Editor’s Note: As of August 14, 2006, we are no longer accepting sestina submissions.
Subterranean Gnomesick Blues; or, The Gnome Who Whet My Fleshy Tent.
In lands where the waters are clear
And the forests virginal, where the heavens
Are full only of birds and stars—
Before writing a poem about it, I find it helpful to masturbate.
I believe this is also true of camping,
For there is no privacy once you pitch the tent.
Indeed, I had pitched a bonny tent
And my next task soon was clear;
Hastily I had gone off camping
And beard of Zeus! My sainted heavens!
I had completely forgotten to masturbate!
So thus I lay, and, twitching ‘neath the stars,
I saw, beneath my eyelids, a host of stars
Of pornographic nature—But ho! A rustling in my tent!
Oh go away! Can’t you see I’m trying to masturbate!
And in the corner, ‘twas all too clear
As I raised my fist to curse the heavens—
A gnome stood setting up his gear for camping.
"Sorry to disturb you while you’re … camping,"
Said he dryly, his gray eyes twinkling stars.
“It seems I am drawn here by the heavens
Here to make my home inside this tent,
For to the nose of a gnome there is nothing more clear
Than the scent of a woman as she masturbates.”
He dropped his tiny drawers to masturbate
And, as he did, I forgot all about camping.
Confused I was, but in sooth, one thing was clear—
This gnome’s cock could threaten all the stars
Of my earlier fantasy; and what good’s a tent
If not to screw a gnome preordained by the heavens?
And so smiled the heavens!
And no longer had I need to masturbate!
And so his red-coned hat tore through my tent!
And so blew up his pouch of things for camping!
For small Gnostic/Gnomic/Paracelsian lovers come to us like stars
And we must take away our fingers to make their entry clear.
No longer can I masturbate unless I think of camping—
What cursed stars, what blasphemous heavens
On a clear night sent a priapic gnome into my tent.
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