Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love

Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781577310075
Publisher: New World Library
Publication date: 12/28/1996
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.37(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.92(d)

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Passionate Hearts

The Poetry of Sexual Love


By Wendy Maltz

New World Library

Copyright © 1996 Wendy Maltz
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57731-567-4



CHAPTER 1

tender awakening


    THE TREES THAT CHANGE OUR LIVES

    When I was twenty I walked past
    The lady I would marry —
    Cross-legged on the porch.
    She was cracking walnuts
    With a hammer, a jar
    At her side. I had come
    From the store, swinging
    A carton of cold beers,
    And when I looked she smiled.
    And that was all, until
    I came back, flushed,
    Glowing like a lantern
    Against a backdrop
    Of silly one-liners —
    Cute-face, peaches, baby-lips.

    We talked rain, cats,
    About rain on cats,
    And later went inside
    For a sandwich, a glass
    Of milk, sweets.
    Still later, a month later,
    We were going at one
    Another on the couch, bed,
    In the bathtub
    And its backwash of bubbles,
    Snapping. So it went,
    And how strangely: the walnut
    Tree had dropped its hard
    Fruit, and they, in turn,
    Were dropped into a paper
    Bag, a jar, then into
    The dough that was twisted
    Into bread for the love
    Of my mouth, so
    It might keep talking.

    gary soto


    SHARING

    outside
    a moon starting up
    over a warm summer meadow:
    myriads of fireflies, quietly moving &
    flickering their own type of light
    to each other
    are moving to the slowly increasing magic
    of their closeness
    with this first warm night.

    inside
    in the dusk light
    of your kitchen
    quietly talking over a table,
    and moving closer to each other
    with words,
    & then to the first time of
    touching hands.
    the motion of our hands while talking,
    starting up a beginning
    place of sharing:
    a first motion of touching
    with a magic possibility
    of keeping the closeness
    of this night,
    inside.

    alan yount


    SPRING STORM

    I stood in the doorway
    for the longest time
    after you left
    looking at the night
    listening to the night
    feeling the cold
    against the warmth of my body
    feeling your touch
    ripening on my body

    It would have been too easy
    to welcome you inside me
    succumb to the rhythm
    of waves washing over me

    As much as that would be
    it wouldn't be enough

    I would never know
    who
    was on the other side
    of your skin

    johanna rayl


    THE RIVER

    All the bright day I rode my bike along the river
    gold flashing among the dizzy leaves
    water clear and rushing over stones
    the sound drawing me on.

    All day I rode with the wind in my face
    till I lost a shoe when I drank at the river
    and turned to go home.

    It was dusk when I entered the old
    house on the hill
    and you were glad to see me.

    You showed me strings you had tied to a stick.
    I watched you dip strings in hot tallow
    again and again
    while the long tapered bodies grew thick.

    Then you lit two of your candles
    and there in the flickering shadows we stood
    between floors on a landing.
    You reached to embrace me as I turned toward you

    and gently your lips brushed on my lips
    and gently your tongue entered my mouth

    finding the way through the dark.

    I stood open — river swelling inside me —
    rising and falling —
    walls breathing for me —

    the sound of the river rushed in my ears
    my legs were water (I might have fallen
    if your arms had not held me).

    Finally
    you turned with a smile as though it were natural
    and walked down the stairs
    leaving me filled
    with that long trembling.

    When I could speak I said, Let's walk by the river.
    Then I asked, Will you be loving?
    and laughed at my words.
    I meant to say, "Will you be leaving?"
    and then you laughed too.

    A slip of the tongue, you said.
    Yes, I said, a slip of the tongue.

    patti tana



    PURPLE IS THE COLOR OF THE LONGING

    Purple is the color of the longing
    tucked into the folds of pulpy organs
    soft and vulnerable.
    A finger could pierce like a bullet
    this swollen pulse,
    an uncaring touch would tear to pieces
    the soft fiber of its nest.

