Nin Andrews

My Last Deidre | The City of the Orgasm
June 9, 2013 Andrews Nin

My Last Deidre

after Frank O’Hara


I am a not woman.  I am an orgasm.

An orgasm of life.

Why? I dunno.  I would rather be

a woman, but I am not.  I am not

like my friend, Deirdre.

When I drop in to see her, she says,

“Sit down. Have a glass of Cabernet.”

I drink. She drinks.  I look up.

“You are always welcome here.”

“Okay,” I say.  So I come.


And she comes, and the days go by.

I drop in again.  And again.

And I come, and she comes,

and the days go by.

One day I drop in.

“Where’s Deirdre?” I ask.

All that’s left of her

is a heap of soiled sheets

and three socks.  One sock

is blue.  One sock is orange.

Another sock is pink.

“She had enough,” the cleaning lady says.


But me?  I keep thinking of

Deirdre.  So I write a poem

called “Deirdre.”  I write another

“Deirdre.”  Then another.

For Deirdre is life.

And I am an orgasm of life.

Therefore I am an orgasm of Deirdre.

As the great Aristotle said,

if A=B, and B=C, then A=C.


Days go by.  I tire of Deirdre.

I stop writing about Deirdre.

I erase her from my pages.

I erase her from my mind.

My life is finished, I think.

I will never mention Deirdre again.

But I have written twelve poems.

I call them MY DEIRDRES.


One day I see Deirdre again.

She says, “Do you remember me?

I shake my head, “No.”

I leave. I do not look back.

I write a thirteenth poem

called “My Last Deirdre.”

I leave the page blank.



The City of the Orgasm

after Italo Calvino


A man could travel years without finding the city of the orgasm, a city where every staircase, statue, window, violin, perfume, dream, song, even every brawl or brand of beer is inspired by the orgasm.  A first-timer might hesitate upon entering, not knowing how to find his place among the throngs of men and women, all dream-colored and nude in the soft light of desire.  But here, as in every city, while some inhabitants are as lovely as angels but possess an iciness (or what the French call une froideur glaciale), others blaze with rage and urgency, their fists raised in the air.  Still others weep and melt like ice cream on the pastel-colored streets. Some parade their orgasms around like trained poodles, giving them treats when they jump through hoops, yap, or roll over and play dead.  Others feel as if they are stuck in elevators, ridden up and down by the orgasms for hours with no particular exit plan.   Still others never know they are there.  Or how little time they have.  They linger in restrooms, staring into mirrors, picking hairs from their brows and chins, applying blush and perfume.  Many fall to their knees, their faces to the ground, saying Amen again and again, as if it were too much to ask for more.  Their prayers move across the skin in slow, red waves.  No one can stay for long.  But no matter how many times a man leaves, he can never recall the exact geography of the town. Only his first and last moments remain clear in the mind.  All else remains forever a secret of the city of the orgasm.

Nin Andrews’ poems have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies including Ploughshares, Agni, The Paris Review, and four editions of Best American Poetry. The author of seven chapbooks and seven full-length poetry collections, she has won two Ohio individual artist grants, the Pearl Chapbook Contest, the Kent State University chapbook contest, the Gerald Cable Poetry Award, and the Ohioana 2016 Award for poetry. She is also the editor of a book of translations of the Belgian poet, Henri Michaux, called Someone Wants to Steal My Name. Her book, The Last Orgasm, was published by Etruscan Press in 2020.