Monday, January 25, 2010

My Death Lives Beneath Your Skirt

"Do you want another drink?" he said.

She tipped the nearly-empty glass to gauge it. "Boy. I don't know."

He grinned. "You can take it. I know you can."

"Sure. Why not?"

He motioned to the bartender. The guy was good. He knew how to keep the energies flowing without hovering.

"I think it's pretty cool that you're a poet," she said.

"Really? Kind of like the nerd-cool phenomenon?"

"Are you kidding? The whole tortured poet thing? So hot."

"You have strange tastes."

"Don't complain. It's working for you."

"Oh, I'm not. Believe me."

The new drinks arrived. She tossed aside the useless little straw. "Assuming one thing, of course."

"Oh? And what's that?"

"That you write about me."

Oh. That.

He fidgeted. She didn't let him off the hook.

Perhaps the alcohol helped him flick up his eyes and become the dark aggressor. "Maybe I have."

The moment of surprise was cute on her lips.

"Well, not a whole poem. Not yet, at least."

He took a big hit of his drink. It burned his throat.

"For instance, a line popped into my head last night," he said. "Just a line. But it wouldn't let go of my brain. Thoughts kept falling into it. Churning around. All night."

"What was it?"

"I can't tell you."

"Come on!"

"I not that drunk yet."

She sat back. Playful-exasperated.

She played with the rim of her drink for a while. He watched her fingertip. The red, red nail polish.

"What's it like?" she said after a while.


"Writing a poem. Conceiving it. Having it take over your mind."


He tried to find the words.

But they wouldn't come.

"Show me," she said.

His brow furrowed.

"Yeah, you can do it. Just close your eyes. Go on. Let yourself drift. Float away into that place you go."

He did what she asked.

And in the dark, the room swam under his feet. Slow currents. Like an ocean nap. A heartbeat fluid and sensuous.

Something brushed him under the table.

Her ankle probably. The table was small.

Creamsicle, he whispered, accepting the first word. And the rest came.

Creamsicle skin
tasting the melting drops
like a trickle
down your thigh after you run
at least that's where I would be
after you run
and I would smooth in
while you watch
and your lips would part
a little more
that sharp breath would be mine
or it could be yours
and they gasp together
as knees bend back
everything falling inward
inward towards the darkness
and I would trail along the abyss
where I know I would never escape again
consumed as I consume you
open and deep
to my death
my panting

He opened his eyes. Like waking from a dream. Not entirely sure of what he had done.

"The line was, 'my death lives beneath your skirt,'" he said.

She looked unsteady. Ready to lose her balance.

"Check?" the bartender said, sliding the little folder between them.


AngelConradie said...

A little scary and sexy!

Linda S. Socha said...

Oh are definitely a writer Jason

SzélsőFa said...

i liked how the procession of writing is described here. him, refusing to letting himself into the state where poems are born; him, accepting the first word, and the rest...; and her, being astonished by the process (and by the result); and the bartender, being the wake-up call - oh, what a cruel thing reality is. it hits you like a wall after all that floating.
great piece.

spacedlaw said...

Wonderful scene!

Rachel Green said...

Oh! How sweet. Not sure what brushed his leg, mind...

catvibe said...

The funny thing is the poem within the dialogue is probably my favorite poem you've written yet. (That I've seen that is).

Very fun to read. I like the tortured poet dark aggressor character you set up. I just watched the first Twilight movie the other night and frankly couldn't get Edward out of my mind as I read this. Although, this is a much more adult version of Edward.

JaneyV said...

You are funny. Actually sex is funny and so are people and what turns them on. This is wonderful. I really don't blame the woman for nearly falling off her seat. That was one hell of a poem!

And the bartender was perfect too.

Aine said...

Oh. That.

Aine is smiling and nodding and writing creamsicle on her grocery list...

Bernita said...

Damn, Jason, that's good!

Michael Morse said...

Powerful stuff! Very inspirational, (and I aint talking writing ;) I can't wait to get home.

Shadow said...

oh wow, i'm sure she didn't expect that...

Monica Manning said...

I will forever think lascivious thoughts about creamsicles. And yet, I am compelled to thank you for that.

Deb S said...

Hottt. Need creamcicle now.

Dr. Cheryl Carvajal said...


PhilipH said...

Lush, and luscious.

A cream cycle, with a bell on the handle-bars, made for two.

Nicely slow burning tale.

Leah McClellan said...

I love this almost-last line: "She looked unsteady. Ready to lose her balance."

My reaction was to giggle inwardly and shrug at her and say, "You asked!" lol

Next reaction was to think how we (my fellow classmates a few years ago) would have ripped this to shreds in a lit class and analyze why the poet calls it death and so on, etc.

Then the painting "L'origine du monde" popped in. Kind of opposite of that line, or its compliment, or...

Anonymous said...

Angel, maybe one leads to the other.

Linda, thanks!!!

Szelsofa, I like how you describe it. I was exploring how two people might relate. What might tantalize each about the other.

Spacedlaw, much appreciated. :)

Leatherdykeuk, just part of the neo-intimacy when we feel free to touch each other.

Catvibe, very interesting! In order to make this poem "believable" from the story perspective, I wrote it stream of consciousness with (almost) no revision. I wanted to gauge for myself what would come out if I just started talking. (And I like the comparison to Edward! :) )

JaneyV, hehe. :D I have to say that I liked how these two turned each other on. You're right about all the varieties!

Aine, creamsicle.... Mmmmm.... :D

Bernita, thanks, my friend!

Michael, that is awesome! I actually laughed out loud at work when I got your comment. I hope it was as inspiring when you got home!!

