This perhaps is how the Fairy Tale SHOULD have been told –

Once upon a time in a land far away…a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hoped onto her lap and said:

“Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell on me…One kiss from you however, and I will turn back into the dapper young prince that I am! And then my sweet we can marry! Oh, and then we can set up housekeeping in your castle…with my mother…and you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes…warm my bed at night…bear my many children! And forever feel happy and grateful to do so!”

That night –

As the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sautéed FROGS LEGS seasoned in fine white wine, garlic and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and thought to herself:

“I don’t fuckin’ think so!”

Girl is the warmest colour

January 16, 2020

two girls kissing in Paris, ignoring the politics in this
a film about two girls who are not depressed because they are gay
a film about two girls who are not dead because they are gay
they give each other flowers
there is no grave in this
no scene in which the heartbroken walk back down the street, away from the camera
the end is not elegy
the end is not blue
running cornflower
fistfuls of cerulean
cold sky
they know how to love each other
there is no choreographed sex
no brief infinite tenderness
they learn how to use their mouths
a folding of soft
no crash
no broken windshield bodies
no tears
just imagine: a movie about two girls where neither of them have to cry

Lydia Havens

This church felt wrong. I do not say this lightly. Dealers are undertakers of a sort. When a man dies, the undertaker comes for his body, and quite often the dealer comes for the rest. How often I have been left alone to break up the home a man has built up over fifty years, and sell the pieces where I can. As I break up the home, I know the man. I have known a cracked teapot yield enough evidence of adultery to satisfy ten divorce-court judges. I learn that he was mean from his boots; that trapped for ever inside the sepia photographs are seven of his children. From his diary, that he believed in God or the Devil or Carter’s Little Liver Pills. I deal in dead men’s clocks, pipes, swords and velvet breeches. And passing through my hands, they give off joy and loneliness, fear and optimism. I have known more evil in a set of false teeth than in any so-called haunted house in England.

….I couldn’t keep still in that place. It wasn’t just the cold. I thought I’d come prepared for that, with a quilted anorak and three sweaters. No, I kept having, not delusions, not even fears, but odd little anxieties . . . preoccupations. I had the conviction the walls weren’t vertical . . . or was it the floor, that seemed to slope down towards the middle of the nave? Certainly the floor was hollow; no one could walk on it and listen to the echo of his footsteps without realizing that. Then . . . the windows didn’t seem to be letting in as much light as they should. I kept going outside to check if the sky was getting cloudy, but it was still bright and sunny, thank God, and I went back feeling the better for it.

Then I stared at the cross in a side-chapel. It just looked like two bits of wood nailed together. I mean, it was just two bits of wood nailed together; but though I’m not a religious sort, I tend to see any cross as a bit more than two bits of wood nailed together.

And that smell. Or niff, as Henry would have it. It wasn’t strong, but it was everywhere; you never got it out of your nostrils. The only thing I can liken it to was when I got in a new lavatory-bowl at the shop; it had to be left for the sealant to dry overnight, so the builder stuffed wet paper down the hole, but the biting black smell of the sewer filled my shop and dreams all night.

Robert Westall
The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux

guardian shrouds of shadow

January 11, 2020

Most horrible of all sights are the little unpainted wooden houses remote from travelled ways, usually squatted upon some damp, grassy slope or leaning against some gigantic outcropping of rock. Two hundred years and more they have leaned or squatted there, while the vines have crawled and the trees have swelled and spread. They are almost hidden now in lawless luxuriances of green and guardian shrouds of shadow; but the small-paned windows still stare shockingly, as if blinking through a lethal stupor which wards off madness by dulling the memory of unutterable things.

H P Lovecraft
The Picture in the House

Every time Hans Christian Andersen had a wank, he would put a mark in his diary. “Today I had a visit from such-and-such a person, they’re so sweet,” he would write. “When they left, I had a double-sensuous ++.”

In Denmark, Andersen is regarded as a national hero with a whiter-than-white image. His fans argue that the reason he never married or had sex was his desire to remain pure. Most biographies about him are very boring. But there’s one, Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller by Jackie Wullschlager, that is fantastic. Wullschlager approaches aspects of his life that have never been discussed frankly and openly – not only sexuality but other shady sides to his character.

