by Barry Spacks
SEVERAL TIMES I played rough with Andrew, but this was the worst.
“Take off that robe,” I insisted, clenching my eyes.
Movie-level talk takes over in a crisis. “You heard what I said.”
“I’m to remove my robe?’
“You got it, Buster.”
“Exactly what did you have in mind?”
At those words, Gloria let out a snort of laughter, struggling to shrug on her peasant skirt while I wrestled the ridiculous robe from Andrew’s concave-chested, ribby body. Below he wore only blue briefs. The style’s now called “Speedo.” Within Andrew’s Speedo came a rumbling, a bulging. “Off with the shorts,” I commanded. I wasn’t about to make this happen with my own hands. “Do it, Andrew!” I bulked up at my most threatening. I’ve sometimes been compared, in my hairiness and menace, to a bear, and, truth is, I wasn’t much of an admirable guy back then, not the sort of person I’d enjoy running into today. We’re involved here, Reader, with a shameless confession masquerading as a piece of fiction.
I’d been besotted with Gloria Zissic since the year before, but lo, anyone could see that she already felt libidinally drawn toward A.N.’s Nottingham accent as smoothened by his Cantab years. She literally veered toward the boy physically there between us against the office wall in the middle wooden chair. Gloria liked to say her ambition was to be Emma Bovary without the arsenic. She projected a force — perverse, maddening, opinionated — by which I couldn’t fail to be mesmerized. I’d yearned from childhood with all the lust within me to avoid the bourgeois fate of an overfed timidity, so rebels like Gloria, dead set against convention, couldn’t help but leave me enthralled. Did I love her? Isn’t obsession just as good? I held to her with an attitude of heart-crushing awe. I always loved the risk of being with a Crazy Girl…
The sex at that early stage in my involvement with Gloria was, to put it exactingly, water-buffalo.
“Whoa!” she said when we concluded for the first time in her wonderful bed and fell apart. “Whoa,” the very exclamation she was to blurt after first hearing Andrew’s poems the following September…
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Barry Spacks is the First Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, California. The author of nine poetry collections (most extensive: SPACKS STREET: NEW & SELECTED POEMS,) with poems in 18 anthologies, he is the winner of The Commonwealth Club of California’s Poetry Medal, the Cherry Grove Collections Prize and St. Botolph’s Arts Award. A man of many hats, he is also a singer-songwriter, actor and Literature professor, plus the Senior Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism) student of H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. For more details, and to follow his blog, Poetry Matters, go to www.barryspacks.net