Poems are like a box of clothes never worn from your brain

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I think my brain treats my poetry writing sessions as an exercise in unpacking boxes from the attic and every once in a while finding a good classic cookbook, or a lovely set of dishes never used. Or a dress worn just once and it still fits. Or even an old, raunchy paperback novel, like The Story of O.

I think I had once of these month long sessions of unpacking some really raunchy novels, and given what I just dreamed last night, I think that analogy fits like a ball gag. Someone asked me about teaching The Story of O by Pauline Reage, a work that should not be taught without matching it with the French Feminisms anthology that tears it to pieces. I pretty much view Reage, du Sade, and other erotic writers of the 18th through the latter 20th century attempting to expel the Church’s repression of sexuality—but not the misogyny that came along with the repression. How is it in the 21st century we are still dealing with repression, misogyny, and fear of female desire?

I did not dream of finding wedding dresses in my closet. I have many more stories and poems to unpack and put on a table to shine or toss. Some of them sound like fragments from a raunchy novel. It’s my way of getting my brain out of writers block as I finish my other writing gig for a deadline later this month. I wouldn’t say it’s better than sex, but given the level of frustration that summer brings me (it’s warm, so I exercise and that definitely gets me aroused), writing about these things helps chase away writers block and depression over my summer blues over my lack of companionship. Love and lust really do matter for us writers—at least for me it does. And vibrators don’t inspire 5000 word chapters. Or epic poems.

Enjoy your morning commute.

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