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"So might marriage be for other
men," The merchant said, "but I've got me a hen Who'd peck my eyes
out, given half a chance. Marriage is the graveyard of
"It's been no more than two months we've been
wed, Already she has tossed me out of bed, And has a tone of voice
that's just for me -- Sarcastic, nasty, out to disagree, As though I
were the enemy, long loathed, And she long suffering. Undressed or
clothed, It is the same with us, so much has hate Turned off the
least desire, sad to state.
"She is a lovely woman, young and
pretty, But hard -- so hard! -- and quite bereft of pity, The
opposite of Theresa's temperament. I swear, even in Hell she'd not
repent, But curse me for the hate that put her there! My life with
her is more than I can bear! Take my advice, my friends, and do not
wed, For if you do, you'll wish that you were dead!"
the bartender said. "On to your tale! This litany of woes is getting
stale. Use your expertise on marital war, But of your personal life
-- please, no more!"
"Quite right," the merchant said. "I'll shape
my pain Into a tale that all will entertain. For what might seem a
rant straight from the heart Becomes a melody when touched by art."
A professor once had long been used
to bedding Young women whom he had no thought of wedding. Each
semester he'd survey his classes, Not for eager minds but shapely
asses, And always found a few who'd gladly trade A bit of pleasure
for a better grade.
Alas! As he grew older it grew harder To
find such tasty dainties for his larder, For time was ticking
mercilessly for him While seemingly quite unconcerned with them, Who
stayed in age remarkably the same, Although it seemed each year each
changed her name.
Finally, a faculty committee, Made up mostly
of men, more's the pity, Concluded that such sex was out of
bounds And censured him, it turned out, on the grounds Of merely
asking for a goodnight kiss, An innocent request, except for
this: That he implied, or she inferred, a threat, If he did not, at
some point certain, get His way with her (though he in fact
denied That he in any way such things implied), He would (she
thought, inferred, well ... guessed, whatever) Perhaps not like so well
her next endeavor.
Such evidence would clearly not convict A dog
of pissing on the street, but pricked By conscience, other "victims"
soon came forth, Women newly militant, a broth Of righteous fury,
pain, and psychic damage, An avalanche that finally did manage To
get our poor professor to retire Rather than be fired. Oh, what
ire He felt at being massively betrayed! So what if he'd
The trouble was he'd gotten
unattractive, Old and wrinkled, while his hyperactive Female
students longed for younger men, And were less willing to surrender
when He broached the usual negative rewards. He should have heard
the angry, dissonant chords!
Oh well, oh well, the question was,
what now? Old and ugly, he couldn't imagine how He'd get his daily
nookie by and by, Now that he'd been robbed of his supply. He
guessed that he'd be forced at last to marry, Some sweet young child,
perhaps, whom he could carry Out of abject poverty, and who'd Be
grateful just for shelter and some food.
And then he'd send a
stipend twice a year To her family, just to make her fear That he
might discontinue his largesse If her first thought were not his
happiness. Yes! Yes! Some child, with orifices tight, Whom he would
have a chance to break in right!
This vision grew in power before
his eyes, Making marriage seem a paradise, That earlier had seemed a
vicious trap Laid by women to virtually kidnap Unsuspecting men, and
put them in A little box, locked safe away from sin. Why would
anyone endure a wife, Who'd claim one half of all one's goods for
life, When one could freely pick and choose the best, As not a
harried owner but a guest?
But now deprived of that choice,
marriage seemed Far more practical than he had dreamed, Being that
one's nookie, close at hand, Lay waiting, 24/7, on demand.
then there was the pretense he'd be spared Of constantly pretending
that he cared, The lunches, dinners, dates, the evenings out, The
endless, stupid chattering about One's lives, opinions, anything at
all, Before one could just get undressed and ball.
of that nonsense he'd be free And could enjoy his pleasure by decree
-- No need to waste one's cunning on the chase, Sure enough each
night of an embrace.
But what if he got bored? The same old
thing Night after night would surely boredom bring. Ecstasy's not
easy to repeat. But then, if he got bored, well, he could
Cheat? The very word now turned him cold! How could he
forget that he was old, And that a fresh young thing might find him
stale And soon make him the moral of this tale?
