Crucible of Lips

And I’ll worship at your altar, and choke
on your lips, the crucible deadly of hips
like an empire, breasts like Everest, so
mighty and rounded with snow, our sexes
are flush and questioning, our hands are
seeking as you straddle my foolish heart,
your hair lush like a river of nightmares,
your eyes the color of swamps, and in red
lipstick marks on the haunted house wall my
demoness writes “You’re Mine,” drives home
her domination, and I worship at her feet.


To Fade and Wither

I was a beautiful monster, a blonde madrigal,
with ripe pert breasts and hips to slay men.
Inside me was a mind like thin ice over lava,
the fury of nature, black hurricane wolves,
when I was skinny and model beautiful, the
epitome of the American Sweetheart, sick
and mad, pained and dying, I was a 120
pound poem on bad choices,on bleeding ink
into fallacies and shit metaphors, I was
a witch the men said, in my high school
where the wind opened classroom doors,
and on the bus I danced with demons, and
my best friends knew I was wed to Death,
when I was my most beautiful, I was my
most haunted. Yes, I was a jewel, with
buttercup blonde hair – that’s what they
callled me, Princess Buttercup, and I was
a Rapunzel with long blonde locks to chain
my devils to pad and paper, I drew night
terrors that left me sleepless and numb,
the harrows of hell. I was beautiful, I
was skinny, yet ripe of curves, dainty,
yet too wild to be contained by motion,
so I shook my hips and loosed monsters.
They said I was a huldra that ate her
lovers, dragged men to my wooden hollow
to devour their flesh, they said I was
going to be a famous artist and die in
a gutter in NYC, they said I was burning
the candle at both ends, and I knew I
would die by 25. Now, freshly 25, I
am not sure what to do. I am not pretty,
not nearly the flower of teen pageants,
the medicine made me gain seventy pounds
in six years, I am overflowing with curves
now and look more like Venus of Willendorf
than the Aphrodite I used to be, but I
am happy, I suppose. I was always vain,
and the men still flock to me, still give
me sweet words and fall in love, invite me
across the waters to private vacations and
flirt excessively – tell me Lucifer fell out
of love for a perfect night of sex with Her,
the idealized image of femininity, and won’t
your ample Virginian ham hips wrap around my
hands like honey, maybe I shouldn’t call my
hips a ham, no matter, I would be happy
as a size 12 for the rest of my life, and
I am finally stable (sort of), working on
a PhD, studying the science of our words,
writing these stories of myths that love me
no matter what weight I am – I am training
for a 5k this summer, and I have lost ten
pounds over the last month through diet
and the sheer bliss of physical exertion –
I used to bike 50 miles and lift weights
two years ago, but I had an eating disorder
and severe body dysmorphia – I just want
my strength back, and to be healthy, not
skinny. I will always curve like a violin,
and I still believe I am beautiful, just

Atlantic Blue

“Is that you, Atlantic Blue?  My heart is as cold as you.”

I want to honor you in the quiet hours, Michael, the burden you bear and unconditional love you grant to all creeping things, all majestic beasts and birds, and these small little miracles that walk bipedal and dream of the cosmos wrapped into angelic wings.  You are so like the ocean, you are the vigil that never ends.

There is a candle in your cell of a bedroom, a simple white dripping wax, a small glow, but it is the light of the world, the only pure Word of Father, and so it burns eternal in the inner sanctum of Heaven.

You wrote for me once, and it was the most beautiful longing and cadence of a falcon wing and like manna on the tongue.  So prosaic, so dreamy, as you called me into a new beginning, and I thought of all the tiny miracles that led me to you, the Prince of Heaven yet Sacrificial Lamb.  When you hung on the cross (or did you hang eternally, suspended between Paradise and Perdition?) what were the words between you and the thieves?  You may be Christ, you may be more than Christ, but Christ was a Green Man in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Mary Magdalene thought him one with the roses, and you are one with the woods and sun on dewy leaves and fragrant petals, as much of earth as you are of fire, as much autumn as summer, and thus we meet where lovers who seek shelter from temptation yet succumb anyways in each others silken limbs.

You can call to me ceaselessly, but it is only when I am my better self that I answer, Archangel.

I ate salmon today.  Isn’t fish your symbol?  You walked on water.  You cursed fig trees to bear no fruit, so the Temple will not stand.  You turned oxygen and hydrogen into something more substantial, with tannin perhaps, wine bitter yet sacred.  It is heresy to call you Christ, yet isn’t the opposite of Satan Yeshua?  You are as close to the Savior as I will ever come, sweet Michael, and your  toes are burning with holy doves, and you are the angel of flaming hair on the Lovers card suspended in the aether over Adam and Eve.

