COLUMN THIRTY-THREE, MAY 1, 1998
(Copyright © 1998 Al Aronowitz)
[While thumbing through Issue 18 of Lucid Moon, Ralph Haselmann's desktop publication of poetry, stories, cartoons and drawings, I chanced to come across this story by Ed Galing, known as the poet laureate of Hatboro, PA, where the municipal council voted him into that post. A World War II veteran of both the Army and the Navy, Ed, now 81, has been a compulsive writer all his life. His column, Rhymes and Reasons, appears regularly in the Hatboro Life. He also has written guest columns for Philadelphia newspapers and his work has appeared in numerous poetry publications. I found this story charming and so, with Ed's permission, I reprint it here. ]
It is said that the best way to become a poet is to write from experience. That is the best advice that I have ever heard, and very true. I can still remember the first time I wrote my first love poem.
At that time I was only about sixteen years old and, during the summer, took a job in a local library, helping to stack books on shelves.
It gave me something to do during the summer, and also paid me a few bucks. I was just a small, skinny young man, who dreamed of girls all the time and read dirty magazines.
In those early days of my youth, the favorite magazine was one where artist models posed in the nude, with no male figures at all. I would buy the magazine in a local book store, take it home, thumb the pages, and admire the lovely breasts and beautiful buttocks of the young models. All of it was done in a most artistic way and never showed pubic hair or the vagina. Whenever I finished reading this magazine (I should looking---there was nothing to read in it) I would have wet dreams at night. This, of course, was only natural for a young man my age, something that was an understandable outcome of becoming aroused. I kept this secret to myself, for I did not want anyone to know that I had these awful thoughts.
However, since I had yet to see a woman in the nude, this was the next best thing. Again, I digress. You must pardon me.
Anyway, all of this changed when I got my job in the library. That was the beginning of my love poem writing. You see, there was this young lady of about eighteen, a very quiet young miss, with long blonde hair, who wore glasses and who seemed always to be engrossed in a book. She and I got along real well. Her job was like mine; to make sure the stacks of books were put back in proper order. Sometimes, she had me help her. Although she was shy, she was friendly. She would always smile quietly and never raise her voice. I was too
As I gazed upwards in awe at this wondrous sight, she looked down at me and smiled
timid to do anything with her; like ask her for a date. And she gave no indication that she would have accepted.
Then one day, while she was up on a ladder and I was down on the floor, she shouted down to me to pass some books up to her so that she could stack them. As I reached for a few books, I just happened to notice how she stood on the ladder. It sure was a tantalizing sight. She had pretty legs, perfectly formed, and, as I gazed upwards, I could follow the shape of her legs up to where her sheer cotton dress ended and her panties began. As I gazed upwards in awe at this wondrous sight, she looked down at me and smiled. This was the first time that I had ever noticed the smile, and I suppose she knew, from her vantage point, that I was looking up her dress from where I stood down below. She sure made a helluva sight, and I gazed upwards in much gratitude, and my heart pounded a mile a minute, my cheeks were flushed, my very being yearned to clasp her body in my arms.
And, in this condition, I felt like writing my first poem.
I don't know how Milton felt when he wrote his first love poem: or Shelley or Keats, or any of the old poets, but I sure had an inkling. If I had been an artist like Picasso, I suppose I would have rushed to my canvas to paint this scene before it lost its freshness. As it was, my thoughts were all poetic. In my mind, phrases like creamy thighs and wondrous alabaster delights came to mind. I wish I could have described to you more in detail how those legs looked from my vantage point, especially how they disappeared into sheer lace panties holding two adorable cheeks protruding prominently through the sheer lace. Suffice it to say that, to me, this was Milton's Paradise Lost. I was thoroughly entranced with this sight of naked flesh.
In the meantime, she whispered down to me, "Please hand me a few more books," and then gave me another shy smile. With trembling hands, I raised my arms to pass a few stupid books to her.
Nothing more was said of this incident, but I could notice a change coming over this shy, young thing. The week after, we just happened to be in the same department again. Once again, she was stacking books from a tall ladder and once again, I was down below, looking up at her. Obviously, I was most anxious to catch another look up her dress As she glanced down to me from her perch with that tantalizing smile on her lips while I handed her the books again, my eyes crept upwards once more, focusing directly under her dress, following the lines of her plump, white thighs, and then, with my heart pounding like a sledge hammer, my eyes followed her legs directly upwards to where her panties were. Except this time, she was wearing none!
She was, to my astonishment, completely naked under that dress. I could see a bit of her wondrous bush, and the most beautiful arse I had ever hoped to behold in my life. She looked like a naked Venus up there on the ladder, and I had the most irresistible desire to climb up the ladder and put my head directly under her dress to partake of these fascinating things I had never seen before.
She beckoned to me impatiently to hand her a few books, and then said, "You look pale. Are
It was a wonderful sight for a young boy to see a naked girl in the flesh, instead of in a magazine
"Yeah, yeah," I stammered, blushing, "I guess I'm OK." I didn't let on that I knew she wasn't wearing any panties, but I knew that she knew what I was looking at. It was indeed a wonderful sight for a young boy to see. Especially someone like me, who was seeing a naked girl in the flesh, instead of in a magazine.
That night I composed my first poem.
It was a masterpiece, full of exotic words describing my sensations, my eyes feasting on heaven itself. It called on the gods to bow their heads before her. Written in the Elizabethan style, the poem consisted of many stanzas. After I wrote it, I mailed it a to a literary magazine listed in a poets directory that I found. I hoped it would be printed.
In the meantime, our weekly library adventure, with her exposing her most intimate body parts to me, continued for quite a while, and I swear to you that it never went any further than that. I never pursued it. I remained content to gaze upwards between her legs, under her sheer dress, admiring those delicious buttocks of hers, noticing how smooth they were, how they sometimes shook a bit, how, when she raised herself even higher on the ladder, I could almost see her clitoris.
Neither one of us ever mentioned it. It was an unwritten kind of perverse and exciting voyeurism, innocent in its concept. Because it as so unexpected, and yet delicious, I had no desire to spoil the effect.
I stayed with that job all summer until she left the library for good. The day she left, she winked at me and planted a kiss on my cheek.
I was grateful. This was our secret and I respected it. I often wonder these days if she wound up somewhere dancing naked on a table in a club. If she reads this, I hope she'll give me a call. I'm all grown up now.
P.S. The magazine rejected my poem. ##
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