Monday, March 7, 2011

the moon hung
like a curve of a tear
in the soundless mirror
of the sky
no clouds to hide its way

this is something unsay able
this moment
this saved-up coin of happiness
i take it while I can
a blank page
our footprints write on

for Raquel

the bent figure
of a fairy girl
came to me in the box you sent
with its distant eyes
and delicate lily lines

one of the wings fell off
just laying there in the box
like the curved shell
of a tear

she is lost
and found at the same time
a secret smile
as she looks down
bent knee
she leans on open hands


sucking on cherry pits until there's no taste left
I want to tell you what you mean to me
I've been meaning too
I've been too busy
and now it's too late

my life is a coloring book
you've missed so many birds
I'm too young to grow up
cover me with thoughts of you
hold me close
and I'll hold you true
occasionally the fruit is bitter
an angel's fallen from the sky
cherry pits fall like echo's of glass
in the bowel

Country weekend

at the lake
we sit with our beer cans
talking and laughing
and I miss you
the mirrored lake
is full of secrets and motion

back at the house
unfinished among the trees and purple wildflowers
the sun is setting
thick strokes of color
blending into each other
I remember thinking
it was like looking into a crystal

now the stars are out
shinning white
swirling in the blackest country sky
the crickets are out
off-key violins
but I can't go to sleep
until the phone rings

Egyptian Dream a woman of blue feathers and musk stares with liquid, black eyes wet onyx trembles in the night she flies over the pale golden sands the moon her pale song a wail in the night she walks on the sand beside the sphinx and looks at him with dark eyes nothing will ever change together, they turn to face the sun awaiting dawn
Take me river, carry me far, lead me river, like a mother, take me over to some other unknown, put me me in the undertow

The Lullaby

I lay awake at night
listening to the lullaby of the crickets
soft underwater whispers
mixing into the night

this is the only time
I get to not think
worries blend into the shadows
I wrap myself in the trembling blankets
of forgetfulness
the space between dreams
everything seems right
in those soft dark moments
alone with crickets
the night is deafening
when the silence is listening


mine is an army of angels
night brings out troubles to the light
hanging on the smoky edge of dreams

hazy silvers hide the light
hidden clouds and trees like dark tears
starts with a glimmer
ending with a glow
It's so hard to forget pain
but it's even harder to remember sweetness

The Postcard
for Michael Calvello

take me to the fields
of golden green
where the flowers bloom heavy
against the scented sky
and trembling water

the path of bent grass
leads to a group of quiet trees
seeming alone
even when they are together
burnt green tears
in the distance
it won't ever change
if you want it to stay the same

wild rose
jagged, delicate petals
billowing out or darkening green

this is a memory from my early childhood
when i think things made a little more sense
when life gets to be too much
I remember I used to dream

fantasies of endless summertime
golden leafs
with crystal-blue jewels
floating gently downstream
a time when pain was too small too mention
and cold wasn't understood

Winter Roses

the winter roses
floated outside our window
honey colored feathers
lazily turning curving upward
to what is left of the sun

we looked at them
as we had our coffee
in our blue china cups
wrapped in blankets
waking up slowly
wiping away the tears of sleep
slow secret smiles

the winter roses
lightly hang there like bells
curving bells as if held up by nothing
comfort and loneliness
honey and green watercolor
like a sigh
like a whisper
breathing a little more warmth into the coldness
sooner or later
I need a savior

Sarah Calvello

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good day my love,

Why do you say that I flirt?

I see you keep staring at all the young ladies.

Good day my love,

Why do you say I tune out to what you have to say?

I told you what you need it to know.

Good day my love,

Why do you say that I don't do women's obligations?

I see how you never take us out.

Good day my love,

Why do you say that I’m a cruel mother?

I see how you are to the kids.

Good day my love,

Why do you say I’m ignorant?

I see how your boss told you to do the same thing over and over again.

Good day my love

Why do you say I’m not respectful?

I see all the bruises on my body.

Good day my love,

Why do you say I’m not a pleasing lover?

I see how is all about you.

Good day my love,

You asked why couldn't you come home?

I say because that's the last thing that I well let you do...

teresa chavez

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oral Dissertation

Your silky lips seem to mold into mine when we kiss.
Our lips part and our tongues begin a dance of their own.
Your tongue moves methodically within mine as if in search of the finest treasure.
Tasting you with every wavelike motion is reminiscent of a love language.
Verbal orgasms send me over the edge and a moan escapes me sending vibrations in our oral world of seduction.
Your hands on either side of my face let me know you are hungry for more.
I slowly pull back and look into your eyes and then your eyes lower to my lips.
A seductive smile creeps upon your face.
I take your face into my hands and I slowly trace your lips with my tongue and I see the need in your eyes to feel my lips once again.
This oral manipulation is causing us both to focus intently on the task at hand.
Keep giving me your oral jisms; your kisses are the truth, no lie.

