Poetry: Selections from Jack D. Harvey

Pamela Perverse

They told me Pamela Perverse
at the drop of a hat
renders not her sacred garden's
shrouded gate
to man, woman or beast;
it remains closed,
even in the heat of youth,
the spring of maidenhood,
the years of ripening beauty,
even overheated by the creatures
battling around her backyard
her hymen preserved intemerate.

They told me she was turned inward,
always cold and hard as Arctic ice,
always on the lookout for
what would feed her inner craving,
what fed the cloven-hooved,
the riotous half-beasts
celebrating on the Brocken.

But men's sons and daughters
are not wont to be
so steadfast in their inner needs,
walking the narrow path
where pain meets pleasure;
this age not wicked enough
to produce unfaltering devotion
to the cause of self,
to punishment of the other;

nevertheless, there are exceptions.

Pamela, painted and polished
to the nines, dealing out in detail
pain and pleasure;
spiked collars, knouts,
whips, plugs, rubber whatnots 
drawn from her arsenal, her armoire;
truly a wonder in action 
she's her own Alice in Restraintland.

Still, it's hard to be hard, continually
inflict punishment and discipline
manibus plenis, but she must,
no ease or space to put aside
her driving desires,
her many and varied faces
in their unhallowed beauty;
terrifying Medusa, turning
herself to stone
as well as the rest of us.

Titillated, I watch in the wings,
waiting for Pamela to change her tune,
come to roost in some safe place,
turn away from the everyday world,
from her landscape of grotesqueries
and finally arrive at a placid Pamisland;
for torturer and tortured alike
a new start, a destination
stranger and more real than Paradise.

But she never will.
Never turn from her course.
Such power she has,
such power she loves,
to make bright and sublime
gravitate to the dark, confine
the affirming life 
within whatever corset 
she desires to impose,
paying the price herself by
falling away, diminishing
her harried body;

a mite beaten down, but
still enough and more than
to house what's left
and there's plenty plenty
of that Pam Pam Pam
of deviant vigorous life
to frighten the world to silence.    

Never the Twain

While evening fell,
slow and sober,
dulling down to dusk
and the streetlights finally 
showing up in the gloaming,
a petty galaxy of bright sodium 
to lead the way,
my gaze passed to the pretty girl
at the kiosk- was she safe to engage?
Was her truculent liege
waiting in the wings,
ready to kick me to oblivion?

Uneasy, pondering these possibilities
or defilements, I provided 
a new landscape, a scenario
based on incipient lust and fear,
isolating other fictions 
of place and time, 
making a new space 
from the overwrought flowering 
of a restless mind.

Suddenly, naked as Adam
there I was, someplace
out of this world,
under a cloudless sky.
The suns, brighter than
that earlier sun shining
on Jericho's unfallen walls,
blasted across a great green desert
glittering with heat and mica;
I saw I was not alone,
a naked blonde came closer
not at all beckoned,
but moved with hostile diligence
toward trembling waiting me.

Stuck in place like a boundary post
no lustful thoughts crossed my mind,
not one quiver at the nozzle's end;
she looked bigger than life,
a rushing Amazon,
dangerous with bad intent.

Strong sans grace,
resolute sans dignity
she moved closer,
her tremulous breasts disturbing
the beautiful still curves
of the lone and lifeless desert.

Rooted in every way I stood.
Closer she came.
Should I hold out my arms?
Prepare for combat or love?
Can strangers thus met be friends?

One more stride
and she stood in front of me;
I could smell her sweat,
feel her breath on my cheek,
her warm hand holding mine.

Before the first kiss, 
engagement before penetration,
quick as a wink
sand and scene melted away,
leaving a chasm
deeper and deeper
than any crater on the moon,
meteor hole gouged in earth;
the two of us,
Amazon and Adam,
falling together,
in wild despair;
in the dying alien sky
a void revealed,
a collapse of substance
marking the end, the finale 
of my improvised reality.

The two of us,
Amazon and Adam,
disappeared forever,
soap bubbles blown by children.

My willful stretch of fantasy
torn away like a tent in a storm,
I returned to my certain earthly existence,
right back to the kiosk;
the girl just leaving
gave me a passing glance,
already a million miles away;
no thoughts of horizontal persuasion
in our humdrum human equation;
one brief moment 
stripped away lecherous meditations;
in the mirror of my lonely eyes,
corrupting her as Narcissus
corrupted the pond, the reflection
sorrow of sorrows!
not of her, but of me.

What History Teaches

Follow a variety of interests;
take pleasure
in what history presents.
Actual government?
No, but Rome in a ring
with the other beasts.

Xerxes returning
commends our own times,
commends the fierce grace
of automobiles. 

Time and chance afford 
us only one opportunity.
Although the ages
do not alter us, 
this is not the fault
of old men.

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in The Comstock Review, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. He has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies. He has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.