So, last night I performed at the Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus at the Alwun House in Phoenix, AZ. It was a great show, with some fantastic performers that it was an honor to share the stage. Thanks to Ernesto Moncada and Rosemarie Dombrowski (Phoenix’s poet laureate!) for asking me to perform!
When I walked into the venue, I was introduced as “Phoenix’s leading shark expert” – which, flattering, but probably not true! Ernesto, when inviting me, asked me to consider writing a shark erotica piece. I was up to the challenge!
I chose the blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) as my model for this particular poem, because it’s a shark that has been observed mating in the wild, and I may run into them next month when I journey to Fiji to dive with the sharks there. Hopefully, I’ll be able to update the photo associated with this post with a photo of my own!
If you’re interested in learning about more about shark sex (and squid sex, whale sex, and so much more) from the science perspective, consider checking out Marah Hardt’s phenomenal book “Sex in the Sea” on sale wherever fine books are sold!
Our seven senses are aligned in deadly purpose
Hot blood engages them first,
olfactory nerves firing,
locking in the target.
Then we hear it,
a thrash and splash,
sound waves sending sanguine urges.
Sight to electroreception,
crackling energy confirmed
by pressure waves along the line.
sensuous clouds while we roll our eyes back.
We have made our kill
and we indulge in it.
For sharks, there is little difference
between hunting for food,
and seeking a mate.
We will always engage teeth,
the gastronomic and sexual
are violent ones,
they will inevitably leave marks,
scar tissue tattoos to remind us of exes,
whose names we never knew.
Biting down on pectorals,
the lady must submit,
also she must be willing,
dimorphism’s desire leading to caution
because we like the bigger girls.
With eyes that can never meet,
our gazes drift into the Blue Eternal.
We contemplate the almighty deep,
the taste of salt filling her mouth,
blood filling mine,
with the electricity of our hearts beating
it overwhelms us
as the sensation of clasper coupling
confirms our union.
We dance with consent,
our bodies intertwined,
sinuously sinking towards the seafloor
lest we suffocate,
gasping for oxygen,
our rough play requires that we can detach,
so we can come back for more another time,
our genetic drive an engine
no less powerful than our hunger.
If we are successful,
our single form will become two,
sublimating into the seas,
new beings born of spasmodic heaves,
our consummation of lusts
like the consumption of our prey,
leading to new life,
a continuing cycle that always ends
with a little death,
further proof that here,
on this planet ocean,
the difference between sex and food,
is not what you take,
but what you leave behind.
(© Bernard Schober/The Klute 2017)