Dirty Mondays: “Deer Tracks” by Richard Brautigan

In the park near my house, there is an enclosure of Red Deer. Last year, a number of them were moved to a nature reserve in the Scottish highlands to give them a bit more breathing space. The park keepers posted laminated notices explaining what had happened, alongside photos of the reserve: a pristine island at the mouth of a wide, blue sea loch. You could see the city-dwellers who passed by giving the image a wistful look, wondering if perhaps they too could be relocated. This poem, unrelated to that little story, is really rather special.

Deer Tracks

Beautiful, sobbing
high-geared fucking
and then to lie silently
like deer tracks in the
freshly-fallen snow beside
the one you love.
That’s all.

Richard Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – ca. September 14, 1984)

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Posted March 9, 2009 | Comments Off on Dirty Mondays: “Deer Tracks” by Richard Brautigan.

Dirty Mondays: “L’Idole” by Arthur Rimbaud

I cycled through Camden this morning, past the house of Rimbaud and Verlaine, which I wrote about here. The bright sun was reflecting savagely from the white stucco, and the canal behind stank of wet moss and waste: the smell of sex and poetry. Here’s to the boy poet, and his echoes.

L’Idole (Sonnet du Trou du Cul)

Dark, wrinkled as a purple pink,
It breathes, it nestles in that bed of moss,
Still damp from love, which hugs the slope,
The white thighs’ slope, to your crater’s heart.

Threads, gossamer, milky tears
Wept, wept, in scouring wind
That drove them over clots of scarlet scree
Till they tumbled on the edge, were gone.

My dreams touch kisses, kisses to the gate.
Soul envies couplings of the flesh,
Its tear-bottle this, its nest of sobs.

Ecstatic olive! Seductive flute!
Throat sucking almond-sweet sublime!
Moss-circled, female, promised land!

Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

Posted March 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Dirty Mondays: “L’Idole” by Arthur Rimbaud.

Dirty Mondays: ‘A Ramble in St. James’s Park’ by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

The Weekend took me to town: I wandered down the Charing Cross Road to see my friends at Any Amount of Books, Watkins and Red Snapper, alongside St Martin’s-in-the-Fields and across Trafalgar Square before, passing beneath Admiralty Arch, I found myself on the edges of St James’ Park. Which of course reminded me of Rochester…