Forbidden Fruit

A taste you can't get out off your taste buds.
I remain coated on your tongue as a reminder
of the loving you feen for.
The lover you scream for.
Better yet the lover you cream for.
My sexy talk makes you lose your mind
And a slow wind that makes you want to grind.
The one you're with doesn't understand your needs
Let me remind you of the difference between her and me.
She kicks her heels off and I keep mine on
She can't break you off, but I can turn you on.
Her favorite position is what they call missionary.
My favorite one is whatever is imaginary.
My loving has no boundaries and anything goes
I make you put in work and I always cur your toes.
Unfortunately this fantasy has only taken place in my mind.
I am your forbidden fruit, dangling from a vine.

Forbidden Love

Like an addict to a drug addiction, I go through withdrawals when you are not around.
I walk around aimlessly wondering if our secret love will be found out.
I have to love you from a distance because you belong to another.
The forbidden fruit I crave, my shelter and my cover.
I am the happiness you want and the lover that you need.
I give you a taste of what real love is and you always up and leave.
I stimulate the most inner part of your soul
but you can't seem to break free, forever etched inside the mold.
Like Romeo and Juliet, we can only love each other in the shadows.
Cause if our loved is found out, we are destined for the gallows.
A love so pure and sweet and yet I must hold it in.
Loving someone who is taken has become my greatest sin,
But it's also my greatest pleasure, to know I'm the reason you smile.
I'm the one who makes you laugh and makes life seem worth while.
The aching in my heart, I've got to rise above
but for now, you'll be my Forbidden Love.

Lyric Ishani

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Response to Posting Id: 2022599647:

"I've been interested in writing erotica for a few years now. I've read a fair amount of it, and I would certainly love to read some of your if you'd let me. I'd like someone to teach me some of the basics - I love writing but I've never really written anything erotic. I have some ideas, however.
How old are you? I look forward to your response:) I'm ----, by the way."

I'm actually only 18, but I got into all things sex and porn pretty early in life. Having said that, I discovered that there was a kind of art to sexuality that most pornography and erotica didn't have - then again, maybe I wasn't reading the right material. I too appreciate a woman's beauty, maybe even more so than a man, but I identify myself as heterosexual and mostly only toy with the ideas of heterosexual long term erotica.

"I've been interested in writing for a while, and when I got interested in erotica I decided I needed to experiment. I'm interested in Dom/Sub relationships as well - films like "Secretary" intrigue me...writing something erotic like that would be amazing."

"I know I'm young, and I can't possibly have the experience that other women have. So I understand if you'd rather bounce ideas off someone more mature. But I do know that I don't lack experience with sexuality, and that is one of my prime interests in life."

"Get back to me on what you think."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chocolate Kisses

Sweet temptations graze across your lips.
An indulgence that sends a current through your body and ignites you.
My full chocolate lips are lightly caressing yours.
Your anticipation is quite audible to me.
I can hear your heart pounding through your chest.
I sample the sweetness of your lips with my tongue
to take in all your flavor.
I can still taste the strawberries that I just fed you moments before.
How delectable you are.
I gently kiss your eager lips and the vibration of your moan on my lips encourages me.
I slowly part your lips with my tongue and enjoy the flavors of our mouths.
Fiercely sensual, you make me feverish in my own skin.
Now steaming from the heat, my lips between my thighs begin to swelter.
We lose ourselves in each other, over and over again.
Each kiss, slays you with such precision and deliberateness.
The kiss of death, so sweetly urged.

Honey Love

You engage me with your honey hued eyes that have flecks of gold.
You entice me with the sweetness that lies behind them;
Making me wonder the flavor of the nectar you hold.
Fantasizing about the sticky sweetness that is your essence.
Immortalized on my lips only to taste you again with one graze of my tongue.
Such sweet seduction

Making Love

Kisses that could inflame the soul.
A tender touch that diffuses all my inhibitions.
The outside world wastes away and it's us.
We begin a dance of love and lust.
Both striving to please the other in hopes of a climatic release.
Our bodies move as one.
Methodically sending chills down each others spine.
Each stroke makes me submit and my body relaxes only to be tensed by an eruption that starts at the pit of my stomach and simultaneously tingles down to my toes and I erupt from both of my lips.
The set betweens my thighs tighten around you and release my love like a waterfall flooding your member like a tsunami.
The lips on face release moans and screams of sublime pleasure.
As I come down from my high I am humbled to be your lover for life.
You killed the fight in me and to feel this good again, I'll die a million times.

