The Sexiest Poets #1: William Carlos Williams

This is a Wicked Wednesday post…click on the link to see who else is playing.

So Much Depends on Intended Discovery
 (my naughty homage to William Carlos Williams)

The note on the package simply said, “New”.
New and improved?  I wondered.
And who was it for?
Wrapped in shiny, metallic red fabric flecked with gold,
and secured with ribbon,
the gift held down the rumpled bedspread with auspicious authority.

Nobody else was home.
And since there wasn’t a name on the package,
I had to assume it was for me.

But, I hesitated to open it.
I even felt a bit guilty, actually,
as I pulled the ribbon between two fingers,
I glanced around without turning my head,
and squeezed the bottom left half
of my lip between my teeth.

Sliding the untied ribbon off,
I let it drop to the floor.

The package let out a sigh,
as if finally able to breathe,
so I continued undressing it,
sliding my fingers inside the open seams
of the glittery fabric.

Opening from the right side,
careful not to upset the balance
or move any part, in case I suddenly
changed my mind and decided to put it all
back together,
I peeled back the folds to reveal
a glistening peach,
dusted lightly and seductively
with soft bronze fuzz.

I leaned in and inhaled the sweetness.
I licked my lips, closed my eyes,
and hovered my face above it,
lingering, considering,
and finally giving in.

I lightly flicked my tongue across
the palest part, inside its creased indentation,
and let it slide slowly but eagerly
toward the red blush of its roundest extremities.

It was indeed new,
this gift,
nestled softly in our sheets.

And I do, indeed hope it was meant for me.
But if it was not…

This is just to say:

I have eaten
the luscious gift
that was in
our bed,

and which
you were probably
for tonight.

Forgive me
she was delicious -
so soft
and so warm.

 (Feel free to write your own “This is Just to Say” poem – it’s one of my favorite copy-changes/prompts – because it can be re-written in so many ways, for so many reasons, and for so many audiences.  Williams is one of my favorite poets, because he had this impeccable eye for the most complex ideas held in the simplest images.  So much depends on a red wheelbarrow, after all.  That, and I love the mischievous “I’m sorry, but I’m not really sorry” angle of his poem.)

And here’s a sexy little bonus –


by William Carlos Williams

And yet one arrives somehow,
finds himself loosening the hooks of
her dress
in a strange bedroom–
feels the autumn
dropping its silk and linen leaves
about her ankles.
The tawdry veined body emerges
twisted upon itself
like a winter wind . . . !

“Williams began as a very traditional poet, writing rhymed poems about Spring and love and delicate ironies. But by the mid-’Twenties he had pushed into formally challenging constructions influenced by Cubism, Surrealism and the speech of the common people. Hardly anyone had thought to make poems out of the simple vocabulary and inflections of conversational speech, he was really the first to do it well.
In addition, he managed to throw out all the fluff and lace of traditional cliches and make little naked constructions from the raw timber of American life. They look like scaffoldings, their structure plain and unadorned like a newly framed house. “The pure products of America go crazy”–who else would have thought to write a line as accessible (and telling at the same time) as Williams? Their deceptive simplicity masks a complex kinetic energy which the line-breaks and stanzaic pauses and settings underscore.”
Curtis Faville,  July 2008, Silliman’s blog



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