April 7, 2012

"Intimate Kisses"

I love words. I love how powerful they are, and I love the imagery and emotion they can evoke in my mind. I love sitting down to write and I love editing what I’ve written so it flows better and sounds stronger.

Because I’m such a fan of words, I’ve always been just a little bit frustrated that I can’t adequately describe the beauty and emotion of sexuality and making love with my wife. Sex is such a powerful thing. It is an experience that captures your body, mind, and soul. It goes so much deeper than “I love you” but trying to express that out loud often feels so clumsy.

I’m not sure where the thought came from, but a couple of years ago it hit me: Poetry picks up the slack that prose leaves behind. Off and on since that time I’ll spend a few minutes here and there at a bookstore looking for some passionate poetry, or spend a few minutes searching online. However, what I’ve found in the books stores just didn’t impress me enough to buy, and most things I’ve found online are not very good. In both cases sex was often portrayed too pornographically, and the magic and mystery was lost.

But just a couple weeks ago I ended up stumbling upon a book that was very well reviewed and seemed to be just what I was looking for. From the description: Intimate Kisses revels in life’s greatest mystery and breaks through negative cultural messages that what feels good must be bad, or that only second-rate erotica can excite.

I went ahead and bought the book and, let me tell you, it’s good. It captures the beauty and the emotion of sex and forces them both to live and breathe in words. Even though this collection of sexual poetry still has a few entries that either don’t touch me at all, or that I simply don’t like, by and large it is very good.

Here’s just a few lines from some of the poems:

When you return
with quick steps
I’m at the bedroom door
Our mouths meet
You turn in my embrace
My touch is everywhere
And yours as well
Our clothes fall
And we fall onto
Into each other
A wondrous letting go
That is always so new.
Rick Fournier “Gravity”

We crawl
through each other
and back again
guided by our blood-
electric finger tips.
I swim in you,
you in me until we
drift down, slowly
settling in anemone
of pillowed hair,
entangled leg and arm,
beneath our tongues
a dream of fruit,
tide of sunlight
inching over the dark
planetary coast.
Roger Pfingson, “Occasion”

let’s off to bed and play
i want to paint a love poem
all over the sheets and you
Trudi Paraha, "Whaia I Te Po"

Folded into each other,
origami hearts, love
knots. Each time I never believe
we will get any closer.
Rosemary Klein, “After New Hampshire”

I told my wife that I had bought the book and the other night she said, “So are you going to show this book to me?” We laid down together and began to thumb through it. We traded back and forth, reading some of the poems together. We laughed at some of the descriptions that were definitely not about us, and were touched by those that were. It was a lovely beginning to a wonderful evening.

If you’re at all inclined to this sort of thing, definitely pick up this book. If you’re not, pick it up anyway and give something new a try.

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