Thinking of You

I find myself laying in bed thinking of you.
Thinking of you watching me and I begin to touch myself.
My fingers slide into my moisten panties as my eager lips await the slightest sensation.
Mmmm...Moans escape my lips as visions of you appear in my mind.
I am not sure what turns me one more.
Your sexy smile?
The swagger you rock?
Your sexy body?
maybe it’s the thought of what I want to do.
Wanting to taste your soft lips.
Or the thought of you kissing mine.....down there.
Maybe it's the thought of you hearing your sexy moan.
My love pearl is so swollen wanting a release.
I let my fingers rub it faster in a circular motion imagining you watching me.
And then the vision comes to mind right before my release.
Your head in between my thighs licking, sucking, and nibbling on my love pear until I let my river flow all over your lips, tongue and chin.
Then you raise your head and look up at me and I see my love glistening all over your mouth.
I open my eyes and realize the mess I've made between my thighs.
I lick my fingers pretending I am tasting the thoughts of you that remain.

Lyric Ishani

Monday, February 21, 2011



10,000 decibels too short of hidden this beat is tight

Out of sight...

Green lips set caged humming birds free (flight)

10,000 miles a second green wings shimmer

So sci-fi sky high type fly fly fly away

Black Snow white with the wild beasts jamming to Badu


As Her indigo knuckles knock on my chest I bleed hot pink emotions

Drip drying all over my flustered face in faucets of blush

Masking this funk ship shifting rhythm in under ground oceans oceans

I'm stroking y'all...

We melt in a pot of sheets like steam over fat asses we drip...

Sip and hotcake on her griddle flip...tongue? lip hip grip suck dont slip

Aaaaahhh.... damn baby slow down...

Hookah bar type tities as I succulently molest medium deep mahogany mountains

Where smoke fountains tickled my tongue...pastel painted my lungs a ganja green

Serene scene of a titie fene... titie fene

This aint a dream y'all...

Baby doll so African perfectly carved wooden

Grape Jolly Rancher Draped Pantie

Fanti, see, I woman be Purrrr Purrr Pretty Puss Beauty

Oooo weee... Hmmm

Forefinger flexes fluidly for her fluid tree

Honey bee sticky icky juicy tea...

Jerk and || Vibrate and Beatin involuntarily

OOhhh I think she like me... yall...

Negroes cant swim so I drown in it

Ta-da-da-da that ass upscale fish scale mermaid

Sex slave whole sale gmail water hole big wale...

Well... you get the idea.. yall

I'm crazy

Creative anti-virginity activity

You kiss on me crucially swirling sanity and sanctity

Flammable aerosol puffs blaze brown bellies birthing heathen activity

It's called sensual fluidity teenage eccentricity

She is the zero gravity epitome

Dippn me in and out of reality...

Fantasy on earth y'all...

I raise my hands in praise

Cupping her D-cup double gaze

I graze gracefully under holy ganja nipple a-maze

In body....

Green lips Humming birds anti virginity activity singing to me

Sex is better than drugs honey...

Monday, February 7, 2011


Water overhead, underneath.
How did we get here?
How did I get here?
Rising, sinking, sinking.

So suddenly, I am alone.
Will we ever catch our breath?
Will I ever catch my breath?
Fighting, screaming, screaming.

Water fills my lungs; I cannot speak, cannot think.
Are we strong enough to start over?
Am I strong enough to start over?
Winning, drowning, drowning.

I want to retire, just for a moment.
Can we be honest with ourselves?
Can I be honest with myself?
Pushing, struggling, struggling.

Pruny hands, hearts; we have expired.
Will we ever feel again?
Will I ever feel again?
Hurting, resting, resting.

My Heart is in Your Toaster Oven

There isn’t enough room in my heart for hate,
But I can’t even keep a promise to myself.
Your songs are just poems with a pretty melody,
My poems are just unfinished songs on a shelf.

You kiss gives me flies—what? I mean butter,
You’ve got me all worn down; I’m inside out.
But we spin faster and you tighten your grip,
Sun is bright, sky is blue, and I’m still full of doubt.

You say I’m pretty cute, but I don’t like how this rhymes,
Should we start over, make up for lost time?
I’m changing the beat, keep up with the pace,
You never seemed to like the sad look on my face.

We’re like the ocean, no, more like a tree,
I’m not sure how, but it’s a damn good simile.
Pick up your guitar, sing a song, make me smile,
I just wanna be here in your arms for a while.

I’m all over the map, but you’re the ink to my quill,
Wait, no, that was stupid; you’re the sprinkles to my vanill--
--A…ice cream? What? I’m not making any sense,
I’ll agree to let you rescue me if you’ll just be my prince.

You really make me laugh and your eyes make me melt,
You’ve got a heart of gold and you’re the best that I have smelt.
What? I mean smelled; I’m enunciating lazily,
Actually, I think it’s just you’ve got me going crazily.

