Erotic Fridays: The Return of Adrienne Rich

I’m back!  We are starting off July with some more steamy work from Adrienne Rich, who I featured back in January.  You remember her? Well, here’s a brief refresher.


Adrienne Cecile Rich May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) was an American poet, essayist, and radical feminist. She was called “one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century”, and was credited with bringing “the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse.”

Her first collection of poetry, A Change of World, was selected by renowned poet W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Auden went on to write the introduction to the published volume. She famously declined the National Medal of Arts, protesting the vote by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

This poem is called Orion. Instead of the excerpt, I wanted to the whole thing. I’m greedy that way.  Steamy….  As usual, please enjoy.

F.M. Laster

“I never loved another person the way I loved myself”. – Mae West



Far back when I went zig-zagging

through tamarack pastures

you were my genius, you

my cast-iron Viking, my helmed

lion-heart king in prison.

Years later now you’re young

my fierce half-brother, staring

down from that simplified west

your breast open, your belt dragged down

by an oldfashioned thing, a sword

the last bravado you won’t give over

though it weighs you sown as you stride

and the stars in it are dim

and maybe have stopped burning.

But you burn, and I know it;

as I throw back my head to take you in

an old transfusion happens again:

divine astronomy is nothing to it.

Indoors I bruise and blunder,

break faith, leave ill enough

alone, a dead child born in the dark.

Night cracks up over the chimney,

pieces of time, frozen geodes

come showering down in the grate.

A man reaches behind my eyes

and finds them empty

a woman’s head turns away

from my head in the mirror

children are dying my death

and eating crumbs of my life.

Pity is not your forte.

Calmly you ache up there

pinned aloft in your crow’s nest,

my speechless pirate!

You take it all for granted

and when I look you back

it’s with a starlike eye

shooting its cold and egotistical spear

where it can so least damage.

Breathe deep! No hurt, no pardon

out here in the cold with you

you with your back to the wall.


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