Lester Strong and David Waggoner: "XY on XY," 2008, page 4
TIGHT WHITE T-shirt.
The heavy bulk between his legs.
Rub a finger over a hard dick head, feel the pisshole; run a tongue over the head, taste the piss.
Self-love: dozing naked on a warm night, a finger inserted protectively up his own asshole.
Self-love, take 2: dozing naked on a warm night, a hand resting comfortably in the crack between his butt cheeks like a slice of ham folded into the hollow of a warm roll. Want a taste?
Down and dirty,
Down and dirty, naked.
I want to open you up.
Buck naked. Butt naked.
Butt plug. Stuffed. Stuffed with butt plug. Stiff with butt plug.
Gangbang. Bang. Gang. Gung. Gung-ho. Gung-hole. Bung-hole. Bang-hole. I want to bang your hole. I want to bang your hairy hole. Hairy hole. Winking hairy hole. Wanking hairy hole. Gangwank. Swank. Punk. Swank punk. Swank spunk.
I want to taste your spunk. I want to taste your hole. I want to taste your winking hairy hole. I want to taste your sperm-filled winking hairy hole.
Tip-a-canoe and suck an ass too. Bottoms up!
Hard. Hard working. Hard wanking. Hard spanking. Hard spunking. Spanking spunk. Spank the punk. Spanked punk. Punk’s spunk.
Hot, hazy day. Hot, hunky body. A young man ambles by. Dark hair cropped short; tight T-shirt plastered to his chest, nipples pressed hard against the white cloth. I glance away.
Early April, my freshman year in college. On an overnight bus out of Denver, a crowded bus, headed south. A middle-aged man my seat-mate—dark suit with tie, glasses, his hair greying and thin. I barely glance at him, and we don’t speak. Sitting upright all night, I doze, wake and doze, snatches of dream images parading before my closed eyes. Yet one image recurs: a hand on my thigh. Not my own and never seen. While it’s there I don’t open my eyes, and my own hands lie on a book covering my zippered crotch, which bulges with the hardened flesh inside. By early morning, we reach our destination. The hand is gone; the man and I never speak. As we step off the bus, I sneak a glance, but see only a black suited individual with thinning grey hair hurry away toward the street.
No. It won’t do. Too flabby. Try again.
Early April, an overnight bus, crowded, headed south out of Denver. My seat-mate a blond college jock in jeans and a sports-letter jacket. Vague, friendly smiles, no words. Shifting in our seats, settling down for the night. Doze, wake, doze, snatches of dream images parading before my closed eyes. A hand touches my thigh, and inside my zippered crotch the flesh hardens. I cross my legs, the hand moves away.
Better. Tight. Much tighter.
The deep gorge of a man’s back.
The great bulge of a man’s groin.
Why are male backs so sexy naked?
Why are their groins so sexy clothed?
A hard conundrum.
Imagine: Rounded butt, bursting crotch beneath those cutoffs. But what really entices lies more hidden still: short, matted brown hairs peeking from the crack, sweeping around a puckered hole, then wending their way through a narrow valley of soft flesh before entering a terrain of two boulders nested protectively inside their secret denim lair. Does it taste good? Just imagine.
Wearing each other’s dirty jocks,
rock hard cocks jutting forth.
Tight tanned asses
framed by clinging strips
of beige-grey cloth.
Half-moon clefts standing guard
over hidden treasures,
yet poised—oh, yes! patiently poised—
sweet, sweet invasion.
Lotus position à deux: We sit naked, face to face, one set of legs straddling the other, hard cocks rammed together. Sliding fingers up each other’s ass, we lock tongues in a deep kiss. Hard dudes working, hard at rest.
I said: tight.
Cock strapped to cock
Hairy balls meshed
Hey, guy. Get that cock in my face, get those balls on my face, get that hairy asshole butt on my face. Cum all over it—slobber all over it. That’s right, slobber your spunk all over my face and rub it in. Make my face want to cream back.
Get your butt over here and sit on my face. That’s right—sit down and rub those hairy globes all over my mug. Let me smell that ass. Let me taste it. Let your ass and my face do some down and dirty dancing. Let us commit some serious intimacies together.
Hard dick pressed against hard dick: a tasty sandwich that—mirabile dictu—produces a tasty milkshake. Second helpings, anyone?
Sit on it;
Squat on it.
Just let it slip in.
Feels good, doesn’t it?
Good and tight,
tight and full.
Full like it’s meant to feel
when you open yourself to the wider experience.
The Other Side
I wouldn’t say it’s you
in my mind’s eye
as I jerk off thinking
of a young jock whose lips
brush the tip of my cock,
whose tongue and mouth
apply just the right pressure
to command the blood to
flood my loins and the
jizz to spurt in ecstatic abandon,
leaving my fingers sticky with its white foam.
But it’s you, nevertheless,
you and your lithe body I caress
waking and dropping off to sleep,
you and your silky voice I hear
purring at me late night over the phone,
you and the hardened nipples of your chest I feel
caressing my own nipples into hardness, too,
you and your lusty cock I see
spearing the air in a joyous
naked dance free of all
those images shimmer within
the jock-filled vision in my mind’s eye,
making my cock at last
burst forth into its cum-spattering jig
in the wild affirmation of
a longed-for union with you
think of me not as a mere man
but as a Native Son seeking his Native Son mate
hard cock crossed with hard cock
lips locked with lips and tongue with tongue
in a fierce kiss
Not for me the simple desire
for procreated child home and hearth
but instead the wild joy of seed on seed
bringing forth the combusted fire of unimagined universes
Dialogue: The Pornographic Imagination
David Waggoner: Why did you give “Diary” the title you did? The entries have no dates.