Dead or Alive

This blank page underneath my pen
will soon be alive like that first night
spent in the arms of heartache.
Nothing ever felt more real,
and I never wanted so badly to be dreaming.

I was as fragile as a tulip
trying to fight off a hurricane.
I was drowning and losing.
Overwhelming, the feeling was when
you get too hot but you can’t get your coat off.

And no one is around to help you.
I was trapped inside that puffy, down coat,
all alone, in the middle of a hurricane.
If I could hold on long enough,
maybe if I could breathe in the eye of the storm.

But how do you break the news to yourself
that you’re already dead?

Ghost of You

You’re the Ghost that won’t leave me alone.
When I drive past exit sign 97B, there you are,
showing me your perfect smile,
your mouth slightly parted so the laughter can escape.

When I watch that movie,
they fall in love again and again and again,
thanks to “scene selection,”
and his body becomes your’s; her hands, mine.

When I see that dress and the silky fabric
spills over my shins, I can smell your hair
and feel your ear soaking up
my hot breath and secrets.

When I hear that song with that line
that made you laugh,
I feel your fingers between mine with the windows
down and my hair a crazy mess.

When I see my breath outside in the chilly air I look over
to my left and see you beside me on the top of your car,
waiting in the dead of winter for
a meteor shower that would never come.

It’s time for you to go now, move on, please.
You can’t keep haunting me late at night like this,
or when I’m in his arms,
or drifting off to sleep.

Let me go.
I can’t help you now.
You’re just the Ghost of who you were;
There’s a different you living inside that shell now.

But what you fail to realize is
my ghost is out there somewhere
because it made me different, too.

I’m Just a Toy Doll

The room is full of people,
but all I see is you--
you standing there in that dark suit.
Now I’m nothing but a puddle on the floor.
If you came in and scooped me up and
molded me into the girl you want me to be,
I’d look so different.

My nose would be smaller, maybe with a few freckles,
I’d be shorter, definitely shorter--
easier to pick up and carry around the house.
I’d make you feel like a man then.
Yeah, you’d be so amazing with a tiny lady
who enjoys cooking your spaghetti.

If you could, you’d take a saw to my head,
lift the top of my skull off like was just a
furry bowl resting there.
You’d take out my brain and exchange it with
you own.

I’d think just like you in this bite-sized form
with my culinary hands,
and you’d be in complete heaven.
You’d wipe off my girly nail polish,
smooth out my wild hair,
throw a racy outfit on me—no, nude.
No, everyone is looking…a turtleneck and sweats--

Then you’d complain about how I look.
Tan skin (free of charge!),
and I’m ready and willing.
It’s unfortunate for you that toy dolls aren’t real.

Forever and for All of the Universe

My life is a sad song
A capella
No noise other than
One lonely voice
Singing words
About love and sorrow
About life and sadness

But we collided
And you put music
To my melody
And I can’t seem
To put the cassette down
Until I have just one more

It’s a symphony
Of gentle passion
That floods my ears
And enlightens
My system

And I’m pretty sure
This is my new
Favorite song
Of all time.


How do you do it?
My skin is translucent to your eyes.
You see straight to my broken heart;
sometimes it’s scary,
but you know me better than anyone.

The whole world knows I’m a jigsaw puzzle,
1500 pieces scattered wildly.
But you see a finished work of art
when you look at me.

I am my truest self when you’re there,
believing in me.

This poem is a mess,
but it’s like my heart that started in
a bunch of tiny fragments and you
stitched it back together.

It was initially so ugly and broken up,
but each piece was honest.
And when it beat as one again,
you saw.

You saw the miracle right through my chest.
It may not be pretty,
but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.

Ashley Doty

Friday, February 4, 2011


My fascination obsession

with motifs

of the woman I want

to paint

create figures

of her

multiple poses

as in Ingres’ Turkish Bath

her repeated body


a canvas

in the lens of my eye

I see her

even when not present

a hallucination gift

trouble in paradise


when words start to break

when “well-hello”

becomes “he-y”

when stanzas become lines

when lines become words

a letter



Alicia Ristau
for adam

of the things I wish I’d said,
next to thank you, I’m sorry, and—why
one sentence sits apart
at a lonely table,
its face obscured.

it is not “I love you,”
though who can say if I did
it is not “keep faith,”
though I wish you had—
in something, anything
but what destroyed what
you loved best—
only yourself, your better dreams. but

I would not say “let me help”
those words must not be said between us.
I would not challenge again
your skill in verbal cuts;
the play has died within you, leaving
and I would not remind you.

my regrets are bittersweet and fan out like flames
but with you, I regret one thing only:
I did not tell you what treasure you held
and let you burn it all away, unsaid
if you wonder, know:
you held your dreams and
a fragment of my heart;
they are both blackened—
my heart will heal.

