Treasure Island

Eric Paul Shaffer


The Famous Poet's Wife


At the podium, the famous poet is having sex with his wife
in the poem he reads tonight. He uses the four-letter word.

The act is all ankles and elbows, slits and staffs, grunting,
sweating, and unnaturally assumed positions. Naturally,
I'm embarrassed because I can see the famous poet's wife

squirming in her chair as he caresses the heft of her breast,
the eager spread of her knees, and a tiny, beautiful blemish

none of us will ever see. Handy with his tongue, he speaks
of that moment her thighs muffled his ears in her passion

and lingers on a lonely moment when her rush of pleasure
left him behind. The ladies are glassy-eyed. The men nod
and grin. I'm shifting in my seat. The famous poet's wife

sighs as the last line kisses the poet's lips. Some of us clap,
and the applause raises her husband's head from his work.

Submitted: Saturday, August 12, 2006
Edited: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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Comments about this poem (The Famous Poet's Wife by Eric Paul Shaffer )

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  • Poetry Hound (8/15/2006 7:38:00 PM)

    Very clever and well done. A poem about sex without going into the gutter or making the reader feel embarrassed. Terrific double meaning at the end. (Report) Reply

  • Lori Boulard (8/12/2006 9:18:00 PM)

    Wow, Eric, this is quite a departure from an upcountry meditation. Then again, I guess that depends on what you consider meditation! Your freshness and point of view are as sharp as ever, and you show some humor with this one as well. I like it. It's good to see you here on PH again. Cheers, Lori (Report) Reply

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