John Updike

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(Upon Receiving a Solicitation for Membership in The Swingers Life Club)


The Venus de Milo didn’t have one, at least no pussy

that left its shadow in the marble, but Botticelli’s Venus,

though we cannot see it for her sea-anemone hand,

did, no doubt-an amber-furred dear mouth we would kiss

could we enter the Arcadian plane of the painting.

We must assimilate cunts to our creed of beauty.

September Morn held her thighs tight shut, and the dolls

we grew up undressing had nothing much there, not even


but the beauties we must learn to worship now all

have spread legs, splayed in bedspreaded motel beds,

and the snowflakes that burst forth are no two alike:

convolute snapdragons, portal and tears

and T-bones of hair, lips lurid as slices of salmon,

whirlpooly wisps more ticklish than skin, black brooms

a witch could ride cackling through the spatter of stars,

assholes a-stare like monocles tiny as dimes.


“I adore French culture and can really blow your mind”

“half of an ultra-sophisticated couple prefers”

“love modeling with guys or gals and groovy parties”

“affectionate young housewife would like to meet”

“attractive broadminded funloving exotic tastes”

glory Gloria fellatio Felicia Connie your cunt

is Platonism upside down and really opens innocence

the last inch wider: I bite and I believe.


“Who put this mouse between my legs if not the Lord?

Who knocks to enter? Pigs of many stripes.

My cunt is me, it lathers and it loves

because its emptiness knows nothing else to do.

Here comes the stalwart cock, numb-headed hater,

assassin dragging behind him in a wrinkled sack

reproduction’s two stooges; refrigerated in blood,

the salt sperm thrashes to mix with my lipstick.

Nibble my nipples, you fish. My eyelashes tickle your glans

while my cunt like a shark gone senile yawns for its meal.

In my prison your head will lean against the wet red wall

and beg for a pardon and my blood will beat back No.

Here is my being, my jewel, simpler than a diamond,

finer-spun than Assyrian gold and the Book of Kells,

nobler than a theorem by Euler, more darling than a dimple

in a Steuben-glass Shirly Temple—flesh-flower, riddle

of more levels than a Pyramid passageway greased with balm.



A woman once upon a bed with me

to kiss my soul went down but in addition thrust

her ass up to my face and trembled all her length

so I knew something rare was being served; of course

the lapping was an ecstasy, but such an ecstasy

I prayed her distant face grow still so I could drink

the deeper of this widening self that only lacked

the prick of stars to be a firmament.



this hole that bleeds with the moon so you can be born!”

Stretched like a howl between the feet pushing the stirrups

the poor slit yields up the bubble of a skull.

Glad tunnel of life, foretaste of resurrection,

slick applicant of appropriate friction

springing loose the critical honey from the delirious bee.


“You can meet these swinging gals” “you

can be in direct contact with these free-thinking modern people”

“if you a Polaroid photography enthusiast”

“you can rest assured your membership”

“you will discover the most exquisite, intimate”

“you”                   and the clitoris

like a little hurt girl turns its face to the corner.


Well, how were we to know that all you fat sweethearts

were as much the vagina’s victim as the poor satyr who sells

his mother’s IBM preferred to procure three whores

to have three ways at once-by land, by sea, by air?

“It was all a sacred mush of little pips to me.”

Now you tell us, tell us and tell us, of a magical doorbell

crocheted of swollen nerves beneath the fur

and all the pallid moon from scalp to toes decuple

not quite this molehill of a mountain is

the Mare of Disenchantment, the Plain of No Response.

Who could have known, when you are edible all over?

So edible we gobble even your political views

As they untwist in lamplight, like lemon peel from a knife.


Tell us O tell us why is it why

the hairs on the nape of your neck say cunt

and the swirl in your laugh says cunt

and your fingernails  flanking cigarette

and the red of the roof of your mouth and your mischief

and your passion for the sleeping dogs and the ay

you shape hamburgers naked-handed and the way

you squat to a crying child so the labia stain

your underpants cry cunt CUNT there is almost

CUNT too much of a CUNT good thing CUNT


“And howzabout

That split banana second when

(a clouded tear in its single eye,

stiff angel stuffed with ichor)

the semen in good faith leaps

(no shadows live on marble

like these that coat my helpless hands)

and your [unmentionable]

enhouses the cosmic stranger with a pinch?”


It is true, something vital ebbs from the process

once the female is considered not a monstrous emissary

from the natural darkness but as possessing personhood

with its attendant rights, and wit.


I pulled a Tampax with my teeth and found it, darling,

not so bloody. I loved the death between your toes.

I glazed my sallow fill in motel light until

your cunt became my own, and I a girl. I lost

my hard-on quite; my consciousness stayed raised.

Your mouth became a fumble at my groin.

You would not let me buck away. I came,

and sobbed, triumphantly repentant. You said

with a smile of surprise it was warm,

warm on the back of your throat, hitting,

and not salty, but sweet.

We want to fill your cunt but are unmanned.

My sobbing felt like coming. Fond monster,

you swallowed my tears. We were plighted.

I was afraid. I adore your cunt. But why

is there only ones? Is one enough? You cunt.


“I’m available…and so are hundreds of other

eager young girls who are ready to pose FOR YOU!”

Corinna, even your shit has something to be said for it

“avant garde of a new era of freedom” (Coronet)

“dawn of a culture phenomenon” (Playboy)

“Dr. Gilbert Bartell, the renowned culture anthropologist”

“page after page of totally rewarding sexual knowledge

that will be an invaluable asset in your search for greater

sexual understanding Only through complete understanding

can man hope” “Discretion is our middle name!”

Daphne, your fortune moistens. Stand. Bend down. Smile.