Daniel Morris

A Dream Deferred is a Dream Denied: a Love Song for my Father

When I was a girl, 12, I knew for sure what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I found a stack of my father’s Playboys, and knew that’s what I wanted to be –
a bunny.

I married young, at 19, to a state trooper.
I had the opportunity to be
in Playboy, spent four days in the Mansion, had dinner with Hugh
(who was married to Trina at the time), but they wouldn’t let me do
the centerfold, plus my husband would have killed me,
since it would have looked bad for him – for his image –
being a state trooper.

So I backed away.
                                        Now I am 36, divorced, and have had two kids, one 9, one 13.
But look at me. Do you still think I could be in Playboy?
I want your honest opinion.
Look at how flat my stomach is. I realize my ass, too, is a little flat,
Like Joe Montana’s, and my torso is a little long, and yes, although my breasts
are big and beautiful, one of them is false, and they are not quite even. If you look closely, you will notice that my complexion is imperfect. I am not hiding
boils or anything unsightly by wearing these boots.

If you think that ankles are sexy, I’ll happily take them off.
Not my ankles, silly, my boots,

I think Playboy has a Mother’s edition. Maybe I am
suitable for that. I am not a lesbian, but no man
has ever made me orgasm. I have to use a dildo. You might think
many men have tried, given how I look,
but in truth I don’t get out much
or even exercise very much.

Playboy is at the tip of the food chain.
I already know I could get into Hustler, but that is not meaningful to me.
When I was 12, it was Playboy that my father had. I had
my opportunity. Although I am still beautiful the truth is
it is too late for me.

After Mel Ramos

It’s against the contract with Playboy for me to show you everything I’ve got,
(And this torn t-shirt let’s you not leave much to the imagination that I’ve got a lot)
To the point where taking it “all off” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,
Nor does the question “are they real?”
But Howard was willing to pay two grand plus
A ten second spot of me doing promo for his show and my
Website for wearing this purple thong bikini (and top) which
Convinced me to say yes, even though the real reason
For my reluctance to partially undress
Is not what Hef would say. In fact
If you read closely the contract specifies that showing your everything
Is cool so long as I am promoting Playboy, which it would be hard
To argue that I am not doing since I wouldn’t be here if
Hef didn’t go for Pamela Anderson look-a-likes, put me in the June
Issue and make me his “A” girl for 16 months, until I tired of the partying
Decided to go home to my 4 yr. old, who, I should add in defense of Hef,
Hef loved dearly and asked to stay at the mansion, but which I felt
Was no place for her, as it is perhaps no place for anybody, as, on some level,
Hef does understand, and so he paid for us to keep an apartment near the mansion,
To which I left his bed in the morning to attend to my daughter,
And from which I left her side after post-dinner videos to return to Hef’s bed.
Hef tends not to like me to mingle at the Mansion parties, as he is jealous and aware
That, at 80, however sweet he may be, he doesn’t always completely please me sexually,
And so likes to have late dinners in bed with me upstairs, where we do talk,
He is a great listener and I do have a lot of problems to sort through given
My tragic background, which only makes me appreciate more his gentleness
And kindness, which is not to say he is not a very sexual person, for he is,
Although we don’t have to do it (I suppose I shouldn’t put it that way)
Although we don’t do it every night, as Hef does not take Viagra every night
Either. Is it condescending to say he is good for his age?
But the honest unrepressed reason why I hesitated to put on this bikini
Was my ass, which is a black ass, but when I come out of the dressing room
Howard oohs and aahs saying that’s the way butts should be,
They should be black like that, not skinny ass white,
And there ought to be a law stating that I should wear the thong
Thing all the time – he is so sweet to say what he does, of all the crew on the show,
He’s the one I’d be the most willing to do, although he does look more
The Jew than Hef, who, too, is of the tribe. What is it with these Jewish men
Anyway? I am, as Lenny Bruce would say of his dyke wife: A shiksah goddess!
If I had a political bone there’d be a lot more mention about my past
That would change your impression of what I’m trying to accomplish,
Such as more on that 4 yr. old daughter and that a girl’s gotta do…
Coming from a family where my father, a rebel whom I only actually met once,
Was shot the day he left prison, and a brother, murdered too,
And that there are different ways of analyzing what it meant to me
To be Hugh’s “A” girl for 16 months (until I couldn’t stand the partying anymore,
As I am at bottom a gal who just wants to find a nice guy to settle down and rent
Videos with), and how to understand the fact, for example, he paid me a stipend
(And called it a stipend!) over and above taking care of all my bills for being available
For him every night (when he wasn’t with the six other lesser girls who would kill
Me if I told you what my stipend was when compared to theirs —I can tell you
It was less than five grand a week but more than five grand a month), or that Hugh
Is a jealous guy but very generous and a genuinely good listener who makes you go
By the rules, and so won’t allow me to see anyone in the mansion who is under 80,
But that he can spoon and fork anyone he wants to.

Daniel Morris is a Professor of English at Purdue University in Indiana USA. He has written several books of criticism, edited four others, and has published one book of his own poetry, Bryce Passage from Marsh Hawk Press. His poetry has appeared in many print poetry journals as well as well as online.

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