    Defenseless it hides
    in the soft warm dark
    safe and alone
    and dreams silently
    of the most gentle hands,
    hands that part the flesh with trembling care
    inching open the egg,
    hands that breathe, warm and moist
    attentive to the quietest heartbeats,
    slow, patient hands that touch
    with no shadow of demand,
    fingers that explore hinted textures
    radiating wonder and discovery,
    bridges delicate enough to join
    one time
    under the noise of aching lives
    the being of one
    with the presence of another.

    david steinberg


    TANGO'D LOVE

    You approach
    I stand erect
    anticipate extended hand
    guides me to the dance floor
    slick and satin black reflects
    sophisticated bodies glide
    forward backward heads cocked
    hip to hip we promenade
    to throbbing music swells swelling
    slow slow quick quick slow
    thighs whisper push me pull me
    surrender to the pounding beat
    accelerates my lower body
    undulates back and forth and back
    to back vibrations ripple
    skin on skin pulsating
    face to face your mouth slides
    onto into parted lips
    connect the movements quicker
    quicker now you lift me bend
    me holding hold me while
    the notes explode
    Crescendo

    j. b. bernstein


    With you I begin
    to find my body again.
    Senses come slowly alive,
    sphincters soften,
    turtle head rises
    inch by inch
    out of shell.

    With you I remember
    the most basic pattern,
    sense the warm pulse,
    move closer
    beat by beat.

    Pray for safety,
    for open arms.
    Test twice every reaching.
    Hold open the possibility
    so often impossible.
    Reach shaking fingertips
    out into the blackness
    hoping for you to be real,
    wanting to trust the touch of you
    and afraid,
    find finally
    fingers that are not mine
    also reaching
    also afraid
    also beginning to believe
    again.

    david steinberg


    SHE TEACHES HIM TO REACH OUT

    Give me your hand. Place it on my bare breast
    and take the chance of merging skin with skin.
    Your hand will hold the heat when you withdraw it,
    leaving a cold, invisible handprint,
    change for both of us. Who knows what comes next?
    Desire, like any investment, means risk,
    for decision is part of sensation
    and not the least pleasurable element.

    To choose is never a casual act,
    nor is love, nor is any handmade gift.
    I have unwrapped myself: If you hold back,
    your hand will remain empty, a high cost
    for no interest. With a single touch,
    we balance gain and loss — the feel of choice.

    martha elizabeth


    I HAVE TOUCHED

    your hair
    with the palms
    of my hands
    I have fingered
    the strands
    around and around

    your ears
    with my words
    I have tickled
    with laughter

    your neck
    with my tongue
    with my teeth
    with my lips
    I have kissed

    your thighs
    with my thighs
    pressing between
    ha! I have touched

    your feet
    your scars

    you said you bleed hard
    as I traced the soft flesh

    your hands
    with my hands
    your chest
    with my chest
    and even your heart yes!
    especially your heart

    my cheek to your breast
    as it rises and falls
    my breath in your hair
    the wind in the leaves

    oh yes these
    I have touched.

    patti tana


    DESIRE

    Taking off
    my clothes
    piece by piece,
    I turn to you,
    unwrap my body,
    feel you trace
    its contours
    with your fingers.
    I am accustomed
    to covering,
    what I now bare,
    watch you waken
    and wash me
    with your eyes.
    I feel the cloth
    of your skin,
    uncovered,
    inviting me in,
    feel your breath
    warm in my ear.
    I lean closer
    into you, feel
    your blood surge
    as you hold me
    and I echo
    the beat pulling
    on us as I wrap
    my legs around you
    and open as morning
    glories do
    when the sun
    warms them.

    connemara wadsworth


    FIRST NIGHT

    You came into my life
    with grace, giving me time
    to want all of you. That
    first night I couldn't say
    whether your passion or
    your gentleness moved me
    more, the way we took each
    other or how we talked
    till dawn, our brief sleep a
    ceremonial act
    in the strangeness of love.

    julia h. ackerman


    REMEMBERING

    Come here, closer, and fold
    into the dent of my chest,
    the crook of my shoulder.
    In the open window the
    candle betrays the wind's
    summer breath and the
    night settles down around us.

