Laura Madeline Wiseman

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Strap On

My imaginary cock your charm—
your girth wide, stiff
bulge, prize for thighs,
Is charm always kept buckled
and tucked under belt and fly?

My imaginary cock your charm—
your slick skin, soft glow,
gold tone, trimmed close.
Which rooms open and close
for your charm alone?

My imaginary cock your charm—
slow dance, romance,
never truth or lies. But do you
put charm in the size?
Oh, the lies, lies, size.

My imaginary cock your charm—
midnight romp, pillow talk,
dreamtime. I know you
harness all your charm. Will I
learn these tricks from you?


Within the Music

For the state band audition time
I play an allegro in Bb clarinet.
By baton my imaginary cock
conducts my solo of grace notes.
I ease into the practiced fingerings
as nostrils flare and a foot taps.

My knees soften as a foot taps.
I sway with piano in 3/4 time
of ivory and black fingerings.
Hot spittle runs down the clarinet.
Silver keys clack grace notes.
Mmm, hums my imaginary cock.

Yes! shouts my imaginary cock
as the baton accompaniment taps
an eighty piece band of grace notes
who hold out the fermata in time.
Our chin slickens. The clarinet
holes pop in triplet fingerings.

We follow the da capo fingerings
back to the melody. My cock
sways with an imaginary clarinet.
We gulp as the right foot taps
the eighth note rests in 3/4 time.
Our thumb wets with grace notes.

A director grades the grace notes
and the near missed fingerings
to the beat of metronome time.
We wink at my imaginary cock
whose corked baton still taps
the last six bars of the clarinet

audition solo in allegro. We clarinets
play three minutes of grace notes
to finish in a whole note. Our taps
silence with the final fingerings.
I breathe out. My imaginary cock
applauds in perfect 3/4 time.

The foot taps. I’m out of fingerings.
The clarinet bows low with my cock
of notes played in metronomic time.




Laura Madeline Wiseman is the recipient of the 2009 Academy of American Poets Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is completing her dissertation and teaching English. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Feminist Studies, MARGIE, Arts & Letters,, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, My Imaginary, was published this year by Dancing Girl Press. Her full-length collection, Sprung, is forthcoming from San Francisco Bay Press. Other awards include the Mari Sandoz Award in fiction, the Will Jumper Award in poetry, and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Residences include the Herbert Hoover Artist-in-Residency Program. She holds a BS in English literature and women’s studies from Iowa State University and an MA in women’s studies from the University of Arizona. She reads and writes reviews for Prairie Schooner.