Friday, January 12, 2007

Top Pick-Up Poems, Part II

I was surprised by the responses to Top Pick-Up Poems, Part I. Apparently, everybody's got a favorite or two. In the interests of democracy, and because I really like talking about seductive poetry, I decided to post some of your responses, as well as your favorites. If I didn't include yours, or if you still have a favorite that you want to write about, never fear: this isn't the last Pick Up Poems post!

Misanthropster brought up Shakespeare's Sonnet 130:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

This isn't really a seduction poem; personally, thought, I prefer this kind of love. This is the one that notices the warts, the foul morning breath, and the oddly-shaped toes, and still cares. It doesn't just accept the flaws, but revels in them. Maybe it's not seductive, but it's seriously beautiful.

Besides, Shakespeare kicks ass!

Odat offered this one (complete with apologies!):

My First Time

The sky was dark
the moon was high
all alone just her and I
Her hair so soft
her eyes so blue
I knew just what she wanted to do
Her skin so soft
her legs so fine
I ran my fingers down her spine
I didn't know how
but I tried my best
to place my hand on her breast
I remember my fear
my fast beating heart
but slowly she spread her legs apart
And when she did
I felt no shame
as all at once the white stuff came
At last it was finished
it's all over now,
my first time...milking a cow.

Once, when I was teaching a creative writing class, a student read a poem that she had written. It was incredibly intense, building to a conclusion that left us all breathless. When she was finished, I mopped off my brow and looked around at the class. Many of them were flushed and appeared either embarrassed or aroused. Smiling, I said something like "Well, I guess we all know what that one was about. Did it accomplish its purpose?" Once I broke the silence, the whole class got involved in a very interesting discussion about this girl's exploration of sexuality, her depiction of an orgasm, and so forth. It was an amazingly productive discussion, and we all felt really good about ourselves until it was the girl's turn to discuss her poem. Looking around at us, she kind of tilted her head and said "actually, it was about basketball."

Pawlie Kokonuts enjoyed Donne's "The Flea," and suggested that we take a peek at Elegy 20: To His Mistress Going to Bed":

COME, madam, come, all rest my powers defy ;
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th' eyes of busy fools may be stopp'd there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed-time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with your wiry coronet, and show
The hairy diadems which on you do grow.
Off with your hose and shoes ; then softly tread
In this love's hallow'd temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven's angels used to be
Revealed to men ; thou, angel, bring'st with thee
A heaven-like Mahomet's paradise ; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite ;
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.

Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my new-found land,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd,
My mine of precious stones, my empery ;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee !
To enter in these bonds, is to be free ;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.

Full nakedness ! All joys are due to thee ;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta's ball cast in men's views ;
That, when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul might court that, not them.
Like pictures, or like books' gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus array'd.
Themselves are only mystic books, which we
—Whom their imputed grace will dignify—
Must see reveal'd. Then, since that I may know,
As liberally as to thy midwife show
Thyself ; cast all, yea, this white linen hence ;
There is no penance due to innocence :
To teach thee, I am naked first ; why then,
What needst thou have more covering than a man?

I was blown away to discover that the lines "O, my America, my new-found land," are often used for patriotic purpose. Best of all, the lines before "O, my America" set it up so beautifully: "Licence my roving hands, and let them go/Before, behind, between, above, below." Kinda makes our relationship to the land seem a little too...uh...playful.

Looking over at the little blue dot, I'm noticing that this post is running a little long, so I'm going to hold off on Byron (Glamourpuss' favorite) and "Goblin Market," which Judith suggested. They will, however, be appearing in Top Pick-Up Poems, Part III, presumably with a few other suggestions.

I'm going to leave you with this one, by E.E. Cummings. It is, of course, about a car. Get your brain out of the gutter!

she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give
her the juice,good


was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
to a:dead.


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  • ooooh....Alfa Romeo Spider...what a grand little car!

    By Blogger Claudia, At January 12, 2007 at 12:33 PM  

  • How did I miss this?

    My favorite childhood poem:

    I eat my peas with honey
    I've done it all my life
    It makes them taste quite funny
    But, it keeps them on my knife

    By Blogger mist1, At January 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM  

  • Claudia-
    I thought about a picture of Tawny Kitaen in that Whitesnake video, but decided that an Alfa is the very definition of a sexy car.

    And you get MAJOR points for recognizing it.

    When I was a kid, my favorite poem began with "There once was a man from Nantucket..."

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 12, 2007 at 4:52 PM  

  • How could I have overlooked Cummings (even the name ? Lordy!) Emily Dickenson was known more so for her mawkish demeanor, but what a veritable dark horse she was eh?..

    Wild Nights--Wild Nights!

    Wild nights--wild nights!
    Were I with thee
    Wild nights should be
    our luxury!

    Futile the winds
    To heart in port--
    Done with the compass,
    Done with the chart!

    Rowing in Eden--
    As the sea!
    Might I moor, tonight,
    In thee!