A Ramble in St. James’s Park

Much wine had passed, with grave discourse
Of who fucks who, and who does worse
(Such as you usually do hear
From those that diet at the Bear),
When I, who still take care to see
Drunkenness relieved by lechery,
Went out into St. James’s Park
To cool my head and fire my heart.
But though St. James has th’ honor on ‘t,
‘Tis consecrate to prick and cunt.
There, by a most incestuous birth,
Strange woods spring from the teeming earth;
For they relate how heretofore,
When ancient Pict began to whore,
Deluded of his assignation
(Jilting, it seems, was then in fashion),
Poor pensive lover, in this place
Would frig upon his mother’s face;
Whence rows of mandrakes tall did rise
Whose lewd tops fucked the very skies.
Each imitative branch does twine
In some loved fold of Aretine,
And nightly now beneath their shade
Are buggeries, rapes, and incests made.
Unto this all-sin-sheltering grove
Whores of the bulk and the alcove,
Great ladies, chambermaids, and drudges,
The ragpicker, and heiress trudges.
Carmen, divines, great lords, and tailors,
Prentices, poets, pimps, and jailers,
Footmen, fine fops do here arrive,
And here promiscuously they swive.
     Along these hallowed walks it was
That I beheld Corinna pass.
Whoever had been by to see
The proud disdain she cast on me
Through charming eyes, he would have swore
She dropped from heaven that very hour,
Forsaking the divine abode
In scorn of some despairing god.
But mark what creatures women are:
How infinitely vile, when fair!
     Three knights o’ the’ elbow and the slur
With wriggling tails made up to her.
     The first was of your Whitehall blades,
Near kin t’ th’ Mother of the Maids;
Graced by whose favor he was able
To bring a friend t’ th’ Waiters’ table,
Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton
Say how the King loved Banstead mutton;
Since when he’d ne’er be brought to eat
By ‘s good will any other meat.
In this, as well as all the rest,
He ventures to do like the best,
But wanting common sense, th’ ingredient
In choosing well not least expedient,
Converts abortive imitation
To universal affectation.
Thus he not only eats and talks
But feels and smells, sits down and walks,
Nay looks, and lives, and loves by rote,
In an old tawdry birthday coat.
     The second was a Grays Inn wit,
A great inhabiter of the pit,
Where critic-like he sits and squints,
Steals pocket handkerchiefs, and hints
From ‘s neighbor, and the comedy,
To court, and pay, his landlady.
     The third, a lady’s eldest son
Within few years of twenty-one
Who hopes from his propitious fate,
Against he comes to his estate,
By these two worthies to be made
A most accomplished tearing blade.
     One, in a strain ‘twixt tune and nonsense,
Cries, “Madam, I have loved you long since.
Permit me your fair hand to kiss”;
When at her mouth her cunt cries, “Yes!”
In short, without much more ado,
Joyful and pleased, away she flew,
And with these three confounded asses
From park to hackney coach she passes.
     So a proud bitch does lead about
Of humble curs the amorous rout,
Who most obsequiously do hunt
The savory scent of salt-swoln cunt.
Some power more patient now relate
The sense of this surprising fate.
Gods! that a thing admired by me
Should fall to so much infamy.
Had she picked out, to rub her arse on,
Some stiff-pricked clown or well-hung parson,
Each job of whose spermatic sluice
Had filled her cunt with wholesome juice,
I the proceeding should have praised
In hope sh’ had quenched a fire I raised.
Such natural freedoms are but just:
There’s something generous in mere lust.
But to turn a damned abandoned jade
When neither head nor tail persuade;
To be a whore in understanding,
A passive pot for fools to spend in!
The devil played booty, sure, with thee
To bring a blot on infamy.
     But why am I, of all mankind,
To so severe a fate designed?
Ungrateful! Why this treachery
To humble fond, believing me,
Who gave you privilege above
The nice allowances of love?
Did ever I refuse to bear
The meanest part your lust could spare?
When your lewd cunt came spewing home
Drenched with the seed of half the town,
My dram of sperm was supped up after
For the digestive surfeit water.
Full gorged at another time
With a vast meal of slime
Which your devouring cunt had drawn
From porters’ backs and footmen’s brawn,
I was content to serve you up
My ballock-full for your grace cup,
Nor ever thought it an abuse
While you had pleasure for excuse –
You that could make my heart away
For noise and color, and betray
The secrets of my tender hours
To such knight-errant paramours,
When, leaning on your faithless breast,
Wrapped in security and rest,
Soft kindness all my powers did move,
And reason lay dissolved in love!
     May stinking vapors choke your womb
Such as the men you dote upon
May your depraved appetite,
That could in whiffling fools delight,
Beget such frenzies in your mind
You may go mad for the north wind,
And fixing all your hopes upon’t
To have him bluster in your cunt,
Turn up your longing arse t’ th’ air
And perish in a wild despair!
But cowards shall forget to rant,
Schoolboys to frig, old whores to paint;
The Jesuits’ fraternity
Shall leave the use of buggery;
Crab-louse, inspired with grace divine,
From earthly cod to heaven shall climb;
Physicians shall believe in Jesus,
And disobedience cease to please us,
Ere I desist with all my power
To plague this woman and undo her.
But my revenge will best be timed
When she is married that is limed.
In that most lamentable state
I’ll make her feel my scorn and hate:
Pelt her with scandals, truth or lies,
And her poor cur with jealousied,
Till I have torn him from her breech,
While she whines like a dog-drawn bitch;
Loathed and despised, kicked out o’ th’ Town
Into some dirty hole alone,
To chew the cud of misery
And know she owes it all to me.
     And may no woman better thrive
     That dares prophane the cunt I swive!

