Allow brevity. Allow sweetness.
Allow smudged ink.
Do not use exclamation points.
Do not speak in the third person.
Bring your best paper. Tolerate
the passage of time. You may
drink water. Try not to drink wine.
Write alone, but imagine
others in the room.
Use adjectives if you like,
and end sentences with prepositions.
Do not repeat yourself. Invite
generosity, permit humour.
Avoid sarcasm, but accept grief.
Draft the letter as if
you could only write it once.
Use a long salutation
and a short goodbye.

Amy MacLennan

Lines and Squares

January 19, 2020

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I’m ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street,
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, “Bears,
just look how I’m walking in all the squares!”

And the little bears growl to each other, “He’s mine,
As soon as he’s silly and steps on a line.”
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe the talk;
It’s ever so portant how you walk.
And it’s ever so jolly to call out, “Bears,
just watch me walking in all the squares!”

A. A. Milne

Love is All

January 19, 2020

 

From buildings painted grey and blue like wedding spoons,
we fell out like teeth. How desperate of it to stick, to become

the aftertaste of itself, this love. The dog wags himself out
of your daughter’s arms. We holed up with boxes, without hangups,

putting the animal down. We let eyelet curtains turn to ghosts.
In the old movies, someone smiled wide through their tears

and was received like a parade of pageant girls. But we just cry,
inglorious, ever the picture you never noticed in the living room.

The slogan of lovers is briefly debated. Stage fright, someone says,
nailing their hand to the wall. Forgiveness, says another.

And there is a pause. It is enough. Pages curl away into nothing,
you hold onto your breath and my coat. There is a pause. It is.

Suzanne Highlan

Someplace

January 19, 2020

“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”

L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

magically burst forth

January 19, 2020

Writing and reading are the only ways to find your voice. It won’t magically burst forth in your poems the next time you sit down to write, or the next, but little by little, as you become aware of more choices and begin to make them – consciously and unconsciously – your style will develop.

Dorianne Laux
The Poet’s Companion: A Guide To The Pleasures Of Writing Poetry

“My wildest fantasy involves dominating a man and a woman at the same time in a cuckolding scenario. I love thinking about humiliating a man by making his wife orgasm over and over. My straight woman friends seem like they can never find a partner who does them right, especially in our age range. I always feel kind of bad because lesbian sex has always been so explosively satisfying for me and I get such an ego boost from eating a girl out until she’s shaking. I love it so much, I could do it all day. When a friend tells me that some guy just got his and didn’t return the favour or she faked it, I get competitive. I love women, I want to show them how good sex can be. I do think about tying the boys up and seducing their girlfriends. Throw in some edging, like a hand job/blow job where he doesn’t get to orgasm, and then go back to her and finger her and eat her out. Maybe she’s talking about how she’s never had it this good before. All the better if he’s also sickly enjoying this.”

— Ashley, 25

Carina Hsieh
Women on Their Hottest Sexual Fantasy

talking dirty

January 19, 2020

My first wife suffered with a form of Narratophilia. She could only orgasm by talking dirty – and I mean really dirty – during lovemaking. It was a tad disconcerting to be honest.

At that time and in that place, deep in a nearby wood, there was a slender stream which lost its way through the thick shrubbery. We would often picnic there in the summer. Taste happiness together. I have a memory of her laughter in the still air, nymph-like, quite free.

She was a crystal ball: you could see into her, but not through her. Ultimately, she wasn’t what I’d thought her to be. She was pure smoke and mirrors…But in truth was I any better? We were both so young…

Anyway, on one sundrenched day we made love beside that stream. She shrieked obscenities from her potty mouth. And, unexpectedly, I heard a woman’s voice crying out:

‘Children, children, do come away.’ Apparently, a class from the local junior school were out on a nature ramble; their teacher was busily herding them away from the two half-naked, rutting beasts at the water’s edge. ‘Don’t look children. And put your fingers in your ears…!’

How very embarrassing for all concerned.

love always hurts

January 19, 2020

You said, “There’s still time – time to change your mind.”

Remember…?

Your voice was little more than a husky whisper beside my ear. But going back wasn’t an option for me then. What was to happen was fated…inevitable. Like the sunrise or sunset.

I said, “I love you.”

And you said, “Move forward…just a little more…little more. There. I’m going to hurt you now…Hurt you a lot, because I love you. And love always hurts.”

The pain that followed my slow movement against your long body was unlike anything I’d experienced before. Hell fire would touch me less.

Agony.

And, yes, ecstasy too…

You said, “You can cry out if you wish. It’s alright. No one can hear.”

And then that exquisite, excruciating torment eased, slightly. I couldn’t breathe; couldn’t draw breath; but then I could and took short, shallow gulps of air. I realised my mouth was filled with blood where I’d bitten the right side of my cheek and my tongue.

You bent forward to look into my face and smiled. You saw the blood on my lips. Your tongue flicked over my mouth, lasciviously.

“First blood,” you whispered. “Relax for now. It’s going to be a long, long night for you…”

P

Shark Bait

January 18, 2020

(written from a watercolour by Michele Webber)

Hoisted high, I gape
mouth open, skywards.
My teeth flash white
instilling fear
in unprepared passers-by.
I could dive off
the fishmonger’s frontage
take a satisfying bite.
It is a sad end
to my glory days in the deep
but at least I am remembered
amongst the shrimp and bait.

Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Looking Glass

January 18, 2020

I want to be the woman
who pokes her fingers
through a canine
skull in the woods
and can divine
what killed it,

how long
it was panting blood
before its heart pulped,
how acute the teeth
that skinned it.
I want to be

the lady who presses herbs
on open wounds, knows
which tree to lick
as antiseptic.

I want to come
clean,

not this tuft of fur greying,
picking bourbon mid-shelf
not because of cost,

but for a hue that
holds a hint of rabid.

Megan Merchant