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February 26, 2024


By Eric Robert Nolan


Poetry is
Pornography for the heart
Lust in the lexicon.
It is ever The Nude Girl.

At its best,
It renders white pages into flesh tones and dark downy darts
Between legs.
It renders text
Into sex.
Mouthing the round words curved by assonance
Renders them as breasts.
The firmer consonants
Slide against the tongue like areola.

And I like it like that -- low and vulgar.
It should be stuffed under mattresses, hidden in pockets,
And, at first, glimpsed furtively
When no one is looking.
Part of me will never want
To show poems to my mother.

Catholic School Nuns
Persuade their victims by rote:
"Our Father, Who Art in Heaven,
"Hallowed be Thy Name,"
But vulgar little boys like me
Hallowed the sounds of vowels
And clutched at consonants privately.

The Sisters were moving towers.
Black masts sailing
Up and down between the desks.
Their paddles fell like falling spires
Against the inattentive.
"Jesus loves me, this I know.
"The grownups hurt my knuckles, though."
Curious boys will always
Eye the girls in the even rows.

I, low,
Nursed my favorite heresies in whispers,
Paganism in the pages,
And easily adopted other Gods.
I, a secret Heathen,
Took Poe's "Raven"
As my inner Golden Calf.

And poetry
Nurses the sin of Wrath.
At my desk I told myself
In inner ceremonies
I privately hoped
I'd someday pick the perfect words.
To finally tell God
I never loved him either.

Article © Eric Robert Nolan. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-04-08
Image(s) are public domain.
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