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry.

Posted February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on Dirty Mondays: ‘A Ramble in St. James’s Park’ by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester.

Dirty Mondays: “Toilet” by Hugo Williams

Hello Monday! I declare this week to be bodily fluids week, as I finally started reading Charlotte Roche’s much-discussed Wetlands over the weekend, and it’s filled my head with all kinds of secretions, seepages and discharges. I’ll get a full review up soon – but know that it is brilliant. In the mean time, here’s a suitably moist Monday Poem from English poet Hugo Williams:


I wonder will I speak to the girl
sitting opposite me on this train.
I wonder will my mouth open and say,
‘Are you going all the way
to Newcastle?’ or ‘Can I get you a coffee?’
Or will it simply go ‘aaaaah’
as if it had a mind of its own?

Half closing eggshell blue eyes,
she runs her hand through her hair
so that it clings to the carriage cloth;
then slowly frees itself.
She finds a brush and her long fair hair
flies back and forth like an African fly-whisk,
making me feel dizzy.

Suddenly, without warning,
she packs it all away in a rubber band
because I have forgotten to look out
the window for a moment.
A coffee is granted permission
to pass between her lips
and does so eagerly, without fuss.

A tunnel finds us looking out the window
into one another’s eyes. She leaves her seat,
but I know that she likes me
because the light saying ‘TOILET’
has come on, a sign that she is lifting
her skirt, taking down her pants
and peeing all over my face.

Hugo Williams was born in 1942 in Windsor and grew up in Sussex. He was educated at Eton College and worked on the London Magazine from 1961 to 1970. His Collected Poems was published in 2002. His most recent poetry collection is Dear Room (2006), shortlisted for the 2006 Costa Poetry Award.

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch…

Posted February 16, 2009 | Comments Off on Dirty Mondays: “Toilet” by Hugo Williams.

“Steam” by Carol Ann Duffy

And we’re back with Dirty Poems for a Monday morning. It’s cold out there so here’s some Carol Anne Duffy to warm your cockles…

I first came across Duffy at school and was immediately drawn to her subversive and often transgressive verse, an appreciation that only grew when she missed out on the nomination for the position of British Poet Laureate owing to institutional homophobia and stupidity, and she told the newspapers that she’d never have taken it anyway: “I will not write a poem for Edward and Sophie. No self-respecting poet should have to.”


Not long ago so far, a lover and I
in a room of steam –

a sly, thirsty silvery word – lay down,
opposite ends, and vanished.

Quite recently, if one of us sat up,
or stood, or stretched, naked,

a nude pose in soft pencil
behind tissue paper

appeared, rubbed itself out, slow,
with a smokey cloth.

Say a matter of months. This hand reaching
through the steam

to touch the real thing, shockingly there,
not a ghost at all.

Carol Ann Duffy (born 23 December 1955) is a British poet, playwright and freelance writer born in Glasgow, Scotland.

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch…

Posted February 9, 2009 | Comments Off on “Steam” by Carol Ann Duffy.

“i like my body when it is with your” by e. e. cummings

Hello Monday! A whole five days until we can embarrass ourselves again. Oh, well, cheer up. Here’s Monday’s Dirty Poem. It’s really rather sweet.

i like my body when it is with your

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh … And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

e. e. cummings (1894—1962)

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Posted January 12, 2009 | Comments Off on “i like my body when it is with your” by e. e. cummings.

“The Ballad of a Lonely Masturbator” by Anne Sexton

Cold, isn’t it? In the UK we’re all back to work today, and I imagine the situation is pretty similar where you are. Still, chin up, welcome back to Dirty Mondays. Anne Sexton knows how to keep warm…

The Ballad of a Lonely Masturbator

The boys and girls are one tonight.
They unbutton blouses. They unzip flies.
They take off shoes. They turn off the light.
The glimmering creatures are full of lies.
They are eating each other. They are overfed.
Tonight, alone, I marry the bed.

