The Jeffrey McDaniel Show

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When I haven’t been kissed in a long time,

I walk behind well-dressed women

on cold, December mornings and shovel

the steamy exhalations pluming from their lips

down my throat with both hands, hoping

a single molecule will cling to my lungs.

When I haven’t been kissed in a long time,

I sneak into the ladies room of a fancy restaurant,

dig into the trashcan for a napkin

where a woman checked her lipstick,

then go home, light candles, put on Barry White,

and press the napkin all over my body.

When I haven’t been kissed in a long time,

I start thinking leeches are the most romantic

creatures, cause all they want to do is kiss.

If only someone invented a kinder, gentler leech,

I’d paint it bright pink and pretend

Winona Ryder’s lips crawled off her face,

up my thigh, and were sucking on my swollen

bicep. When I haven’t been kissed

in a long time, I create civil disturbances,

then insult the cops who show up,

till one of them grabs me by the collar

and hurls me up against the squad car,

so I can remember, at least for a moment,

what it’s like to be touched.





Just when I get some steam built, when I’m feeling

like an architect of steam, ready to vaporize

inside you, you say slow down, which isn’t easy.

There are no power brakes in the genitals,

no runaway boner ramps. I flop onto my back.

The blood marches single-file down the long,

winding staircase of my cock, like an emergency

evacuation of the Washington Monument

during the height of tourist season. My testicles

ache like a boxer’s punching bag. I wish a bell

would ding, and a bald Italian guy with ice packs

and smelling salts would hop into the ring

of our desire and give me a pep talk, remind me

to work on the clitoris, like the ribs of Apollo Creed.






I walk into a candlelit room.

All the women I’ve ever dated

are passing around the love poems

I gave them, and guess what?

It’s the same poem — My sweet

[Put Your Name Here] if I was God

I’d make flowers smell like the back

of your neck, trees with trunks

as soft as your thighs. When we kiss

I feel like a cheerleader being crushed

to death by a giant pom-pom. Then Alex

Trebec appears. A game of Ex-

Girlfriend Jeopardy ensues.

All the categories about me.

“I’ll take emotional baggage, Alex,

for twenty.” “Jeffrey’s mother

spanked him with this blunt object

so hard, he couldn’t look in a mirror

for a week.” “What’s a wire hair brush?”

“Correct, you control the board.”

“Bedroom Arrogance, for thirty.”

“The most narcissistic thing Jeffrey

has ever said while making love.”

“What is . . . ?” If you hold me real tight,

you can feel the centrifugal force

of the world revolving around me.






The California Live Oak at the end

of my block looks like a couple

in mid-fuck: ankles, thighs, groins, hips

entwined, forming a single trunk,

erupting into two separate bodies:

a damsel tilted back, the green breeze

of her hair, arms gripping the shoulders

of a man standing, his rainbow spine

in a perpetual state of timber. Most trees

are only visible from the knees up — calves

unraveled in dirt, shoes fallen off —

not this one. I keep a tiny piece

of its bark under my pillow. I stuff

its leaves in my underpants. I sleep

naked in its branches, hoping to wake

with its initials carved into me.



Jeffrey McDaniel and Nerve.com