To a King of Sorts by Joie Cook

All of the women
Who have opened your heart with their wounds
Call to you now
From the last row of the dark cinema

Kelly with her enormous breasts
Chelsea with her thin, swaggering hips
Marlena, the poet, the one you loved best,
Who will suffer the most when you die

All the women of your magnum opus
Some call pornography
You imagine them breathing softly
As you sleep with your wife
Hear their sighs
As you retire into middle age – a sexless marriage
A mortgage and children you never see

They were so beautiful then
Your naked dreamers
Forever preserved
The women, who return again and again
A gift to the aching now of your fevered past:

Celluloid flesh reminders of your lost empire.

Joie Cook
San Francisco

9 Responses to “To a King of Sorts by Joie Cook”

  1. Goddamn I can relate to this, except for the marriage part…I’m still trying to relive all those past/lost loves, still trying to track them down in hopes of getting one, last, hurrah.

  2. nice. Can’t wait to see you at the MT Bookstore reading, it lights me up to see you and your work everywhere. Joie is a rock n roll goddess

  3. Nice-Love the second stanza…b

  4. Your lines slay me, chick. Love ya.

  5. Joie, your incite into the human soul is like a piercing gaze revealing relationships. Memories of a first love flood back like tides.

  6. Dave Picariello Says:

    You rock–your insight is piercing!

  7. Joie,

    I can see why you’re so well-loved.

    I wonder who the mystery man is in this poem?

  8. William Taylor Jr. Says:

    This one I like very, very much.

  9. Lovely. Joie!

    Cannot wait to meet you in San Francisco later this month!!!

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