There were the pictures. For the first few days I just didn’t notice them. I didn’t even see them except as surfaces to dust. When everything is new, when the work is hard and you’re rushed, you look at things little by little. It wasn’t until l’d been there several days that I noticed the first of the pictures, what it was about, what it showed.

Then I went looking for the others, of course.

They were all the same. They were disgusting. Horrifying. Terrible.
They showed women, young women, tied up, undressed, being whipped or tortured by people in — masks. The drawings looked old, but they were done in careful detail; you could see everything, the expressions, just what was being done to the girl in each drawing.

You could almost hear the screams.

The pictures hung, framed, everywhere. In the living room, the dining room, the halls, the bedroom, upstairs and downstairs, there were the pictures, screaming and shaking with the terrible thing that were happening in them. Whips, and chains. and branding irons. . .

Laurence Frey
Victim Wanted : Female


December 18, 2015


You search for him in bars.
You seek him in personal ads.
You’re business-like about it.
You have no time to waste on games,
see no point in politely prolonging
tedious preambles. You prefer to cut
to the chase.

Each one you find turns out eventually
not to be him, but always someone else,
someone who wants things you do not have
and lacks the things you need.

You give up in the end. Step off the roller coaster,
find your feet, and start walking
as far from sunsets as your legs will carry you.

You find her (or, rather, she finds you) by accident
and somewhat late. You tell her that you’re straight
and that you think she’s brave to engage with you,
as all you can offer her is everything and nothing.

She hasn’t a clue what you mean by the phrase,
and, truth be told, neither have you,
but it sounds good, has a certain elegance
and strikes an appropriately literary note
of eloquent regret.

And yet…

Seven years later, she sits smiling,
and writes this poem,
feeling that you should have guessed
that everything and nothing
was exactly what she wanted.

(Adele Fraser is from the UK, where she lives and writes high in the Welsh mountains (geographically speaking). Although in the early months of her career, she has already been published by a number of magazines.)


Fears Fall into Rain

December 18, 2015


Fears fall out walking into the rain
umbrella opens to the remaining years.
Generalized fears I know them all by their first names.
Near night, I hear the last call of the red-winged blackbird, before dusk.
October 23rd, 2014 I am watching the sky blue, mixed confused, with gray clouds,
white feather strokes in-between, than the partial solar eclipse the moon took a chunk out of the sun.
Then a ghost hangs from a maple tree.
I hear the typewriter stroking near Halloween.

Michael Lee Johnson

(Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 875 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 9 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: “From Exile to Freedom”, several chapbooks of poetry, including “From Which Place the Morning Rises” and “Challenge of Night and Day”, and “Chicago Poems”. He also has over 71 poetry videos on YouTube.)


Chant for the Goddess

December 18, 2015



December 18, 2015


An arm like that of a giant green spider ran from the cellar door to the bottom of the stairs. Blue had to step over it to get to the living room. He measured its growth by counting the thick hard elbows – in a few days the arm was half-way up the stairs and another, still thin and yellow, had started its way through the cellar door. Blue heaped salt on the new shoot and sat fretting in the other room as a strange, constantly high-pitched squeal sounded from the cellar. Something began to thud and lash at the floorboards, knocking waves into the carpet. Blue stood and walked across the thundering floor to the kitchen, removing his diary from the fridge. Then putting on his hat and coat, he stepped out of the front door as the living room carpet bulged and split like an overripe melon.

Horace Button


December 18, 2015


Since bottoms occasionally forget how to safeword for one reason or another, we think it’s a good idea for a top to have a mechanism she can use to “check in” to make sure that everything’s still basically OK.

Many people check in verbally. “Still with me?” or “Do you remember your safeword?” are easy and readily understandable. However, they can be inappropriate for some scenes (prison guards rarely ask their victims if they’re enjoying themselves) , plus bottoms can sometimes get too nonverbal to respond properly.

In his book SM 101 : A Realistic Introduction, Jay Wiseman suggests the “two squeezes” check-in: the top takes hold of some part of the bottom’s body (often the hand) and gives it two firm squeezes. The bottom lets the top know that she’s OK by taking hold of some part of the top’s body and giving it two squeezes back. If the top doesn’t get the two return squeezes, he tries once again; if the squeezes still aren’t forthcoming, he assumes that something’s wrong and that it’s time to break role and talk.

Other forms of check-in are physical: looking for welts to make sure the whip is landing in the right places, watching for changes in breathing or sound, feeling bound hands and feet to make sure they’re still warm and getting enough circulation. Such check-ins also get you close to your bottom’s body, which he usually doesn’t mind.

Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy

The New Topping Book


Resurrection Mary

December 18, 2015


I learned years ago, true stories against myths.
I learned early in hustle time to distinguish single cash back rewards
from whores-dime store dancers from true date believers-
I never worried about the sentence structure of my life.
Life is a melody breather, philosophy of ghosts, past, pink pillow talk.
Resurrection Mary was my history teacher, my lesson, lover in white satin.
Single life is a hollow road, and a narrow road with a cemetery nearby.
I was then and now a writer poetry of screams, dementia, limited skills, and open skulls.
I hampered history into our craniums, criminal minds, images of release, sperm climax.
When she was conscious, she kissed my breath, and dreamed of my beginning, my end.
I was a drifter of singles dances; she was a drifter of time, shadow maker.
I often breathed on her forehead, sucked on her toes, left the body for legends
toss carcass into the south wind and south gate storms.
Jesus is a perfume seller of night scent.
Jesus is aroused and an iron bar bender, stretcher of the nights into years.
Mary clutches her small purse, passes of injustice, and hitchhikes back and forth in time.
I am stamped; shake me, watch click in time-
Resurrection Mary still holds a red wine glass, end of the barstool in time.
Shake it all off, no shame; put those dancing shoes on, one more time.

There was nothing special about women, young in Chicago 30’s.
Resurrection Mary, danced, stamped a white wedding dress poetry mind, sex out, gone.
She taught me oral sex at lunchtime.
Resurrection Mary, we still hold, wine, at end of the barstool.
Shake, no shame, put those dancing shoes on.

Footnote: Resurrection Mary is a well-known Chicago area ghost story, of the “vanishing hitchhiker” type. The story takes place outside Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, a few miles southwest of Chicago.

Michael Lee Johnson