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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Ann Pedone

there are these

times when

the world insists on

making meaning


turn this

into an


my hand

down here

between your



with moss (I can almost

feel your

milky roots)

watch my fingers

as I touch you there is


can you

see it

watch me


on my knees this is the



out of your hips can you

see it this is

what gives (milk)

to all of my hungers


stop me let me

make you flesh


blossom let me

take you down into me

like the rain


Ann Pedone graduated from Bard College in 1992 with a degree in English Literature. She has a Master’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley. Ann’s work has recently appeared in, Neologism, Ornery Quarterly, Unbroken Journal, Alba, Riggwelter, Main Street Rag, Poet head, among others. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"In my work I've always been interested in issues revolving around the relationship between the body and language; language and desire; and sexuality in general. There are many wonderful poems that have been written about lesbian sex--I'm thinking about the incredible work of Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich. While at the same time, there are obviously shelves of poetry that have been written about heterosexual sex--but it is almost always from the male perspective. If you think about the work of e.e. cummings, which, in many ways, is very indicative of modern, and certainly older poetry's take on sex, what you almost always are presented with is a man who is acting upon a woman. You are meant to, in a sense, enjoy the woman vicariously through the male writer. I suppose in this piece I wanted to turn the tables and make the man silent, as women usually are in the work of someone like cuumings, and instead give voice to the woman.

In this piece, I describe the woman's exploration of the man's body in a very direct, and yet, I think, also, in-direct way. The goal here was not to be pornographic or gratuitous in my depiction of a sexual act, but to allow the reader to follow the woman as she travels over and delights in the man's body--while at the same time she is asking him to watch her as she touches him. I find this double perspective, what feels like a kind of "double vision", very interesting from a literary point of view, while at the same time I think it is very erotic.

What I wanted to depict in this last section is that even though she is on her knees, she doesn't feel diminished or disempowered in any way. Rather, her giving pleasure to the man empowers her. I was thinking here about the work of the Roman poet Catullus. In Catullus's poems depicting same-sex fellatio, there are many instances in which we are made to feel as though it is the man "on his knees" who actually holds the power in the sex act--and not the converse--which is, I think, what most people would assume—and are conditioned to believe as a result of the way that heterosexual fellatio is depicted in popular culture--especially in pornography. Here, rather, the speaker is, in a sense, enlivened and enriched by the experience--even though she is playing, what I think, most people would consider, a subordinate role.

My hope here was that the reader would come away from the piece with an appreciation for the expression of female sexuality in a way that is not simply meant to arouse or titillate, but instead helps us to appreciate the capacity that women have to experience sexual pleasure in a way that is unashamed, unabashed, and possibly even somewhat bold."


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