Lester Stromg: I’ve done some thinking about this. There are no dates, no days of the week mentioned, nothing. Instead it’s divided into sections by theme. But the piece was born with the title “Diary,” and no matter how I’ve tried to change it, that title has always seemed the most appropriate. What I’ve decided is that it’s a diary because as time has gone by new entries have occurred to me that I’ve added to the sections. It was designed so I could add new entries—
DW: —like a log book—
LS: Exactly. It’s a log book of the pornographic imagination, or at least of one gay man’s pornographic imagination.
DW: I understand the perplexity and embarrassment about sex itself you’re trying to convey in the section titled “Confusion.” But are you also talking about confusion on another level? Are you suggesting sexual identity in our society can be confusing even for heterosexual men?
LS: “Confusion” came out of very personal feelings that my own sexual responses weren’t exactly mainstream. Take the piece about “the deep gorge of a man’s back, the great bulge of a man’s groin.” I find the naked male back extremely sexual. I love to see the way it curves into the spine and the way the spine and back flow into the buttocks. I also find clothed male crotches—clothed in the right way, anyway—a lot more erotic than naked crotches. I don’t understand why I feel this way, and I’ve never felt those preferences are mainstream, even gay mainstream.
By a process of expansion, I guess you could say I’m suggesting something more general—that a lot of people in our society feel confused about their sexual impulses and needs, which means a lot of people don’t feel mainstream. I think maybe one reason we have all these shrill voices being so narrow-minded about sexuality is because of that confusion, which can be frightening. Perhaps “frightening” isn’t the right word. Maybe “uneasy” is closer to the mark—an uneasiness that produces so much discomfort people can’t stand it anymore and just want something very clear and simple. It’s a big problem in our society, and certainly in terms of male-male bonding it can be a big problem for many men.
DW: It seems to me that “Diary” underscores a very important point: Male sexuality in our culture is so dominated by the purely sexual aspect that we overlook many emotional shadings which are part of sexual intimacy.
LS: I agree. But I’d phrase it differently. I think that for the men I’ve known—and I can’t imagine a man not feeling this way—sexuality involves a pornographic imagination. This assertion may seem shocking. Maybe it’s not shocking to you or me, but I think it certainly would be shocking to the Jerry Falwells or Pat Robertsons of the world, or to people who want to pretend that somehow while they’re having sex they aren’t having any sexual thoughts. And sexual thoughts are by definition pornographic. I think that whenever men are having sex with their partners—of whatever gender—they’re awash in sexual images that are turning them on. And those thoughts constitute the pornographic imagination. You just don’t have orgasms without that kind of sensual and sexual imagery flooding your system and taking it over. At the human level, sex involves sexual images and thoughts, many of which violate social norms in some way.
DW: Do you think gay male sexuality is different than straight male sexuality?
LS: It’s certainly different in its imagery. I can’t imagine a straight man getting turned on by the sexual imagery in “Diary.”
DW: In the section titled “Desire,” you use the words “spermy,” “spunky,” “scummy,” and “skuzzy” in a sexually suggestive way. Gay men certainly relate to their own and other’s men’s genitals in a sexual way. They even relate to semen sexually—its quantity, texture, taste. Do you think straight men relate to their genitals and to sperm in a sexual way?
LS: I don’t think straight men relate to their bodies in general very well, much less to their genitals or to sperm. Genitals are for fucking women, and sperm is for making babies. Period. I also think they tend to deflect their feelings about their bodies into sports, roughhousing, even competitive feelings in their work lives. “Diary,” on the other hand, is meant to capture the suggestive images and fantasies about male bodies that turn me on sexually. I don’t mean I could actually get off on them, but for whatever reason, I get sexual vibes from them.
I think the world would be better off if straight men could learn to love their own bodies more and to appreciate the beauty of the male body in general. This wouldn’t have to involve sex—many women can appreciate female bodies without feeling any desire to have sex with the women whose bodies they find beautiful. My impression is that most straight men can appreciate male bodies only in terms of competitive sports. That’s very sad.
DW: There’s a poetic rhythm to much of “Diary” as you read it to yourself. Were you consciously using meter when you wrote it?
LS: Some of it was deliberate. Many parts of the first section, “Images; Phrases,” were written as plays on words. I wasn’t aiming so much at rhythm as at words transforming themselves associatively into a sexual context, a very gay sexual context. In parts of other sections I had poetry distinctly in mind, haiku in one instance, blank verse in others. Rhythm and meter were part of the conception of the piece.
DW: Why did you introduce this poetic element?
LS: In “Process + Elimination,” why does the art dealer Monica see artistic merit in a photo of “what had simply been a badly lit blow-job”? I think there’s a transformation going on in both stories—from porno to high art in yours, and from sexed-up, sometimes skuzzy, verbal word-plays to poetry in mine. Both are grounded in the pornographic imagination, and yet both appeal to the aesthetic imagination as well.
DW: So you see that as a parallel between the two pieces?
LS: Yes. It’s interesting. They were written quite separately—neither of us knew about the other’s story until we were discussing what pieces to include in this book. I’d like to know why each of us felt the impulse to move raw sexuality into the realm of high art. I don’t have the answer, unless it’s the Freudian idea that at bottom all art is related to the erotic. But I suspect if we lived in a society where sexual impulses were accepted as the life-enhancing forces they are, we wouldn’t feel the need to have this discussion.
Copyright © 2008 Lester Strong and David Waggoner. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the authors.