Poems by James Heller Levinson





I am making love to my Ex in a usual manner.  You ask why I am making love to my Ex not why I am functioning routinely.

She appears delighted.  Not rapturous but delighted.

Is she feigning delight while experiencing rapture?

Is she experiencing disgust while feigning delight?

The playing field of love is complex.  The torpedoes of gain both demonstrative & furtive.  The strategies often clear and unspoken, often spoken & unclear.

She is on all fours and I am taking her from behind.  My rhythms are steady and unimaginative.  This steady motion, these penetrative incursions, could inspire reflections, could incite the fingers of memory to play across the keyboard of personal history, could raise questions, but instead, ... this rocking.


Cooking smells accumulate before I reach the door.  I remove my jacket and sit in the easy chair.  Her smile leads from the kitchen, she hands me a drink.  Then one for herself.

How’d it go with your Ex, she asks, smiling.


She begins with her troubles at the office.

After dinner, we remove to the bedroom and turn on television.  Our bodies touch.

During Breaking News I take her from the front.





            Older women were taboo until an excess of alcohol produced a succumber resulting in new discoveries.  The playing field enlarged.  Miraculously.

            To think that genital satisfaction could affect aesthetic predisposition was a novelty.  Wrinkles, creases, sags, -- all the bugaboos that adept marketers prey upon – soon served as erotic devices.  Sensuous triggers.

            To extend chronology was to sprout a wealth of choices, of opportunities.

            Her assailment had been thorough.

            I was a convert.


            I felt newly alive.






            We wake in spoon, the early sunlight treats her hair.  I take her from behind.  I want to leave but don’t.  I lie quiet.  Attempt to judge a decent amount of recovery time.  “Decency” is becoming more important to me.  Only because it seems to serve time better.  Becomes a time-lubricant, if you will.  I twin it with maturation.  Not that decency emanates from maturation.  It’s just that the days progress more facilely if you can tell yourself you are improving.   I zip my jeans and kiss her on both cheeks before I go.



See of Joy


sonic whale tongue daffodil lark

the predisposition to alluring

is most unkempt at dawn

the darkest lark is just before


god do I love Coltrane!

is so much excitement the methane underlining the seabeds gaseous riots dismiss early foreclosures as unseasonable

specialized mouthpieces and priority reeds surface as enflamed palominos the stagehands chary

with democracy celebrating milestone birthdays biking through Holland gestures mellifluous                  

Adolphe Sax rouses virulent a

Schenectady of sound

in tracking an animal we deal with absence

an inclination birthday celebrations seek to arrest

saddling-up Bean’s sound wins dressage contests    

why is duration linked to corrosive

I’ll take it up with corporate

see the golden saxophones skipping the sea

the gospel

of the

great pulmonary



Copyright © 2008 James Heller Levinson

James Heller Levinson lives in New York City, New York. He is the author of Bad Boys Poems
(Bombshelter Press), Pulled Apart (Third Lung Press), Because You Wanted a Wedding Ring (Implodal Press), and Alameda Street (Implodal Press). He is also the author of a novel, Another Line (Watermark Press). His work has also appeared in Sulfur, Hunger, and Monkey Puzzle, among others.


Web Site: http://www.hellerlevinson.com

 James Heller Levinson


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