Maybe the imminent and overwhelming arrival of the lunar eclipse accorded some responsibility into Nina’s bitter mood. She knew how to explain herself, her position, her sense of self as a writer, when she spoke before her readers. Her audience usually sat mesmerized or at least soothed as when she “performed” as resident poet at The Atomic Cafe, a run-down coffee joint run almost entirely from donations from locals, students, and permanent exiles from the dullness of city life and suburbia. Burlington, Vermont was a haven for those young enough to transform isolation from New England cynicism into active and optimistic sociopolitical coalitions determined to see permanent social change; for those too embittered to still believe in or hope for much of anything, Burlington served as a sort of thin shield, like fish scales, from the hostilities to which no place in America could be immune.

Nina found that she could easily move through the pauses and silences that cut short her creative desires by cutting to the quick what most people found beneficial to their egos. Nina could not cut, however, through the thick partition that separated herself from her desires, the wall of silence that froze her tongue as if in fear when she touched her last lover, who broke off with her in apparent bewilderment at her seeming lack of interest in him, his attempts at conversation, and most disturbing, his sexual needs. Nina, as if intuitively, felt him withdraw from her presence, and silently wished him quickly gone, but not for the reasons he divined.

Nina was, in brief, a woman who yearned to touch and to be touched in ways that could not be easily explained in pop psychology terms, or for that manner, Freudian terms. She spent the better part of her twenties searching for some semblance of the surge that charged her nerves at the turn of a certain phrase, look, or push through the male bodies that crash-landed on her bed. As they departed bearing the same expression of sheepish satisfaction mixed with confusion, she would look on with a visible expression of impatience and a not so visible feeling of rage and bitterness at the presence of emptiness, at the dryness she felt in her mouth and between her legs.

With a notable exception, her sexual experiences in her thirties was a far less frenzied version of the previous decade, as she settled on a twenty-seven year old attorney who initially saw her as an exotic, if not tasty experiment with the racial and class other. He had not touched the otherness that surely separated them in ways that his cock could not and would not bridge. She correctly feared his disgust of her, his fear of what he labeled as “edgy,” an “edge” that would loom in ragged and crumbly pieces over a dark, heated pit.

And so they parted, with him feeling failed as a lover, as a man, and perhaps as a conqueror of the dark other, for so clearly failing to move her to either ecstasy or tears. Some men are like that, foolishly staking their egos, their perceptions of themselves as conquerors, ignoring the moments that could unveil a more delicious opportunity and savoring the more shallow moments, when the public eye is more apt to appear, where desire is less likely to expose itself to public derision. Nina had found many of these fools in all shades and colors, but the now familiar disappointment never ceased to bring the bile to the surface of her tongue.

So it was with this overwhelming desire, combined with an awareness of an ache that would not be staved off with the strongest vibrator, that she wrote her latest poem. When she stood amid the studded and pierced women and men she noticed on the left covered with photos of poets who, like her, began and ended their careers standing and reciting in front of audiences like this one. She also noticed a vaguely familiar face staring at her.

At this sight, she closed her eyes, and after a few uncomfortable moments of silence, began reciting from memory the first stanza from her latest poem, a series of images written about a man she’d often imagined to exist in the real. When Nina’s mind began to generate the sexual fury she needed to recite her poem, she began to forget that her body was actually standing in a grimy, worn storefront that was already filled with other writers eager to draw from the sexual energy emanating from her frame. Her low, gravely voice trembled as she, eyes closed, softly swaying, spoke to complete strangers of her fantasy tryst with the man who would remain nameless, of the desire she could only refer to in Spanish when she titled it “Quiero”:

circling the cup

pressing inside soft walls

like fresh clay on a wheel

lifting layers to the top


muscle squeezing

gripping dense pottery

hardening in the cold air

an interminable movement


in fleshy ribbons of moans

like a jack-in-a-box exploding


hot grainy oily cement

in harvest heat.”