When he visited Paris, for example, he would go to brothels in the Porte Saint-Denis area, not to touch the women, but to speak to them, return to his hotel and wank off. Then he would write about it in his diary.

Robert Lepage
Bedtime stories

Dreaming of Lesbos

December 28, 2019

I can enter the morning with traces of an eternal dream: to live
on a planet of women. we sing in the fertile forest, caress on
lavender hills, bathe beneath cascades of clear waters. and just
like that, nude and wet, we mount each other’s bodies. our
desire is a whale that searches for calm in the depth of the sea.

I smell sex in my hair when I awaken.

the dream perfumes all of my days. I go to the post office and
look for stamps with etchings of flowers and fruits so that I can
send letters to the women who loved me in my sleep.

we are in a world that is not ours. what do we do with the
dreams that touch our consciousness in the nude each night?

our planet of women is nothing more than a dream. who knows
how many of us bathe in the woods or which ones of us have
wings that let us fly with our flesh? it’s not for anyone to know.
fortunately, we always dream paradise, we make it ours. there,
we find each other and live in our collective memory.

and so, I smell sex in my hair when I awaken.

Tatiana de la Tierra

The war to end wars…?

December 25, 2019

Man, when preparing for bloody war, will orate loudly and most eloquently in the name of peace. This dichotomy is not an invention of the twentieth century, yet it is in this century that the most striking examples of the phenomena have appeared. Never before has man pursued global harmony more vocally while amassing stockpiles of weapons so devastating in their effect. The Second World War – we were told – was the War To End Wars. The development of the atomic bomb is the Weapon to End Wars. And yet wars continue. Currently, no nation on this planet is not involved in some form of armed struggle,  if not against its neighbours then against internal forces. Furthermore, as ever escalating amounts of money are poured into the pursuit of the specific weapon or conflict that will bring lasting peace, the drain on our economies  creates a  rundown urban landscape where crime flourishes and people are concerned less with national security than with the simple personal security needed to stop at the store late at night for a quart of milk without being mugged. The places we struggled so viciously to keep safe are becoming increasingly dangerous. The war to end wars, the weapons to end wars, these things have failed us.

Alan Moore
Watchmen

Simple wants

December 22, 2019

I’m a simple girl with simple wants: I like a guy, I wanna see him jerk off!

Angel
Praise and Teasing

Breakfast

December 22, 2019

come in my mouth when I’m passed out and roll me on my side
you know, choking hazard
when the morning comes again you come on my eyelids
so that I can’t open them
I will hear a crow outside and think about what I am doing here
I probably hate myself
I mean right
you say I hate a lot of things
feel my consciousness spread out, a gutted fish
and this jersey sheet underneath, warm and wet
like thick folds of flesh like a spiral ham
I used to not like hot foods, but now I do
I used to bury my hate of others in my stomach
but now I just hate cold cereal

Alexandra Naughton

Relishing The Cucumber

December 22, 2019

I heard about this chick
who would go to the grocery store
and find the largest cucumber she could find.
Have you seen cucumbers lately?
Anyway,
she’d take it home, rub Vaseline all over it
and then strip down
get on all fours
and back her ass up on that cucumber until it was
near broken;
consumed by hungry vagina.
Then she’d have a salad,
garnished with cucumber.
I figure there’s a fine line between
relishing the cucumber… and relishing it.
I figure there’s a fine line between brilliant
and being moved.
About the same level of consumption,
I guess.

Sarah Frances Moran

I wrote “Relishing the Cucumber” in response to “Fucking The Gap” by T.L. Burns. You’ll see the similarity in style and similarity in word choice. I did that purposefully. The poem was called “brilliant” by Rattle and it just baffled me. I wondered had Relishing The Cucumber come first would it have been deemed “brilliant.” My suspicion is no. As cis women we aren’t allowed the “healthy” relationship with our vaginas that cis men have with their penises and where they like to stick them. I’m no prude and I fully admire work that delves deep into the strange fetishes of human nature. It’s the double standard that kills me.

Sarah Frances Moran