When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird’s wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life’s reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being


What I Want

October 4, 2017

You asked and the answer
            is my mouth nibbling your freckled shoulder, tasting
the stewed salt of your skin                until I leave violet
crescents beneath your jawline, a mark
                        that will last for days. This far west,

you can’t
            tell the sky from the sea, mirrors of each other
thin light slanting into us, all reedy and dim. I could

stare     open-mouthed            at the Pacific
            all        day, surrounded by manzanita,
listening to you say the words                        rough-hewn
            over and over and                               over, until

the sound is so distorted, I lose
                        it among the sluicing of the waves and
               the gravel-mouthed crunching of foreign tires /
until I’m drunk off the sound of your             voice, the spraying mist,

            the way you plot a map on my back,
dragging your fingers along my spine until I can’t imagine how I existed
                        before this moment.


          You asked
and my answer is the pen
            I used to sketch a path
between           your ribcage and hipbone,
            scrawling questions of the body,
the ocean, the you, the me,     this      us.

Caroline Kessler

from a now-vanished world

October 4, 2017

(Algernon Blackwood’s) works spanned two centuries and inspired Elgar, Henry Miller and H P Lovecraft. He counted H G Wells, Hilaire Belloc and W B Yeats as his friends, and appeared on the very first British television programme. Blackwood came from a now-vanished world; his mother was the Duchess of Manchester, his evangelist father was a knight, but he forsook his privileged heritage to become an adventurer and traveller, and remained a natural storyteller to the end of his life. He was awarded a CBE in 1949, and still we knew virtually nothing about him, probably because he hailed from a period when the concept of the peculiar Briton was hardly a novelty.

Christopher Fowler
Algernon Blackwood

the real darkness

October 4, 2017

The darkness inside your head is something your imagination fills with stories that have nothing to do with the real darkness around you.

Adam Johnson
The Orphan Master’s Son

sunday entertainment12

The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have often turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling.

The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.

Audre Lorde
Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power

Day and Night

October 4, 2017

The tragedy of man is that he doesn’t know how to distinguish between day and night. He says things at night that should only be said by day.

Elie Wiesel