The Great Goddess

June 16, 2020

Ancient Europe had no gods. The Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not been introduced into religious thought. She took lovers but for pleasure, not to provide her children with a father. Men feared, adored and obeyed the matriarch. . . . Once the relevance of coition to child-bearing had been officially admitted . . . man’s religious status gradually improved. . . The tribal Nymph, or Queen, chose an annual lover from her entourage of young men, for sacrifice at mid-winter when the year ended; making him a symbol of fertility rather than the object of her erotic pleasure. His sprinkled blood served to fructify trees, crops, and flocks, and his flesh was, it seems, eaten raw by the Queen’s fellow-nymphs priestesses wearing the masks of bitches, mares, or sows.

Robert Graves
The Greek Myths vol. one


May 28, 2020

Mine was the heart to be stollen, and she was the thief!

sat together side by side

January 11, 2020

Her lover one day takes O for a walk in a section of the city where they never go – the Monceau Park. After they have taken a stroll in the park and have sat together side by side on the edge of a lawn, they notice, at one corner of the park, at an intersection where there are never any taxis, a car which, because of its meter, resembles a taxi.

“Get in,” he says.

She gets in.

Pauline Réage
The Story of O


November 14, 2019

What are you to me?
What are your fingers to me
and your lips?
What is the sound of your voice to me?
And your perfume
that fleshy musk?
What are you to me?
What am I to you?
What am I?

Erich Fried
Trans. P


October 20, 2019


At the age of thirteen, I wielded a blade because I had a firm grip, I was in love with Shakespeare, and the school team needed an épéeist. When my mother flew to Linz to watch me go 3–4 down against a former champion, she gripped the railing until her marriage ring was folded into flesh.


You never duel against the same person, even if it is the same person. On the piste, once the blades are tilted upwards to signify respect, you recalibrate to thwart their every move. She was disarmed by my tears, a timeout to breathe through the yellowing bruise on my pale, yellow skin.


Changing into school uniform felt like cross-dressing. I took my time: removing mask, then chest protector, lingering at the breeches. The day I learnt to lunge, I began to walk differently, saw distance as a kind of desire. Once, my blade’s tip gently flicked her wrist: she said it was the perfect move.

Parry riposte

My greatest weakness: the riposte. In the changing room, the girl I was about to duel said I smelled of bitter gourd. We were practicing the flèche. Inevitably, I collided with her, a blur of entangled blades. I glimpsed her wry expression through our masks’ steel mesh: her gleaming, smiling lips.

Grip and point control

French or pistol grip: one offers stability, the other more room for surprise. Before I came out to the world, I asked myself: French or pistol grip? Now, you say: You’re a great lover. Thank years of hard work on point control – how two fingers manoeuvre the blade’s tip – a flurry of sickle moons.

Mary Jean Chan


September 6, 2018

I don’t just want
your heart
I want your flesh,
your skin
and blood and bones,
your voice, your thoughts
your pulse
and most of all your

Isobel Thrilling


It was like the classic scene in the movies where one lover is on the train and one is on the platform and the train starts to pull away, and the lover on the platform begins to trot along and then jog and then sprint and then gives up altogether as the train speeds irrevocably off. Except in this case I was all the parts: I was the lover on the platform, I was the lover on the train. And I was also the train.

Lorrie Moore
A Gate at the Stairs