devotion

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They don’t bring horned gods home. In forest, in
trance, garbed in garlands … a slow cavorting

flame in lush curled-black leaves. There’s no sin
to be the chosen one, no crime pricking

yourself on flesh callous as oak. Do you
still think of what we did as devotion?

Do your nipples still stiffen thick? Mine do.
Gods are man-made. I’m no different. Most shun

these acts in time, for I burn a queer fire,
my tongue pressed in the middle. I’m at odds

with how I was born: abandoned in green …
I don’t serve faith, only function. The “sire”

in your desire, which dies, just like old gods,
once it’s no longer so strange or obscene.

crosscut

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I could not sleep in such heat and what dream
came was no dream. Santísima Muerte

parted her robes to press her wet blaspheme,
as priests call all cunts, to my lips. Doomsday

tastes like death in heat. “Tu madre,” she said.
“Chinga tu madre.” Once lust couldn’t carve

through this thick air, couldn’t slash through what bled
from these lips. Have faith, you said. See? You starve.

Who has fed you like I do? — The riot
in your heart knows what you want. The chaos

that dreams of dissection loves you, too. Press
that blunt tongue here, in my groove, my crosscut.

Stroke, you woke with that taste; lust born from loss,
born from death, lovesick, lifting up her dress.

NOTES:
As a personification of death and guardian of marginalized people Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte (Our Lady of Holy Death) is a folk saint found in Mexico and Mexican-American Catholicism. Chinga tu madre is, of course, one of the few things Santísima Muerte (Most Holy Death) can get away with saying, since death is the mother of us all.

essence

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Locked in her bathroom, her dirty hamper’s
pheromones bewitching while our fragrance,

once stirred by my tongue sunk in your pleasures,
stirs in the air, too: skunk-spice-herb. Essence

of what we once were. I dream of hemlock,
hash and cum pooled around your collarbone

haunting cleavage once wrapped around my cock
bud of your cunt’s bouquet a low down drone

drenched. When she knocks on the door the fragment
that is you flees. Where? Somewhere far above

me. You forgot? I keep remembering
what we once were: lascivious as scent,

ethereal as a ghost who’s found love,
desperate as this bust-ass flesh still searching.

nix

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I know the picture — this rubble was once
houses of prayer for a ruined city’s

people. Not all loss is the same. Absence
is pure fate for them, born for the Furies

that break city’s bones. You weren’t expecting
that. Fate was. Furies will help hook comely

scars in your flesh, nightmares in your dreaming.
Fate can’t help but love you, dear soon-to-be

survivor. All your talk of abstinence,
praxis and law means nix once Furies gut

man from man-made. Chaos is the virtue
gods call divine; all else is ego. Once

you claimed to be saved but from what?
Not this. Can you sense it coming for you?

fell

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“Does it help you to have a place to go?”
I had just lit all of the crossroad prayer

candles; just said, “I love you,” in their glow
and dusk fell and I glanced up to find her

walking into their light. “Where should I take
my mom’s ashes?”
I hope that what I said

helped. We are all haunted with raw heartache
but few come to graveyards to ask the dead

for help. I don’t feel cast out in twilight.
It helps. In here owls love me and I burn.

Out there? I’m numb. I didn’t see her leave
or fade. She was just gone. Perhaps tonight

she will return with her ashes, return
to where we’re not forsaken when we grieve.

offhand

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two figs testicle fat sat in my hand
come I offered there is a cunt inside

run your tongue all through it I said offhand
come back here after school you’ve been hogtied

before waiting through classes for misfit
kisses that’ll split you wide like fruit you bruise

when played with so carelessly but once split
all that soft sweet meat with plum and pink hues

tastes just like yours right before you climax
before your homework bites hard this hardcore

meaty sweet comes urgent takes what we need
with spice and ginger with cum and hot wax

comes with what’ll help you through this sophomore
year lots of butt-stuff you said lots of weed —

“sho’ good”

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I have no trance-technique to sync sections,

those phat lobes, in my brain. No third wondrous

eye. No prolonged visions. Just perversions.