    Don't move, not now,
    let's be still, hold this moment
    before we open our bodies,
    and tell me, one more time,
    how you came to find me.

    stephen j. lyons

CHAPTER 2

passionate pleasures


    POEM FOR R.

    Above, it's spring, I think,
    and kisses bloom over every inch of skin,
    each curve and lobe
    our rosy lips moisten and shine.

    Your body is a new country,
    hidden landscape in cotton and chambray
    that I want to travel with every vehicle I own:
    hands, tongue, slide of silk.

    Below, in the heat
    and rush of wet, we're learning again
    how summer moves through the deep canyons,
    stirring grasses and honeying fruit.

    How I love your trembling fingers,
    given by the gentle ones
    who taught you to crave taste and touch.
    Under them, I am fully open.

    kim ly bui-burton


    SNOW CLIMBERS

    we touch fingertips
    climb feet against feet
    toward Sierra peaks
    where the air leaps
    catch our breath that flies away
    with rising birds
    and then follow the crevice
    where your flesh turns
    a long line inward
    clear to the small of your back
    I move carefully
    as a snow climber
    near red mountain flowers
    while you lead with hips
    certain and gentle as a hand

    steve wiesinger


    TRANSFORMATION

    The phoenix is rising:

    I see her wings open before me
    like a vast awning of light.
    I see her feathered petals
    begin their ceremony

    like tulips opening,
    each of their cups
    curved upon curve
    like the feathers of the great bird.

    As if tulips could fly.
    As if
    the great bird bloomed.

    I feel the curves of your fingers,
    the ten smooth petals of your hands
    as you cup me in front of you,

    your lifting chest
    curved into the curve of my backbone,
    your feathered groin
    brushing my two-pillowed rump,
    your arms, a circle.

    Your fingers circle
    like small fledglings,
    settle at the edge
    of the purple nested flower
    with its entrance of folds,

    the multi-curved
    overlapping, variegated transition ...

    Flesh risen, warm blood,
    our bodies
    and the bird suspended.