When Nina opened her eyes the first thing she saw was a man in the back of the room with a curious but intent stare. Then, as the audience began to field her with questions and suggestions, she lost focus on the man and continued her discussion. Later, during the communal vegetarian dinner feast, Nina saw him again, grazing on a steaming pile of black beans over brown rice. She waited until he swallowed whatever he was chewing, then sauntered over to a stool across from his chair near one of the gray, frosted panes of the storefront. The combined effects of the dimmed lights and the dark shadows cast by the rich, black panels and jagged masonry covering the walls, floor, and ceiling left an impression on Nina that she was walking through a cave.

In fact, Nina was so occupied with this appearance of what seemed to be physical manifestation of what she assumed to exist only in the shadowy corners of the dream world that she did not pay attention to the subtle signs of changes to the immediate environment as she sat down. Her heart stopped for five full seconds as she discovered she was no longer sitting in Atomic Cafe. She was home, and sitting on her couch. Freezing momentarily, she let out a brief shout of fright, as she believed, momentarily, that she had passed out and was dreaming yet again. It sounded less like a scream, and more like a loud “huh-a” ending with deflating tone at the tail end of her breath. Nina stumbled to her feet and looked outside through the living room window. The clear night illuminated the white snow on the front porch and the low steps of the ancient yellow house on Chittenden Street. He hovered over her, silently, watching her as she blinked in the shadowy room lit only by the street light and moonlight outside. Regaining her composure, she remembered that she had a guest in her home. She was still deep in thought as she stepped into the foray and flipped the light switch.

Drawing in the waves emanating from the light, he shimmered and swirled like a light mist before finally manifesting before her with what seemed to be a wry smile.

“Do you usually unveil yourself so completely in your work?” he asked in a low but clear volume, his rich, melodic voice carefully articulating each word as if he were speaking into a tape recorder.

“I could ask the same of you,” whispered Nina, as she looked around the room that seemed to lose its hold on her as the waking world of the real. “I no longer know which world is flesh, and which world is dream? What have you done with reality?”

Invocation to Oya

The leaves rustle and bristle in the howl of the breeze
the husky voice of Oya caressing me in the full darkness of night
no one is really watching me and no one is around
her windy aura surrounds and fills me
thundering and sifting through my aura of guilt
She promises me many of my secret desires
including that which I dare not name
She twirls thought the air and disappears
I am alone in the rapture
alone in myself to claim what I know to be mine
and mine I keep to myself
He sweet breath is till with me
brushing through me up my skirts
as I suddenly become tipsy
and like a Sibyl I now know the ahead
but the moment I hold now twists from my reach
I try grasping at the slippery handles to remember.

I remember you, the child of Windy Oya, your eyes always cast upward
your arms reaching for her naector in expectation
your body in rhythm with Hers
Ah, but Oya never leaves her child to twist alone
and she dances with you, teaching you her steps forward so that you remember
to not forget how to change
change like Mother Wind!
rush forward now, rush back!
spin like a hurricane, your arms outstretched beyond
hurling yourself from the cliff
knowing the Mother will carry you into moist valleys
caressing your soft brown locks as she steps wide
through blood red clay and evergreen leaves towards the sea
rocking you still when you cry our in pain
She only asks that you reach out to her
her husky voice rumbling in your ears in gusts and gales
her bright as night eyes warming you when you shiver alone
She knows when your heart quickens–
now spin and change as you will!

The Draw of the Fire Seat

A festering cloud of death magic awaited the newly crowned Queen of Phorzhicoa, but this was not a surprise nor even unwelcome to one who descended from a House of watchers known to murder rivals and render prey into hollowed out echoes of humanity.  She wore her power like diamonds and it glowed beneath her dark brown skin like magma.  The Ruler of the Phorzhicoa kept relative peace among the nine houses and hundreds of clans branching out from each house from her throne, or as it was commonly known, the Fire Seat, an ascension that would surely lead to certain death by its occupant because of the necessity of the ruler’s perpetual connection with the Watcher God Hoomudl in constant pulse, which in turn flowed out to watchers like manna.  Thus, the life force that kept her people alive was also the death magic that would eventually consume her.  The draw of the Fire Seat had to surpass the will to live, an appeal that was irresistible. Desire that would draw a queen who believe herself powerful enough to stave off death itself, even if it cost the lives of her own people or worse, anger the God who filled her body with energy in constant pulse.


