our bodies speak

July 13, 2019

Secrets are my currency: I deal in them for a living. The secrets of desire, of what people really want,  and of what they fear the most.  The secrets of why love is difficult,  sex complicated, living painful and death so close and yet placed far away. Why are pleasure and punishment closely related? How do our bodies speak? Why do we make ourselves ill? Why do you want to fail? Why is pleasure hard to bear?

Hanif Kureishi
Something to tell you

Once it became acceptable to think of Dracula in terms of Victorian society’s most repressed and forbidden sexual fantasies, the question became one of whether these fantasies were heterosexual, homosexual or even bisexual. Every possible variation has been explored. Some have shone the spotlight on male desire, viewing Dracula as “the sexual fever-dream of a middle-class Victorian man, a frightened dialogue between demonism and desire” or as a novel obsessed with the definition of masculinity: “bestial male energy, here highly sexualized, is displaced onto the vampire”. In contrast, Christopher Craft argues that the conflict in Dracula is essentially homoerotic and is rooted in Dracula’s “unfulfilled sexual ambition to fuse with a male [Jonathan]. Always postponed and never directly enacted, this desire finds evasive fulfilment in an important series of heterosexual displacements”. Others have viewed sexuality in the novel in terms of late Victorian anxieties about degeneration, atavism, evolutionary theory, and reverse colonization.

Elizabeth Miller
Coitus interruptus: Sex, Bram Stoker, and Dracula

Musk

June 29, 2019

 

Even longing has its dusky scent,
a musk of faded yellows, blossoms

once tight bright buds, sun and summer leaning
nonchalant on window sills

or seated at a small round table, a porcelain demitasse
casting blue shadows on white linen,

you walking towards me across, perhaps,
an ancient piazza, stones worn by the hurried feet

of lovers who also dreamed of rushing
into waiting arms.

Janet Lee Butler

I don’t mind getting naked or seeing you naked.
I don’t mind talking about sex or having sex
or never having sex. I don’t mind my body
or your body with mine. I don’t mind
your sweaty palms, your chapped lips,
your dirty tongue. I don’t mind
your noisy music, your crappy poetry,
your soiled shoes and ugly handwriting.
I don’t mind 2ams and late night
phone calls, stolen kisses and white lies.
I don’t mind your half-eaten donut,
frozen teabags and sticky hair.
I want your toothbrush’s head
leaning towards mine. I want
your 4am back massage.
Cup my breasts and don’t say
they’re small. I already know that.
Kiss me once and kiss me more.
Pretend what we’re doing is illegal.
It’s always good to be caught
with our mouths tied together
like handcuffs. Dry your cheeks
and make me bleed.
Crave me.
Crave me.
Crave me.

irishjulienne
in the name of intimacy

You are trapped in my web, an unsuspecting victim. Doomed now, are you, to melancholic servitude for life: I will force you to lick my most secret places; you will exist on the borderless threnodies of my darkest desires, feeding on my intimate secretions, more juicier than any papaya – and you will be like an animal skinning itself in reverse: you will swallow my juices – all my juices – your sex throbbing with its own crazy pulse, never to be satisfied. Lost in the carnal and divine of my pale body – my fleshy witch body.

As to writing. What I have to say, I must say: simply to get it out. After 4 hours trying, whether it’s failed or not, one is physically and mentally exhausted. I mean it. All I want to do is creep into bed, notably after failure. Also one cannot think coherently of anything else. It eats away in the brain, a ceaseless conversation with oneself. The smallest chore is horrendous to get through. People do not stimulate; they exhaust.

Martha Gellhorn,
letter to Betsy Drake featured in Martha Gellhorn Selected Letters

DIANA’S JUSTICE

June 2, 2019

The maiden hies off to the woods:
On a moon-pale steed she rides,
Decked out in doublet, hose of black,
A sword all by her side.

