Mate-Man, Mate-Woman - Poem by gershon hepner
Mate-man, mate-woman were expressions
Jack London’s wife and Jack would use,
not only in their mating sessions
but whenever they would schmooze.
Daddy-boy and Mother-girl
were alternatives, but I
prefer the mate words when I whirl
my woman round while feeling spry.
Partners should not be a daddy
or a mother when they mate,
for how could they then be the baddie
whom lusty lovers love to date?
I get pleasure in abundance
from my mate, though she’s a mother,
Croydon hoyden she, I London’s
imperfect product whom no other
has managed to call from the wild,
domesticate, however rash
I used to be, a London child.
For her I even take out trash,
mate-woman always to me, and
the trophy of the man she twirls
around her here in La-La land,
the greatest of all Mother girls.
Inspired by Thomas Meaney’s review of Paul Malmont’s novel “Jack London in Paradise” (“Jack London, island playboy, ” LA Times, January 5,2009) :
[T]he sex scenes in 'Jack London in Paradise' come as an unexpected pleasure. Here is Jack with his temptress wife, Charmian: 'With a mournful groan, he slid onto the bed next to her... she placed her hand tenderly on his belly then slowly slid it down to where everything remained soft.' To which Charmian responds, winningly: 'Here in Aloha-land you'll grow as strong as you ever were... My Mate-Man.' Under the covers, Malmont is at his campy best, whether he means it or not (and yes, he is on firm historical footing - 'mate-man' and 'mate-woman' were the Londons' actual pet names for each other) .
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