Men with pens have sweated reams – volumes – about our desire and love for women. In Jeff Gere’s “Lei Queen Contest,” we see the power a woman’s love has over a man. Jeff, a legendary Hawaiian storyteller, reveals this in a conversation he had with a huge, tattooed Samoan guy, a dialogue he accompanies with ukulele band and falsetto singers.
Russ Allison Loar’s poem, “What Men Want,” shows us, with large smiles, some truths about man’s attraction to woman, and his easy bedazzlement by her.
Donna Julia, a key character in Lord Byron’s epic poem, Don Juan, was twenty-three when she wrote “Donna Julia’s Letter to Don Juan,” a lament of woman’s plight. Remember, this is a man writing what his character, a young woman, feels. Did Byron get it right?
Julia’s letter faces Shakespeare’s lyrics, “Sigh No More, Ladies,” from his play, Much Ado About Nothing. In the second verse, The Bard rhymes “heavy” and “leavy,” and in the chorus offers cheery advice to the lovelorn.
To some, Philip Roth’s story, “The Chaos of Eros,” is about a man’s aging. Others see it as the tale of an older man’s attraction to a younger woman, and still others, one of her attraction to him. Your take may vary. In any case, Roth stages a coup de littérature in the paragraph that begins, “She turned around… .”.
I issued a second call for submissions because the first hadn’t delivered a story of joyful love. “Can a guy get a happy love story around here, please?” I asked looking skyward, as I clicked the call into cyberspace. A day later, an email with Jon Pearson’s “A Busload of Banjo Players” arrived, an ecstatic love story to answer my plea.
It’s hot in here.
You who love and you who desire:
grab a fan and flip the page.