Shadow, I think she might have been hoping for that.

Monica, and you are very, very welcome. I could be remembered in far worse ways! :)

Deb, I suggest a box of them. Then, you are always ready. ;)

Shakespeare, thanks. :)

PhilipH, slow burning...I love that!

Leah, that was a little dream come true for her, no? :) As for the class, that effort would have been a shame. The poem was a one-and-done stream of consciousness for him (and for me). I was fascinated more by what was behind it. Why he might choose to communicate in poetry. And why she might want to hear it that way.

Terri said...

Well... Shakespeare here said "Wow". I think that about sums it up.
The poem is stunning.
My favourite line in the whole piece is the one about the line that "wouldn't let go of my brain". Not the other way round. I loved that.
I'm guessing the poet goes on to get lucky that night ;-)

Leah McClellan said...

Well I don't know if that was a dream come true for her. Her reaction could have gone a couple of ways, like running for the door lol (only going on what is given, and we don't know what she does :)

Although what the bartender does tells me it's a positive outcome for both, he might have it wrong, which would be ironic since he's so good at what he does. And for me, that's the charm in the piece and like an unresolved conflict at the end, which I see as a good thing. It leaves me in suspense (I lean toward the idea that she's totally freaked out but we don't know, which is cool ;).

I think stream of consciousness produces the best poetry, at least for me, and I think a lot of poets are like that. The poem kind of gets born; it comes from some place who-knows-where.

And of course when you're famous and all, those pesky English majors will be all over your stuff. Sort of like the piece I entered in the recent contest: that was stream of consciousness, written in less than an hour or so, with little revision. I know what it's about (based on stuff that really happened) but two readers saw an apocalyptic theme. Wow. Not my intention at all or anywhere near it nor did that occur to me....but very cool to see what they saw. I can see how it sounds like that or could go that way. And even if I didn't intend it like that, well what the readers get is the outcome, for better or worse, and also, it's nice that people paid attention to it, no matter what they got out of it.

Pesky English Major I like to joke, only thing worse than us are engineers :)

the walking man said...

It is well done Jason, well written. The currents that are underlying here are expressed with your usual clarity.

Personally though, and I mean this is a personal thing with me. I hated this. I have seen this scene play out a hundred ways a thousand times and the end result was a guy with a vocabulary and sense of timing using poetry not to be a poet but to be a whore trying to get laid as the only reason for their words.

Sometimes without conscience certain poets play at being the zen master to bed a young woman (though yours is not overly young) sometimes underage. It is one of the many reasons that poetry is what it is today, the edge is there to cut the skirt away not for the poets death but the death of the innocents.

Tessa said...


Jean said...



Nevine Sultan said...

Very very sizzling and spicy! I love the poem inside the story. It sounds like something so far from what you usually write... so different... but I really like it. Truly, like something inside the mind. And I love the title!


Karen said...

I'm still laughing at Aine's comment.

Anonymous said...

Terri, given some of the other comments, I might have lodged creamsicles in several brains. :)

Leah, I like what you said about how readers breathe their own life into a piece, and we should be honored that it came alive, even if the visions are very different from ours. My vision was certainly different than a good number of commenters. We view things through the lens of our own experiences and expectations, I suppose.

Walking Man, as Leah talked about above, I'm honored that it came alive for you, even if it was negative. I did see it differently, but I understand where you're coming from (as you've explained it). For me, poetry is a way of expressing raw emotion. It can express things that otherwise might never be said or shared. For me, this guy is not separate from the poem, using it as a tool. He is daring to express how she affects him. Really affects him. And she's the type who very much wants to hear it.

Tessa, thanks. :)

Jean, an amazing night.

Nevine, what a feel what it is like to be utterly consumed.

Karen, she did go shopping. ;)

Unknown said...

That was very sexy Jason, the creamsicle would have melted...I loved the connection of their minds as well as the bartender seeing it was time to go.

Dottie :)

Angie Muresan said...


Aniket Thakkar said...

@Aine: *wink wink* True romantic, you!

This certainly goes up to my fav. posts by you. I think the only other I liked more was the Ants in the head one.

Though they both are so different from each other that its not even fair to compare.

Loved the description of the poets mind and the poem itself.

Amazing piece of writing!

Socially Awkward Paint Monster said...

Gosh, this was HOT!

Anonymous said...

Dottie, you saw it like I did. :)

Angie, much appreciated. =)

Aniket, the ants in the head story...I forgot about that! I wonder how many things I've written here that I don't remember. Thanks for the praise on this one. I liked it very much too. :)

Limpidus, I think it's going to get 50x hotter shortly. ;)

Atrisa said...

*Thud* Died and went to heaven.

Meghana Naidu said...

THIS is why i <3 your writing.
perfection, this is.

Tess Janssen said...

It's kinda... Strange and weird and strangly, weirdly, erotic. For me, it's the first of yours I've come across, and it feels alien from everything else I've read. But, on the other hand, the 'brutal' part of erotic-ism (Is that a word???) is disguised and masked perfectly by the words, which is truly amazing. Or perhaps I want to love the poem inside the story, but some social-standards and norms-parts have occupied my brain. Not sure yet.
I do love, love, love the story in general, the setting and the way you manage to give me 'so little' to go on, and I can still picture it all in my head. I was practically sitting there! Great job.

And thanks so much for your comment on my blog, really appreciate it. As said before, I'm a critical person and look at everything more than once to thoroughly get it and get the meaning, and you just challenge me to read between the lines. Thanks again, and well done.

Keep on challening me darling! ;)