It’s Been Months

December 17, 2017

since this shell’s

collapsed and I have been intoxicated

with this hard joy of immediacy and a world

without blunder or hesitation. It has been irritating –

to feel this hot longing in my gut,

reflecting on nothing, worrying about nothing but the smells

around me, the power of pale hands too close to so many faces –

the long black rope I climb and climb and love like

my only wardrobe. It has been months since I left

that heavy weight behind. Guilt

is something I’ve outgrown and my blood feels poisoned by

this strange alchemy. I know it is not female or male,

but saturated with desire and burning and swelling – not in flashes,

but constant as the pulsing sun. The unsettling of this unexpected

heaven – the knowing that I can look no further than today –

seeing both like an insect and like a god – breathing through the terror,

at peace with the terror and the thousand lifetimes it took to get me

to this place, unbound – sliced in all the hard places

and so. and so.

explosively, barbarously


Allison Grayhurst

having a relationship

December 17, 2017

that look

In 1986 Grandma was worried I wasn’t settling down. So I told her I was having a relationship – with a woman. “I am settling down, in my own way.” And the sunlight settled on the dust on the mantlepiece and the cat settled in Grandma’s lap and Grandma said there were two nurses boarding in her mother’s house in Yorkshire in 1916. And Grandma said she was in love with one of them.

70 years later, she still remembered waiting at the bottom of the boarding-house stairs to blush and smile hello at the funny, dark-eyed nurse she loved.

Love between women? Unforgettable.

Eleni Prineas
Finding the Lesbians: Personal Accounts from Around the World

Getting rough during sex

December 17, 2017

what comes next

“Hit me,” said Elaine.

I thought I hadn’t heard her right.

“Hit me,” she repeated. I stopped in mid-stroke.

She might as well have said the sheets were on fire. My penis slithered out of her like a clubbed snake.

Rolling off her, I stared at the cracked plaster and wondered why ceilings weren’t routinely decorated with some groin-enlivening mural – Delacroix’s Rape of the Sabines, maybe, or some nice nineteenth century Japanese porn – something to provide spent males, or prematurely limp ones, some focus for contemplation other than their own untimely detumescence.

“Why did you say that?”

“That was Little Elaine.”

“Oh, Christ, not that inner child crap.”

I flopped onto my side, willing myself not to say anything else. I mean, I loved this woman. Even if I’d only known her for a few months, I loved her passion and her energy and the way she craved sex like some kind of cock-junkie, but sometimes her incessant psycho-babble, pop-psychology, Survivors of Shitty Childhoods Anonymous, or whatever crap the shrinks on the bestseller list were hyping these days, really got old.

After all, nobody has a perfect childhood, right? But you grow up and you forget about the bike you didn’t get for Christmas or the dog that got hit by a car. You get down to the business of being a grown-up and you leave your childhood behind.

I stole a glance at Elaine. She appeared to be meditating on the area between her eyebrows.

“I asked you to hit me.”

“That doesn’t turn me on. I care about you. I want to kiss you and caress you.”

“You don’t get it, do you?”

“Evidently not. Care to enlighten me?”

“I don’t want you to hurt me. Getting rough during sex doesn’t have to mean anything sexist or sinister. It just adds to the rush, like going over the top of a rollercoaster. My therapist says it’s really Little Elaine, my inner child, who wants to be slapped. Little Elaine grew up with lots of yelling and screaming and hitting. She’s addicted to chaos.”

Lucy Taylor
Things of which we do not speak

crazed with the torture

December 17, 2017

When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

Virgina Woolf
A room of one’s own

years of revision

December 17, 2017

Karl Christian Ludwig Hofer aka Carl Hofer

I started thinking about the story about ten years ago, but didn’t fully commit until about five years ago. It took me a year to write the first draft, another year to revise it for submission, two years of revision with my editor, and another year in the cooker at Penguin. Such a long process…

…towards the end, I had to rely on my inner voice. I knew I’d put in the work. I’d agonized over every word. I was able to let go of the manuscript knowing that I’d done the best work I could possibly do on my own. It was extremely gratifying to have such a strong and immediate response from agents and editors. I knew I was on to something good.

Kim Liggett
Interview with Lisa Morton, December 2015, for Nightmare Magazine

Intimate knowledge

December 17, 2017

I know you, the way a ghost knows its shadow…

Mia Hollow

Good Morning Sunday

December 17, 2017

Sunday torture is fine

Yeah, I know that “Sunday morning” feeling well. Last night you were Superman, leader of the pack drinking everyone else under the table. But this morning, well, even the fridge light is so bright you need sunglasses to look inside that mother…

And let’s not mention the fact it took over an hour to get out of bed – because, weirdly, it felt as if someone had tied your balls to your damn foot!

Now how the hell could that happen?