She goes to meet her own true love
With lips pursed in a frown,
And rides beneath the greenwood boughs
Until the sun goes down.

Dismounting in the chosen glade,
She sits upon a stone.
With sword laid flat across her knees,
She waits for him to come.

Brush crackles, and her head snaps up.
Her eyes suss out the sound —
Then narrow as he greets the grove
With smile broad as her frown.

“Ah, love,” he grins, then sidles close,
His arms outspread, his hands
Prepared to smooth her knitted brow;
She hefts the sword and stands.

“Love?” she says, her voice quite low,
“Is that what you name this ill
That makes you think you have the right
To bend me to your will?”

His smile falls off; he backs a step,
Tramples its shattered joy,
Mouth gaping in bewilderment —
“You thought it just a ploy?

“I love you, and I thought that you — ”
“Speak not that word to me!”
Her eyes flash in the dusky woods;
Her voice shakes bitterly.

“A virgin I walked out with you,
A virgin I’d remain —
You said you understood and wouldn’t
Challenge my domain,

“You plotted to seduce me — you
Believed I had no mind
To give that gift of my free will,
And in my own good time!”

His brow is creased beneath fair hair;
His chin trembles with grief.
“I made you want me, didn’t I,
Till you must have some relief?”

She spits at him and hefts the sword
Till he backs off again.
Her eyes dart wild with the distress
Of thus confronting him.

“That’s just the point! I trusted you
To help uphold my vow;
I didn’t want to want you then,
And I don’t want to now!

“You sought for your own pleasure, so
You played games with my mind!
You made me false to that most dear —
That was the most unkind!”

Now he draws out his dagger, his
Blue eyes gone wide with fear —
She lifts the sword to mark his chest,
Scowl marred by silent tears.

“Ah, love,” he begs, “don’t do this, you’ll
Regret it all your life!”
He holds her eyes. He ducks the sword
And strikes out with his knife.

“Traitor!” she screams at silver flash,
“You’d steal my life now, too?”
“You’ve mine!” he cries as blades swing down,
Too late to halt for rue.

He stabs her right below the heart;
Her sword cuts through his chest.
Two loves who share one pool of blood —
Diana’s case can rest.

Adele Gardner

The Crows

April 6, 2019

The woman who has grown old
And knows desire must die,
Yet turns to love again,
Hears the crows’ cry.

She is a stem long hardened,
A weed that no scythe mows.
The heart’s laughter will be to her
The crying of the crows,

Who slide in the air with the same voice
Over what yields not, and what yields,
Alike in spring, and when there is only bitter
Winter-burning in the fields.

Louise Bogan 

their voluptuous lips

March 28, 2019

In the moonlight opposite me were three young women, ladies by their dress and manner. I thought at the time that I must be dreaming when I saw them, for, though the moonlight was behind them, they threw no shadow on the floor…Two were dark, and had high aquiline noses, like the Count, and great dark, piercing eyes, that seemed to be almost red when contrasted with the pale yellow moon. The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great, wavy masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where. All three had brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips…They whispered together, and then they all three laughed – such a silvery, musical laugh, but as hard as though the sound never could have come through the softness of human lips. It was like the intolerable, tingling sweetness of water-glasses when played on by a cunning hand.

Bram Stoker
Dracula

Dulzura

March 24, 2019

Make love to me in Spanish.
Not with that other tongue.
I want you juntito a mí,
tender like the language
crooned to babies.
I want to be that
lullabied, mi bien
querido, that loved.
I want you inside
the mouth of my heart,
inside the harp of my wrists,
the sweet meat of the mango,
in the gold that dangles
from my ears and neck.
Say my name. Say it.
The way it’s supposed to be said.
I want to know that I knew you
even before I knew you.

Sandra Cisneros
Loose Woman: Poems

devour him

March 9, 2019

And she wanted for a moment to hold and devour him, wanted his mouth, his ears, his coat collar, wanted to surround him and engulf him…

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the night