Field Notes on the Mars/Venus Antinomy


Men trade love for sex and women trade sex for love.
There comes a time in every woman’s life
When she’ll admit she’s glad she’s not a man—
Including those who’ve undergone the knife
Pursuant to her husband’s master plan
To have it all: rejuvenated skin
And buxom augmentations meant to spur
Desire no longer coming from within.
For him it’s pure pornography; for her,
Innate impulsion to authenticate
The bond with him whom she takes pains to please.
In every woman’s life—if not too late—
There comes a time when she acutely sees
Her man is crippled with a chromosome
That’s flawed, a gimpy “Y” in place of “X!”
And yet she does her best to make a home,
Provide her spouse with mediocre sex,
And rear the little ones who populate
The household: likable imperfect copies
Of strangers who once loved to copulate
Incessantly.  It’s said, the juice of poppies
Can palliate the pain of those who’ve come
To learn that marriage is a reckless barter,
A game whose end is less than zero-sum,
Where boredom and despair stand in for ardor.

C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Over the past eight years, hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and India. He is inordinately fond of single malt Scotch whisky.