Love Lost; Lust Found

I had a minister who on occasion would tell us that his job was to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” When I get too comfortable I have to convince myself to get out of my overstuffed comfy chair and find something with a higher back and stiffer seat. So in an effort to stretch some of those literary muscles I am forcing myself (once again) to share some poetry.

Did I hear some groans? Normally I would apologize, but I am pushing myself and I am not sorry about that.  Comfortable = predictable and predictable = boring.  I don’t want to get stale. I don’t like to disappoint. I certainly don’t want to be considered predictable. I’m also not crazy about the unfamiliar, and since (for me) poetry falls into that category, this is me getting a little uncomfortable.

I have written two pieces that push my boundaries. I don’t know where the inspiration came from or why I chose the subjects that I did. The first is a darker poem about a man lost in grief and guilt over the loss of his wife. I usually rely on free form poetry when I tinker at it. This first one, however, has some structure to it and an  A-A-B-B rhyming (or near rhyming) scheme.

The second one is a free form piece and is quite a racy one about the physical union between a cowpoke and a whore lost in lust (think of Lonesome Dove— “Laurie darlin’ how ’bout a poke?”), so fair warning, while it’s not full blown erotica (again, something I don’t usually dabble in), it is unquestionably adult content and if you are squeamish about such stuff, don’t feel obligated to read the second poem (although I am proud of it).


He’s lost in a grief slung under his heart.
Lost to the hurt that hangs heavy and stark:
Blocks of clay seeded with cold shards of glass.
Lost to the torment refusing to pass.

A black-hole pain that devours the light.
It chokes in his throat and swallows his sight.
He’s lost while the cave-damp darkness descends,
Guilt dancing a  prickly jig on his skin.

Features bleach thin as time haunts empty halls,
Softly remembered, not fully recalled.
A gray crooked tooth or freckle sprayed thigh
A timber and tone lost in a death sigh.

She’s lost to distraction, to indecision.
Lost to his carelessly blocked line of vision.
Lost to the glass, to the metal and squeal.
Lost by his own hand commanding the wheel.

Give and Take

High piled fiery auburn hair bobs—a storm battered topiary—
Swaying atop nearly translucent skim milk skin
And breasts jiggling like perfectly poached eggs.
Head thrown, narrow neck wet with sweat, a growing moan:
Distant thunder rumbling and tumbling deep in her throat,
A tempest not yet fully released.

Down under, hair matted flat and damp from a salty dew
Blooming on his wide, ruddy, pillowed brow.
Lids half-hiding heavy eyes while
Hips heave and roll, held high by hard hands.
The air—a third partner—joins the hot, thick and ripe tangle,
A pungent perfume worn by all.

Urgency and volume swell and pulse in a charged drive—
A measured synchronous cadence, building, gaining, surging.
She gallops for the prize. He grapples, postponing, clenching until release:
A grunted, single-note duet; her torso gives a fly-dotted, horse flank shudder.
He bucks twice; skin tightens and tingles across his scalp, behind dirty knees.
Spent, she limply blankets him while she still wears his spurs.

As always your impressions are welcomed.  Did either resonate with you?


4 comments on “Love Lost; Lust Found

  1. My, my, good sir. It’s good to step outside our usual bounds from time to time, no? I’m certainly glad you did–and honored you asked me to take a swing through. Finally found a moment here, and I like what I’m seeing. the last stanza on that first one, in particular–solid, haunting, pounding bit of scribbling there, and I would not change a word of it. Perfect ending note that clings to the reader like gremlins to planes.

    To the work itself, I do have a few recommendations. The story is solid, the structure of the thing as well–there were some unnecessarily wordy bits I would cut though, or move about, to add to its flow.

    The last line of the second stanza, for example–“To dance a dry bug-like jig on his skin.” I get what you’re going for, and it’s a solid image, not only propping up a visual but, also, aiming for a *feeling* in the reader as well. Bug-like sounds a bit wishy-washy, however–I am left wanting more of a commitment from the image. Largely, this comes from the simple fact that it, unlike all the other images and notes used within, has that “like” attached to it, where all else simply *gives* us the image. Does that make sense? I mean, something, perhaps, like “dancing dry bug jigs all over his skin,” would fit more solidly in there. Just food for thought.

    The first sentence of the third stanza also gave me pause. Overly wordy. Comes across a little…jumbled? Perhaps something like, “Features lost, bleached by time-splashed walls,” or “Lost features bleached, time splashed on walls,” would be more effective. Personally, I like not using the “her” right away on the first line–waiting until that last line in the stanza, before that ending narration, it serves to hone us to the point, to hammer in the dark realization that he’s speaking of his lost wife. It gives us that *moment*, that sense of building…to this dramatic, and horrible reality.

    But that’s just my 2 cents, offered humbly by request. Hope it’s some small help. I like what I see, though, and I’m glad you gave me a shout. Fine work, sir!

    • Thank you so much for your detailed critique. Great points and I will take them back and hone the piece to a higher polish. I respect your opinion and love the way you wield poetic language. I know what you do is not without effort, but you make it seem so.

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