will never, ever
be retrieved. I will never again be filled with you. And yet we proceed –
foolishly begging with each kiss, caress, each orgasm of joy to please,
please, please have all of our happiness killed before us. What is love
but giving someone the knife; holding their hand to place its point
between the esophagus and the spleen and hoping with all
your childhood dreams that they will push the blade all the way through.

You live to die before the death of your love. They call you brave on your bed,
but instead, you smile, wave a hand, kiss a cheek, and let your eyes go grey.

Rough Draft for NaPo, Day 28

I met so many wonderful, kind, patient people at SEAF.  I guess they’re used to people like me, those who have no experience, treading the line into their world.  Some of my favorite installation pieces were the straight blade used to cut away a man’s pants and then to shave his chest (gonna try this at home, but with a Bic razor instead of a straight edge… or I need help), and the Sensation City – with some of the claws, pinwheels, and electric stuff done on Thursday and Friday night. The first one because it was accessible to me, it fired my imagination.  The second because it was a physical experience, so I could relate to it.  I went back to Sensation City each night.  The guy on Saturday night was too rough and wouldn’t back off.  I just got up off the chair for that one.  But Thursday night introduced me to electrical and Friday surprised me about impact.  Turns out not all impact is alike.  I’m gonna have to find a class or something, b/c I wanna get some more of what happened on Thursday & Friday night.  It was sensational!

I also met some very sweet, patient people.  People who let me touch their latex, or their spandex, their bosom, or their bottom, ask questions, agree or disagree with their sub(?) there with them, admit to being a domme, share with me how one of my pommes struck them, write:  “Whore, Whore, Whore are you?” on their bosoms (including exclamation points on their nipples), or just put up with my questions.  Their kindness was constant.  Thank you.

The Literary Art Director, Briana Jacobs, did so much to encourage me, make me feel comfortable while I read.  It was a pleasure working with her.  While the conditions were not always ideal, one of my highlights was that an artist whose work I’d written about could actually hear I’d written and enjoyed the piece.  It was a striking pleasure to meet with him and talk about how his work inspired mine.  I also met David Steinberg, a photographer whose website has inspired multiple poems of mine, actually influenced me in the direction of writing explicit erotic work with “nonstandard”  characters.  His photographs directly inspired the following poems:  “The Garden,” “The Secret,” and “Scars.”  His work, and Brooke Magnati’s about sexuality and “disability” inspired the prompt, “Put the Kink Back In Kinky.”  (You really need to listen to her Ted Talk on anonymity, “In Defense of Anonymity”.  I’d been trying to find her original link about working with people with disabilities, but it no longer exists.  Damn.  It was a good one.  The internet giveth, the internet taketh away.)

Anyways, thanks all for a fabulous experience.  Today’s poem is a response to meeting you:

A fantasy always begins with the improbable,
so here she lay on a red topped table, each limb
bound to a corner with black leather cuffs lined
with thick, red satin. She was a cliché for some,
but for herself – she was unexplored territory,
an unmapped world. When she gave herself
permission, she gave herself over to the touch
foreign hands, the stroke of strange fingers.

She might never have another lover again, but
there were other forms of caress, of prick, of bite.
She would take a different kind of kiss. And so,
at sixty-three, she laid herself upon the table – bare,
soft, and let the mapping begin of her territory.

Rough Draft

I missed a day of completing a piece for NaPo – yesterday and since I’ve been catching up on sleep and trying to get over my SEAF hangover, I haven’t really produced squat today.  However, the fact that I’ve only gotten like four lines written really isn’t a problem, it’s part of the process.  My body and attention is not the same every day.  I am, however, at my desk for at least an hour – just sitting my fat ass down at the desk makes me available, as does moving my hand even if it’s like moving a claw.

So here are my lines for each day.  We’ll see if any of these buds really grow.

From the 25th:

Green is the color of skin in the aureola

From today, the 26th of April:

His heart is a hollow sphere, an iridescent surface which captured
the warmth of my breath at our first kiss. The ease with which
he might rupture

So, here’s another finished poem I distributed at SEAF but which did not do so well.  All the other cards were taken, but the Miami, 1964 was not a popular poem at the Erotic Art Festival.

Miami 1964

The Fisherman’s Wife

My ekphrastic pornetry, “The Fisherman’s Wife” isn’t immediately evident as octopus porn.  But yes, that poem is about a woman receiving “oral pleasure” from an (albeit sentient) octopus.  There are two primary references a reader would have to know to “get this” in the pome.  I didn’t just write, “Oh well, one day she decided to let an octopus and his nephew do a gangbang on her and feel her up while they were at it.”  Poetry is often times about decoding what’s going on and this is a piece where I wanted to play around with the topic of octopii-seks without raising flags by people who squick-out at the first thought.

