Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh Forbidden

I read Jill Alexander Essbaum's Oh Forbidden (Pecan Grove Press, 2005) on the bus yesterday. It was a striking experience: the book is a series of sonnets that pretty much all describe sex in extremely explicit ways. So it's not the kind of thing one usually reads on a bus.

And the sonnets provide dozens of different perspectives on sex. Before, during, after; in serious relationships or in one-night (or one-hour) stands; full of new lust or already burned out. It's dizzying enough to read it in one sitting—imagine doing it on a bus! (No, as far as I remember, there is no sonnet here about doing it on a bus.)

This was my favorite, perhaps for its variations on Erica Jong's old "zipless fuck":

I'm lost, lusting, last to leave. You've gone
already, and the party's done. But I'm
drunk as all disaster from the ragtime
waltz we danced. It ended as it had begun:
me, droopy in your arms and woebegone
over what bright, blue eyes you have, my Lamb,
my wooly Woo. We tipped to the doorjamb,
trippingly, your hand at my bra clasp, my thumb
in the band of your briefs. We did it
in the master bath, pressed against the sink.
We were quick, but very quiet. You came
like Christ, as a thief in the night; I split
into halves, a crimson sweet. You polished the wink
of my wet, wistful eye. Then you went home.

There's another poem from the book here.

5 comments:

poet with a day job said...

Oh how I love it! The rhythm alone...so great.

Andrew Shields said...

Glad you enjoyed it. The whole book is full of varieties of intensity—and is great bus reading! :-)

SarahJane said...

cool poem. i hope no one was reading over your shoulder.

Andrew Shields said...

Maybe somebody had fun reading it over my shoulder! :-)

michi said...

oh i think i need to get it ...
the book, that is. *polishing halo*

m