Vast Enigma


Jesse Weiner

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 117 in February, 2009.

I read a poem using the phrase
"vast enigma" which I saw immediately
as an anagram for "stem vagina". is
wordplay a form of poetry?
is wordplay a form of foreplay? a
woman told me once that I probably
talked all the girls into bed. is that
good or bad or just her come on?
does the word foreplay mandate a
certain sequence of sexual acts or am
I narrow mindedly missing the point,
like the women's libbers who make us
use barbarisms like ms. and s/he? is
it true that the language we speak
defines the limits of our ability to
what are the euphemisms for sex?
do they reflect, describe or create
the sex act?
when the word 'sex' is used to
mean "screwing', is it possible to
have sex without screwing?
when the words 'make love' are
used to mean 'screwing', is it possible
to fuck without love? must I love
whom I fuck?
what about 'it'? does that make
the pronoun a form of pornography?
if I suggest you make a list of
euphemisms for sex, do I then need
to write that list for you? have I
now written that list? do you have
anything to add to it?
if I don't know your list, do you
still have it? if I don't recognize
your feelings, can I say you have none?
or think so?
if I read a crossword puzzle for
its poetry, am I bound for disappointment?