Everything will be permitted, nothing will be desired

by Laura Ring
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, March 2010
Judged by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar


We abandoned our bodies not long
after the millennium. Even the memory
was hateful at first — wet, crabwise things,

animalcules in a giant jizz wad rushing to fertilize
the Great Mother. Absurd lips, genitals,
rounded skulls like the dumb heads of sperm.

Reproduction a horror of chance, like reaching
blind into a grab bag for gametes.
We had cures for everything: cancer,

heart disease. We lived too long, witnessed
the recalculation of risk. Watched the ordinary —
cotton, moonlight — turn deadly. There were
so many ways to die.
In time

our absent bodies grew benign,
the way vanished things become lovable.
Laudanum. Castor oil. We shake

our heads at the big-head bipeds
that wander our history like hi-wheels
and wagons; tote their leaks
and swellings in the hapless past.

A mere century makes of our bodies
a Golden Age. We doubt the measure
of our bloodless geometry, press
the old timers for stories of flesh:

They say our fingers made trails in the water;
and the pizza cheese burned our mouths. They say
sometimes our bare legs would stick to the back seats of cars.


This poem’s finely drawn map of the "bloodless" future makes us especially appreciate the last three lines that bring us back to the present, back into our living bodies: fingers, mouths, legs. --Dorianne Laux & Joseph Millar

  • August 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Seasoned with Love
      by Eira Needham
      PenShells

      Second Place

      Ill-used
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      A Note for Perilous Times
      by Fred Longworth
      PenShells

      Honorable Mention

      Whatever Glorious Else It Is
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • July 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Corton Beach Holiday Camp, Great Yarmouth
      by Marilyn Francis
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      Still Waltzing with You
      by Allen M. Weber
      Desert Moon Review

      Third Place

      The Aging Magician Speaks to His Reflection
      by Laurie Byro
      Desert Moon Review

      Honorable Mention

      Seeking Duende
      by Richard Chase
      Desert Moon Review

      Honorable Mention

      Dr. Seuss’s Guide to Manly Health and Training
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      Resonance
      by Sylvia Evelyn
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      celebrating the 45th anniversary of Father’s Day
      by Michael Virga
      The Writer's Block