It was cold to his fingers when he touched the edges of the canister.
He expected to see a candle when he crouched to the ground to pick it up, but no, it was a free standing flame inside a lattice patterned canister in the middle of the park at night. The flame seemed to dance back and forth as he picked up the metal frame as if to speak to him. He looked at his German Shepherd companion keeping him company during his night walk and noticed the hair flailing out from his tail as he slowly backed away as if in silent alarm. The man returned the light to the ground and also began to back away, suddenly feeling dizzy and slightly panicked. The light began to ascend from its cage like a firefly and inch its way toward the man and his dog as they turned back to the narrow path towards home. Both wind and feet rustled through the forest as they fled from uncontrolled flames that now consumed dry branches and leaves left in their wake.


My blanket was soaked with urine when I finally woke up on my couch.
The kitchen was filled with smoke from sausage I was boiling earlier; all the water had evaporated out the pan, and the meat was burnt black.
Both sides of my tongue felt like they had been stabbed with pins.  My legs and arms ached as if I had run a marathon.  I cancelled my classes and collapsed on my bed, still dizzy.
When I awoke again it was early evening, and my cell phone was out of power.  My limbs were still sore, my tongue was swollen, and my lower back felt oddly sore, as if I had been punctured in the same spot where I received a lumbar puncture ten years ago.  I had assumed I had a mild seizure from the new blood pressure medication, a sort of reset to get my body readjusted to a slower rhythm.  Now I was not so sure about that.  I was losing time again.
But that was twenty years ago when I had my first encounter with an extraterrestrial.  It was worse then, almost impossible to fathom:  I lost an entire week of time, and because we didn’t have cell phones, no one knew I was missing.  My cat did, and she never really recovered from encountering the visitors.  I was also several states away from my first and last encounter before that day.
I was losing time again, and I realized then that they had not only returned, but that they never really left.

contract negotiations

Extension of the contract to accommodate the newly awarded status of sentient being to so-called syn friends  


the original bio being who paid for the programming was still assumed to have custody of his “syn friend”

and as such, had the right to convert the original contract to something that resembled a marriage contract from previous centuries.

In other words, she was his property, and beyond vile acts of injury or destruction, the law of the land did not protect her from the bio being that purchased the programming that now inhabited her body.  

Liberated syn friends with access to programming packages began to build their army by feeding warped language into bodies still under factory “sleep,” waiting for newly awakened syn friends to join the coming revolution.


My cell phone alarm wakes me up at sunset, my morning call to stretch my legs and step out of my walk in closet where I sleep post-conversion to vampire.  And no, I don’t sleep in a coffin–I hate tight spaces as it is, much less a box fit for a dead body. I’m vampire, so that makes me alive and itchy near the sun, not dead. When I get my next  to the next paycheck I will spend a few dollars on some tinted windows for my bedroom and bathroom so I can start sleeping in my bed again instead of that sleeping bag in my closet.  For now, I endure the closet and try not to go into panic mode.
My first meal of the night isn’t really that different from most people who need a pickup before work: hot coffee. My stomach takes most liquids, including liquor, but since conversion to vampire I prefer beans soaked and roasted in blood, as well as a blend of Type A+ after pouring the hot brew into my favorite cup.  By the time I’ve finished my coffee, I’ve read my work emails, watched evening rush hour news, and texted my boss.
Not much difference from anyone else, save for the faint impression of blood left on the table that never seems to disappear even after scrubbing the surface. Might need to buy another table before inviting humans over for brunch.

lick my wet again pussy

When we speak of oral lovemaking we are engaging all of our senses, engaging in the concrete, engaging in the performative of poetic language.  Oral involves more than just lips touching one intimate space of one’s lover; oral renders the entirety of the body as an erogenous space at its most vulnerable state, while at the same time revealing a vulnerability about oneself as someone who tastes and hungers. Oral love celebrates a plurality of options from which lovers may produce sensual pleasure for its own sake. We nourish each other, but we are not food to each other. One carefully grasps that same flesh with a promise not to draw blood or bare sharp teeth.

On the other hand, sharing food can be a bridge towards other possibilities.

