Saturday, December 2, 2006

"I want a man whose body makes mine hum"

I'm in the mood to share my favorite villanelle by Beth Gylys, who I credit as being my poetry mentor. I think I'll always her owe a great deal of credit and thanks because I witnessed a huge change for the better in my poetry after working with her, which has resulted in my joke that my work can be described as BBG and ABG-- before Beth Gylys and After Beth Gylys.

I think my first interaction with Dr. G was on my 21st birthday at a Georgia Poetry Society meeting. At the time I was by far the youngest member of the society; the average member's age was 55. (I have no qualms about people older than me; however, a stereotype of 50+ group is they don't embrace change, and this was true of the society members at that point because the society was not making any progressive moves nor desiring to engage people of my age group in an effort to carry on the tradition of the society.) The first adjective that comes to mind when thinking of the society members of that time is CONSERVATIVE. (I'll never forget when Cecilia Woloch, read at a meeting and mentioned an incident where she stumbled off a stage at the Carter Center: a member promptly commented the fall probably happened since Carter is a Democrat--- yes, point proven.)

Dr. G first won me over when she read a sexual poem, a few actually, to this conservative group of poets. After she spoke the word 'come' I glanced around the room to see if anyone stopped breathing--- much to my amazement breathing continued as normal and no pacemakers stopped. The plan I had mapped out in my mind to get Dr. G out of the room without being stoned never had to become a reality. After hearing the rest of Dr. G's poetry I knew I had to take a class from her; since I was a student where she taught I knew that would be a simple task. Like I said above, working with her was probably the best thing I could have done to enhance my work. Dr. G works passionately with students to help them find their voice and strengthen that voice; I'm thankful for that-- I've heard horror stories of professors teaching creative writing who try to make students write the way they want them to write. Anyway, I could rave all day about Dr. G, but I won't.... let her work speak for itself......


I want a man whose body makes mine hum,
who when he looks my way the sky goes hazy.
Don't call me if you're boring, crude or dumb.

Discussions about sports teams turn me numb,
and men who can't stop talking drive me crazy.
I want a man whose body makes mine hum,

who sweetly cries my name out as we come,
a sensual man, whose touch makes me feel dizzy.
Don't call me if you're angry, cheap or dumb.

I like full lips, bare skin, long winter nights, some
good red wine. I like to spend a lazy
morning with a man who makes me hum.

I like to wade in fountains just for fun,
to decorate my hairband with a daisy,
skinny-dipping, hopscotch, playing dumb.

I love good jazz, dancing till I'm numb,
deep snow, strong wind, a girl dressed up in paisley.
I want a man whose body makes mine hum.
Don't call me if you're rigid, mean or dumb.
~ Beth Gylys


Lisa Allender said...

Hi Dustin, Lisa Allender here...I adore Beth's work.Her book,"Bodies That Hum" is always out and available for me to read, and re-read!
I did not realize you met at that meeting...
Your BBG, and ABG acronyms, are hilarious!

Dustin Brookshire said...

think BODIES is my favorite out of Beth's books and chapbooks.

I try to be humorous when allowed.

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