“Pantsless in Boston” arose without too much discussion. Purely for the sake of mischief, John quietly wanted to push Martin’s buttons a little, by beginning with a potentially saucy title and a couplet containing an ejaculation metaphor. Martin added to the beginning lines but took the poem in a different direction, someplace higher-minded but still cognizant of its thematic starting point. The result combined oblique references to sex with regional details, American history, and, of course, pants.
“Pantsless in Boston” first appeared in Eleven Eleven Number 8 (January 2010). Eleven Eleven is a production of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Pantsless in Boston” is the fifth poem in the final sequence of Poets’ Guide to America.