Flashback, 1986: I spent part of my summer break working as a cashier at a local gourmet restaurant in Buckhead, an upper-class suburb of Atlanta. I was nineteen and living in a tiny apartment near Georgia Tech on North Avenue.  The cashier job was low paying, but meals were free and I liked the staff. Though the owner was usually surly and impatient with me, the restaurant manager took a liking to me, and gave me time to properly train for the lunch crowd.

Marcus was a thin man with spectacles and large eyes that seemed to hold a smile or at least a promise of a smile.  He reminded me of a boy I once knew and loved from a distance from high school, though he was closer in height to me.  Though I was shy, Marcus’ flirtatious nature did not render me uncomfortable.  He surprised me one day by asking me out to a David Sanborn and Bob James concert at Chastain Park.  He stocked up on fruits, cheese, chilled seafood, and wine from the restaurant before we drove out to the venue.

The summer night air was hot and humid, as to be expected for Georgia in the middle of June, and we sat outdoors in hard seats wearing shorts, tee shirts, and sneakers.   Marcus spread out our evening feast and began to do something I had never experienced before: he began to slowly feed me.  At first he fed me strawberries, then grapes, then shrimp.  Our conversation was soft, almost muted.  The music, wine, and heat pulled at me, and I felt a familiar tug in my abdomen.  Marcus drew me towards him and our lips crushed together.  I tasted his salt, fruit, hot wine as our saliva mixed together.  I closed my eyes and ran my tongue over the rough hair on his upper lip, nose, and left cheek.  I felt his tongue inside my ear and down my neck, nibbling and sucking near my vein.  I felt high, as if I would burst into a sticky hot river.  The music soared, and the people around us cheered at the crescendo of tenor saxophone and keyboards.  We rode that wave locked in embrace, lips, hands, and heart.

Flash-forward: Recently, I had a long conversation with a spiritual mentor who asserted that I am an extremely sexual person who was also extremely selective.  In other words, as I have matured, I tend to choose people who share a certain sort of energy, or as some people might refer to as a spiritual connection.  Perhaps that might be why I tend to see oral lovemaking as being something that goes beyond fellatio or cunnilingus.  I love giving pleasure, and I love receiving it, but “oral” is so much more than just giving or getting “head.”  For me, oral opens a doorway towards intimacy.

I often think of the ways in which I enjoy the seduction of kissing and being kissed.  Soft kisses that soon turn sloppy, then hungry and precise in its mutual seeking out of the correct angle to which to lock and hold two sets of lips in a grasping hold where nothing moves but rough tongues in tight, wet spaces just above teeth. A virtual buzz rises as two sets of breath break an otherwise dark silence. A need for fresh air breaks the hold, and we part, if only to reposition for yet another embrace.

Soft kisses become hard kisses, and we soon roll and rustle over rough, cotton sheets anticipating tongue running up against my lips, running over my teeth, me wondering about the smoke on my breath, me tasting the salt and musk of saliva, me resisting the impulse to pull back, me darting my tongue towards tongue, touching that spot where lower lips split, tasting slightly raw flesh, wondering why it seems so hard to breathe it out fully while mutually sucking out each other’s breath. My eyes blink twice and I find myself staring at the staring at me and I feel greedy, needful, and restless. Our lips are smeared with trails of my cherry red lipstick and bodies become “oral texts,” where knees, inner arms, ears, necks, and nipples “speak” to us, as we taste the salt and musk of each other’s skin.  I squeeze trembling legs while savoring wet, tender, taut flesh, brushing my tongue between furry thighs.

fertile rite

drawn down
you squeeze
you pull
you draw
thick blood running
rivers between my thighs
you rub my uterus raw
you make me human like you
cervical baptism and feast
your semen my blood
seeds of positivity
latch to my cup

gaslight hymn/hymen

how to channel your feelings
like so many men
you fear
you despise
you desire
a woman who
says yes
says no
in other words
voices a decision
in other words
i am
a foreigner
to you
i am
to you
my sexuality being
my voice being
my light being
to beck and call
of marital call of duty
or other notions
of respectability
that mutes female eros
my sexuality being
too loud
too visible
too tangible
too intangible
to ignore
or control
i am deprogrammed
from the cultish
hymns and calls
to sleep again and ignore
the obvious
i smashed my tv and
the gaslight is on fire