Popular Posts

Monday, 8 October 2012

Porn: an ugly introduction to a world of beauty.

Brown paper parcel
damp from overnight dew. Left 
in our camp - but
by whom?

Beneath the brown,
some white sheets.
Folded.
Delicate as skin.
Old people's skin.
Tattooed in black.
Cats and aeroplanes
for the most part,
as I remember them.
Bone dry -
although the bone lies deeper
than you'd think
beneath the skin.

I strip the flesh away.
Reveal the bone -
a soldier's pay book.
British. Inside which:
six German bank notes.
I wrap the brown around them all --
but hide the white sheets
in our secret place.

You found it where?
the sergeant wants to know.
I tell him haltingly.
That's private land!
(I knew!)

Back at the camp
unfolding the white sheets
(Two of. I now discover
they are folded one
more time than I had thought.)
They reveal what's real -
something from the adult world,
ergo the real.
Two prints. Top one
(Both senses.)
Crucifixion --
of a female Christ. 

I'm far too early on in life,
religion, faith, and other things
to contemplate such heresy --
And far too innocent
to take on board
what Roman soldiers 
at the cross's foot
are doing  to her. 
My friend arrives
and helps me out.
Then I throw up.

The other sheet 
a man and dog....
some time it takes
(the two of us)
to work out what is going on.
Then when we do I retch --
quite violently.

And so
an ugly introduction
to what will later be
a world of beauty.

13 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

After such an introduction it is a wonder that the beauty could be found.
This was a confronting and beautifully written piece Dave. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

oh fug dude....there are some sick people out there man....porn can def be an ugly introduction to the world...i remember finding a mag at my uncles house...and having a similar response...

kaykuala said...

One often wonders how the fine line separates porn to art. Naked pics are porno but an artist's model is art. The era and the audience play a part. Prudish in Victorian times but liberal thinking now! Age factor too, taboo to the young but ok for adults.And as you've rightly said porn before but beauty later! Nice thoughts, Dave!

Hank

Daydreamertoo said...

Not a very nice introduction to porn was it. It sounds as if this was pretty hard core and not for the likes of youngsters to have seen. But as Brian says, there are some really sick people into all sorts of things out there, always have been and always will.
Very vivid memory and write, Dave.

manicddaily said...

Ugh. Very powerfully written - all the details so odd but vivid. My stomach turns over here on the other side of the Atlantic and years later.

Im looking at comments and I actually think the line between porn and art is not so difficult to discern. (I'm not saying that that is topic of the poem.)

But there's a kind of violence and degradation which isn't really sexual (and certainly I don't think artistic.)

Very powerful poem. k.

A Cuban In London said...

This was a very deftly written piece. Full of suspense and with a great ending (albeit not one that would make me think of the word "beauty"). Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Linda said...

Hi Dave, I echo The Elephant's Child's sentiments.

Cait O'Connor said...

Yes there is so much power in this poem.

Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
Yes, guess I was lucky. I had one or two nearlies, growing up, but came out of them unscathed - so far as I can tell!

Brian
Strangely enough, I never did encounter a mag - not even at school!

Hank
Well, naked per se is not porn, whether it is meant as art or not. It needs some other titillating ingredient, I think. I think that would apply with young or old.

Daydreamertoo
I guess it was pretty hard core, though even now I'm unsure where to draw the line between hard and soft. Back then I didn't even know the terms, of course, and thought it must be normal adult stuff. It was vivid then -- to say the least -- and has remained so.

manicddaily
I think you are correct in your analysis. The violence is not always sexual, has more to do with power, very often. Thinking back, I do believe there was a bit of both in the crucifixion - maybe more power, but I think the other picture was all sex.

A Cuban in London
Thanks for a helpful comment.

Linda
Thanks Linda. Good to know.

Cait
Much appreciate your comment. Thank you.



Mary said...

Late in commenting, Dave. Did not make rounds at all yesterday. This poem is very vivid. You experienced it as a child, and I can understand why the impression remains vivid yet today.Those were horrible images to find, would be even for many adults (myself included), but as a an innocent child just awful. What ever happened to them?

Ygraine said...

Like Kaykuala, I too wonder what seperates porn from art.
Perhaps the difference is in the eye of the beholder!
I guess it's just one of those things that you either love or hate...or perhaps can grow addicted to!!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

I echo Elephant's Child's comment too.

Tis indeed beautifully written.

Anna :o]

Dave King said...

Mary
Good to have your comment, late or otherwise - but 'tis I who am tardy.
When you go back that many years it does tend to be only the vivid incidents that survive in memory. As you say, understandable. Very often, the wonder is why such a trivial incident was so vivid - though that doesn't apply here, of course.

Ygraine
There is an overlap, of course, between art and porn. The main difference I would suggest lies in the intention of the artist and the degree to which his skill allowed him to realise that intention.

hyperCRYPTICal
Thanks again.