10 Dead Poets (I Would Fuck)

23 Oct

A  very special halloween issue of Poetry Crush.   Thanks to all my necrophiliac contributors, especially Lauren Gordon who co-edited this post.

1.  Lord Byron

By J. Hope Stein

Lord Byron

I was teasing LB
that it was a shame we were not alive
at the same time & looking
at his mouth

(All lips come from an appetite
to taste what’s in front of you)

How do you do it, LB?
Not one flat line
in all your work.

“Shakespeare” he said

& asked me to look
into his eyes–
“Americans don’t look into each other’s eyes.”

Be easy on me LB,
I’m a happily married
American woman
(Under the table I was kicked by his club foot.)

He continued to speak of Shakespeare & timing
& I continued my immersion
with his mouth. His lips
were two flourishing organisms

kinked at every aspect.
Hunger clung to them.
& the fish on his plate
— they devoured it.

“I’m a man” he said
“not an object
for your admiration.”
Under the table

I was kicked by his club foot.
It was never lost on me,
we were meant for an exhaustless
& bungled affair.

But we are not
(for now) living
in the same century.
Admiration is what I have to offer.

2.  Anne Sexton

by Victor D. Infante

The Curious Call
for Anne Sexton

I hear your laugh as gentle bells; escalating pitch to mocking as I read your book in darkness. Me, odd teenager unashamed of being seen reading poems in public, reduced to straining eyes to read by moonlight, to keep this undiscovered, as though “Love Poems” were the girlie magazines kept hidden, and at night, alone, I marry the bed. You were blood quickened and unbuttoned blouse, those nights; you were geometry and roses. Let me study cardiovascular tissue – yes! Let me suck on the stems of flowers – yes! Let me make certain tribal figures … for this thing the body needs. You were the other thing this body needs, the thing not two-dimensional and stashed behind the bed, out of sight of parental prying but easily accessed, an unzipped fly; your poems a radius between that silly, easy tawdriness and something else entirely. First comprehension of wanting, of its slipperiness, of its blood orange sweetness. First comprehension of that thing after the gun, after the kill, after the martinis and the eating of the kill. First comprehension of the villain, how he stirs in my darkness, how he’s stirring still. He’s scratching letters to you, Anne, grunting curious calls, carving hieroglyphics on the walls of some cave I can barely acknowledge. He says “love,” but I am unconvinced. And still there is this other thing, this simmering want that steams the space between the poems and body. Not love, no, but enduring, yes, and real. You are not watercolor, Anne. You have not washed out.

3.  Pablo Neruda

by Lea Deschenes
Why I’d Like to Fuck Pablo Neruda

His gaze, which I imagine
lamb-soft and lambent. Hands
deft as diction. Cock
pointing straight to midnight,
and oh! The tongue,
painting scriptures.

You, who tied an onion belt
up to the heavens, Pablo—

who found the salt of earth
scattered and twinkling
as starlight—

to take you as lover
a man who saw a god
through every common object—

who wouldn’t crave a momentary
brush with deification?

Skin’s rough patches
fondled as suede,
lopsided tits a metaphor
for asymmetric justice,
wet spot as baptismal sacrament.

You found ecstasy in everything,
and it’s contagious.

4. John Berryman

By Lisa Sisler

Will the Real John Berryman Please Rise?

But how would I know if I was sleeping with John Berryman or Mr. Smith or even Henry? And who would be the better lover? I imagine Berryman, the poet — Would it be more aesthetically appealing if you placed your hand on my left buttocks and I moved counter-clockwise while smoking a pipe? (Dear Reader, you get the idea).   And Henry, unappeasable, lusting in dark corners and doorways, would need a take charge kind of partner—a Mistress to make each and every move. Sure it’d be fun for awhile, but sometimes a gal wants pursuit. Oh, Mr. Bones, whisper “paprika” into the hollow of my knees and “I’ll take off all my clothes and cross the damp cold lawn and down the bluff.”

5. Ezra Pound

Let those I love try to forgive/what I have made

by Lauren Gordon

(Pre 1925 Ezra Pound, not the Hitler-supporting, Mussolini-loving, Jew-hating, John Kasper-friending Pound.  Ezra who smoked cigarillos in his professorial office five feet away from the University president.  Ezra who was kicked out of Wabash for offering a storm-stranded chorus girl some tea and his bed for the night.  Ezra with a curly forelock and a scruffy beard.  Imagist Ezra who got off a train in La Concorde, looked at beautiful faces, and then wrote “In the Station of the Metro” –Ezra Pound who wrote a book of poetry to H.D. and HAND-BOUND it.

Does H.D. come with this deal, too?)