Alexandra Hughes
Bet on you

If I could travel time
Transcend reality today
I would return to the moment
I made my fatal mistake

If I could rewrite one song
To make the words more real
I would write dramatic melodies
To show you how I feel

If I could rewind this movie
Now a horror film
I’d erase the tapes that play
And take out all the thrills

If I could take back all my chips
And keep my poker face
Then I’d recant my bet on you
And avert this great mistake.

Forgiveness is Bliss

Everyone knows I’m stuck
On what you did to me
Old wounds have yet to heal
I still see you in my dreams.
But I want to forgive you
For all that you did
I’ve tried so many times
But I grow bitter instead.
If I could let go of this
Of all the dark shadows in my life
I would feel such bliss
In knowing I’ll be alright.
But I have to forgive you
For myself alone
Because any other reason
Would just leave a hole.
I need peace of mind
In knowing I did this
Just for myself this time
I crave that bliss.


I hate the way you ramble
But I hate than in me too
I hate the way you lie
But falsehoods tend to fly
I hate that you never call
But I haven’t at all
I hate the games you play
But that is just the way
I hate your stupid stories
But mine are also boring
I hate not knowing stuff
But I don’t say enough
I hate your parents already
And we’re not even going steady
I hate when you’re not here
But we were never really near
I hate not being the one
But I should know we’re done
And most of all I hate
Rejection to my face.

Let go

It’s been a month
It’s been a year
I’ve had my time
To shed these tears
I must let go
I must move on
I’ll make my way
In not too long
I don’t miss you
I just miss “us”
But now I’m free
Is that a plus?
I’m going now
To not look back
I need to get
My life on track
I’ll let you go
Let go of “us”
Live only for me
Feel the rush.

Testing the Water

I am a child
Running up to the water’s edge
But no farther
For I fear the ocean’s depths
As it stretches to the horizon
I panic.
What if I swim out too far?
Who will save me?
I inch my feet forward in the sand
Just enough to dampen my feet
As the next wave rolls in.
Yes, no, yes, no
Maybe a little,
For the water is cold,
And even on a hot summer’s day
It chills you to the core
I take three forced steps
Right, Left, Right…
I scamper sideways
As I feel the intruding object
Brush against my ankles
I see the seaweed and remember to breathe
I continue.
Up to my knees now,
The water is cloudy
I can no longer see my legs.
Should I continue, or dash towards shore
Towards safety
I press on,
Because Life is full of seaweed and sharks and
So many dangers,
Often inevitable.
So now, as an adult,
I take the plunge
Into life
And Love
And Loss
Knowing all the while
That potential heartache lay ahead
But knowing as well
That it is better to have tried and failed
Than to never have tried at all.
It’s time to wade into life.

Three strikes

I warned you not to break her
But you still made her cry
And even after all you’ve done
She still won’t say goodbye

I told you not to lie
But that was your first strike
I told you not to yell
But drugs became your life

I said to watch yourself
But you made careless mistakes
Your second strike was
Making her heart break

I warned you not to argue
But you control her every move
So there’s your third strike
And who became the fool?

Ready, Set, Scream

I can see it in your eyes
You can see it on my face
We can hardly even breathe
So Ready, Set, Scream

I know you want to
I can see your fists curl
I can see the tensing of your skin
So Ready, Set, Give In

I hate seeing you hurt
And I know you’re about to break
So take my hand and hold on tight
Ready, Set, Fight

I hate this room
You hate the noise
So let’s just get out of here
Ready, Set, Disappear

Leave everyone, leave everything
But first we’ll have our final words
Or maybe trust what the sun shall bring
Ready, Set, Scream

Amber Roberson

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Hydra of Female Desire within the Literary Tradition
Tanya Andrious

