In which Alice tries her hand at writing erotic poetry.

[Portrait of Alice Isak, by Bridget Benton. 1989.]
[Portrait of Alice Isak, surrounded by the artist’s hands. Bridget Benton, 1989.]

Sing, O Muse

Tell me the way his hands traced electric patterns across my thighs,
or how she sipped my nectar, tender
as a bee’s tongue.

But memory interrupts. Events intrude.

Amid fractured ugliness
I forget the taste
of skin. The taste
of my own finger
as the fruit’s red juices drip and I catch their sweetness
with hungry lips.

How to categorize violence? and how desire?
What purpose serve genres
when each blends into each?
All I see are girls, women,
broken in the corners of every story.

The history of mouths and teeth shapes every word we utter.
Every body we live in. Every body our minds live in
as well.

I don’t want to hold this flesh responsible
for all memory that lingers
in its meat
and joints.


Pick up the pen, Erato.
Start again at the beginning.
Might the electric hands have been my own?
Might they be now? 

I want to be that girl I knew:
the feel of cool cotton sheets against my skin

and liking it.


Thinking about artist books the other day got me thinking about a book that my best friend made for me in college: an assemblage of quotes, fragments of maps and photographs, and poems.

Including one she wrote herself, which inspired this post:


Another page:


(much love to you, my darling! then, now, always.)

6 thoughts on “In which Alice tries her hand at writing erotic poetry.

  1. Of course your erotica would have depth to it Alice. Sensual and potent.

    But memory interrupts. Events intrude. – I can totally relate. old wounds waiting to bubble up to the surface of pleasure and interfere.

    Liked by 1 person

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