Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27

Okay. We knew this was inevitable. One day I would break down and share some of Janice Erlbaum's poetry. How could I not? There is a story behind my choice, of course. I read one of her sestinas at an open mic and my friend Greg Nix and I were talking about poetry and sestinas afterwards. A challenge was made--write a sestina and read it at the next poetry reading. We both not only wrote a sestina but read it at the very next poetry reading. And all this because Janice wrote one long before I even knew what a sestina was. Here is a more recent sestina she wrote, one she shared in her own blog.
How do married people masturbate?
How do married people masturbate? What do they picture when they come? They think of the guy at the office, the girl In the video, her asshole stretched, wincing; Ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, the ones they still hate. There’s nothing safe to think about, they fall asleep. This is how you prepare to go to sleep, How you wake up, how you run home and masturbate. Everybody does it! Why can't you? You hate Me for wanting to fuck when you just want to come – I turn to stroke you, you turn away, wincing. I don't care if you think about another girl. I would want to fuck her too, that girl, Anybody but me, laying next to you asleep, A big fat fucking obstacle to your wincing Nightly ritual: Pop in a tape and masturbate, Watch that girl get drilled. Two minutes to come. You mop up, drift off. You burned off some hate. Not me. I walk around with mine. I hate What I saw on that tape. I thought, poor girl, She's in pain and she has to pretend to come. I lay next to you that night, unable to sleep, Therefore you were unable to masturbate. The clock shined mean and bright in the dark. We winced. Some nights I straddle a pillow, wincing, Squeezing at thoughts I don't want to think, I hate The way you come to me when I masturbate. Face down on my belly, I look like that girl. I writhe a while. I give up. I go to sleep. I don't come. It's okay. I don't need to come. I don't care what you think about when you come, As long as it's me you're fucking, wincing, Waiting for you to get off and slump, fall asleep. You are faithful. I have no right to hate You, hate myself, hate the hundreds of girls With their assholes stretched, so you can masturbate. I know who you are when you masturbate. I come Into the room, kiss your forehead, your lover girl. Why are you wincing? Your toes curl in silence. I hate you. I love you too. Let's go to sleep.

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