Throughout history women have been confined to the male perspective, not only with how men look at women but how women look at themselves. Women writers, especially in the early budding of the female literary tradition, barely touched the taboo topic of female desire and sexuality. The exploration of female sexual desire by women writers has evolved throughout the centuries, beginning first with Aphra Behn in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; Christina Rossetti in the nineteenth century, and ending with Andrienne Rich in the late twentieth century. All three authors, in their respective century, explore a female’s desire through different perspectives, revealing the different perceptions about women’s sexuality in the literary form.
The seventeenth and eighteenth century was not an easy time for women writers. They could easily be dismissed and ostracized by their peers if a literary topic was disliked. Women writers were thus indirectly controlled by men. However, as Susan Gubar and Sandra Gilbert mention, “Aphra Behn was England’s first professional woman writer” (The Norton Anthology 109) that took chances with her writing and began to put a dent into what was considered acceptable. She broke the first boundaries where some of her verses were “marked by an erotic honesty that scandalized many of her readers” (Norton 109). Unfortunately, consequences resulted from Behn’s bold foray into the exploration of female desire: The same literary circles that Behn frequented “…expected women to remain decently silent about their own desires” (110). Behn, however, saw nothing wrong with celebrating women enjoying their sexuality and her poem “The Willing Mistress” is a testament to her treatment of the topic.
Behn’s perception of female sexuality was not confined to the male perspective; her character neither suffers consequence or regret for enjoying her sexual exploitations. In fact, the Mistress describes her enjoyable, impending foray with a man by stating:
Amyntas led me to a grove,
Where All the trees did shade us;
The sun itself, though it had strove,
It could not have betrayed us
The place secured from human eyes (1-5).
There is anticipation in the Mistress’ voice as she describes the need for secrecy without regret. In fact, Behn writes each subsequent line by describing the Mistress’ increased gratification:
Down there we sat upon the moss,
And did begin to play
A thousand amorous tricks, to pass
The heat of all the day (9-12).
There is a sense of fun to be read in the lines, where the reader grasps the Mistress’ amplified arousal. A woman has needs, and as much as men in Behn’s century wanted to deny such truths, Behn tastefully expresses the needs of her female character:
A many kisses did he give
And I returned the same,
Which made me willing to receive
That which I dare not name (13-16).
Behn was unleashing Pandora’s Box by outwardly proclaiming a woman’s sexual experience and revealing that women’s desire is nothing to be ashamed of. The third stanza deals with give and take, where the Mistress is in control as much as the man:
On her that was already fired,
‘Twas easy to prevail.
He did but kiss and clasp me round,
Whilst those this thoughts expressed:
And laid me gently on the ground;
Ah who can guess the rest? (19-24).
A woman can be a sexual being, willing and wanting as lines 19 and 20 indicate. Women’s sexual desire should not be held as a disparagement but rather a positive aspect on the female experience. Although the Mistress’ explorations went without consequence, Behn however, did not. By bringing the topic of female desire out into the open Behn’s “reputation was to be obscured or defaced for centuries after her death” (110). Behn saw female desire through her own eyes, yet Christina Rossetti, in her poem “Goblin Market”, ends up viewing desire through the male lens.
Christina Rossetti brings us into the nineteenth century with her poem “Goblin Market,” where she offers readers a different slant on the perception of female desire. “Goblin Market” expresses a deeper journey of the female experience, where Rossetti “meditate[s] on the dangers of desire, especially the dangers of female desire” (Gubar 894). In contrast to Behn, Rossetti’s thoughts on female desire were influenced by the ideologies of the male literary tradition as well as male definitions of women. “Goblin Market” offers an enticing taste of a female’s attraction to her own desires and the consequences that come from following that desire.
“Goblin Market” begins simply enough: two innocent sisters overhearing the alluring call of Goblin men. The contrast and dilemma of the drama becomes apparent: “Laura bowed her head to hear, / Lizzie veiled her blushes” (34-5). Laura is at once attracted to the call, her desire evident. Yet her sister Lizzie is intent on preventing Laura from following through, stating: “We must not look at Goblin men” (42). Lizzie stresses the danger that Laura is toying with when it comes to the idea of not only contemplating but submitting to her female desire.
The form of the poem portrays Lizzie as the “conscience” and Laura the “desire,” waging battle between restraint and enjoyment of desire:
“Oh,” cried Lizzie, “Laura, Laura.
You should not peep at Goblin men,”
Lizzie covered up her eyes,
Covered close lest they should look:
Laura reared her glossy head (48-52).
The dilemma is nicely portrayed between Laura wanting to let go and Lizzie’s hard restraint. Rossetti’s indecisiveness and confusion shines through, unsure of which female image is the “right” one.
Rossetti continues to imply that female desire is wrong:
“No,” said Lizzie: “No, no, no:
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us” (64-66).
Rossetti chooses an interesting phrase in line 65 in regards to charm: it “should not” have an influence on them, meaning that there is something wrong about feeling attraction. However, Laura continues to become more ensnared in the game of desire: “Curious Laura chose to linger / Wondering at each merchant man” (69-70). Laura’s well of desire has sprung up inside her and she is without self-discipline. This side of the poem connects with Behn’s “The Willing Mistress,” where both Laura and the Mistress want only to succumb to the joy that awaits them. Yet, the entryway into the exploration of female desire depicts a difference between the two centuries, where Laura’s actions result in a penalty.