Maybe he should
just give up, forget it, Before some Jezebel made him regret it. But
all too soon desire conquered fear, And our poor fool was wed, as you
A few months later, he (let's call him Jan) Was
looking at some pictures that a man Had spread out on a table in a
bar In Bangkok. They hadn't gotten very far When Jan put down his
finger on a face That seemed to him the epitome of grace, Sweet
innocence that could not be denied Because it welled up from the love
"Hey!" he said. "That's her! How much is she?" Of course
the price went up immediately. "Four thousand American dollars," the
agent said. "That much?" Jan cried. "She has her maidenhead," The
agent explained. "That always costs you more. You know no man has been
with her before.
"She's quite unusual, a girl like that, To
reach 16 with maidenhead intact. Her parents know the value of such
things, And of the premium a virgin brings, Especially one so
beautiful. She must Be the kind of girl that you can trust. I have a
document from an M.D. Attesting to her pure virginity, Free of all
diseases, nice and clean. You'll think you're living in some kind of
"Three thousand!" Jan said, knowing he should
bargain. "No way," the agent said. He knew his marlin, Had him on
the hook, now pull him in, Thrashing in the golden grip of
"Here is one for less." He turned the page. "She's had few
men, considering her age. Been in a whorehouse since she was
eight, But now she's ten, really not too late To turn into a
mistress, tried and true. Three thousand on the button, just for
"No, no," said Jan, easily defeated, Even knowing he was
being cheated. "I'll take the first one. Do you know her
name?" "Call her Mai," he said. "It's all the same."
And so Jan
purchased Mai, who was delivered To his hotel the next day. How she
quivered As Jan began to kiss her, touch her breast, And slowly
stripped her till she was undressed, Determined to determine whether
she Was still possessed of her virginity, And try out his new
purchase in the sack Before it was too late to give her
And yes! Oh, yes! She was a virgin pure. The cries and
bloody sheet said that for sure. After, he was gentle, kissed her
hand And told her it would wear a wedding band, Promised her a life
of happiness, Finally unnerved by her distress. But she could speak
no English, he no Thai, And so we leave them there, our Jan and
Two years later, back home in the States, Jan's abundant
passion scarce abates. He consumes his morsel every night, Virility
engorged by his delight, While Mai endures his thrusts through
fantasy, Imagining a prince in love as he.
She knows that she is
lucky, more or less, Having to endure but slight duress, A bit of
nightly mauling, not so much For room and board, an education,
such Support for her twin sisters, nine years old, As needed to
prevent their being sold.
She hated his stiff member in her
rear, His spittle drooling on her neck and ear, The way his flesh
hung flaccid on his bones, The ghastly rasp of his asthmatic
moans, His tongue that licked her like a lollipop, His thick-veined
hands that never seemed to stop Caressing her, as if she were his
dog, While he, meanwhile, was happy as a hog, Young again, reborn
into bright passion, Sex night and day, with neither pause nor
ration, A cornucopia of non-stop pleasure, Thanks to her -- his
playmate and his treasure.
He thought she would be grateful just
for food, And would endure him out of gratitude, But joy seemed
mutual, or so he thought, And so he had the paradise he
Into this paradise one day there came Jan's former
student, Damian by name, To work with him on Chaucer's fabliaux, A
project they had started long ago, Before Jan's resignation, out to
prove That Chaucer had a jaundiced view of love.
But this was
before Jan encountered Mai, When he had personal reasons to deny The
power of love to rearrange the heart, As is so often seen in Chaucer's
But before I jump ahead, I must first Describe how Damian
was roundly cursed By Jan for even mentioning their work. "I was,"
he said, "At that time just a jerk. When you meet Mai, you'll
understand that we Misunderstood the glint in Chaucer's
"His fun with cuckolds was a large embrace Of all sweet
love, from sex to heavenly grace, A hierarchy we, alas, have
lost, Replaced with irony, but at what cost! For love is one, a
ladder to the sky, As you will learn, if fortunate as I.
here comes Mai -- my wife, my love, my treasure. Now you'll know the
cause of all my pleasure, The beauty that defines for me all
beauty, The good that makes a blessing of all duty."
turned to see a lovely girl Whose innocent face made his senses
whirl As though an angel promised ecstasy, All the more lurid for
Instantly, Damian was smitten, As though by some
diseased mosquito bitten. He stared at her as she came up to
him, Marveling at the glow of her fresh skin, The perfect set of her
brown almond eyes, The bit of cleft where so much pleasure lies, The
-- "This is Mai," Jan said. "And Damian, My former student." Mai shook
his hand, and when Skin touched skin, both felt the urge of
life, Despite the fact that she remained Jan's wife, An urge that
Mai had never felt so strongly, For she had been initiated
wrongly, Robbed of the experience of love, That makes of sex a song
of joy, and moves The body to a moment of pure bliss. But of such
love Mai had not one kiss.
