My Penis

Article excerpt

Ed Ochester, poet and professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, published "My Penis" in the Summer 1973 issue of Chicago Review (along with another poem, "My Teeth"). OCHESTER explains:

"My Penis" was one of a series of "body parts" poems I was writing in the 1970s, poems in which I tried to talk about serious subjects in comic ways (then as now one is likely to be misunderstood when one does this); in particular, "My Penis" was meant to be a contrast to and comment on the work of certain macho poets, and was written with a sense of solidarity for several feminist friends in a Pittsburgh writing group. The poem was part of my first full-length book, Dancing on the Edges of Knives, which won the Devins Award for poetry and was published by Missouri in 1973. The poem has been reprinted several times, and I've always taken a small if foolish delight in having editors use such locutions as "I would like to have 'My Penis' (your poem I mean, ha-ha) in X. …