Government Health Warning by Stephen Nelson

The porn wars are over and the whales are on the shore
ready to take the fallout – the guilt, the shame, the trespass
offering made in curtained bedrooms while your wife
cooks supper and prepares her morning address to the nation. 

I loved a woman who taught me porn was wrong. I loved
her and met her at the station when summer was a girl
in a dress under a tree fighting off the sweaty palms
of a children’s entertainer in a red velvet jumpsuit. 

You are my darling and you dream of whales
and relocate to paradise and the blue, blue coast
under volcanoes of fascists and simmering orange landscapes
where gender is violently ill yet irredeemably lecherous.

I’m your poisoned vanilla thumb, babe. Please suck me dry,
but remember I won’t get hard until I’m enlightened.
Masculinity is debased and prurient; old empires
cluster in toothsome sugar treats as if the slave trade

were a cinnamon holiday in Virginia. We’re afraid of corporations
coughing up chem trails on porn sites for simpering politicians
when America has no future. You’re a Yellowstone wolf leading
wolf packs through winter to a rainbow prophecy. See the weak, 

the frail, the discombobulated Nacho mouths of eco-warriors
raising awareness on Twitter. Love’s fat strawberry softens
on my wet, pink tongue, and my friend mIEKAL is the farmer.
No one cares if the sound of the trumpet is sweeter 

than whale song on a secular Sunday afternoon,
when Europe is a burning death camp memory.
Please remember this though: pornography may cause cancer
and other incurable diseases if viewed from an early age.


Stephen Nelson is the author of Lunar Poems for New Religions (KFS Press) and Thorn Corners (erbacce-press). His latest book is a Xerolage of visual poetry called Arcturian Punctuation, published by Xexoxial Editions. He is a contributor to The Last Vispo Anthology, has published poetry and exhibited vispo around the world, and was once a featured poet in The Sunday Times Poet’s Corner. Check out his blog of visual poetry and asemic writing at