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Elva Maxine Beach comes from a family of preachers, teachers, and storytellers, so it only seemed natural when she decided to pursue writing and teaching. While at LSU, Maxine was fiction editor of New Delta Review and won an award for Best Graduate Student Teacher. She worked as associate editor and contributor for the online magazine, Zugernaut. She currently has a screenplay Fire in the Hole under submission, and is working on the short story cycle Neurotica and a graphic novel Nirvana.

View the rest of the poems from Elva Maxine Beach in the February 2005 edition:

 

Pillow Book
by Elva Maxine Beach

She hands him a pillow book,
Kama Sutra paintings.
You'd have to be an acrobat, he thinks.
She points to the goddess.
He puts his finger on Siva
and then wife Parvati.
Don't forget Kali, the black goddess.

They try everything.
Fixing the nail, climbing the monkey, downward facing dog.
Sucking the mango pit,
deer nudging with his antlers,
mother's nipple.

They strike each other.
Then loving congress.
Lingam and yoni.
A sheath to satisfy, she smiles.

Scratching, bruising, striking his back, his chest, her shoulders.
He pushes her head. Down, on top, choking, forcing.

Then Jewel in the Lotus.
A Tantric love. A magic love.

We're drowning in alcohol and danger, they think.

She feels his skeleton,
the hardness of his collar bones
pressing against her own.
He feels her flesh,
the thickness of her thighs,
the roundness of her breasts.
He bites her and she thinks,
death and love.

Mantra of love. Sex, death, sex, death.
Ritual sex, she remembers.
Suck energy
for goddesses Kali, Parvatic, Durga.

The dark ages, he remembers.
Get her drunk, kidnap her, enjoy her.
Cause her fire to be brought into brutal reality.

Then bliss.
They enter the realm of desire.
She, experiencing female pleasure.
He, the arts of love.

Her passion rises, her knees touch
under his armpits.
Pressed two, three, four times.
Smooth jewel in.

Smacking, stinging,
red spots on his back, his buttocks
her shoulders, her belly, her thighs.
His calfs, the bottoms of his feet.

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