Category Archives: The muse

Lament for a Modern Danae (DRAFT-A-LICIOUS)

I

There were nights of motion, of wetness,
of weeping and pleasure, of ghasping for air.

Once, she lived in desire. She woke in the night
to the feel of you between her legs. You were

her Zeus, your hand sliding into her was a shaft
of moonlight melding her life to yours, creating in her

a divine pregnancy. The love you left there
was her salvation, her down fall.

II

Looking at you, no one would know your divinity.
She could see it from the moment she first saw you

standing outside her house in the snow, slamming
the door of a rusty truck, it’s creaking was

the sound of the muses that proclaimed your presence.
Months later, you left Perseus in your wake, her love

without a body to hold it, faltered, failed
to live up to the demi-god as it was formed.

III

Your Danae, with seven bite marks on her back
moves thru the world, different. The damage

you left, the bites, purple marks that you lift her shirt
to show another lover; the strange pattern of welts,

the shape of a whip at her hip. Feathering moonlight
between the legs every week, calling her back.

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Home

On your back, I traced the words I was too scared
to say. You followed the path of my fingers, though,
and were disappointed by my fear. When you asked
me to give voice to that sentiment, I thought you
could be my new home. I am obsessed with a house

two blocks south of my apartmet. A two story brick
house across the street from a bar I never go to.
My house has had a for sale sign for months,
since long before I thought you could be the place

to which I long to return. I know now, you are no place.
You are a person. You will move, you will shift, you will change
your mind. Like me, you disappear. I carry home on my back.

I carry it when I take the dog to the park. I carry it when
I go to my parent’s house. Maybe this is what the homeless
woman who sat in the middle of the sidewalk this afternoon knew,
that her home was wherever she was. She yelled at me to say
she was not afraid of my dog. If we were young together, I would

take her to my home, I would undress her, I would trace words
on her back that I longed to say. I used to lie in bed and stare
at you and think, I will never love you as much as you love me.

My great love started with the thought that I would never love her.
What a fool, to think that. My great love ended with new scars
on my skin and flailing and job loss. No matter what, I can always say
I went the farthest. I am trying something new these days, I am letting
everything slide. I am walking past that house, my longed for home, daily.

Today, I heard they are closing my favorite dive bar. I thought
of the time you took me there, how we got drunk, how you wrote
my name in sharpie on the bathroom wall. I would like to somehow
take that part of the wall, to have a memorial of our home. You came

back once, but my bed distubed you, the thought of someone new
in it. My next home will have a porch. It will have wood floors,
and a yard for my dog. There will be a light in the kitchen, too.
I will make breakfast there. I will take the dog out. I will clean
the bathroom and decorate the foyer. I will hang my paintings there.

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When I was a dominatrix

I.
you drove me to work every afternoon laughing
at how easy it can be to earn so much, to do
so little. I never told you about the seventeen
minutes of fear, alone in a room with this unknown,
possible peditor, the way I listened with my whole

body; I felt what should come next. You saw me:
the high heeled boots, shining vinyl bustier,
my Betty Paige bangs. You saw red lipstick,
eyeliner. You felt the welts I left on your back,
you hear my husky-voiced commands.

II.
Inside my stiffened, well shaped cacoon, my heaving
breasts were not born of excitement. I was not
throbbing with desire for your flesh. I kept my fear
and left you with pleasure. While I held that
many tailed whip, I sent it sizzling thru the air,
I made it crack and twitch against your skin,
I was the one being tortured for your pleasure.

III.
That fall, when I was a dominatrix, I gave.
I gave and gave and gave and gave. I pushed
your face into the floor with my boot, I pressed
your nose against concrete until it bled, I tied
you up and left your when the snows finally
came to press against the wounds.
Your frayed skin, in the end, was mine.

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Seal these wounds

I’ve been drowning my fears
in astringent and slitting them
open with the tip of a knife.

Your words can dissolve
the edge of my anger, but only
motion can wipe the residue

of horror and sadness
off of my skin. Only the feel
of paper against my index finger

or the warmth that lies
inside your mouth can seal
these wounds I created.

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Bad Decisons

She went outside, face still hot
and red. The dog pulled her
down the street, and her anger
melted when flakes of snow

hit her face. She knows
how to chose the worst
path every time. It always
ends this way, a cold night
sky, drifting snow,

and the echoes of what
now could be had she made
one good choice about you.

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I’m a theif

I woke, eyes blurry, as you packed your bag
the morning after I pushed my hand into your jeans
under flashing lights, after I made you shiver without
anyone else noticing. I hid your thin blue shirt,

hems unraveled with wear, under the blankets.
I never wanted you to stay, but I needed something
that would remind me you were here. If you return
on a rainy night, I will dress you in it again.

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What I told you

I can remember the low orange glow
of lamplight lost in the high cielings
of my first apartment in this city
casting the shadow of your profile

on the wall when I told you
my poems are all fiction, and none
would really be about you. I told
you you might recognize gestures,
movements, but these have been
ripped out of life at the seems

and transplanted into a world
full of deer and queen anne’s lace
that I write in blue lined notebooks.
But I never told you this, even after
you moved with me into that low

ceilinged loft across from the drug dealers
and families with dirt for front yards
and children wearing only diapers playing
in the street. I never told you that that
blue lined world is my world, and you became

a part of it the moment you slipped your hands
down my body, the moment you locked an arm
around my body while I was sleeping. I never told
you that since then, every word has been for you.

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