    - Emily Dickinson

    By Blogger Judith, At January 12, 2007 at 5:08 PM  

  • Oh damn...I fell asleep again.

    There once was this groovy chick
    But she couldn't help being a dick
    She snored loudly at the poetry reading
    Seems she was more suited to the alligator feeding
    She just couldn't help bein an uncultured Asian hick

    By Blogger Lee, At January 12, 2007 at 6:54 PM  

  • Poems and Poems
    All sparkling gems
    But there is a stud among them
    Joseph Fiennes is his name
    May he tear apart his shirt
    And show us all that covers his heart.
    Then we can go further down
    And discover the hidden crown!

    Anyway, Cranky here had good intention
    The evil Me is doing contravention.

    By Blogger ramo, At January 13, 2007 at 2:28 AM  

  • Crap - everyone is so creative - I really need to get on the ball. As I have no favorite, but feel one is out there that would express what I think it should, I ned to research more. I have been REALLY busy - soooo when I get back from VA this weekend I will post and awesome sexy poem.

    By Blogger Pickled Olives, At January 13, 2007 at 5:48 AM  

  • Good job Crank...I loved them all...
    I can't believe you put the one i sent there...omg!!! you nut!


    By Blogger Odat, At January 13, 2007 at 10:05 AM  

  • Judith-
    A beautiful choice. To be honest, my favorite thing about Dickenson is the fact that most of her poems can be sung aloud to the Gilligan's Island theme song.

    Nicely done. And, of course, all respect to uncultured Asian hicks!

    Such creativity! I guess Joseph Fiennes is your muse?

    Let the Blue Ridge mountains inspire you!

    Of course I included it! I love poems about...milking cows.

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 13, 2007 at 10:37 AM  

  • and then there's the ultimate in Steve Martin seduction poems (used to absolutely no effect in L.A. Story)

    Pointy Birds

    Pointy birds,
    Pointy pointy:
    Anoint me birds,
    Anointy nointy.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At January 13, 2007 at 11:28 AM  

  • If I actually applied myself, I could be such a car buff!! LOL

    By Blogger Claudia, At January 13, 2007 at 7:32 PM  

  • Misanthropster-
    I actually looked this one up. Apparently, it was originally in The Man with Two Brains and was attributed to "John Lillison, England's Greatest One-Armed Poe"

    He also wrote:
    In Dillman's Grove, our love did die,
    And now in ground shall ever lie.
    None could e'er replace her visage,
    Until your face brought thoughts of kissage.

    Aah, but an early 1980's Alfa isn't just any car!

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 13, 2007 at 11:43 PM  

  • I think "pointy birds" has appeared in numerous Steve Martin films...

    although that other poem is fantastic.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At January 14, 2007 at 10:03 AM  

  • There really is something irresistable about the Alfa, isn't there? I still remember going back to Italy...I was on the bus and I looked out and there it was...gorgeous deep green Alfa, polished to a mirror surface...and the inside...polished wooden dash. It was beautiful. I know I stopped breathing until it drove off....

    By Blogger Claudia, At January 14, 2007 at 11:10 AM  

  • Misanthropster-
    Kinda makes you sad that he hasn't put out more poems!

    A few years ago, I was looking for a new (used) car. I had about $3,000 to spend. I found a guy who was selling a Spider Veloce from the early eighties. It was in my price range, although he was asking about twice the book value. Unfortunately, the car had rust on its frame, was missing second gear, and needed a paint job.

    I still had to think it over before I turned him down.

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 14, 2007 at 11:46 AM  

  • As we are so wonderfully done with each other
    We can walk into our separate sleep
    on floors of music where the milkwhite cloak of childhood

    oh my love, my golden lark, my soft long doll
    Your lips have splashed my dull house with print of flowers
    My hands are crooked where they spilled over your dear

    It is good to be weary from that brilliant work
    It is being God to feel your breathing under me

    A waterglass on the bureau fills with morning.....
    Don't let anyone in to wake us

    That's Kenneth Patchen, one of my favorites, but I have about a dozen more, plus what I write. Stephen Crane (thou and thy white arms about me), Leonard Cohen, Towns VanZandt, and of course Shakespeare does kick ass!

    By Blogger Spellbound, At January 14, 2007 at 3:46 PM  

  • Okay, I will admit I had a hard time finding a sensual, sexy poem. So, I went Big time and borrowed one from Lee's bookshelf while Visiting my sister the renouned Pope Bens Excorcist at Studio 23 this weekend. BUT the esteemed exorcist reminded me that poetry put to music is lyrical poetry - and they would suffice. So, I present my stolen Poem and my own favorite get him everytime sexy lyrics:


    eating a plum
    I tongue the tight skin
    drawn seam
    that halves this globed
    whole is two
    it's midnight
    but when I bite in
    with wet red flesh
    the juice dripping down
    my fingers sweet
    sticky sticky
    sweet pulp
    engorged I
    fill my mouth
    eat it down
    eat it down
    all the way to the plumbstone


