Granny in Tights

The fastest growing section of the Internet pornography world are sites that feature old ladies and grandmothers.
—News item

The stage names given to the ladies cast
Are chosen for their frilly, antique tone—
Names quaint and powdered, reeking of the past,
Like body talc and Champs-des-Fleurs cologne.

Lavinia or Ernestine of Zoë,
Arletta, Marguerite, or Bernadette—
Prudence, Sophie, Martha, or Aunt Chloë,
Hermione or Constance or Claudette.

Some wear girdles, half-slips, corsets, stays,
Seamed stockings, lingerie with Belgian lace—
Their hairstyles hearken back to bygone days
Of teacups, sachet bags, and saying grace.

Some are grossly overweight or plump
And others wraith-like, wizened, barely there—
All have droopy breasts and sagging rumps
With flesh as rotten as a long-ripe pear.

They do what every whore does who is paid,
But always with young men who might be sons.
They seem inured to their salacious trade,
As much as teenage chippies with firm buns.

And yet one wonders: Can it be mere cash
That drives a woman, threescore years and ten,
To let a camera crew explore her gash,
And photograph her orgy with three men?

Or is it more, perhaps? A final urge
To get back to some primal, vital source—
To seek out in a young man’s swollen verge
The deathless thing that Shaw called The Life Force?

In any case, it hardly matters now—
Our time is one where female honor’s dead,
When Grandma is a fornicating sow
And golden years are transformed into lead.





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Joseph S. Salemi has published poems, translations, and scholarly articles in over one hundred journals throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. His four collections of poetry are Formal Complaints and Nonsense Couplets, issued by Somers Rocks Press, Masquerade from Pivot Press, and The Lilacs on Good Friday from The New Formalist Press. He has translated poems from a wide range of Greek and Roman authors, including Catullus, Martial, Juvenal, Horace, Propertius, Ausonius, Theognis, and Philodemus. In addition, he has published extensive translations, with scholarly commentary and annotations, from Renaissance texts such as the Faunus poems of Pietro Bembo, The Facetiae of Poggio Bracciolini, and the Latin verse of Castiglione. He is a recipient of a Herbert Musurillo Scholarship, a Lane Cooper Fellowship, an N.E.H. Fellowship, and the 1993 Classical and Modern Literature Award. He is also a four-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Prize.