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Teaching Gender Segregated Sex Writing Class

By Regie Cabico

I get to edit penis poems and feel like Michelangelo
Making masterpieces of what is private and unsculpted
Beneath the writing table
All I have to say is My penis is…
And their testosterone-fueled pens fly
Like a baseball past a stadium larger than Dollywood
They hand me their penis poems drafts
As if I were an army medical examiner


To help women write about their genitalia, I have them
Transform assorted tampons into other objects
With the hope that they can view their own bodies as political metaphors

It was not an Anne Sexton Celebration of My Uterus moment


My vagina experiences are limited
NYU sophomore year
Her naked body curved,
the fallopian part of a question mark
surrendering to my non-existent exclamation point

I thought of a cactus slit
men search to quench their desert thirst
National Geographic issues with breasts
The Discovery Channel and marsupial pouches,
a layer of sky upon layer of invisible stratosphere.
Coitus would be jumping kamikaze
and into a wave,
fluid framed by her hips


I have the men write quickie poems.
They repeatedly refer to her wetness
as if a humidifier were attached down there…

There are lots of liquids, I remind them,
Could you be more specific?


My womb is a secret family recipe,
she says, and closes her notebook.


Clara is disappointed
that a writing class called Breaking Sky
is canceled. She wanted to play with hyperbole
when out of the blue
she says her hymen is sky
Well, it sounds like your sky is broken
Yes, she laughs, but there are always new horizons.

Added: Thursday, January 21, 2016  /  Used with permission.
Regie Cabico
Photo by: Les Talusan

Regie Cabico is one of the country's leading innovators and pioneers of poetry and spoken word, having won 3 top prizes in the 1993, 1994 & 1997 National Poetry Slams. Bust Magazine ranked him in the 100 Men We Love, and The Kenyon Review called him "the Lady Gaga of Poetry." He won a 2006 Best Performance Art Production award for his work on "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind." He has appeared on two seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam and NPR's Snap Judgement. His work is published in over 40 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution, and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has taught at Urban Word NYC, Poets House, Kundiman, and Split This Rock, and has served as faculty at Banff Arts Center's Spoken Word Program. Regie curates and co-hosts La Ti Do: A Weekly Cabaret & Spoken Word Series. He received the Writers for Writers Award for his work with at-risk youth from Poets and Writers. With Brittany Fonte, he co-edited a collection of North American and United Kingdom queer poetry, Flicker and Spark, a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Nominee for Best Anthology. He founded Capturing Fire International Queer Spoken Word Slam and is also a co-founder of Split This Rock. He was a featured poet at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2016.

Other poems by this author