Poem for Poetry Thursday

Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV, 1930
by Georgia O'Keeffe,
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe

Happy Poetry Thursday!

This poem I consider an oldie but a goodie, so I'm resisting every urge to edit. The subject matter and language is a bit explicit. Definitely not what I call "funny" but it brings a smile to my face nonetheless.

The Fly

“Has it been there the whole time?” You ask. Curious spectator,
trapped in the bombed out crash site of my room. Silent. Kinetic.
Only an hour ago I was staring up at you, nostrils flaring, thrusting
deep within my thickets of pubic hair, a thousand coiled snakes
guarding my stamen, my Jack in the Pulpit. We lay among
candle wicks, burnt into black nubs; sheets filled with moons and stars,
balled up in the right corner of my bed. The wet tangy smell
of sex and sweat hangs over this lost weekend, the weekend our
instinct kicked in. This weekend we became carnivores, going
to that place, that wildlife refuge where the most feared, protected
animals roam; where the mattress shakes and bangs into the walls,
the bed springs coil and recoil from the weight of pleasure. Tonight
we slip and slide and pull the room into us, taking the chairs,
the table, the bed, the paint off the walls, leaving here nothing,
nothing but this.

After posting here, visit yesterday's entry and tell me about the one poem that gets you going when the going gets tough.


claireylove said…
Sexy, intimate and beautiful.
Real grown up stuff.
And brave of you to post.
I love it :-)
claireylove said…
oh, and yes, it definitely raised a smile!
Sangindiva said…
The images were so vivid with out being
too revealing. You left us to use our own memories and imaginations- while reliving your own...

I thanked you on my page, but just in case you don't see it- thank you for the "secrets" idea.
I borrowed your concept- but I gave you credit of course :)
January said…
Thanks BB. I had to think about whether to post this poem, but I'm glad I did. It's one of my personal favorites.

Sangindiva: I checked out your blog. Man, you've got some blockbuster secrets! Glad you're getting a lot of responses on your blog.
Colorsonmymind said…
Terrific painting to go with this intense, lusty, sexy imagery!
Jim Brock said…
Wildlife refuge! Perfect!
Emily said…
This is funny and brave. It's such an interesting perspective...a fly on the wall, what the "things" in a room see that we ignore
Writer Bug said…
This is great, very brave! I love this line the most: this lost weekend, the weekend our
instinct kicked in

It so nicely portaits those first moments when you realize someone will become a lover
January said…
Bug: Yep, that sums the poem up for me, too. Happy to say I married the man in the poem.

And, it's one of my favorites because it was part of a collection that I worked on with poet Phil Levine when he was my thesis adviser. He always liked it, so I'm extremely proud of it.

Phil liked "the paint off the walls."
Ceebie said…
Wow. Very powerful. I love the way the words tumble along like the tussle on the mattress...

The title reminds me of "The Flea" (I believe by Pope?) - also about sex and insects.
Anonymous said…
Nice work, January. The paint off the walls is great, so is the wildlife refuge. The fly, as title item, doesn't seem to be incorporated into the piece, though, so that if you lose L1 & L2 and change the title, the piece would work fine without it (better, at this point, in my view). Wrapping up the piece by somehow returning to the fly would give the piece more unity and tie it up nicely. Thanks for the read - enjoyed it.
January said…
vlaw: I have to admit, I've gone back and forth about the fly. It is the starting point. I like that the poem starts out small and gets big, and I kinda like that the title and first two lines are the only reference to a fly.

Guess I don't have an overwhelming need to make the fly image wrap up in a neat package at the end because the poem is meant to be wild.

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the fact that you leave
helpful comments on my poems.
January said…
Ceebie and Lynn: I have to admit, I'm not up on my Jonh Donne, but I will definitely check out "The Flea."
mareymercy said…
Everyone's said pretty much everything I could say, so I'll just agree that this is great.
Anonymous said…
Gotcha. - Nic
meghan said…
what amazing imagery... I'm still digesting! My poem is anything by Mary Oliver - especially the one that ends with "What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?" It's not supportive - it's pushy which is what I need!
Wow! And WoooHoo!
Deb R said…
This poem is raw and hot and complex - I love it!

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