6. William Carlos Williams

By Lauren Gordon

What have I to say to you? Only that:
Every person has secret burden,
Yet –
Divining your witching well
Has been a drying process.

Only that:
I thought if I could be described
In just one word,
Earnest. You thought
“arborio” was more apt.

How can I tell you?
I give up the ghost
When you are close,
My breaths patters,
Drops like a fainting goat,
Pops like a balloon flower in Spring,
Gets as dusty as a box full of Nancy Drews at a Sunday Swapmeet,

Wait, you stop me:
A penny-farthing to a trike,
And you say:

My hair is dripping with nectar

How can I tell you
If I shall ever love again,

7.  Mina Loy

 by Jillian Mukavetz

dumplings (for Mina Loy)

mina is that kafka yelling “come touch me baby”? I bet hes making us dumplings. his credentials consist of unoriginal rain and the politics of wood soap. last I saw his guts were showing and he was taking a hit in the bathroom. i suggested some slippers next time. of course mina, hebrewing some debauchery can only mean that his time is tremendous. its important for us to note. indifference is like a foolish homicide. and besides, hes such a lovely fuck his voice mauve honey drags down the block. redeems all of my unjustified thoughts about mastodon hunting. tone-deaf and color-blind today will have to suffice. luckily, erasures experiencing stability issues is a joke that has flown over both of our heads.

8. Dylan Thomas

By Lauren Gordon

This is what it looks like: I’m sitting in a pub downtown on a Tuesday. I’m drinking a Tom Collins. I’m wearing sweater tights and penny loafers, purposefully. A worn copy of Freud’s “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” is on the countertop in front of me. My inhaler is on top of the book. When he walks into the pub, light breaks where no sun shines. He’s next to me at the bar. Smells like smoke, leather. Five o’clock shadow, the whole nine. Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey. His eyes finally fall to Freud, crawl over the inhaler and Tom before lifting to mine, bold and direct. Half of his mouth smiles and with a thick Welsh accent he whispers, “A candle in the thighs?” We leave immediately. Light breaks on secret lots and we’re upstairs, where he lives, conveniently. It’s a loft and I’m not surprised. He makes tea and I’m surprised. He peels a fig and I’m less surprised. He takes me by the hand and his eyes promise to raze my body to the snow. He’s not too drunk to fuck, so we do. He thinks I’m a dancer named Caitlin. Later, when we wake, the moon lurches over the bed and the stars are wrinkled. I feel his lips on my ear, hear his voice catch when he whispers, “I am still at the mercy of words.”

9. Anna Swir

by Erika Lutzner

Her poetry is intellectually sexy which is the best kind of foreplay; “I touch your skin and my skin,/I am not in you/and you are not in me.”  I don’t know how the sex would be; we would both be so disassociated that it’s hard to say.  “It’s cold in here./Homeless, I tremble looking/at our two bodies/warm and quiet.” The speaker does not feel a part of her own body;  It’s as if her body and mind are not a part of each other. She is going through a storm of sorts. Trying to understand the machinations of her body and her mind; and at the same time realizes that one’s body is a part of self. Or is it?

 10.  Doc Ricketts

by Maria Garcia Teutsch

I Love Doc Ricketts

I walk over rocks into tide pools,
and search the air for his smell
of hair tonic and formaldehyde.
In negative tide,
I find abalone wedged between rocks,
feel the suck of anemones,
smell salt off the Bay,
seals whisker and bark above sea foam,
while otters twirl.
I chronicle how
kelp feels like a lover’s hair
as it slips through  fingers,
the tide can pull you out to the canyon,
jellies will wrap themselves around your thighs
and sting you there.
I see your bent
back as you plucked
eels from under shells.
the train track where you died–
all metal and steel, protoplasm and bone.
Steinbeck threw chrysanthemums on the tracks–
knowing he’d never to watch you pickle
octopi and sea cucumbers again.
Seagulls still chase trawlers,
and decorator crabs still scurry
over sea lettuce and dead man’s fingers.
Holdfasts are god’s forgotten anchors.
I scratch the salt of my skin
but it only flakes,
no name appears.


3 Responses to “10 Dead Poets (I Would Fuck)”

  1. Joanna Penn Cooper October 24, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    These are great!

    • R Gerhardstein October 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

      Doc Ricketts was an fascinating person and I enjoyed the poem about him, especially as it contains some of the history of his life. What a sad way to die…


  1. Dancing Girl Press, Poetry Crush, NY Poetry Fest | J. Hope Stein - July 16, 2012

    […] – that just launched yesterday.   And – a new Music Issue and the 2nd annual “10 Dead Poets (I would fuck)“ issues in the works. […]

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