Original poem reprinted online here: "Mercury Dressing" by J.D. McClatchy
Originally read: December 18, 2012
More information about the Poet: J.D. McClatchy
So after reading this poem a couple more times, I still don't completely understand it -- "until I feel him deep inside" is that metaphorical? "His hooded sex its counterpart" -- the line sounds nice but logically what is the counterpart for hooded sex...unhooded sex?
Also, does it matter if I understand everything in this poem? The poem is structured like an italian sonnet, but it's in octameter instead of pentameter. The "question" posed in the octave is whether the speaker is able to keep this "Mercury" or actually touch it. The "answer" in the sestet is the speaker can't but he feels his Mercury "deep inside," -- a feeling that never leaves.
Why do I get a sense that this poem is "coded" for an encounter? Why do I get this sense that there's a double entendre in the construction ("nerves electrifies" and "hooded sex")? I feel there's a lot more to this poem historically or personally than it lets on on the page.
Now, the question is do I feel cheated by not knowing a hundred percent. Sort of. A part of me wants to know the background behind this, but another part of me feels that the poem is done as is. The encounter is ambiguous (sexually it's there but in what context -- a dream, a one night stand, maybe both) and how the speaker feels is concrete ("the emptiness, preoccupied." but for how long). Maybe, once again, I'm trying to look for something more than the immediate. Meh.