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Sting like a Butterfly

by: George Held

           I went to a poetry reading in the South Village. That’s just above Houston Street. South of Houston begins SoHo, which means south of Houston. That’s pronounced HOW-stun. The other day on the subway the conductor announced the next stop would be HEW-stun. I thought we might be in Texas, because the accent was Southwestern.

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            The reading was held in a bar. Actually the reading was in the cellar. You walk past the bar to a staircase and descend into the cellar. There’s a small bar there but also tables and chairs. A mike is set up at the far end. People were signing up for the open reading. That means anyone can read, even if they have no talent.

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            The featured reader looked Asian. She called herself Hiroko Schmetterling. I didn’t know what Hiroko meant, but Schmetterling means butterfly in German.  She was like a combination of the Axis in WW II. Only she looked pure Japanese. She had short straight black hair, dark brown eyes, high cheekbones, a flat nose, and full lips. The German came out in her body. It was solid, curvaceous, and full-breasted. Her navel and her lower lip were pierced with studs. Her tight jersey was cut to reveal a deep cleft between her breasts. She didn’t need a bra and didn’t wear one.

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            The first thing Hiroko read was a memoir about looking Japanese but feeling like a Nazi and wanting to wear a storm trooper’s uniform and leather boots and to stomp on the faces of round eyes. She read aggressively and spit flew from her mouth when she aspirated. Unfortunately, I was seated too far back to be sprayed. But that didn’t stop me from getting a woody.

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            Next Hiroko read from a novel that had just been published by “a major publisher.” She hinted that she was sleeping with the editor-in-chief. He had no choice but to publish her or lose out on her sensational sex technique. Now that the book was out, she said, she was going to drop him.

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The part she read was a chapter about attending an artist colony. The place provided a cabin and meals for a dozen artists at a time. She interacted with musicians, painters, and other writers. She narrated how she seduced both men and women there in the surrounding woods. She would tempt her prey at supper in the common room and lure it outside in the warm summer evening. They would stop under a tree and she would talk dirty to her companion and promise him or her the greatest orgasm she or he had ever had and rub herself up against him or her. Then she would sneer and call her or him an asshole and leave her companion frustrated against the tree. At the end of the month, at the farewell dinner, Hiroko was voted Miss Congeniality.

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            I bought a signed copy of Hiroko’s novel. I was about to buy two till she told me that the “she” in the novel might not be autobiographical. I still asked for her phone number. She sneered at me and said, “Asshole.”

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           Walking back to the subway, I gave my copy of the novel to a panhandler. Maybe he could get a few dollars for it.

THE END

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