Date: Fri, 15 May 1994
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Danzener)
To: email@example.com (Jinsong)
Subject: Re: your last poem…
You probably don’t remember me; I wrote you a while ago asking you
about a Yeats poem you quoted…
I just wanted to say how much I…umm…enjoyed your last poem. I was
pretty stunned, actually. While I’ve been following your work for a
while, and you’ve certainly had your high points and low points, I was
really impressed with your honesty here.
I’m enclosing a copy below, just so you know which one I mean.
I wrote you one in response – if you like, I’ll send it to you…
(You ask what I want.
I cannot tell you: Catholic upbringing, New England prudery,
a habit of silence combine to smother the words.
So write it, you say.)
I want everything, you see.
Men and women
indoors and out
top and bottom and sideways
to come screaming in a deserted forest
so that the only creatures startled are the deer.
More than a little bit of an exhibitionist.
stripping away the layers
the flimsy chiffon covering of propriety
leaving me gloriously naked to a stranger’s fevered gaze.
I tease them shamelessly walking down the street
in cut-off jeans and minimal tank, hair swinging.
I make them wonder as they read my words
stare at the screen
(wonder if this is me; wonder if it is only a poem).
Riding the power trip
to its heights
(and I will taste the depths)
tied down so all I can do is strain against the black silk
blindfolded, so I don’t know whether you will lick a nipple next
spank me until I’m sore and screaming
begging for more.
I am not quite as brave as I would wish, but if I could
I would risk getting caught on the quads at night.
I would have two men at once, maybe three.
I would be fucked until I pass out.
I would have sex with someone without knowing whom it is.
I would do all the shameful things a good Catholic girl
should never, ever think of.
And I would tell you about it.
Date: Fri, 15 May 1994
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jinsong)
To: email@example.com (Matthew Danzener)
Subject: Re: your last poem…
Thanks for writing, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
And sure, send me the one you wrote…I’m curious now. It’s been a
very long time since anyone’s written me a poem.
What – You don’t have lovers writing you poems daily? That’s hard to
believe… If I were in Chicago, you’d get roses and poems on
your doorstep every day.
Here’s the poem. (Since you asked…)
Please don’t be offended
if I also say something hard
hard to say
what’s on my mind
what’s on every
in the dark
in a room
or on the Sears Tower
and we will
and I will
and you will
I can’t say it
because you might be offended
but it would have been
(What I wanted to say,
but don’t have the nerve,
was that I would
But I am too shy to say this
to anyone I don’t know,
to anyone I do know,
so I’m not saying it to you,
and it remains thought
but unsaid, and I hope
I’m a little stunned. That’s certainly the best wanna fuck I’ve ever
gotten. I might cry. I can’t really speak – and that’s impressive,
stealing away a poet’s words.
Hey, I really didn’t mean to make you cry. I just wanted to give you
something in return, after that seductive image of your bare thighs,
and hair swinging loose against the small of your back. I could
almost taste the sweat collecting on the base of your neck, under
all that gorgeous hair.
Sorry, you probably don’t even have long hair. Ok, I admit it!
I’m insanely curious about whether you have long black hair.
Or blue eyes. Or dry gold skin. Or wicked nails,
to rake a lover’s back…
Are you a romantic? I want to take you to the 95th Floor in Chicago
for brunch, then walk along Wacker Drive and watch the sparkle on the
river. I want to take you to the beach at night and walk across the
jagged rocks, somewhere we can see the city skyline, and kiss you till
you’re dizzy and only my arms keep you from falling.
I want to take you.
At least you don’t sound offended… Yet(?)
I’m not offended. Flattered, really – I’ve had a hard couple of
weeks – just broke up with my boyfriend, after an angstful
relationship over the last year, and it’s nice to get some
And yes, I’m a romantic. An utter, hopeless romantic. But I hate
mush and sticky sentiment. Can you walk that line?
I’m demanding in my lovers. I want sweetness and sexiness, strength
and vulnerability. I want a woman who can make me come just by
spanking me, and a man who trembles when I kiss the small of his
back. And the reverse, of course. I want utter honesty…but I admit
that I play games sometimes. And compliments embarrass me. And I’m
sometimes more brave than wise.
So a description – I’m small, slightly plump. Straight black hair,
pale skin that oddly doesn’t seem to burn. Green eyes…my mother is
gorgeous, but that’s unfortunately the only feature I seem to have
gotten from her. I’m really my father’s daughter. He’s a professor
in Near Eastern Studies here at U Chicago. Where are you, anyway?
And what do you look like?
Who are you?
I’m sorry about your boyfriend…at least, I’m sorry you’re sad…
but honestly, you sound beautiful! And your openness and honesty
makes you so very appealing. It’s hard to believe you’re so far away.
If you were here…or I was there…
As for me… skinny, strong, not too tall, scraggly brown hair with
a winter-only beard, blue eyes, semi-introverted,
but with a charming smile.
