December 3, 2015


We all have ghosts, remorse, dreams, things we love and hate. One day something in life – a word, a phrase, something in a book, a beautiful woman – clicks, and part of that world takes on a special meaning. And you realise you have a story to tell.

Arturo Pérez Reverte
El pintor de batallas


What You Need to Know

An estimated one in five couples dabbles in S&M and one in 20 engages in extremely serious role play. In other words, bondage is more common than you might think. Before you go bending your partner over a couch, let us give you a brief Bondage 101.

The most important thing to discuss before you invite S&M and bondage into the bedroom is boundaries. You both need to be on the same page when it comes to how far you’re willing to explore the darker side of sex. If you want to tie your partner up but he or she only wants to experiment with a tickler, it’s not going to work. As we said before, S&M is all about communication. It’s absolutely necessary for both of you to trust and respect one another’s boundaries. Before you get it on, sit down and have a serious discussion about what you want to get out of S&M and how far you both want to go with it.

It’s also important to have a safety word in the bedroom. This ensures that if things get too hot and heavy for one of you to handle, you can just say the safety word and take a breather. This word should have nothing to do with sex. “Turnip” should do it.

On the first couple of nights, just experiment with tying each other up and finding your individual comfort levels. Pay attention to if you like being tied up or doing the dominating. And be sure to communicate everything you are feeling and thinking.

he more you and your partner explore S&M and bondage, the more you’ll be willing to test your boundaries. For those of you who want to push the limits, there are plenty of bold moves that S&M and bondage offers.

Ball gags are a fun way of keeping your partner silent. If you use one, be sure to come up with a hand gesture or signal that implies you want out – you won’t be able to utter your safeword after all.

You can also get clothes pins to lightly clamp onto different body parts. Mixing pain and pleasure is definitely erotic and will make for an intense and explosive orgasm. Adding a bit of role play to the antics is also a great idea. Try having a dominant and submissive character, such as a teacher and student or doctor and patient.

Stephanie Weaver


December 3, 2015


I will suck it,
suck it like a toffee – until
it melts away…

Maureen Weldon

The Ghost Has No Home

December 3, 2015


This morning in an alleyway I was startled by a face
I seemed to recognize, in a dormer above a garage
and so slunk up to him, who was ranting quietly,
mauling the mind of some imagined ear out the pane
as if maligned, or high, like one
moony and almost witless in a poppy ditch,
or one waking ill and supine
in a wet bed of opening mullein:
“I have no desire to theorize language–
I was raised modestly and have sinned unspeakably.
I would rather waylay and destroy
whose voice molests me.”
On his desk a thin book I knew, a tragedy
whose residue was a Sentry’s couplet I half-knew
and began to recite–startling him who turning was outwardly
unknown to me–, “‘Does it hurt in your ears–‘”
“Fuck Antigone–I detest language, I detest artifice,
I would rather waylay and molest
the beast that has imagined and pent me here.”

Jeff Clark

(From The Little Door Slides Back by Jeff Clark, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004.)

Spectacle: Possession

December 3, 2015


A woman wears a blue dress. It is
Sunday. Red cardinals sing
along the sill. She cuts
her neck with an electric
carving knife. A woman is blue.
She is red. She wears
the Sunday blues. Carves
cardinals into an electric
red dress. Her neck
sings electric. Sunday wears on.
A knife sings before it cuts.
On the sill, Sunday carves
the necks of cardinals. Knives
wear red. Sunday dresses
along the sill. Sing
said the cardinal.
Sing said the knife.
A woman is electric.
Her neck is a sill.
Cardinal sing the Sunday
reds in her electric neck.
A woman is a carving.
A woman is a knife.
A woman.


A woman rises to a knock at her door,
a stone strikes her head as her ex-
husband plunges in, clutching
a rock and a carving
knife. He can’t cope
with a prefix meaning no longer
or lacking so he whittles it
from her forehead, criss-
crossing her face with a blade
made for slicing steak.

Their thirteen-year-old daughter witnesses,
from a corner, strapped to her
shadow in shock, her mouth
open, spilling the word stop
that circles the room in a boomerang
returning to splinter her throat, her father’s
ears. The man looks up from his white
shirt, Rolex, ox-blood Gucci shoes
splashed with his ex-wife and says
I’m sorry to his daughter as the woman’s
breath jags from collapsed lungs.


I am always burying something:
cardinals with shattered wings,
orange peels, smell of your dress
as it dries on the windowsill.

You come to me bearing
poppies, birds and glass,
a carving knife.
Your body a hieroglyph.

You want me to whittle you
down into an amulet;
a tooth necklace to
wear as a token.

In the kitchen’s carnivorous light,
you and I are too much alike;
the skull’s opalescent curve,
milkweed smelling skeleton,

bones tattered as lace.
Like lightning. Electric.
When i move you carve yourself out of me

humming the mean reds
and the Sunday blues.
Sing say the birds.
Sing say the bones.

(Simone Muench is an American poet and a professor of creative writing and film studies. Her collections include: The Air Lost in Breathing, Helicon Nine, 2000; Lampblack & Ash, Sarabande, 2005; Orange Crush, Sarabande, 2010; Disappearing Address with Philip Jenks, BlazeVOX, 2010; Wolf Centos, Sarabande, 2014.)

The Witches’ Chant

December 3, 2015


Darksome night and shining Moon,
Hell’s dark mistress Heaven’s Queen
Harken to the Witches’ rune,
Diana, Lilith, Melusine!
Queen of witchdom and of night,
Work my will by magic rite.

Earth and water, air and fire,
Conjured by the witch’s blade,
Move you unto my desire,
Aid ye as the charm is made!
Queen of witchdom and of night,
Work my will by magic rite.
In the earth and air and sea,
By the light of moon or sun,
As I pray, so mote it be.
Chant the spell, and be it done!
Queen of witchdom and of night,
Work my will by magic rite.

Doreen Valiente

The Fog Ghost

December 3, 2015


I hear wailing.
Great ships are sailing
Into your arms; and nevermore
They port on any shore.

Ghost of the mist,
Keep your ancient tryst!
Back to the lone lanes of the sea
Slip silently.

William H. Simpson