In Lyrics of Love, Elvin Blake Primm offers a collection of erotic poems.
The pieces here employ rhymed couplets (aabb) and rhymed quatrains (abab) to explore the speaker’s desire for, and sexual relationship with, one or various poetic “you”s and “she”s. The diction is colloquial, frequently crass, and becomes increasingly redundant over the course of the book.
A representative stanza reads: “As I partake of this ass at 4:30 in the morning/ Looking forward to hearing you moaning and groaning/ Watching your head go up and down/ On my joy stick of pleasure, you going round and round.”
Many of the poems read more as private correspondence between the speaker and his actual or desired significant other, alternating almost exclusively between expressions of desire for sex with her (“I want to caress your lovely thighs,/ I want to reach just a little high./ I want to kiss you all up in between”) and graphic accounts of sex they are currently having (“When you have me in your mouth,/ with all of my juices flowing/ Deep throating me in and out until I am exploding”).
The content of Lyrics of Love is cyclical without reflecting growth or change. Over the course of the book, no significant narrative or thematic arc emerges. In fact, one poem appears twice in its entirety under two different titles, “Mid Day Thoughts on the Job” and “Late Night Fantasy.” While it’s possible the author is attempting to show the obsessive nature of the speaker’s desire at all times of day and night, there isn’t enough overall variation in content or style to keep a typical poetry reader engaged from cover to cover.
This work would be enhanced if the author could consider how carnal desire and its expression might be evoked more artfully on the page. Choosing language that’s more surprising, melodious, and nuanced would also help readers approach the text without feeling like interlopers between the speaker and his lover(s).
Also available as an ebook.