    Ooh, now let's get down tonight
    Baby I'm hot just like an oven
    I need some lovin'
    And baby, I can't hold it much longer
    It's getting stronger and stronger
    And when I get that feeling
    I want Sexual Healing
    Sexual Healing, oh baby
    Makes me feel so fine
    Helps to relieve my mind
    Sexual Healing baby, is good for me
    Sexual Healing is something that's good for me
    Whenever blue tear drops are falling
    And my emotional stability is leaving me
    There is something I can do
    I can get on the telephone and call you up baby, and
    Honey I know you'll be there to relieve me
    The love you give to me will free me
    If you don't know the things you're dealing
    I can tell you, darling, that it's Sexual Healing
    Get up, Get up, Get up, Get up, let's make love tonight
    Wake up, Wake up, Wake up, Wake up, 'cos you do it right
    Baby I got sick this morning
    A sea was storming inside of me
    Baby I think I'm capsizing
    The waves are rising and rising
    And when I get that feeling
    I want Sexual Healing
    Sexual Healing is good for me
    Makes me feel so fine, it's such a rush
    Helps to relieve the mind, and it's good for us
    Sexual Healing, baby, is good for me
    Sexual Healing is something that's good for me
    And it's good for me and it's good to me
    My baby ohhh
    Come take control, just grab a hold
    Of my body and mind soon we'll be making it
    Honey, oh we're feeling fine
    You're my medicine open up and let me in
    Darling, you're so great
    I can't wait for you to operate
    I can't wait for you to operate
    When I get this feeling, I need Sexual Healing

    By Blogger Pickled Olives, At January 14, 2007 at 8:45 PM  

  • The creative writing class story is great, as it Odat's contribution. Oh, and Mist1's, here in these comments. You make me want to start posting poems, for sure!

    By Blogger Jocelyn, At January 15, 2007 at 12:22 AM  

  • As we're posting songs and poems an old English song for you...

    She Lay All Naked on Her Bed

    She lay all naked on her bed and I myself lay by;
    No veil but curtains about her spread, no covering but I.
    Her head upon her shoulder seeks to hang in careless wise,
    And full of blushes were her cheeks, and of wishes were her eyes.

    Her blood still fresh into her face, as on a message came,
    To say that in another place it meant another game.
    Her cherry lip moist, plump and fair, millions of kisses crown,
    Which ripe and uncropt dangled there and weighed the branches down.

    Her breasts, that well'd so plump and high, bread pleasant pain in me.
    For all the world I do defy the like felicity;
    Her thighs and belly, soft and fair, to me were only shown:
    To see such meat, and not to eat, would anger any stone.

    Her knees lay upward gently bent, and all lay hollow under,
    As if on easy terms, they meant to fall unforc'd asunder;
    Just so the Cyprian Queen did lie, expecting in her bower,
    When too long stay had kept the boy beyond his promis'd hour.

    "Dull clown" quoth she, "Why dost delay such proffer'd bliss to take?
    Canst thou find out no other way similitudes to make?"
    Mad with delight I, thundering, threw my arms about her,
    But pox upon't 'twas but a dream, and so I lay without her.


    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At January 15, 2007 at 6:54 AM  

  • Spellbound-
    A gorgeous poem. Thanks!

    Wait. Rewind. You're Lee's sister? And Lee owns poetry books?!?

    Send one!

    Argh! How much of my youth does that poem demonstrate?

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 15, 2007 at 12:27 PM  

  • No, let me clarify, I am Lee's housemates sister. You know, the one who loves Colbert...And Lee & My sister(Pope Bens Exocist)own LOTS of interesting and wonderful books. I've known Lee since the late 80's.

    By Blogger Pickled Olives, At January 15, 2007 at 1:36 PM  

  • Olives-
    Okay, very clear. Except for the whole "Pope Bens Exocist" thing. I have no idea what that means!

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 15, 2007 at 5:37 PM  

  • Lee started a new religion on her blog a while back. Holly become her personal exorcist. hence the name Pope Bens Chief Exorcist. Really, you need to keep up on your Lee-lee-anity history.

    By Blogger Pickled Olives, At January 15, 2007 at 7:58 PM  

  • Olives-
    I know, I've been remiss. I need to go wandering through her archive. But I'm weak. Maybe I'm possessed by a demon. If so, he's a really lazy one.

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 15, 2007 at 10:29 PM  

  • Hey Crank-
    I still love the one you taught me when i was, oh ten?

    Fuck me like fried potatoes on the most beautifully hungry morning of my goddamn life.

    Oh and
    At Last the Secret is Out
    by WH Auden

    Oh by the way, I apperently already have a blog name. Did you do that?

    By Blogger the Divine Vulva, At January 21, 2007 at 2:39 PM  

  • Vulva-
    Don't look at me. I would have chosen Ellerbee or something like that.

    By Blogger Crankster, At January 21, 2007 at 5:47 PM  

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