February 3, 2016

Reading Diary: Threshold, by Adrea Kore

 I keep my reader's diary to share my thoughts on recent reads, new discoveries, and favorite books. I do not accept requests to review books, or reader copies, from authors. Nothing here is a solicited review.

Earlier this week we discussed the role poetry has in helping us to be better writers. Several authors I approached were kind enough to share some of their erotic poetry with me, among them author Adrea Kore, who shared two pieces. The first of these, Threshold, captured my attention immediately.
Threshold evokes a detailed scene of erotic bondage. While my earliest assumption is a scene between a male and female partner, I find it interesting to read through it a second time and realize there’s no actual details identifying the sex of either participant, which leaves the door open for the poem to be fully accessible to any readers regardless of orientation or gender. Personally, I like that, since my own bondage fantasies may wander from hetero to bisexual to pansexual play, depending on my mood. I could illustrate this poem in my mind with any combination of players.
But more provocative to me is the consistent repetition of bodily imagery, a personification of the non-human elements in play and the roles assigned to different parts of the anatomy. Descriptions of a wall as the speaker’s backbone, and the rope binding the speaker’s wrists as the fingers of their partner. The casting of tongue and teeth as interrogators, and skin and arteries holding the secrets of the subject’s confessions. These details give to me a sense of more than one relationship, more than two players. They also heighten the sense of nearness and pressure between two bodies, given that the tongue and teeth (again, the interrogators) are interacting so closely with the flesh.
There are several evocations of contrast: surrender vs. a hard embrace (soft vs. hard), coolness of the wall vs. the heat of the partner’s body, the wall vs. ‘your weight’, refusal vs. acquiescence. If there’s one thing I love in sensual imagery, it’s evocative use of contrast. But Adrea’s poem is full of powerful and sensual descriptive imagery. Just a few of my favorites include:
“Let the wall be my backbone / as I give up gravity to you”
“Your tongue and teeth interrogate secrets / Embedded long ago in arteries and skin”
“The taste sweet, clear, as lychee nectar”

But perhaps the most powerful line in Adrea’s poem is the final line. After six stanzas, each six lines, of a journey through this erotic exchange, the final line stands alone, promising the passion is not over:

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