Saturday, May 05, 2007

New Poem - "Loneliness"

This week's installment of the Raving Poets' series "Rapture" was one of the best poetry shows I can remember in a long, long time. We had a theme night, the theme being the blues. So for every poet who took a turn behind the microphone the band would play a blues song. What it led to, then, was quite a variety of interpretations on the part of the 16 poets as to how their poems would work around the theme for the night. There were even a few poets who bridged the gap between poetry and actual blues music resulting in some amazing pieces. I was the first poet of the evening and the poem I presented was completely new and it's one that I will share with you right now.

A couple of things before I delve into the new poem. Next Wednesday I have been asked to take over the hosting duties normally performed by Mike Gravel because he has another engagement to attend to. So if you're going to the Raving Poets show and you're wondering why the host next week is soooo lame... Now you know.

Also, I got a couple of poem published in the latest issue of the Blood Ink Literary Journal. Yay! Thank you to all parties responsible for me taking that important step.

Now onto the poem.

"Loneliness" was written over a couple of weeks. That's a bit misleading for me to say, actually, since I wrote half of it one week, almost forgot that I wrote that part of a poem for about a week, looked through my notebook, found that fragment, and said, "Oh shit, I totally forgot about this one." It looks at how loneliness can lead people to desperate measures, but it also tries to look at how a person can really become desensitized to an inundation of sexuality. The voice in the poem talks to a phone sex operator so much that he soons finds getting her speaking on any topic other than sex the sexiest thing she can do. I guess I'm trying to say that the whole woman is sexier than the sum of the parts, verbal or otherwise. Maybe the voice in that poem is coming to that conclusion.

For now enjoy "Loneliness." See you on Wednesday.

Desperate now, how it
came to pass that Cheryl, an
operator at
found her way onto my speed dial.

---And not just
Speed Dial 8 or
Speed Dial 9, but
Speed Dial 1. An
ass-slut who knocked my
mom down a digit on my Speed Dial list and
charges me $3.95/minute for her time.

Cheryl, Cheryl, Cheryl.

Cheryl who would describe
giving me a rim job so succinctly that
I could feel
her tongue making ringlets on the
insides of my eyelids.

Cheryl who through words
would go
mouth-to-ass- to-ear-to-
ear-to-ass-to-mouth and
then hit her filthiest monologues
only after saying,
“Whew! That was a hell of a warm-up, stud!
Let’s get things started proper now!”

And I thought I hadn’t lived
until I heard Cheryl
telling me to put it in her ear.

The closest thing to a significant other,
a girlfriend,
a wife,
I have
boasts she would gladly floss
with my pubic hair,
you know,
if that was my thing.

Maybe that was my thing
once upon a time.
Maybe there were days
in my past
when a watermelon with
just the right size of a hole cut into it and a
face shot of some supermodel
stapled into its husk
was my thing.

Desperate days.
Days a guy could wake up and
not even be able to fathom a
woman’s presence, a woman’s touch,
days when a woman might as well be a
unicorn, a jackalope, or a chupacabra,
just tighten your fist and let you imagination go ape-shit.

But it gets to be too much.

Listen to a verbal blow job enough,
listen to her scripted moans, her
$3.95/minute coos, and
it will all start to lose its effect.

Cheryl might describe licking sweat off my nuts,
but now, for her, for these late night pillow talk,
garbage bag talk, sessions,
hearing her evoke a tongue on my scrotum
is as tame as hearing other people’s
“Hello. How are you?”

Cheryl, Cheryl, Cheryl.

And lately, the challenge for me
has been to get Cheryl to talk about anything else.
You learn that all the dirtiest things you could think of,
it’s all just a shield to keep from falling for a filthy animal,
a man who would put 1-900-ASS-SLUT on speed dial.

She might greet me with a rusty trombone or ask for an angry dragon,
use her, abuse her,
but that’s not what she wants, what she really wants, and

that’s the challenge:

getting her talk about anything but sex now.

That’s the sexiest thing she can do for me now.

I call, and
try to steer the conversation to what she had for breakfast,
the last movie she watched,
her favorite book,
if she has a view of the ocean from where she’s sitting,


Nothing significant.

Just anything.

Desperate now, how it
came to pass that Cheryl, an
operator at
found her way onto my speed dial

and the only way I get excited anymore
is if I’m paying her $3.95/minute
to hear her

talk about the weather.

-Michael Appleby
May, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Just a quick note. I want to wish a happy birthday to Nadine, Darcy, Ian, and Cory who are all celebrating birthdays this week. This weekend is going to be off-the-hook I think. It just sucks that I'm battling a terrible cold.