And so the two of them, Damian and
Mai, As they touched hands exchanged words eye-to-eye. Both felt as
though they had been given wings, And now like angels sang where
Jan was pleased such abject awe to see, Basking
in his student's jealousy. She's mine! He thought. And I'm the only
one Who can into her golden body come. Others may long to, but I can
with her lie Until there's neither earth nor sea nor sky, But just
my darling with me in her arms, While other men must fantasize her
Soon Damian had persuaded Jan That he was of his
scholarship a fan, Offering to edit the ideas That he had come to
pilfer through the years From textbooks and some studies he had
read Before his mind had gone completely dead.
Damian came over
every day To where his dreams and thoughts and longings lay, But
never could be with his love alone Since Jan would never leave him on
his own, But talked for hours, now he had an ear, Of things no one
but him would want to hear, While his poor victim furtively would
try To get a glimpse of his sweet goddess Mai.
This went on for
weeks until one day Damian proposed a clever way To replicate The
Merchant's Tale in Chaucer, Which Jan had found ridiculous. "Of course
her Husband was a cuckold -- he was blind, Not only physically, but
in his mind. Now I would hold my Mai's hand night and day To make
sure that she'd never get away Far enough to boff another man. Just
try me for a whole day, if you can!"
"Night and day?" Damian asked.
"And when Mai needed the toilet? What would you do then?" "I'd let
her lead me to the bathroom door," Jan said, "and wait till she was
through. No more Than that would I allow, I promise you. And when I
had to go, she'd be there, too!"
"I'd like to see that," Damian
said. "Suppose You put this theory to the test and chose To wear a
blindfold for a night and day As though Zeus struck you blind. What do
you say? Do you think that Mai would play along And lead you night
and day, and do no wrong --" "How could she do wrong?" Jan asked. "All
night And day I'll have her hand in mine gripped tight."
it was decided that within The week Jan would be blindfolded, and
then See whether he could keep his honor more Successfully than that
old fool of yore In Chaucer's tale, whose wife had in a tree Her
paramour bestrode adulterously.
Meanwhile, Damian slipped Mai a
note With all the details of his plan. He wrote Rapturously of love
for her, and of The ways in which he'd soon express that
She wrote back, trembling with desire, The two of them
swept upward in the fire That burned in their bone-dry
imaginations, Fed by their abundant expectations.
before the promised day of passion, Jan demanded thrice his normal
ration, Boffing Mai again, again, again, As though he weren't
certain where or when He'd get another chance, while she endured His
undesired buggering, ensured Of ecstasy, pleasure, joy, and bliss If
only she could once more get through this!
Before she fell in love
with Damian, Mai had given up what might have been, Accepting that
for her sex was a chore, And that her life would offer nothing
But now she had been lit by love's fierce fire, All she
felt was amorous desire. Even as Jan thrust inside of her, She
dreamed of Damian, and felt the stir Of what she thought she might
The morning came before Jan could resume His
love-making. And as had been agreed, He put on blinders, then asked Mai
to feed Him breakfast, which she did. When Damian Came to the door,
both answered, Mai with Jan, And then they silent sat, all three, an
hour, Until Jan said, "You see? It's in my power To guard my honor
even though I'm blind. I think I've proved my point, if you don't
"It's morning yet, said Damian. "There's more, Much more
to this experiment before We can say that you have won the game, And
blind have kept your honor all the same."
Hours more passed. Jan
began to fret. "My hand is tired. Isn't this over yet?" "Not yet,"
said Damian. "But tell me, please, Don't you need the bathroom? Mai can
ease You down onto the toilet -- I won't see. And you can call her
when you're done. Then we Can pass the time until the evening's
come, And it will be high time that I go home."
"Not on your
life!" Jan cried. "Mai will stay With me the whole time -- all the
night and day! I won't let her go -- not for one minute! I will win
this game, now that I'm in it!
