by Jed Myers
Born in Philadelphia in 1952, Jed Myers studied poetry at Tufts University and served as editor for Tufts Literary Magazine. He's pursued a career in psychiatry, but has remained deeply involved in the work of poetry. In 1982, he moved to Seattle, where he's lived with his wife and three children.
His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Atlanta Review, Compass Rose, descant, The Distillery, Eclipse, Fugue, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Minnetonka Review, Nimrod International Journal, Pisgah Review, Poem, Prairie Schooner, Quiddity, Spoon River Poetry Review, Westview, Willow Review, and others. He has been a guest editor for Chrysanthemum and served editorially for Drash. Several of his poems will appear in a forthcoming anthology of Northwest poets' work to be published by Rose Alley Press.
Among other notices, he received first prize for a sonnet in the Writer's Haven 2004 Poetry Contest, won third prize in the 2005 Bart Baxter Poetry in Performance competition at Seattle's Richard Hugo House, was one of eight finalists in the 2008 Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest, and earned an Artistic Merit citation from Writers' Circle in 2008.
There's the pleasure of the first kiss, the power of
two human tongues just touching, in the silence
before tongues. There's the pleasure of long-
familiar lips meeting again, the intimate
refrain like a comfort of bowed strings set in
the frame of the wind. Time
allows us such pleasures. Remember
our own early rounds, our return to nakedness,
each of us as if newborn in welcoming
arms? Yes, and the pleasure
we rediscover, that innocent sin,
staring, prodding, swell and glisten,
lost like a pearl in the sand since the last
secret spell—was it under the basement stairs,
in that strip of woods at the edge of the golf course,
or against the brick wall behind the honeysuckle?
Well, I've learned it was different for you.
I've listened to what you recall—
the blind use, the insistence,
the original terrible thrill.
Your taking it with you to your friends'
houses. Divided from yourself you
carry the overwhelm like a red lantern
in and out of your dreams—you must hope
there will be a pleasure, with someone who takes you
all the way home by that light, who knows
that place, in the lost hills of the nameless
sensations that turned you inside out,
who will hold you in that tremulous moment
before your shallow breath got taken
deep, after which your pleasure,
the severed daemon of your first nature,
disappeared like a stolen shimmer. Someone
to be there, hold you gently open
as the soft iridescent seed of your desire
returns, nestles again in its pod,
the lantern is set at your feet to dwindle,
and for the first night in a thousand years,
the darkness is quiet and sweet.
What do you think? Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.