Go-Go Can by Christine Beck

As the sixties passed you by in Berkeley,

as we limber-limbed young women

tumbled onto madras covered beds

with guys who turned us on,

did you imagine us awakening

in what was left of last night’s clothes,

furry-tongued and tousled,

smelling of stale dope and sex?

As lyrics taunted you, a clumsy economics

prof:   I can’t get no … please allow me to 

satis … let’s spend the …faction…

night together…

You dreamed up The Go-Go Can – psychedelic

paint can, concealing bare necessities – paper nightgown,

panties, toothbrush, a tidy bar of soap – neatly wrapped

accessories for sex without the mess.

Then talked a marketing executive at Macy’s,

middle-aged and clueless, into stacking pyramids

of pink and orange striped Go-Go cans,

eye-level near designer bags.


We didn’t buy them, not one.

Your first mistake: we didn’t shop at Macy’s.

Macy’s wasn’t cool. We were Salvation Army chic.

Your next: we didn’t wear nightgowns – silk,

or satin, sequined, feathered, see-through, lace.

Why would we advertise with a Go-Go can?

We liked to lounge on plumped up pillows,

pass around a joint, send smoky come-on signs,

and then somehow, find ourselves in beds.

We did it naked.

We liked the mess.

Image: “Naked Girl Asleep” by Lucian Freud