Just my name, tattooed between curvaceous

hips. Just my taste, etched on tongues. The gods’ thirst

for faith is upon us — “It feelsh sho’ good …”

you groaned when your root and sacral gates first

opened — return to that feeling. Childhood

scars. Good wounds. Was your first out of body

experience your first orgasm? Now,

just like then, lust is the key. Lust’s havoc.

Lust’s faith. We’ll cum as one. Our souls’ juicy

journey: it’s not just shamans who know how

to roll one hell of a shamanic fuck —

fleshy ends

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Still, my offer stands. Whispered in passing
when your husband gets up to pay the bill.

Followed to the bathroom’s third stall, clicking
the lock as you look up and smile. The thrill

of the glance. Ogled at the meat counter
as you stand with your children, eyeing hind

loins and fleshy ends. Eyes talk. The offer
sounds like a riddle: “well nigh twined” “drain blind”

“the fount of your cunt.” In a gaze, a glance,
a grok: fount and fountain, sigh and siren,

love now, be still, listen. If you’re shameless
you’ll be praised. If you’re bold you’ll get the chance

for bliss. All that in a glance’s question:
this can only progress if you say yes.

][][

note:
In the ancient myths what was Eros’ dark side named? So much of erotica is based around spontaneous, impulsive action, embracing passion wherever it appears. Yet without consent all that we treasure turns toxic and brainsick. There must be a name for that dark wind that flows through certain souls but not others.

gaakaabishiinyag

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Storm owls, “Gaakaabishiinyag,” the mated pair
in the rain tree by the crossroads — in eight,

mud-caked tire tracks, crisscrossed to make a square,
I turn to the four compass points — and wait

for the storm shadows to stir. It’s been flood
season all year. Something’s in there: the stormhead,

in the stormcloud, the cloudburst of my blood.
Blood that I’m deaf to. Speaking blood. In dread,

in dreams storms brew and something is revealed,
though when I wake it’s all gone. But those owls,

“Gaakaabishiinyag,” they dwell where all else flees.
I’m no shaman — just dream deaf and unhealed.

Dream that wounds each time. Dream that disembowels.
Dream that leaves me in such confused frenzies.

NOTE:
I must be careful here. In Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibwe language), gaakaabishiinh is the name for the Eastern Screech owl, and the -yag of gaakaabishiinyag indicates the noun is plural, in this case two owls. I’m not Ojibwe, my ancestors came from the Ukraine, Italy and Ireland and it’s not lost on me that when Anglos want to try and grasp the spirit world (as what keeps happening in the New Age movement, for example) they fall back on ripping off Indigenous cultures and calling it their own. It’s for that reason (and many others) that I would also never call myself a shaman, since that describes a spiritual healer who works on behalf of her community and I have no community and cannot even heal myself. I’m using this Ojibwe term, however, because on the last full moon in April I built a little altar at the southeast corner of the cemetery crossroads that I live near and each night at dusk a pair of small owls come and visit. I am also slowly trying to learn to speak and listen in Anishinaabemowin and the more vocabulary that I use in my poetry the better understanding I’ll have with how the language works.

cypress

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After you swallowed you told me to wipe
my cock in your spectral hair. A spirit

bound to the swamp, you’re both pungent and ripe,
horny and dead. It’s queer how your corset

and silk bloomers can still slide right off. Queer
how I can skull-fuck your throat, that somehow

all which splatters on your neck and brassiere
might have brought forth life once, but never now.

“I long for love’s wet heat,” your tombstone read.
“Debauch me quick, spirit sweet.” The whole, ‘weak

flesh, weak soul’, is bullshit, you said. Pious
get pissed that sex doesn’t stop once you’re dead.

Nothing stops. You grind your swamp on my face;
tree of your lust shaking, your cunt’s red cypress.