I am naked

September 1, 2019

I am naked
Without skin and without bone
Enveloped with your desires
Clinging to my Body
You drink all my blood
Until dawn.

A Case File

August 6, 2019

She explained how she had blown
off the legs of her father with his own shotgun and,

with the help of her bruised and weeping
mother, dragged him out back behind the barn, heard

the cows moving in the stays, as they
lumbered toward the pig pen, five hogs waiting

with eyes like dinner plates. They could
smell the bleeding. Her father was nothing but moans

and whimpers spreading ribbons of
red in the snow. Over the fence they threw him

then walked back to the house. I looked
back once, she said. Mama gripped my shoulder, turned

me back toward the mudroom and told me
there was no reason to worry, he weren’t coming.

The way they both strode tall, accomplished, regal
down the red carpet father had left for them.

The last kindness he’d done them, their eyes shining
through the early silver morning.

Dawson Steeber

Goodbye To Tolerance

July 20, 2019

Genial poets, pink-faced
earnest wits —
you have given the world
some choice morsels,
gobbets of language presented
as one presents T-bone steak
and Cherries Jubilee.
Goodbye, goodbye,
I don’t care
if I never taste your fine food again,
neutral fellows, seers of every side.
Tolerance, what crimes
are committed in your name.

And you, good women, bakers of nicest bread,
blood donors. Your crumbs
choke me, I would not want
a drop of your blood in me, it is pumped
by weak hearts, perfect pulses that never
falter: irresponsive
to nightmare reality.

It is my brothers, my sisters,
whose blood spurts out and stops
forever
because you choose to believe it is not your business.

Goodbye, goodbye,
your poems
shut their little mouths,
your loaves grow mouldy,
a gulf has split
the ground between us,
and you won’t wave, you’re looking
another way.
We shan’t meet again —
unless you leap it, leaving
behind you the cherished
worms of your dispassion,
your pallid ironies,
your jovial, murderous,
wry-humoured balanced judgment,
leap over, un-
balanced? … then
how our fanatic tears
would flow and mingle
for joy …

Denise Levertov

Sunday Worship

July 7, 2019

Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.

Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God

make love

July 4, 2019

(i dreamed the other night of the scent of sweat, jaws at my throat, nails drawing blood at the base of my hair) we will make love with our teeth or not at all

Kai Cheng Thom
Interracial Psychology
A Place Called No Homeland

expression of sexuality

June 16, 2019

In Dracula, blood is of utmost importance. The novel opens with Jonathan Harker’s experience in Dracula’s castle, the first proof of the supernatural power and unnatural pull of vampires, and the first few examples of their overwhelming appetite for blood. The act of taking blood and allowing blood to be taken is eroticized in the novel, and the absolute necessity of blood for vampires in order to survive connects the creatures and their blood lust to exaggerated, violent sexual images. Built on many aspects of Gothic horror with these tropes of Dracula’s castle shifted to and set against Victorian-era London later in the novel, Dracula emphasizes the corrupting foreign influence of the Transylvanian vampire and his hunt for blood as he invades the patriarchal society at the center of the story. The lead characters are modern and chaste, as per the era’s societal expectations, directly in opposition to Dracula, an inhuman demon, a creature on a constant hunt for young blood, a predator whose influence tests Victorian conceptions of gender roles and the expression of sexuality. Dracula directly attacks women, so the men seek to protect the women and their innocent forms from the sexual outsider, Dracula, but in turn, the men are tempted greatly by the corrupted females with their inviting, vampiric tendencies. These warped women appear first in the form of Dracula’s brides, three vampiric beings exerting a tempting force on Jonathan Harker, and later Lucy Westenra becomes a threat as well in her vampire form. Mina Harker’s possible transformation into a vampire leads up to the climax in the novel, as the male characters race to prevent her change into a monstrous and hypersexualized form.

Sean Bernhard
The Blood is the Life

Down There

May 14, 2019

Yes,
I want to talk at length about Men-
struation. Or my period.
Or the rag as you so lovingly put it.
All right then.

I’d like to mention my rag time.

Gelatinous. Steamy
and lovely to the light to look at
like a good glass of burgundy. Suddenly
I’m an artist each month.
The star inside this like a ruby.
Fascinating bits of sticky
I-don’t-know-what-stuff.
The afterbirth without the birth.
The gobs of a strawberry jam.
Membrane stretchy like
saliva in your hand.
It’s important you feel its slickness,
understand the texture isn’t bloody at all.
That you don’t gush
between the legs. Rather,
it unravels itself like string
from some deep deep center –
like a Russian subatomic submarine,
or better, like a mad Karlov cackling
behind beakers and blooping spirals.
Still with me?

Oh I know, darling,
I’m indulging, but indulge
me if you please.
I find the subject charming.

In fact,
I’d like to dab my fingers
in my inkwell
and write a poem across the wall.
“A Poem of Womanhood”
Now wouldn’t that be something?

Words writ in blood. But no,
not blood at all, I told you.
If blood is thicker than water, then
menstruation is thicker than brother-
hood. And the way

It metamorphosizes! Dazzles.
Changing daily
like starlight.
From the first
transparent drop of light
to the fifth day of chocolate paste.

I haven’t mentioned the smell. Think
Persian rug.
But thicker. Think
cello.
But richer.
A sweet exotic snuff
from an ancient prehistoric center.
Dark, distinct,
and excellently
female.

Sandra Cisneros

Thesis: I’ve lost my virginity seven times and still haven’t managed to lose my vagina.
1: The Breaking of the Hymen
• I didn’t even bleed. The dryer ate a sock.
2: Lesson on ‘Romance’
• Strawberry Shortcake underwear near my ankles, he pulled out.
3: One-Night- Repeated Stands
• He lived with his parents, we fucked to Bill Withers’ ‘Use Me.’
4: Soul Mates
• Two pumps. Two months. That lasted long.
5: First Time Initiating
• Freshman in college. He still loved his ex. His dick didn’t work.
6: Older Man
• 25, told me to ‘suck it.’ It was unreciprocated. He says he still loves me.
7: Ex-Boyfriend
• ‘No one will ever make you feel like that again.’
Conclusion: If I lost my virginity, each man must have found it, in their own special way.

Alex Brandow

a man slaughters a goat

March 28, 2019

In my earliest memory, a man slaughters a goat in my bathroom. In Rabat, I am nameless, another Moroccan girl to be looked at but not seen. When goats cry, it sounds just like a baby. I couldn’t list all the terrible things we do to one another.  I remember the goat kicking out, frantic. The shattered mirror. The stumbled prayer. I was sick every visit: my stomach heaving dirty water. I would cry and everyone else would tsk, murmur American. Once, I kissed someone and I’m afraid it ruined the world. I’ve learned that it’s not what you do with the knife — it’s how you hold it after. But how do you hold something like that? Something that never stops baring its teeth; a voiceless dog, all bite, no bark. I remember very clearly that I never saw any blood. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know what to do with a knife. I didn’t even know what to do with that mouth.

Yasmin Belkhyr
Surah Al-Fatiha,
Bonelight

Love

March 19, 2019

When I fed the pigs and two of them got to scrapping over an old soft onion, I thought: that’s love. Love is eating. Love is a snarling pig snout and long tusks. Love is the colour of blood. Love is what grown folk do to each other because the law frowns on killing.

Catherynne M. Valente
Six Gun Snow White