local_library Under The Spell of Shoe

by Liam Rector

Published in Issue No. 44 ~ January, 2001

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     ‘Under the Spell of Shoe’ – by Liam Rector

I’ve made a point, over the years, perhaps even a moral point,
Of never having sex with any of the wives of my best men friends.
The closest I came

Was once when I was living alone, house-sitting a Jamesian
House in Chevy Chase, and one of my best friends and his wife
Were spending the weekend

And they went up to bed. The woman left her pair of shoes on
The floor, on the rug, and I was quite stoned, and I wandered over
And picked up

One of the shoes, and I held the shoe, and, staring deeply into what
I took to be the essence of my friend’s wife as she embodied the shoe
And the shoe embodied her,

I imagined her and me fucking each other senseless. It was
Great, and it did no real nor lasting damage to the marriage,
As far as I could tell.

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Liam Rector is the 1998 recipient of the Pen/ New England Award. His first book of poems was The Sorrow of Architecture, and he was editor of The Day I Was Older: On the Poetry of Donald Hall. He has received fellowships in poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has administered literary programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Academy of American Poets, Associated Writing Programs, and elsewhere. He has taught at Goucher College, George Mason University, and Phillips Academy and is currently the Director of the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He took graduate degrees from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He now resides in Massachusetts.