Sex Club

I put on my spectacles last Thursday night
To go to the Sex Club.
I fed the cat, boiled some water for tea, watered my succulents, and then
Drove fifteen minutes to Joanne’s.
I brought brownies because I knew Beatrice
Was allergic to chocolate.
Donald was wearing the jeans that showed off
His butt. His shirt said, “Meet Me At The Sex Club.”
Mimi the president insisted on selling
The Sex Club shirt
For twenty-five dollars even though I said we should go for twenty.
And now only three people have bought it and we still do not
Have enough money for our annual luncheon.
We sat in a circle on foldable chairs with notes on today’s topic,
“Female pleasure and equality.” Bob had recommended
A book during last week’s meeting and
No one bothered to read it because what does Bob know.
Rajni volunteered to lead the discussion because she and her
Husband Raj went to some sex camp up in New Hampshire
And now she knows everything. As everyone except Beatrice
Nibbled on the brownies, Bruce crossed his arms.
I’ll start by saying that the neck is a very important erogenous zone.
Joanne objected and said he was being presumptuous.
Ever since I got caught in a house fire as a child my skin
Never really recovered. She pulled down her
Turtleneck and everyone gasped.
She started sobbing. Deep in thought, Bob said,
This is why fireproofing your house is important.
Everyone nodded. When it was time
To go home Donald asked what I would be doing
Tonight. I twirled a curl in my hair.
He went beetroot and asked if I wanted
To come see his plants. We can have some tea.
It was then that I remembered I did not turn off my kettle.
And that was how my house went
Down in flames last Thursday,
And how I came to be living in Donald’s guest room.
His succulent is pretty neat.

Artwork by Marcel Dzama “On a Revolution”

absence of the latina intellectual: some abstract theory for your ass

there are several ideological lines,
the first being
there are three bodies to contend with:

my body is really heavy
with guilt, this leaking thing
charged with sex
and stifled

our body is really heavy
i am so crushed
by the burden of bodies belonging to me,
i must occupy space for our body
i must walk as these bodies,
these naked
and piling bodies,
these bodies thick
to stack and build upon,
these equally weak
and temporary bodies,
these bodies that are
simultaneously more and less

(i was holding my copy
of the women of brewster place
too tightly,
almost wrinkling
gloria’s name
when my white coworker
lifted her nose and said
she could only read books
she actually heard of and
that were well written)

finally their body is really heavy.
the body on
and outside my body
is rendered weak
in its own construction,

as it renders itself
during and only through
its relentless creation of my body
and their body
and whatever bodies
that birth themselves
in between, outside and aside
of this central body of work
which is itself a body

my body is really heavy.
our body is really heavy.
their body is really heavy.

this theory
comes up against
what I’ve identified
as three ideological lines
in their bodies of work:

my body is weak
against their body.
my body must relent
to their body of work.
my body is only here
because of their bodies
and body of work.

i disagree
with these lines
in their body of work.

precisely because
they are lines
and what lines
actually make up my body?

their bodies are all line
which is why
their body of work
consists of lines
and why my body
does not fit into these lines,
its form enjoys
everything but lines

(the chapin
I’ve been fucking
on and off for four years
makes it a point
to remind me
of his love for redheads
who burn easily)

walls are supported
by their body of work
walls are made by promises
written about in their bodies
they are losing their grip
on these promises

(old white women
point at my legs
when they are crossed
on the train and in their way.
on three occasions
in my adult life
white women have shoved
their chests in my face
non sexually)

my body is constant
and in the way
of their body of work
and it’s lines.

my form was here before
and birthed their bodies
my body will continue
to be a body of work
more than it is just my body

reading and writing
about the body
and their body
and their bodies of work
should render
all the bodies silent,
it doesn’t, I learned

(my ex
still has my copy
of borderlands
i still have her copy
of beloved)

as i wrap myself
in the flesh
of my own body
— my own, meaning i own it,
this is a line
from their body of work
that i am now forcing
on my own created body
and body of work —
I’ve learned to tell you
it isn’t there
you become accustomed
to my body of work
which is more my body
than my actual body

you will ask yourself:
where is this bitch

Artwork by Paula Rego “Mermaid Drowning Wendy”

Ethan, Or the First Time I Laid Eyes on You

By Shane Allison

A summer Saturday night at 926 Bar & Grill was the first night I laid eyes on you.
I was sipping a whiskey sour
As you sat there bald and baby-faced watching Futurama on the HD TV
That hung above Hillary’s big hair & even bigger tits.
The edge of your moustache baptized in dark beer,
Cherry red lips kissing the glass.
You’re the laid back type unlike the boys
I’m used to, who prance about in search of toxic masculinity.
Lawrence, who is much older than you was on the hunt for young twink meat,
Looking as if you’re something good to eat.
He made advances, but you’re immune to the stink of his romance.
I watched his ways, left with the lesson
That his approach is not the way to penetrate your armor.
I was five whiskey sours in, faded,
And the size of your dick has never entered my mind.
Only thoughts of kissing you in this sanctuary,
Caressing that creamy Irish skin.
I don’t come on strong.
I take it easy with you, Ethan.
You feel easy around me.
We talked of cell phones,
The lifespan of laptops until you walk away bored and beer-filled,
Into a haze of absolution.