To “get” this piece, you have to either A) Know a few things, or B) be willing to google them & look them up.  First reference in the Magic Decoder ring is the title of the piece with its reference to the painting, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, a woodcut from 1814 by the Japanese artist Hokusai.  Without looking that up, the second reference is not immediately apparent, but if you look it up would unlock the context of poem.  That second reference is the direct use of the word, “ligula.”  I wasn’t writing the piece to be obscure, I was writing it to be direct without straight up saying, “This is an octopussy pomelette.” 1280px-Tako_to_ama_retouched

Frankly, this is where poetry becomes interesting:  if you enjoy word games, delayed satisfaction, and the feel of your tongue moving around in your mouth.  A poem is not necessarily all about “getting it” on the first read.  A really good poem should pull you back in, sometimes several times to grasp all which is going on in it.  You might not know “the whole story” on the first read.  It might take you more than one read.  You might have to look up words.  You might find rhyme in the middle of a line.  And each time you need to ask yourself, “Why?”  The writer might be trying to pull you in deeper because there is another story to tell, a deeper story.

Some people use this idea of how many layers there are to a piece of work as the actual defining characteristic of poetry, as opposed to verse.  But really, when it all comes down to it, a poem should be interesting enough that a reader wants to read it more than once.  On the other hand, once I mentioned the poem was octopus porn, the cards flew off the table.  Sometimes people just gotta be told that a piece of work is a puzzle.  Maybe that’s how writers need to introduce work to a public unused to pornetry.

Fisherman's Wife

Business Cards with poems for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival

So, I had five poems picked up by the Seattle Erotic Art Festival.  I’ll be reading at Seattle City Center in the Exhibition Hall for both the Literary Lair as well as the Aphrodisiac Alley Art Tour.  I wrote two new poems as a response to two invited photographs, one of them by Master of Erotic Art artist Michael Rosen.  I’ll cover those later.

The five poems which were selected and which I’ll be reading are:
Dress Up
Glory Hole
Mowing Hay
Perversities and Curiosity
The Marriage Bed

The pieces are available in the Anthology for the Festival, which can be purchased there, or here at Lulu.

But, as usual, I didn’t “get it together” with my literary work until the last moment.  I didn’t even get this blog going.  My brain gets too full.  Oh, and I still haven’t written my pome fer the day because I’ve been working on my non-card, “business card” idea which turned into a huge fuckin’ deal to try to figure out.  Anyways, no business cards b/c my printer can’t take the card stock and taking the layouts to a printer at this point is ridiculous as they will only print 250 of a single front / back combo and I am changing “the back.”  My idea was to print a poem on the back of a business card.  No go.  So, after much gnashing of teeth and more than 18 hours in front of the PC using various and sundry graphics programs, I have my information printed out on……  wait for it….

seeing redThey are:

The Last Day
The Garden
Scars
Robert and Robert
Miami, 1964
Cutis
As I Lie Here With You
Adam
The Fisherman’s Wife
Seeing Red

Just remember – this blog has little or nothing to do with publications / publishing because I don’t know really how to get very organized around it. This is a blog for the craft of writing poetry, and most specifically Erotic poetry, or whoretry, or pornetry… whatever you want to call it. You also won’t find the words “throbbing” or “pulsing” anywhere in here either.

The Rhyme Which Dare Not Speak Its Name

This week’s poetry kick in the pants deals with a different kind of rhyme, one which relies on the use of either homonyms, homophones, heteronyms, or homographs.  Write a poem of no fewer than 10 lines using a pattern which employs the use of homonyms, homophones, heteronyms, or homographs.  There is no specific rhyme scheme.  Both internal and end rhyme are allowed.

From Bob’s Byway:

HOMONYM:  One of two or more words which are identical in pronunciation and spelling, but different in  meaning, as the noun bear and the verb bear.

Sidelight:  Although often called  homonyms in popular usage (indeed, in some dictionaries as well), homophones are words which are identical in pronunciation but  different in meaning or derivation or spelling, as rite, write, right, and wright, or rain and reign. Heteronyms are words which are identical in spelling but different in meaning and pronunciation, as sow, to scatter seed, and sow, a female hog. Homographs are words which  are identical  in spelling but different in meaning and derivation or pronunciation, as pine, to yearn for, and pine, a tree, or the bow of a ship and a bow and arrow.

I first started getting interested in this type of rhyming when trying to conquer the sestina, which is another poetic form where the last word of a line in a six line stanza is then repeated in a specific order in the following stanzas.  Now that’s a lot of writing and we’ll take that on another week – insert lash lick here- but I bring that up because that would be a good poetic form to look at in reference to how to work out this piece.  But we’re not going to go that far this week.  I bring it up because you might want to work a limited version.

Here’s some word lists to help with the prompt:

homophones
heteronyms
homonyms
homographs