double down


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“Venus with a penis.” After Britt’s third
bong hit. After the third time I surfaced

between her legs, with, “Paphian custard,”
on my chin. We left Vegas and August

and soaked in thermal springs. Now our unsafe
sex is just some flashback, lust gone manic,

like you. Did you like your chronic? your waif
boy’s 12-inch tongue? your day that started sick

at the Double Down? She was Britt the Clit.
You were her Mama Jama. I was pleased,

thinking my dust witch happy at last. No.
Even at those springs. Even with Britt’s spit

slick on my cock and the fingers you eased
into her, red rocks still split, stoned and slow.

The Double Down Saloon is a bar in Las Vegas that, at least back in 2000s, had a fabulous “old school break dancing” night once a week. In myth Paphos of Cyprus was daughter of Pygmalion and built a temple to Aphrodite on the island. In Victorian sex-slang, “Paphian cream,” was a euphemism for girl cum.



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Teach me, I said, all that’s obscene. Taboo.
Vulgar. You loved my poems about flesh.

I can say, “Szeretlek,” that I love you —
but I wanted to learn, “En is nedves

vagyok,” I’m wet, too. Not that it matters.
You’re gone. Lost. Somewhere that I won’t follow;

now that you’ve taught me new curses and slurs …
terms to describe my irksome libido.

That’s not to say that you were wrong. Passion
can be … complex. Perhaps you never learned

that so my words got lost in translation?
In the end what changed? Love never returned.

Are you still lonely with your bad karma?
I’m still writing about clits and vulva.

I use two Hungarian phrases in the poem. Szeretlek means I love you. En is nedves vagyok means I’m wet as well.



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Half-hard with my serpentine curve halfway
down your throat you just smirked as if to hint,

“focus, boy,” and, “wouldn’t death by foreplay
be a damn shame? Now, make me gag.”
The glint

of your lamprey teeth; the circular saw
of your jaw stretched wide as your maw unhinged,

sucking me in. “No blow jobs for bourgeois
you’d said of all the men who had cringed

each time you spread your lips. Remember this:
love, we’re not fated to be loved. We just

remind lovers why they’re blessed. I can feel
your teeth pricking my flesh; a painful kiss

turning me thick. Thick and fated for lust:
I’ll stand and convulse, you’ll gag as you kneel.



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Mist moved beyond the tree tops. “Let’s resume,”
you said, guiding me. We’d hid from the snow

after school that day up in your bedroom—-
with your mom downstairs. You bit your pillow,

keeping your groans in. Off in the forest
dead things rattled; a wet dream, all rime wings,

toothy gristle, stirred. Hoarfrost and dark lust
make for some corrupting magic; somethings

good grades can’t save us from. You soaked my palm
as you curled and jerked — letting a touch more

chill in. Chill and conjure. Even your mom,
sensing cold queer power, paused at the door

while frost and nightmare pressed against the pane,
watching you watch me lick you clean again.



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With sea salt I drew the five-pointed star
and then stepped inside. I too am the heir

of nine sisters and their nine waves. El Mar-
La Mer-El Mar:
they sing it like a prayer

but it’s still conjure. I know the help curled
kelp brings wrapped around my wrist. But unlike

Mer-lin I’ve been exiled from the dreamworld
of this surge. All that which gets pulled, tide-like,

like the moon, have all forgotten my name.
I still think that love can heal the mischief

others have caused here. I still give a damn.
El Mar-La Mer-El Mar: prayer to reclaim

wreckage; prayer that with the sea and enough
of your love I won’t need a pentagram.