Artwork by Shane Allison

Beautiful Adonis of a Lake Bradford Sandwich Shop

I know you best from the Tennessee Street location
As a hazel eyed sandwich artist
In your transparent gloves smelling of Parmesan cheese.
Splotches of burgundy vinegar blemish
Your company-issued striped shirt.

You look sexy behind that counter of cold, packed meat,
6 to12 inches of wheat and white bread.
I watch your lips move as you
Ask if I want mayonnaise, mustard
On the foot-long turkey.
Let me take you away from this place,
Be the prince who rides up to unleash you
From your big belly boss.
We can go over to my place, settle down
With a few Clint Eastwood movies, plant a bowl
Of microwave popcorn between our bodies.

How exquisite you look tonight kissing
The buttons of the register with your fingers.
I want to be your lover, your private dancer.
Buy you expensive clothes,
Massage your feet; lay you down to sleep on my sofa bed.
Your name rings in my
Ebony ears. You appear in wet dreams.
I’ll have a medium fruit punch
If you share it with me.
Come to the poetry reading
As I read this poem.
I want to introduce you to my parents
As my boyfriend.
The man I’m embracing beneath electric blankets in front of Jay Leno.
Let’s sit beneath vanilla lights
In a bar as we get drunk and rowdy, starting fistfights.
End up in the hospital pissing away the pain in bedpans.

You come to me white and warm in jack off dreams.
Nothing can ruin us here.
No one can spoil me to you.
My index finger circles the cap of your red knees.
Peppermint breath tickles your ear.
Tequila tongue pours down my throat.

Brian, sweet sandwich artist, bubble butt stunning
In black shorts, slips sweaty quarter in the jukebox at The Warehouse
As we dance to Stevie Nicks.

Save me from the glory holes of the world,
From the man who calls for my cock from fiberglass partitions.
Brian with curly locks of hair
At your stomach, autumn pubes at your golden groin,
Sneakers scuffed, smeared
With spilled food and generic brand bleach,
Call me 421-2166 when you get off work,
When you’ve made yourself comfortable after a hot shower.

Wake me with midnight phone calls
Wanting to go for a ride in your rust-colored Camaro.
Oh, Beautiful Adonis
Of a Lake Bradford Sandwich Shop.

Written by Shane Allison
Artwork by Bobby Doherty

I’m a Slave to Strawberry Ice-Cream

She’s my dominatrix,
I her slave. Bound & gagged,
hands tied, mouth wide.
Drive home & she’s all I’m thinking about
after the bag of Fritos, half a Hoagie sandwich for lunch.
She calls to me telepathically.
Smell her creamy goodness from the driveway.
Put down the burgundy leather suitcase,
take off coat,
throw it anywhere, I don’t care.
Kitchen still like I left it:
Dirty plate,
syrup-covered pancake,
a piece eaten away.
Too late in the day
for flapjacks.
Purchased her cheaply at the Food Emporium last night.
Freezer door ajar.
Dig past thighs of chicken,
bottle of Vodka,
frozen vegetables
to get to her.
She’s a cold bitch by now.
Spoon penetrates,
scoop out bits of real strawberries.
Bring to lips,
in mouth, on tongue.
Delicious delight, united
& this is only the beginning of her sweet torment.

Written by Shane Allison
Collage courtesy of author, “Chocolate Candies”

Fried Bologna Sandwiches

I won’t have it any other way.
Cold? No!
Between two unfeeling pieces of bread,
Stuck in mayo like tires stuck in mud,
Smeared onto mustard.
Daddy rolls it like a taco shell
And eats it raw, naked.
I like the thicker slices of it
Beneath a low blue flame.
In the days before toaster ovens,
The invention of microwaves,
My bologna was boiled.
Would watch it shuffle around
In the pot of hot water Ma cooked corn, peas,
Condensed Campbell’s soup in.
Adored the way it bubbled up into a dome-like shape
When done.
Down at Tillie’s House, she used to fry hers,
It tastes betta that way.
Take out whole minutes of my life
To prepare the perfect sandwich:
Slivers of tomatoes picked from Chickenman’s garden,
Cheese, sheets of lettuce surrender
As mechanically separated chicken pork
Sizzles in Corning Cookware.
Sodium phosphates rise from the red ring.
Calories? Total grams of fat? Who cares about that?
I haven’t eaten all day.
Midday, lunchtime,
Two on a sandwich plate.
Cup fulla soda, Coca-Cola.
Bite thru, take a taste;
Now this what I call good eatin’.

Written by Shane Allison
Artwork by Jared Small

cambridge, ma

somebody’s gone & torn all
the paper.
waved his wand
fingers about & emptied
the white sodden load over:
i am wet
cotton cutout doing the trick
i am working
i work, when
the water hurt
-les inside me. cold
takes time to unwrap himself
from things that haven’t yet learned
to warm. i am
a body, in the end; tongue
out like a pesky strap, unable to hook
onto things that melt, fairy



as once the great stars fell
on alabama, & the great muscles
of land pushed into continents, & the great space
between the thighs of
our countries widened, i learned
that when we held
hands with history
we could almost forgive it.

For Gilbert Sorrentino.

Artwork by Wassily Kandinsky, “Winter Landscape” 1910