To be aware of consequence one must be warned, and Lizzie continues to educate Laura on the etiquette of behaving:
“Dear, you should not stay so late,
Twilight is not good for maidens;
Should not loiter in the glen
In the haunts of goblin men (145-8).
Rossetti gives the impression that Laura is in need of being saved from making a big mistake. To further enhance the loving reproach, Lizzie offers Laura an indirect experience to learn from: “Do you not remember Jeanie, / How she met them in the moonlight” (147-8). A brief reference is established before Lizzie fully embarks on the ramifications of Jeanie’s explorations and dives into the story:
But ever in the noonlight
She pined and pined away:
Sought them by night and day,
Found them no more, but dwindled and grew gray;
Then fell with the first snow,
While to this day no grass will grow
Where she lies low: (153-59).
Rossetti implies in lines 154-55 that to follow one’s desire can be addictive. Jeanie, for example, not only succumbed to her desire but could not cope with the thought of not ever satisfying her desire again. More importantly, Jeanie felt such an intense need for a refill that when her need could not be satisfied she ends up dying. Laura’s experience then begins to mirror that of Jeanie. As Laura’s cravings become more intense, she states:
“I ate and ate my fill,
Yet my mouth water still:
Tomorrow night I will
Buy more” (165-8).
Rossetti also implies in line 166 that not only does a woman have wants, but that they are not a one time deal; a woman’s desires are always existent.
Yet, the insistent need for fulfillment leaves Laura in a somewhat detached emotional state as she goes from innocent virgin to a desirous young woman and then to a slightly mad, near death young woman addicted to her female desire: “Laura in an absent dream, / One content, one sick in part” (211-12). Laura is saved from death by her sister’s selfless act, who ends up getting “goblin juice” and feeding “the fiery antidote” (559) to Laura. Rossetti offers a complex look at the female experience, one that is riddled with mixed images of female sexuality and the guilt that was so often connected with it. However, as the later twentieth century blew in, the male stronghold was beginning to lessen its grip as women writers were now making their own traditions born out of the female experience. This tradition continues with Adrienne Rich, who explores female sexuality from a broader perspective.
The advent of the later part of the twentieth century brought with it a large exploration of themes, where women writers began “exploring and dramatizing their national, economic, linguistic, regional, ethnic, religious, and political divergences along with their differing sexual preferences” (Gilbert 1616). Women writers no longer had to worry what men thought. Adrienne Rich was concerned with her own identity and experience, exploring a female’s desire through the lens of lesbianism. Just as Behn and Rossetti wrote of a woman’s enjoyment of her desire so too does Rich. Rich explores lesbian desire in a more descriptive manner that would have drawn more than gasps a few centuries ago.
Adrienne Rich, in her poem “The Floating Poem, Unnumbered,” delights the reader with a more upfront portrayal of female sexual desire. Gracious in her description, Rich expresses a woman’s positive portrayal of her enjoyment without guilt, reservation or consequence:
What ever happens with us, your body
Will haunt mine – tender, delicate
Your lovemaking (1-3).
The narrator is looking back at a past experience with fondness and the stronger the memory gets the more descriptive the poem becomes. Free from male reproach Rich is able to fully express her direct observations on the extent of a woman’s desire. The perception of a woman’s sexuality is no longer to be feared, as Rich’s poem indicates:
Your traveled, generous thighs
between which my whole face has come and come –
the innocence and wisdom of the place my tongue
has found there – (5-8).
Rich is explicitly exploring female desire by not only describing a “lady love” (1954) but addressing a “lady love.” Female desire has thus become more about women’s pleasure and enjoyment. The discovery about documenting women’s experiences now takes precedence and Rich is not shy in sharing this perspective with her reader. Lines 9-13 further illustrate this point:
the live, insatiate dance of your nipples in my mouth –
your touch on me, firm, protective, searching
me out, your strong tongue and slender fingers
reaching where I had been waiting years for you
in my rose-wet cave – whatever happens, this is.
Rich explores in-depth the wants of a woman; that desire is nothing to be scared or ashamed of, regardless of gender. The narrator’s experience becomes a fond memory which Rich outwardly describes. Her poem is thus bold and courageous with its content, extending the female tradition into further depths.
Women’s experiences were often categorized through male definitions of what women should and should not be, and this penetrated the literary voice of female writers. Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” is a testament to this. Change, however, can often be a balm that heals such confusion. The only way for women to know themselves is to also know each other and this can only be achieved if women make their voice known. Aphra Behn was the first to take such a step. Each century revealed a different voice that expressed feelings about the issue of female desire and what women themselves thought of it. To know the importance of what has been achieved can only be appreciated through the path that was taken. Behn took the first steps and allowed Rossetti to continue the tradition and bring us to get where we are at present; where Adrienne Rich has spiced up the freedom that women can now express without reservation.