"Don't think that I don't see what's
going on! You think that I will cheat once you are gone! You must
stay all night so you can see That Mai won't get a chance to cheat on
"I'm no fool -- I'll
keep her by my side Till Satan come and beg me for a ride! Not on my
wife! I will say to him, Besting all -- even the Lord of Sin! Take
me to the toilet, Mai, and close Your eyes when I begin, and hold your
Mai did as she was told and closed the door, Leaving
Damian outside. No more Could he hold back from beating on his
chest, Robbed of the sweet taste of Mai's young breast, Thinking of
her chained to that old fool, Forced to smell the vileness of his
stool! My God! He'd kill him! That's what he would do!
the door was opened -- Jan was through. Mai motioned to her lover to go
in, Finger to her lips, so Damian Slipped inside the putrid-smelling
room And heard Mai say, "I must now assume Your position on the
throne, my dear. But modesty forbids that you be near. As Swift says
in his poem about such links, You'll associate me with my
stinks, And then won't love me anymore. So please Just stand right
here beside the house of ease. I'll be right out to guide you to your
chair, Where Damian awaits our presence there."
cried. "Damian! Curse the day I ever mentored him! Why did he
propose this stupid test? Now I am embarked, I'll have no rest Until
I've proven I can keep you pure By means as neat and elegant as
sure. So I'll wait here, just outside the door. But do not lock it,
Mai! I'll say no more."
So Mai went in and closed the door behind
her. It took two seconds for Damian to find her Breasts within his
hands, his tongue and hers Locked like wrestlers, their battered senses
blurs. Two seconds more, and Damian's pants were down, As were Mai's
panties. She felt that she might drown In ecstasy and gave a little
"What was that?" Jan called. "Are you alone?" "Just a
cramp," she said. "I'll be all right. I'll take a little laxative
So back they went hot at it, those young two, Their
mouths together joined as though with glue, Damian now buried deep
inside His lover, who no longer could abide The silence and gave out
a cry of joy, Then another as the desperate boy Pulled her harder
onto him, and harder --
"What was that?" Jan cried. "Now go no
farther!" He ripped his blindfold off, opened the door, And screamed
at the salacious scene he saw -- His former student buried in his
wife, His helpmate and the treasure of his life, His wife all limp
upon him, having just Had her first orgasm at his
Instantly, the tableau came apart As Jan, still yelping,
held his aching heart. "What have you done to me?" he kept
repeating. "Nothing, my dear, nothing," Mai said, seating Her
beet-red husband on the toilet top.
"Why did you cry out to me to
stop? I was having cramps, and still have some --" (As Damian
slipped out as he had come) "-- and need more time in here. You should
not be So jealous --" "I may be old, but I can see! I saw your lover
in you to the hilt! Now there's no putting back the milk that's
spilt! My life is ruined, ruined, that's the thing! Here's where I
want to put my wedding ring!"
He opened up the toilet, but then
Mai Slammed it down again. "No need to buy Another wedding ring. Let
me explain What happened to you, and that way ease your
"As is well known, all scientists agree: We tend to see
what we expect to see. The eye is ever subject to the mind, Which,
never eager to be left behind, Sees what is not there, before the
eye Can tell it what it actually did espy.
"So did you,
anticipating wrong, See what you expected all along, Turning cramps
to orgasms, and arms To someone ravishing your dear wife's
"But as you see, there is no lover here, Just you and
me. Now, please go have a beer With Damian, who's waiting in the
study, Your former student and your bosom buddy, While I attempt my
colon to relieve. And, please, from now on doubt what you
Which Jan did, for the remainder of his
life, Trusting not his eyes but his young wife, Determined to retain
connubial bliss Even if it meant his wine was piss, Drinking it with
relish, though somewhere He had to, had to realize what was
So do we all protect our happiness By being blind to what
might cause distress, Deciding not to see what we have
seen, Cuckolds all, undone by what has been.
"Yes!" the bartender said. "That is
so true! Such scheming wives we all are subject to! Marry, and quite
soon you'll see The Switch: The woman whom you married is a
bitch! Which is to say, she is herself, not who You thought she was
when she first married you!
"My wife was beautiful and loved me so
-- Until our wedding night, when off she'd go Into complaints that I
was this and that, A browbeater, a bully, and a brat, And she could
take no more! (This only hours After we were wed -- so soon it
"So now she is obese and loud and coarse, A woman I'd be
happy to divorce Except for our three kids, on whom I dote, For whom
I slave long hours on this boat, While she, my nemesis, is on her
back Supplying other men with what I lack!
"I know I'm not alone
in my despair: Of married folk there's many another pair Undone
before the marriage vows are cold -- But that's a tale far too often