Thursday, February 26, 2009

coral lips


He sang the coral cunt, whose lips
moved into burgundy, and fur
surrounding it, moved by her hips,
agile agents provocateurs,
that signaled when she felt most ready
to let him slide inside, and enter
the part that made them both so heady
when he decanted in its center.

After the resistance came
the easeful deepness, while they tossed
around and played the loving game
whose winners are the ones who’re lost
until they find themselves again,
surrounded by, or else within,
the coral lips which told him when
she hoped he would again begin.

Inspired by a statement by Ian McEwan concerning John Updike in an article in TNR, March 12, 2009 (“On John Updike”):

However fleeting or disastrous the coupling, the metaphysical shadows are always on the wall––the same seriousness is in play. “Nature dangles sex to keep us walking towards the cliff,” Piet reflects in Couples. When he makes love outdoors to Georgene–“A lip of resistance, then an easeful deepness, slipping by steps”––he is troubled that he is “under the eye of God.”

The ruthless recording eye made Updike unpopular with some women readers, especially back in the salad days of Theory, when talk of the “male gaze” was the fashion. Piet notes in Foxy’s nakedness “the goosebumped roughness of her buttocks, the gray unpleasantness of her shaved armpits…” But in Updike as in life, bodies are rarely perfect, unlike in the movies; this is fictional realism and goosebumps do not stand in the way of the lovers’ transcendent pleasure. While she fellates him “lazily,” he combs her lovely hair and reflects on her “coral cunt coral into burgundy, with its pansy-shaped M, or W. of fur”; then it comes to him that mouths are noble. “They move in the brain’s court. We set our genitals matting down below like peasants, but when the mouth condescends, mind and body marry.”

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 2/25/09

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