Works Cited
Gilbert, M. Sandra and Gubar, Susan, ed. The Norton Anthology: Literature By Women.
2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.
Behn, Aphra. “The Willing Mistress.” Gilbert 111.
Rich, Adrienne. “The Floating Poem, Unnumbered.” Gilbert 1963.
Rossetti, Christina. “Goblin Market.” Gilbert 903-915.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Alphabettica Thealogica"

Athena opens wide grey eyes to the beat of owl's wings
Blodeuedd, her body composed of exotic blooms, perfumes the air
Chang-O turns her regal back to the world, offering the drape of her deep-black peignoir to the night's darkness
Demeter garlands the chamber with sheaves of golden, shining wheat
Europa, in the form of a magnificent white cow, leaps over Chang-O bearing Zeus, her royal cup-bearer, on her pearlescent back as blood-red wine spills from her silver cup
Freya unleashes her cats, ruffling their blue-black fur with one elegant hand. She glances over her shoulder and into one of the many mirrors to see
Guinevere weaving a crown of white daisies,
Hecate combing her flowing silver hair as she toys with the locks of Heaven's gate,
Isis unfurling her protective wings over the bed, the many colors of her feathers reflecting in candlelight bounced off white silk sheets,
Juno, on her throne, fanned by the tails of a thousand peacocks, sipping ouzo,
Kuan Yin, tuning her telepathic compassionate radar to my frequency, sensing pain, and then discovering the razor sting is all part of sweet joy,
Lakshmi, her many hands throwing golden coins from her many Dolce & Gabbana handbags, whispering blessings of prosperity,
Medusa's serpents shed their skin as elegant peels of white chocolate; their mistress stirs them into my drink,
Nymphs drop the maroon leaves and pink blossoms of springtime plum trees from the rafters,
Oshun crosses oceans of time, and cultures, to pick up Lakshmi's chant and form a duet,
Pele's volcanoes spout benevolent, incensed pink smoke and rainbows of sparks,
Queen of heaven Inanna lifts Pele's sparks to the sky and transforms them into stars to decorate her temple,
and Rhiannon opens a pine chest to reveal an exquisite selection of riding crops.
Selene, my Goddess, all the minor deities Gather at your feet to worship, and my heart quivers to realize you've chosen me from all among the host who vie for your attention.

(inspired by VictoriaSelene Skye Deme and by Kris Waldherr's The Book of Goddesses)

"Moist Howlette: For Allen Ginsberg"

Sacred! Sacred! Sacred! My poet, my prophet, my Jewish saint and guru declares that all is sacred!
The world is divine! The soul is divine! The skin is sacred! The vulva is sacred! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole sacred!
Everybody’s sacred! Everywhere’s sacred! Every thing is sacred! Every day is an eternity! Every man and woman is an angel!
The sacred whore’s as holy as the seraphim! The sex worker is holy as you my soul are holy! The clitoral orgasm’s as sacred as the vaginal orgasm!
The keyboard is sacred the poem is sacred the voice is sacred the hearers and readers are sacred the ecstasy is sacred!
Holy Erin holy Allen holy Purrrrrrrrr holy Kathryn E holy Walt Whitman holy Joan Jett holy fuckers holy every human angel!
Sacred the vibrators! Sacred, the cock and the cock ring and the clit and the clit ring!
Sacred the groaning saxophone! Sacred the orgasm apocalypse! Sacred the womb scrotum balls peace & junk & drums!
Sacred the solitudes of men’s rooms and elevators! Sacred the strip clubs filled with the millions! Sacred the mysterious rivers of cum and pussy juice and blood and sweat and tears under the sheets!
Sacred the lesbian and the gay man! Sacred the bisexual! Sacred the straight feminist and sexual shepherds of rebellion!
Sacred forgiveness! Mercy! Charity! Faith! Love! Affection! Touch! Sacred! Ours! Bodies! Pain and pleasure! Magnanimity!
Sacred the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of Allen Ginsberg’s dear departed soul!

"Ode a Pete Wentz"

"Sugar, We're Going Down"
may be the only Fall Out Boy song I like
or know,
but I like things named after Simpsons characters,
and I like Pete Wentz.
When I first saw him in glossy magazines,
with Lindsay Lohan, or Ashlee Simpson,
or some other dishwater redhead,
I thought he was a lesbian,
Not a him,
But a hym,
a potential hersband for said starlet du jour.
His long-haired androgyny
and skinny legs are why
if I ever got him alone
I would like to bend him over,
pull those too-tight emo pants down
over his pasty, girlie ass
and take him from behind.
A strap-on should do nicely,
With a nice jelly dildo--
Silicone, not latex
(I have an allergy)
And, preferably, the kind that's a vibrator, too.
This has to be fun for us both.
I'm just a notch in your bedpost,
But you're just a few lines
In a dirty poem.

Erin O'Riordan

Sunday, January 9, 2011


lashaun guel