“I feel like someone just gave me some very good news!”
The online literary journal Wag’s Revue launched in 2009 with a manifesto promising to “marry…the editorial rigors of print to the freedoms of the Internet.” Over the next six and a half years, Wag’s published innovative poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews. Each issue also showcased grotesque, funny, and disturbing contemporary artwork, such as Dimitri Tsykalov’s portraits made of meat and Ana Teresa Barboza Gubo’s strangely romantic painting of a lion French-kissing (or perhaps preparing to eat) a woman.
I was honored to learn that a selection of my poems won their 2015 writing contest, now appearing in Issue #20 (alas, their last). Some of my literary heroes who’ve been published in Wag’s include Mallory Ortberg, George Saunders, Saeed Jones, Sarah Schulman, and Alison Bechdel. Browse the archives for hours of radical enlightenment and literary laughs. The editors’ list of faves is a good place to begin. My feature starts here.
The check is in the mail, but I’ve already spent the prize money. On what, you ask? Read on.
What I’d Do With Mine
Breasts are for public feeding,
lose your dirty mind.
So says La Leche League and town law agrees.
Well, I say the penis too is not always for sex.
My penis came in a box.
It was plastic like a president.
I wore it like a secret on national television.
This is not true yet.
So far my penis, like a 1975 Barbie Townhouse on eBay,
only furnishes my dreams.
Somewhere my future penis is riding up and down the elevator
of the cardboard house my mother threw away
because it was unfeminist and too big for the hallway.
It is peeping out the little heart-shaped window.
And it is exactly 11 1/2 inches tall in high heels.
I promise that my penis will fit into our daily existence.
It will not ring the doorbell of your vanilla manpussy.
I wear loose pants anyway.
My penis will not show up at family weddings.
The bride can keep the spotlight on her baby bump,
the little penis growing inside her.
But when my penis arrives, in its shiny pink wrapper,
happier than a tea party in a Christmas catalog,
I might walk down our street scratching an itch I don’t have.
Used to be, I had to go shopping for that.
I might pull it out like knitting during the sermon.
It’ll make me less threatening to the Reverend Mother,
who can sing her welcome solo
uninterrupted by other trebles.
I might use my penis as a mouthpiece
for all my novel characters.
How do children feel? Why do women lie?
It’s like a thumb drive with Wikipedia on it.
Men and women agree,
my penis is a likeable protagonist.
At night I’ll sleep with you, of course,
and my penis, after a useful day
of driving cars and explaining baseball statistics,
will sleep on my desk, in the warm spot the laptop makes,
lazing in the afterglow of news.
While you dream of nipples, and I, of deep-fried shrimp,
my penis may dream of returning to the woods
where the stag leaps beneath a horned moon.
What a likable poem! It sidles seductively between overt sex and its attendant fantasies and a wistful yearning for acceptance of our innner wildings, a playful dalliance. Congratulation to Jendi.