a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
--William Carlos Williams
This poem infuriated me in high school; I wasn't much for subtleties. Lately, though, I find myself thinking about it from time to time. It has a beautiful simplicity, and a stark truth I never could have grasped then: we often take for granted the things most important. (Ever try and remove yard waste without a wheel barrow?) Those things most important we forget to honor, we leave in the rain, we fail to notice...at least until something contrasts with it.
Writing erotica has been the "white" to my "red"--the thing that made me notice things I've taken for granted...from the feel of a nylon stocking to the erotic possibilities of secret-sharing. It's a bit of a surprise, but not an unwelcome one.
And since I was appreciating subtleties, I decided to poke around the internet and read some other poets who infuriated me. I found this gem by ee cummings. (And I'm certain if this one was included in the anthology, I would have had ALOT more interest in free verse!)
i like my body when it is with your body.
It is so quite a new thing. Muscles better
and nerves more. i like your body. i like
what it does, i like its hows. i like to feel
the spine of your body and its bones, and
the trembling -firm-smooth ness and which
i will again and again and again kiss, i like
kissing this and that of you, i like, slowly
stroking the, shocking fuzz of your
electric fur, and what-is-it comes over
parting flesh . . . . And eyes big
love-crumbs, and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you quite so new