Reading Pornography in Old Age


Unbridled licentiousness with no holds barred,

Immediate and mutual lust,

In the heat, upon demand, aroused

And satisfied again, lechery unlimited.

Till space runs out at the bottom of the

And another pair of lovers, forever young,

Prepotent, endlessly receptive,

The daylong, nightlong, interminable grind.

How decent it is, and how unlike our

Where “fuck you” is a term of vengeful

And the murmur of “sorry, partner” as often

As ever in mixed doubles or at bridge.

Though I suspect the stuff is written

Elderly homosexuals manacled to

Machines, it’s mildly touching all the same,

A reminiscence of the life that was in

Before the Fall, when we were

And shameless, and untouched by memory:

Before we were driven out to the laboring

Of the money and the garbage and the

In which we read this nonsense and are

At all that was always lost for good, in

We think about sex obsessively

During the act, when our minds tend to wander.

Howard Nemerov was born on February 29th, 1920 in New York.

He died of cancer at his home in University City,

Missouri on July 5th 1991.

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