November 6th, 2009

poetry, exceptindreams

664: When A Man Hasn't Been Kissed

"When A Man Hasn't Been Kissed"
Jeffrey McDaniel

When I haven't been kissed in a long time,
I walk behind well-dressed women

on cold, December mornings and shovel
the steamy exhalations pluming from their lips

down my throat with both hands, hoping
a single molecule will cling to my lungs.

When I haven't been kissed in a long time,
I sneak into the ladies room of a fancy restaurant,

dig into the trashcan for a napkin
where a woman checked her lipstick,

then go home, light candles, put on Barry White,
and press the napkin all over my body.

When I haven't been kissed in a long time,
I start thinking leeches are the most romantic

creatures, cause all they want to do is kiss.
If only someone invented a kinder, gentler leech,

I'd paint it bright pink and pretend
Winona Ryder's lips crawled off her face,

up my thigh, and were sucking on my swollen
bicep. When I haven't been kissed

in a long time, I create civil disturbances,
then insult the cops who show up,

till one of them grabs me by the collar
and hurls me up against the squad car,

so I can remember, at least for a moment,
what it's like to be touched.

This evening I attended a reading by a woman who won an award from my university for the novel she published last year. There was a question and answer section during which someone asked if she ever had writer's block. Her response was that no, she never had writer's block, but she did have spells of depression during which she could not bring herself to work on her book. To combat those feelings, she wrote anything and everything. She would turn on movies and transcribe the entire thing or watch televisions shows and write down everything that happened and sometimes snippets of what she had copied down inspired her to write. I just found that interesting - that someone depressed could still work even if she felt she could not. (I did not express that very well. My apologies.)