Off Limits

In a class by itself...

And women in Colorado are just as deprived as women across the rest of the country. Unlike those women, though, we'll be lucky enough to have Dr. Bob in our midst for the next few weeks. And he's certain that the solution lies in the Venus Butterfly, which is supposed to result in a one-hour orgasm -- "When I say the title, most guys think dinner is included," Dr. Bob explains -- or, in the cases of some "trained professionals," the eleven-hour orgasm.

The 171-page paperback edition of his book, complete with picture and accompanying videos ("They're very explicit, but they're not pornography"), has "become the Poke-mama for Christmas," Dr. Bob adds. "One store in Richmond, Virginia, which is a very conservative town, sold 437 copies after our radio interview there."

There are only a few shopping days left to pick up your very own copy, a must-have as the new year rolls around. Y2K disaster or not, the Venus Butterfly is a helluva way to go.

Prophet scorned
It makes a twisted kind of sense that Boulder poet Edward Dorn, who died December 10 at the age of seventy, received only a few lines' worth of wire-service obituary in the bumbling dailies. One persistent theme of Dorn's work is the way American politics and pop culture conspire to dehumanize the individual and court oblivion, burying the profound in a heap of triviality.

Dorn's writing is anything but trivial. Born in Illinois and schooled at Black Mountain College, the legendary artists' hothouse, Dorn came west as a young man and wandered the Rockies with one hand on the steering wheel and the other clutching a notebook. His post-Beat epic poem Gunslinger, which appeared in installments over two decades, is a riotous celebration of language and a brilliant collision of Western mythology with the counterculture: Stagecoach on acid. His later work was increasingly journalistic in tone ("I can tell the news a lot better than they can," he insisted), riffing off the day's events to denounce the greed of the Reagan era. He also savagely mocked the Californication of his adopted state, especially Boulder ("the small, consumerist space station of Balderdash"), where he headed the University of Colorado's creative writing program.

Battling cancer, Dorn made one of his last public appearances a few months ago for a benefit reading at the LoDo Tattered Cover. He began by observing that the success of the warehouse district had further displaced Denver's homeless. "This used to be their space," he said. "I think about them all the time." Then he read poems about Jamaica and Latin America, the Pope's 1993 visit to Denver ("The crowd is vast and young and unaborted and they're all pregnant") and genetic engineering, while the young crowd of former students and aspiring poets listened quietly for the cool words encasing the white heat of outrage and nodded knowingly: This gunslinger's aim is true.

If you have a tip, call Jonathan Shikes at 303-293-3555, send a fax to 303-296-5416, or e-mail

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