Jane Handel: Intent on What She Is Doing.
Jane Handel Performance
By Suki O'Kane

Dressed for Sunday Afternoon Tea, Jane stood alone and fine-boned, unnaturally still for an erotic poetess, and quietly reminded the audience that the Marquis de Sade and Lydia Lunch share the same birthday.

"The Marquis, who must be turning in his grave at the commodification of S&M," she continued from one of her essays, building a rant over the course of a few pieces that flew over the heads of the modest crowd, and made her skin tremble with truth. Telling the story of her sexual awakening in the '60s, admitting the persistent lure of sex will always be for her the "slimy exchange of bodily fluids," Jane painted the picture of a changing erotic landscape that mitigates the distance between our notions of sex as a dark cave filled with ambiguities and sex as a source of profound creativity.

All of this in the voice of a minorly alarmed imperative. Dispassionate and even, she could easily have been pointing out that the ash had finally dropped from our cig onto our rayon, and her reproving glances to the back of the club had no effect on the women quietly chatting there.

I began to worry Jane would explode if they didn't shut up. I felt flushed and needled around the ears. I had no drink to take away the dry in my mouth. I shifted my weight and breathed deeply.

Jane closed her notebook and peeled open First Person Sexual, published by Down There Press.

In excruciating clarity, she unraveled an agonizing tale of watching the onanistic porn video featuring a man who at that moment was sitting in her kitchen, convivializing in low murmurs with a bottle of tequila and another guest. Hostess gift or consolation prize, she mused. Then the simple facts:

He Is Intent On What He Is Doing

And I Am Intent On Watching Him Do It.

I thought it would never end.

No, no. That was a good thing.

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