Tuesday, October 04, 2005


So I got in the mail yesterday a postcard/coupon for a free panty. No, it was for a "free panty!" The exclamation point should not be excluded. Excitement over underwear is a good thing in my book, in my country, in the United States of Me. I think I stole that from Tony Hoagland. Oh well. We'll live. But, anyway, a panty, a free one. Panty is such a weird word. Eliot used to say that it was impossible to publish a poem with the word panty it; I'm sure it's been done, but I think his point was it's an awkward word. And by Eliot I don't mean Thomas Stearns; I mean, my old pal Eliot. And I'm using 'and' a lot today. I'm in a random mood.

But, back to the panty. You buy your girlfriend some shimmery, secret thing (obviously, I'm talking about aluminum foil) and you're guaranteed a lifetime of free panties. Curiouser and curiouser.

So I've used 'bra' in a couple of poems and felt they worked fine. But not panty. Have any of you? Let me know. If not, I challenge you to write a panty poem.

And post it here, or on your blog, and I'll link to it.

I'm waiting....


Charles said...

I'm not sure panty should ever be used in the singular.

Paul said...

That does seem weird. But what do I know?

Shin Yu said...

A. Van Jordan has an unforgettable poem in his first collection Rise (Tia Chucha) set in a Victoria's Secret store involving the poetic narrator as lectured by Charlie Mingus in a dialogue on women taking place amidst panties and other lingerie.

Dee said...

Panty (or pantie)is usually used in the plural, but the singular makes clear that the offer was for one pair. (In other words, the ad was brief.)

Panty is canty
But knicker is slicker.

Paul said...

Ha! :)

Josh_Hanson said...

hop into the wagon girls
throw your panties overboard.

Only Bob could make that sound so cool.

Paul said...

Bob Denver?

Melissa said...

a postcard/coupon? Well, send it in, see what comes back, and write your first panty poem. ;)I'll sure you'll have scores of people waiting to read it.

Paul said...

I think it has to be redeemed (what a word) in-store. And, um, something tells me they'd look askance at me...

Melissa said...

HA Perhaps they would give you side-long glances, which of course would make for a highly entertaining situation.

Sal said...

Here is a poem that makes good use of the word panties.

Bojangles and Jo
by James A. Emanual

Stairstep music: ups,
downs, Bill Robinson smiling,
jazzdancing the rounds.

She raised champagne lips,
danced inside banana hips.
All Paris wooed Jo.

Banana panties,
perfumed belt, Jazz tatooing
lush ecstasies felt.

Josephine, royal,
jewelling her dance, flushing
the bosom of France.


Neil Aitken said...

Speaking of flyers and strange redemption, I once found a flyer on my doorstep announcing "Jesus Fest" with "Free Car Raffle" evidently sponsored by the rather gray-haired biker priest whose photo appeared on the back.

I don't think any panties were offered though.

Paul said...

The first poem!

Matthew Thorburn said...

I once used this seemingly unpoetic word (in the singular, no less) in a poem called "For Friends who are Married and Expecting More Babies." It's not online but I can try to post a copy.

Also your post makes me remember -- I think it was Reb who once mentioned the idea of doing an anthology of lingerie/underwear poems....

Paul said...

There should totally be a lingerie/underwear anthology. Reb, call me!

Diane K. Martin said...

Ah, I have a poem using the word "panty"--from my experience working (as an editor) on a skin magazine. Unfortunately, while a memorable experience and great dinner-party fodder--it's not a very good poem.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

The one I done is up on my blog.

Anonymous said...

This poem was published in River Styx:

Dear Panties,

by Nancy Krygowski

When the healer told me
about the bad energy in black
and red, how could I not think
about my lonely vagina,
how its walls feel only
each other, like holding
my own hand? And how,
for years, walking through
my walled-in days, I’ve favored
these bad-girl colors, so at least
I could whisper,
these are really hot,
as my own hands slide them off.
Dear new panties,
I choose your flowers—
orange and yellow and pink—
two days in a row

to brighten the parts of my body
so mostly my own
as I careen through South Dakota
as I sit now in Sioux Falls
where I can’t find falls,
where men walk by in sun-tight skin
and ignore my excuse me’s
for directions. I don’t want
their fingers, but can I have their eyes?
Here, I wear this superstition—
unlikely flowers blooming between my legs—
because my questions are windy
and wide as a prairie:
Why does fear wall-in a heart?
What happens when a body
becomes invisible?
It’s too simple to say a prairie
is simply empty, to say
there are no answers.
Here, a world of grass
holds down the soil, digs down
in stringy curves the height of me,
and finds water.

Suzanne said...

My first published poem featured white panties. :-)

Paul said...


Wild One said...


Today I saw a girl
wearing only blue bikini panties