El Mar is the Spanish term for the sea and La Mer the French. In the ancient Arthurian legends the wizard Merlin was, “born of the nine sisters of the cold sea, and cast up on the beach by the ninth wave.” There is a type of kelp, Nereocystis, that gets washed ashore on the beaches near where my parents live. It looks like a bull-whip ending in a large bulb with finger-like fronds radiating from it. As a child I’d wrap a bit of the whip-end around my hand and feel the sea pulsing inside.

venus red


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After the movie I scratch dried cum from
your dress. I might be a sloppy fuck-toy

but an indiscreet heat made the maelstrom
in your cunt rage. I know that you enjoy

the storms your body makes. “Mama told me
just bad girls do this.”
On our second date

your neck bloomed with a venus-red hickey.
On our third your toes curled. Boring and straight

were your classmates. “I’m a storm-witch,” you said.
“I make my cunt typhoon.” No one at school

got you. “They think I’m weird.” I understand.
I felt the Wyrd in you, too; that wild dread

for the forbidden, a greed that’s not cruel,
a thirst for all that’s beyond this wasteland.

One definition of Wyrd is the Teutonic term for Fate. As Beowulf said: “Everyone in this life will go lay themselves down on the bed where Wyrd has decided to nail them.”



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She said: Nothing kinky. You said: Don’t break
my heart. Neither of you got what you asked

for in the end. Now she’s gone and heartache
won’t save you from what approaches unmasked,

naked in ways that you could only pine
about. Winter’s twisted passion will say:

She called you apu, daddy, but you’re mine,
I’ll call you enyém, all mine, little fey.

Once you’d have harrowed hell for her. Now hell
looms to consume you. These cold months don’t creep,

they rush thirstily to you in ways that she
never did. That’s also kink, like the smell

of ice on the wind, snowfall’s hiss: Don’t sleep,
love, just watch what I do to your body.

Those who possess a vague unworldly knowledge of their own doom are said to have the fey on them. In Hungarian, “enyém,” means mine and, “apu,” means daddy, as in, “apuci lánya,” daddy’s girl.

grisly sex


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For my birthday I give you a butt-plug.
Rubber and wide. “It’ll stretch you open,”

I say, as you hunker down on the rug,
pulling off panties stained with my semen.

All day at school you wear it, feel it throb
deeper each time you sit down. After class,

after your clit’s havoc, you want macabre,
grisly sex. I’ll pull the plug from your ass,

I’ll leave a gaped dark O where my cock shall
go … now it’ll fit when I press myself in

you. I want to fill you … full. “Naaa,” you say.
“What?” “Sodomy is eur sin: naa anal.”

That was that. Still, shame that for me it’s sin
that keeps sex from being a straight cliché.

This is a re-write of a poem that I had written a couple of months ago. I know not everyone enjoys anal sex but I will admit the reaction I got surprised me: “Ahm naa ganin tuh wark aroond wi’ sum metal up me arse.” I had never realized she spoke with such a thick Geordie (Newcastle) accent.



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Prayer stink of diesel fumes, heavy with spew
and retch and thirty-three sailors sublime

depth charge billow; surging, rippling through
lean meat hull. Old-school counting time;

the way any cult embraces its fate —
a hint of dark ecstasy. Coffin boats —

how the drowned baptized them. Damn-cans with hate
of brine crushing through the screams in our throats

and the rivets and the hull. Lone language
of war sounds like submariners at prayer,

counting down seconds until the next blast.
Would you speak love to me in such carnage?

Would you kiss me? or let the sea’s anger
hush me love while you stare numb and aghast?

red thread


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— after a loss.

If love is what we make of it, then what
counts is not who we’ve lost but everyone

waiting for us at the end. “Love, spirit,
baby cat, I’m so proud of you. It’s done.

You’re safe. Sleep. Wait for me. I will follow.”
“His heart has stopped,” the vet said. I woke to

a strange empty bed. No nuzzling. No
medicine to prep. No deep sing-song mew

for food. Maybe my faith (“Love, wait for me.”)
is wrong? Maybe there’ll be no one waiting?

It’s hard when all you have is a red thread
joining you two. My altar looks lonely

without him sprawled in a sunbeam, grooming
his dark coat, burning with flecked shades of red.