07 July 2005

Writing Erotic Poetry

I have a following, albeit a small one, of readers who enjoy my erotic fiction. I write many short stories, some as an outlet for my unrealized (whether by chance or my better judgment) and others inspired by my overactive sexual imagination. Erotic fiction comes easy to me (pun intended), but erotic poetry eludes me.

The paradox lies in the fact that poetry was the voice of lovers for centuries. Some people can't get enough of Shakespeare's or John Donne's sultry verse, nothing is a bigger turn on. Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg both wrote their overtly lusty poems. Poetry seems a natural channel for all things erotic; it makes the nasty seem divine. Prose merely strips the lady bare in the public square (I don't really believe this but wanted to throw it out there).

So, why do I have such trouble writing erotic poetry?

I know a few erotic poets. They are all young women and not really skilled at the academic aspects of poetics. They write what they feel; they go with raw lust. Their poems excite me. I ask them how they do it. Some have a method to their madness, but for the most part, they just write.

I've tried to let it all just pore onto the page, but I end up with prose instead. (Yes, Kasey, I know the distinction between poetry and prose is blurred in this Postmodern age of writing). So, yesterday I tried a different technique.

In between chapters of The Franciscan Conspiracy, I looked at my bike leaning against my fellow erotic writer's bike. Both bikes were touching but chained separately to the same pole. Both bikes were slightly defunct, one with a loose handlebar, the other with missing back-brake pads. I thought about the symbolism of the bikes, about how the bikes represented us, about how both were chained to the same pole of sexual appetite, about how only the choice to keep the locks (our self control) locked kept the two of us from riding together.

See what I mean? some might consider what I just wrote poetry, but to me, it sounds like prose with a lyrical twist.

At any rate, I wanted to get this idea into poetic form, so I started to list key words and phrases as a start. I haven't written the poem, but here are some of those phrases I came up with:
wrapped to the same post
lean into
more sensual than realization
both a bit off
waiting to overlap
ready to ride
Not very erotic, I know, but I'm not going to let go of this one. I feel the need to get it out. Maybe I'll ask the friend whose "bike" I'm writing about how she would write about it...


Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on what you view as erotic. The process of just getting stuff out on the page, but if it is not formed in some way it tends to be more journal/diary like. And you, particulary, seem to be searching for a form in your poetry. If you continue to find though that prose is how you always view your work, what if you explored prose poetry? It is a fasinating form in itself and walks a fine line between poetry and prose. Just a thought, but I like what you have posted here.


Kyle Stich said...

View is exactly what it comes down. I like what I write and can work it into that chimera. But, yes, I'm looking for an easily recognized poetic form to write sexy poems.