Battling Lawrence

Another early poem, circa 1991. This was originally titled “Sleeping with D. H. Lawrence.” I’m not sure why I changed the title.

Battling Lawrence

I dream at night of sleeping with D. H. Lawrence.
Unafraid of the movement
I sway under him, feeling the motions
Of a hundred frustrating imagined women.
In their vagueness they are too much like me
And I am lost in the whirl, waiting for some
Distinction to surface until eventually,
Faceless, I curl around myself
Tight and fetal,
His warmth and person comforting
And slippery seeping out of me.

I gain nothing from the experience
Beyond waking with a strange femaleness
Lingering, pushing up from inside.
It is seeking a place, a connection
Lawrence could not create.
I wonder what part of me desires this unlikely union,
This burden which has subdued my already subdued self.

It’s not an unfamiliar struggle
Though I can’t say I know it.
During the day I am afraid to come
To such intimate terms with anything–
Equating solitude with the weakness
I recognize on his pages.

At night I can’t escape,
My dream dominates me again and again,
In his eyes I see a million words
I want to write and rewrite, but I am blank,
A void being filled temporarily


Dream of a dream I see myself
Through his eyes.
I am nothing. We are both reflections
Reflecting on ourselves and
Soon I am back,
Empty and unsatisfied.
My mind as tense as our
Clenched thighs–
Each trying to hold what they can not.

We are both disappointed.

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