Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: The Fierce Economy of Eros

In creative writing classes I often have students do an exercise where they write the most down and dirty sex scene they can. I tell them that I won’t look at or listen to the result.

I do this not because they aren’t mature enough to share the results in class but because some hysterical reactive administrator will get wind of it and accuse me of perverse motives. The exercise teaches focus, that is, complete absorption in a single subject without need for digression or extraneous material.

I then ask them to consider how this absorption and focus might be applied to other subjects than sex. What if we wrote about anger with the same focus? About age, about death, about any other subject? The fierce economy of Eros teaches much.


The surf lowers its shoulder into rock.
Whump, it says, and then the rainbowed spume
is brass and cymbal above the bass.
Gull cry trumpets over shattered shellfish
and the white tatters of them down, down
and scooping up the pink wrigglings.
Here is where I press my thigh
between your legs, the backflow
then the new wave racing and once again, Whump,
and the high spray of diamonds lingering against sun.


copyright 2014 by Doug Anderson.

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