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From the Files of Hal Sirowitz

Storm King sculpture park, November 2003. Photo by Amelia Hennighausen.
Storm King sculpture park, November 2003. Photo by Amelia Hennighausen.

Hoping She'll Take Off More of Her Clothes

My therapist said that he thinks it’s strange that when she and I make love she doesn’t take off all her clothes but leaves her underwear on. You’d think she’d be relaxed around me by now and let me see her naked. But I shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that she’s repressed. It might be as simple as she’s not able to handle the cold. It’s easier to fix that than getting her out of her repression. All I have to do is turn up the heat.

Back On The Farm

I grew up on a farm, she said.
I used to get up early to milk the cows.
When you squeeze my breasts
you remind me of that time.
But instead of it being a pleasant memory
you make me feel like I’m the cow.

from Before, During & After (Soft Skull Press, 2003)

Starting From The Bottom

My therapist said I can’t remove a woman’s blouse, then expect her to take off her pants herself. I have to take those off too. He can understand her putting her blouse back on because I was only doing the top half of the equation and leaving the bottom half for her to do. The next time I see her I should start by taking off her pants. When you’re experiencing difficulty it’s always helpful to approach the problem from a different direction.

The Caveman’s Approach

My therapist said a woman doesn’t go willingly to her own seduction. She has to be persuaded to go there. But if my plan is to have the woman seduce me, then I’m taking the easy way out. That has never been his style. He believes in women’s liberation. He prefers the caveman’s approach. You like a woman, then you hit her over the head with a stick. Not that he’d ever hit his wife over the head, but she he likes her to act like he did.


Hal Sirowitz

Hal Sirowitz is the Poet Laureate of Queens. In addition to his new book, Before, During & After, Soft Skull is also publishing his next book, Father Said. He is a recipient of a 2003 New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 03-JAN 04

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