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You know, in films, when a Twist-jane lounges

by a flophouse window, in crepe mousseline

drawers, that she must be glum; crooning, “Diva’s

Cathouse,” and, “Heartbreak Hotel,” and, “Virgin

Funk.” It’s always ten past midnight; next door

your love-worn gunsel answers on his horn …

keeping it low. The sad are always poor

in films. We slouch since love makes us forlorn

and lean and use words like, “hooch,” and, “barfly,”

and, “skint.” Twist-jane, you say? What lurid slang.

Lurid? No, tragic. Like ten past doomsday,

crooning, “I’ll be so lonely,/ I could die;”

like in films where your gunsel blows hard pang

and grief and the only colors are gray.



In the noir thriller, The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sam Spade uses the Yiddish term, gunsel (“little goose”), several times to describe Wilmer, Kasper Gutman’s highly problematic “associate.” According to Hollywood lore, the term got by the censors because they thought that Bogart said, “gunman,” though in reality it’s a slur for pretty boys kept for sexual purposes by older men. This being 1940s Hollywood, Wilmer is all that, plus every other gay stereotype the producers could think of: effeminate, soft-spoken and, of course, a psychotic killer.



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Suckle me,” you said, unzipping the front

of your snow suit. “These are all my hungers;

feed me.” First snow of the year and your cunt

is a damp hint under all these layers.

Under this snow the gods sleep. Passions creep

about in queer forms. Wreaths of fog circle

your head as I wriggle two fingers deep

inside. “So cold,” you groan. “Yes, be brutal,

make my sweet heat come.” Something is coming,

with my hand down your onesie and your face

pressed to my neck … perhaps something wicked?

Perhaps even now the gods are dreaming

about your heat and how my fingers trace

runes in your cum, raw and sacred like blood.

and now …


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Tarot deck based on the fine art of, “Sibylline Xenomorphia;” featuring Syssk, an Alien marooned in Japan’s Warring States era; mapping out her attempts to pass in the bewildering and often contrary world of strife, chaos and fabulous kimonos.

Syssk Online Shop Space.

A free guide book written in Armenian and Galactic Basic (Syssk’s native tongue) for the deck, translated by Lilit “Baba” Yagian, can be found here at my favorite Internet lending library:

TAROT of SYSSK [4th edition] : Lilit “Baba” Yagian : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

A translation in English is in the works. The colorized editions (at this point just curiosities) date back to earlier versions of the deck which were never published.