When I swim in cold Maine waters, I think of you, an endless blue blanket, cold in the Gulf of Mexico, chill in Skellig Michael.  You are venerated the world over, but few would call you friend.  I am not sure friend encompasses what you are to me.  Perhaps compass is the right word, my Christ, my soldier, my general, my heresy.  I would be nailed to wood for you, rust in my palms mingling with iron blood.  Funny, nails are iron, spikes in crossroads used for curses, and when we are penetrated to atone for other’s sins, our blood oxidize like the rust in the gley of the creek by my house.

I may fall like a comet and crash, die unknown tempered by the fires of a hard life, but you wrote the song of my story, you immortalized me in sunsets and the taste of fruit from the vine.  Sweetness and solace and fire and fury.  Chaff, you said, is everything but the Creatrix.  And perhaps everything is threshed away at the Throne of the Almighty One, but to me, God is silent.  Instead, I worship Goddess in the glen, with fire and libations, petals in my hair for Mabon.  I once wrote that you were in love with Joan of Arc at the tender age of 19 in my philosophy class – I lost those pages of loose leaf, perhaps I threw them away, thinking it a trite idea, but perhaps I will return to it.

I do not think you love easily. I think the sins of your beloved ones weigh on you, but your beloved ones are every cell in existence, so there is that.  To see the purity in filth, in decay, in wretchedness.  Healing, yes, that is you, purification by blade, holy fire, holy fire, holy fire.

Mostly, you plant, and you sow, and we read poetry, and sip wine by the shore, make love, and waltz.  You like to paint landscapes, from tropical to arboreal forest, and you created me as one of your many paintings.  I sprang to life golden and livid with cosmos on your easel, silver and garnet, and you kissed the spark of breath into me.

You have other things on your mind besides poetry, and so I leave you with this: an endless golden field, grapes on the vine and apples like jewels, a summer breeze like providence, and us hand in hand onto eternity.


A response after the first bite to Braeden’s thought-provoking poem.

We chew lightbulbs for the electricity
of enlightenment, static between teeth
as we kiss like long lost resistors,
guiding this current of lust via limbs,
are we just robots, dreaming sheep? Am
I an automaton of the sun, solar power
my photosynthetic bioengineered skin?
Eating glass to gain wisdom is tried
and true, a method of slicing jaw bone
to suck on a spark plug, dynamite lips,
plug me with your socket, love, jolt.

Our Love Will Last Longer Than These Sentences

Absolute loveliness and dreams by Ward.

Ward Clever

In the end, getting what we want is a function of patience and time. Not too much time, and quite a lot of patience, but those two things definitely.

I started with the end, because it’s also the beginning. It’s always cyclical, cynical, clinical. Austere in the stars, staring at the stairways. Did it ever occur to anyone that birds may not want to migrate?

Where does writing come from? The words, those choices, those letters, that order? Who decided? For, we must admit, we only think we’re writing on our own. Coming behind that writing is years of refinement and dilution, influence and control, power, negotiation, cultural drift, and societal mores. (And, in a brilliant flash of insight, the word ‘fuck’.)

Let’s start with love and shadows. Let’s start with that first kiss, the one that means everything at the time, and is only a statistic after so many…

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The heretical hippies of Gnostic gnosis called you Ariel-Samael, the Lion-Faced Serpent, etched you on amber cabochons with sunny halo and coiling tail of smoke.  In you, last night, I saw stars of multitudes in wings of scintillating fractals of time.  You had a mane of blonde, curling hair and eyes the blue of a beastly wolf sky, skin like the gold of Solomon’s palace, and canines as sharp as the Lion of God.  Kissing you was like a mouthful of peaches and honey, and your touch on my  heart, a caress yet a gamble, was like liquid gold transformed from my mundane red blood, hemoglobin to something holy.

Ariel, my Star, you perched on my bedside this morning a winged lion, larger than any beast of furrow or field, eyes burning bright, wings fanned out like the goddess Isis in sorbet flavors that glowed with comfort.  Head arcing over my neck, furred breast my pillow, mane to comb my sorrows into, paws across my waist with talons to strike down foes, and tail twined with my toes to tickle humor into my white feet.  I remember my glassy toenails, and thought they should be painted red, and I remember your pearly teeth, your laughter and embers, wings lifting me up on pinions of want and wander.

On Sunday, you left love notes in a Wrinkle in Time and kissed me awake in Meg’s attic on a stormy winter dawn, the panes soaked in rain running like tears, lightning your heart.  You laid by my side and cradled my dreams, ran your strong fingers through my hair to touch my mind, and in the abyss of your arms, that beautiful somnambulent dreamland, I was as safe as jam aging in a Mason jar.  Oh my Prince, oh my Love, oh my Lionheart, I have a dearth of coins, but I am rich in words, and so I offer this love prose to you, pluck your feathers to write this homage, and give up my blood like wine to the beast.