Ode to the Curved Penis

I have now encountered one for every compass point.
Gentle lilt to the bud of the too-laden stem.
Banana, parenthesis, near new moon, scythe
That cleaves other flesh. I have formed my hand
To the unexpected bend, changed the angle of my head,
Lifted and dropped the arc to measure trajectory.
I have loved how it loves just one thigh, leaving the other
Cold and alone, or seen it favor neither, rearing away
From both in disgust, or nestling down between them,
Young child in the parental bed. I have felt its pressure
On each wall, some weaker. I’ve watched it swing,
Grow, hide its softness behind cotton I wanted
To pull down and away. O gentle contour, only more
Than you have I loved the men you’ve sprung from.




Click here to read Ellie Snyder on the origin of the poem.

Image: photo by Deon Black on Unsplash , licensed under CC 2.0.

Ellie Snyder:

This poem came about when I encountered my first down-curving penis, having already brushed up (so to speak) against right-, left-leaning and uppercut ones. I was also on a Sharon Olds kick (kind of always am), had just read her collection Odes and was lingeringly fascinated by the visceral if reverent way she writes about human anatomy and sex. To me the work about these things that succeeds is never too obvious nor too couched in innuendo, nor is it ever just about sex. I wanted to treat what is so often a literal measuring stick of virility playfully, think about it in terms of what it resembles, characterize it as the child so many men fail to nurture in themselves. Still, the poem is literal. It’s about my experience with the snowflake-unique male sex and ultimately an ode not to the curved penis itself but to a certain few men in my life who’ve possessed them.

Ellie Snyder
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