Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Damp little Oedipus by Helen Lehndorf

Damp little Oedipus

The bed is a boat, filling with, filling with—
we are trying to launch into sleep
limp, limp, lull and skull
hot, close night—95% humidity,
5% humility,
0% humanity

His naked six year old body in the lamp-
light taking up the bed. Breathing the air
holding my cheeks in his hands, using
my breast for a pillow, grinding grinding his knee
into my thigh. We tried so many times
to put him back to bed but he was so hot
he sprang back, he would spring up
and we keep finding him here,
right in the middle of us.

He is clam,
all clammy and cling-cling.
You peel him off the bed:

'Damp little Oedipus', you fold him in a sheet
and mail him back to bed, you wedge his door
shut with James Joyce's 'Ulysses'. He goes
cry,cry,cry but we select deafness.

We are finally drifting off and then I wake us up to say
'What are you thinking about?' and you say
'Computer hardware' and make a small
mock-orgasmic sound.


  1. Hi Jen,
    while reading the poem i was trying to think of original things to say but could only think as Emma says...I love this poem!