Anne Sexton

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Posted January 5, 2009 | Comments Off on “The Ballad of a Lonely Masturbator” by Anne Sexton.

“On Reading Poorly Transcribed Erotica” by Jill Alexander Essbaum

We thought we’d take it easy in Christmas week and serve you up something a little more funny that filthy – this time only. After wading through any amount of bad ebook editions, and no small number of reader submissions (thanks for the free porn!), we thought the below was particularly apposite. Enjoy.

On Reading Poorly Transcribed Erotica

She stood before him wearing only pantries
and he groped for her Volvo under the gauze.
She had saved her public hair, and his cook
went hard as a fist. They fell to the bad.
He shoveled his duck into her posse
and all her worm juices spilled out.
Still, his enormous election raged on.
Her beasts heaved as he sacked them,
and his own nibbles went stuff as well.
She put her tong in his rear and talked ditty.
Oh, it was all that he could do not to comb.

Jill Alexander Essbaum lives and writes in Austin, Texas, and is published by No Tell Books, whose volumes of bedside poetry are definitely worth checking out…

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Posted December 22, 2008 | Comments Off on “On Reading Poorly Transcribed Erotica” by Jill Alexander Essbaum.

‘The Young Sycamore’ by William Carlos Williams

The work of American poet William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963) is best known for its sharp and clear imagery, and this poem gives a good account of it. It is often claimed that it is based on Alfred Steiglitz‘s 1902 photograph, Spring Showers (below right), although the poem goes much deeper to explore the Sycamore as, as the critics put it, ‘the tree of life’ and thus continuing the theme of our last Monday poem. Enjoy.

The Young Sycamore

I must tell you
this young tree
whose round and firm trunk
between the wet

pavement and the gutter
(where water
is trickling) rises

into the air with
one undulant
thrust half its height-
and then

dividing and waning
sending out
young branches on
all sides-

hung with cocoons
it thins
till nothing is left of it
but two

eccentric knotted
bending forward
hornlike at the top

William Carlos Williams

If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Posted December 15, 2008 | Comments Off on ‘The Young Sycamore’ by William Carlos Williams.

Dirty Mondays: “Down, wanton, down” by Robert Graves

Apologies for the quiet around here – we’ve been a bit under the weather at Bookkake towers with the seasonal lurgy. However, nothing shall stop the Monday dirty poem, so here goes.

Well, first we should say that this was sent in by David Jones, who said we “should have shame at your paucity of vocabulary that you can label Neruda On Wine dirty, when it is erudite, fanciful, a feast of images and knowledge” and we should “avoid using that same shabby, inadequate and demeaning word for this fun poem by Graves”. I’m grateful to David for sending this one in, and agree that it indeed contains a wealth of startling and appropriate imagery from the battlefield and the mediaeval court, set to a lovely iambic tetrameter in a fine double couplet quatrain structure. It is also addressed to the poet’s johnson.

Down, wanton, down

Down, wanton, down have you no shame
That at the whisper of Love’s name,
Or Beauty’s, presto! up you raise
Your angry head and stand at gaze?

Poor Bombard-captain, sworn to reach
The ravelin and effect a breach—
Indifferent what you storm or why,
So be that in the breach you die!

Love may be blind, but Love at least
Knows what is man and what mere beast;
Or Beauty wayward, but requires
More delicacy from her squires.

Tell me, my witless, whose one boast
Could be your staunchness at the post,
When were you made a man of parts
To think fine and profess the arts?

Will many-gifted Beauty come
Bowing to your bald rule of thumb,
Or Love swear loyalty to your crown?
Be gone, have done! Down, wanton, down!

Robert Graves (1895-1985)

Posted December 8, 2008 | Comments Off on Dirty Mondays: “Down, wanton, down” by Robert Graves.

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