I’m in Pennsylvania…but I spent a summer in Chicago once. And
would like to go back again. Maybe this summer?
Promise not to be offended if I tell you what I really want?
No promises. Be brave.
I’d like to pick you up
pick you up
at your place
in my rental car
you’ve been sad
So I hug you tight
steal a quick kiss
and here’s a rose
we’ll go out
we’ll go to your favorite spot
and have a glass of wine
we’ll get wine-happy together
laughing and talking
the waiter has to come back
we forgot to look at the menus
then under the table
I rub the back
of your hand with mine
and then off
onto your thigh
with my nervous hand
I hope you don’t mind.
I am becoming intoxicated
with your presence.
So many thoughts I have
you and I
this way and that,
here and there
but I can’t tell you
they aren’t decent.
You smile at me
at my awkward boyish attempts
I want to take you
to a movie
we can walk from here
hand in hand
I lust for your touch
We’ll sit in the back row
(because this is my fantasy)
no one joins us
and in the darkness
my arm around your shoulder
I kiss you
and take your hand
onto my leg
and you rub my thigh
gently up and down
higher next time
and then higher still
and my intoxication
reaches new heights
I am so drunk
that nothing else matters
and your hand brushes against
and the world disappears
and only you and I exist
for the moment
and I kiss you on the forehead
and moan softly in your ear
to show you
how so very much
and you smile at me again
in the movie sound, soft-lit
and you rub more firmly now
you are pleased
my spare hand has found your breast
under your jacket
and I caress gently first
until I feel the nipple
rising up peakedly
and I focus more on it
as you work your magic on me.
No one is near us
in this back row
so you move deftly
in a defiance of all that
and you unzip my pants
and reach in
and it is all I can do now
to control myself
to not scream out
at the pleasure
that you are giving
with your hand as
my cock spasms in your grasp
with a throbbing aching need,
in a way I can only remember
it doing when I was
in my teens and
every girl was
I move my breast hand down
down across your uncharted mids
to your netherworld
to your sacredness
to your promised land
of milk and honey
to your zippered crotch
and you spread
just a bit
for my hand to penetrate
to your jeans covered warmth
your covered secrets
and I rub you
until you press against my hand
and squeeze my cock pulsingly
as if to signal your approval
(since this is my fantasy)
you look around
and there is no one else
it’s a darkish movie
so you slide quietly
down to the floor
on your knees facing
and over in front of me
you are small
you barely fit
but a certain duty
and you honor it
as you take my throbbing hardness
in your mouth
your warm wet mouth
your delicate lipped
eager, inquisitive mouth
and you tease me
with your slowness
as I want impatiently
to give you everything
to give up my reality
in exchange for this moment
this surreal moment
when nothing matters
except this act
this strange act of sex
of love, of total selfless giving
to my need
And you suck me
up and down…
I have so many more fantasies, but I am afraid. Afraid of letting go,
afraid of being the real me, and offending you with the real me,
of this facade that I march behind in my normal daily life. No one
who knows me would think that I wrote the above.
Can I come see you this summer? School will be over in a few weeks
and plane tickets aren’t that expensive.
I’m blushing, and crying, and excited all at once. The crotch of my
jeans is uncomfortably tight, and the person sitting next to me just
glanced at the screen, and glanced quickly away.
To have a stranger offer all this…is exciting. And frightening.
But even more exciting, I think.
If you wouldn’t mind my roommate and her boyfriend coming along
at first (we can always ditch them later)…then yes. YES.
Come to Chicago. Come touch me, come taste me, buy me roses and
don’t be upset if they fall in the street while I’m kissing you. Let
shred your clothing, and your back – I will sharpen my nails and paint
them gold for you.
I’ve been so very lonely.
I want to ask you to promise something…but I won’t. You don’t seem
to like promises.
Instead, I’ll tell you what I hope.
I hope that I am who you think I am…and you are who I think you are.
I hope that we like each other…that we become friends.
I hope that the summer heat will help us drop inhibitions.
I hope that we have sex on the quads.
I hope you like the way I taste.
I even hope that maybe this might last a little longer than a summer
fling. That maybe you could learn to care for me. I think I’m
already learning to care for you. (enough. I’m afraid I’ve already
gotten too sentimental for your tastes. I’m afraid.)
I bought the tickets today. I’ll be there in two weeks.
Oh, I don’t know how to say this. Once again, Matthew, I’m without
I’m sorry. What an empty, useless phrase. However true it may be.
My boyfriend and I got back together last night. Whether this is
wise, I don’t know…but I do know that now it would be impossible for
me to see you. Or to touch you. Honestly, I didn’t even want to
write this…funny how much cowardice hides inside.
You’re a sweet, wonderful guy. I’m sure if you keep looking, you’ll
find somebody less fucked-up than I am.
Thank you for holding me up when I was drowning.
Don’t write back, please.
Copyright 1994 M.A. Mohanraj
“Confession” copyright 1994 M.A. Mohanraj
All other poems copyright 1994 Cecil Williams