    adria klinger


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Passionate Hearts by Wendy Maltz. Copyright © 1996 Wendy Maltz. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Foreword   Barry McCarthy, Phd     xiii
Preface   Molly Peacock     1
Introduction     3
Tender Awakenings
The Trees that Change Our Lives   Gary Soto     25
Sharing   Alan Yount     27
Spring Storm   Johanna Rayl     29
The River   Patti Tana     30
Purple is the Color of the Longing   David Steinberg     32
Tango'd Love   J. B. Bernstein     34
"With You I Begin..."   David Steinberg     35
She Teaches Him to Reach Out   Martha Elizabeth     37
I Have Touched   Patti Tana     38
Desire   Connemara Wadsworth     40
First Night   Julia H. Ackerman     42
Remembering   Stephen J. Lyons     43
Passionate Pleasures
Poem for R. Kim Ly Bui-Burton     47
Snow Climbers   Steve Wiesinger     48
Transformation   Adria Klinger     49
"I Like My Body When It is With Your..."   E. E. Cummings     51
Late Afternoon   Molly Fisk     52
"Half-Sleeping..."   JaneHirshfield     53
Moonburn   Laura H. Kennedy     54
Morning Love Song   Marge Piercy     55
"Fortunately the Skins..."   Judy Grahn     56
Marvelous Beast   Patti Tana     58
Untitled I   Laura H. Kennedy     59
Lovers' Duet   Wendy Lee     60
Learning to Laugh   Allison Joseph     62
Aubade   Kate C. Richardson     65
"Good God, what a Night that Was..."   Petronius Arbiter     67
The Morning After   Johari M. Rashad     68
Love Poem   E. K. Caldwell     69
An Aubade   Timothy Steele     70
Alone in Your House   Kim Addonizio     72
Woman Bathing   Raymond Carver     74
Last Gods   Galway Kinnell     75
The Image Was of Me Flowing Through You   David Steinberg     77
Look at Me   Kim Ly Bui-Burton     78
My God, Why Are You Crying?   Molly Peacock     80
Midnight   Alison Kolodinsky     81
Sex has a Way   Wendy Lee      82
Desire   Kim Ports     83
All Day at Work   Deborah Abbott     84
Giving Thanks   Anne K. Smith     86
Wanting You   Terra Hunter     87
Privacy   Olga Broumas     89
Varied Dances
Implications of One Plus One   Marge Piercy     93
With Thanks to Eddie Shaw   Janet Lowe     95
Flight from the Marriage Bed   Lisa M. Carbone     96
Her Back to Me   Ed Stever     97
The Purr   Molly Peacock     98
Music   Natasha Josefowitz     99
Wet Bodies   Franz Douskey     101
In Bed This Morning   Teresa Blagg     103
Touching You Under Water   Stephen J. Lyons     104
"Drunk as Drunk on Turpentine..."   Pablo Neruda     105
Loving Along Western Rivers   Stephen J. Lyons     106
Complicated Shadows   Stephen Corey     108
The Music Like Water   Jane Hirshfield     109
My Love is Like a Lily   Kim Ly Bui-Burton     110
Lullaby   Molly Peacock     112
The Blossom   Thomas R. Smith     113
New Mother   Sharon Olds     115
Milkflowers   Robert Wrigley     116
Balance   James Harris     117
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps   Galway Kinnell     118
Anniversary   Gary Metras     119
Descant   Jane Mayes     120
Dog Days and Delta Nights   Franz Douskey     121
It Arrives Suddenly and Carries Us Off as Usual   Marge Piercy     123
The Thief   Dorianne Laux     125
Dolce   Kennette Wilkes     127
No   Patti Tana     129
"Slowly, Slowly..."   David Steinberg     130
Thunder Storm   George Keithley     131
Little Invitation in a Hushed Voice   Tess Gallagker     132
Deeper Intimacies
The Mystery   Sara Teasdale     135
To Drink   Jane Hirshfield     136
Red River   Molly Fisk     137
The Return   Molly Peacock     139
Keys   Barbara J. Garshman     140
A Need for Armor   Eileen Stratidakis      141
"He Kneels on the Rumpled Bed..."   Gail Morse     142
Waking up Twice   James Clark Anderson     143
The Surge   Molly Peacock     145
The Pleasure of Feeling Inside Your Body   Rochelle Lynn Holt     146
Sea Inside the Sea   Tess Gallagher     148
Palms   June Sylvester     150
Pleasure   Allison Joseph     152
Far In   Rachel Loden     154
Envoi: Waking After Snow   David Baker     155
Old Moon With Her Youth in Her Arms   Gale Swiontkowski     156
Dead Still   Andrei Voznesensky     157
You Touch Me   Andrena Zawinski     159
Manon Reassures Her Lover   Martha Elizabeth     161
You Bring Me Back   Patti Tana     162
Encounter   Rick Fournier     163
Bedside   Clive Matson     164
The Knowing   Sharon Olds     166
Graceful Transformations
Watering the New Lawn   Michael S. Smith     171
Married Love   Kuan Tao-Sheng     172
Praise   Anne K. Smith     173
Foreplay   Natasha Josefowitz     174
Orchestration   Jane Mayes     175
The very Floor of Our Existence   June Billings Safford     176
Your Body Glistens from the Bath   Charles Rossiter     178
Middle Age   Arlene L. Mandell     179
And This is So   Joseph H. Ball     180
Of Gravity & Angels   Jane Hirshfield     181
We Take the New Young Couple Out to Dinner   Carol Tufts     182
Springtime at Twilight   Michael S. Smith     184
Twin Flames   James Broughton     185
Our Love   Jo Nelson     186
Place Setting   Johari M. Rashad     187
Adagio at Twilight   John Carter     188
Nostalgia   Charles Rossiter     189
Decade   Amy Lowell     190
Return   C. P. Cavafy     191
Vanishing Point   Gary Metras     192
Acknowledgments     193
Permission Acknowledgments     197
About the Editor     205

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