Meal Prep

You’ve been on the road 5 1/2 hours
driving back from a board meeting
at your family ranch.
I can see you are road-weary
so I lead you in, sit you in a chair,
make a rye old-fashioned, not sweet,
and sit with you as you debrief.
I remind you it is our third anniversary tomorrow.
Your eyes, over the rim of your glass,
are full of desire and exhaustion.
I stand and lift you by the hand
and take you to my bed, as most times,
it’s about focus, intensity,
a very slow pace, often barely touching
whispering in your ear and feeling
your body relax into my described scene
your energy moving
connecting body, heart, throat, mind energies.
After, you doze, and I
begin our anniversary meal
and suddenly, standing there,
knowing you are in my bed naked,
knowing our relationship stretches out
ahead of us infinitely, deepening
and intensifying with each time we meet, I expand momentarily
beyond the room, beyond the house;
looking back, I see myself standing, knife in hand
in front of a cutting board, the simple
pleasures of chopping tomatoes,
onions, feeling them cool and liquid
under my fingers as you were
warm and liquid to my fingers earlier,
I am still expanding, all time is now,
for one moment I am back
to the Unity I had 40 years ago
connected to everything by love
and then I am back in my body
brought back by onions and garlic,
making a meal for you, love
made visible; later, you sit in your robe
wine in engraved crystal, my elegant plates,
sterling, my tiny table barely able
to hold everything, my heart
barely able to hold everything.
You tell me that it is delicious,
Unity now just hanging close, over
my right shoulder, the energy
from your heart to mine, your eyes to mine
an unbreakable strand.
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Defiance 4/20/20

I’m lying in bed, texting with my Princess,
I tell her I am so in love with her;
as of yesterday, 39 people here have died;
it’s been a month since her head
rested on my shoulder, hair in my face;
the epidemiologists say, take confirmed cases
and multiply by 100, so, 101500 cases here
in reality; not quite 10% of the population,
I probably know someone who is sick,
maybe without symptoms; reality is where I want to live
and reality sucks, missing her is aching
in my chest, worried that those I love
will fall ill, so many large and local talents
have already left us, and its not like
that doesn’t happen every day usually;
I measure my desire against the length
of time I can expect to have left;
another lover’s young cousin is recovering,
he says take the regular flu and make it
ten times worse, and that’s what this was;
in my back yard, a patch
of bright pink evening primroses, planted, no doubt
by birds, not by me, sprang up two months ago
I mow around them so they can reseed;
I see photos of workers loading bodies
into refrigerated trucks, they get paid
the first day in case they are too sick to come back;
mass graves being dug in other states;
I am digging holes for my plants and vegetables,
killing weed roots, enriching the soil;
gardening is hoping in the face of doubt,
waiting for something miraculous,
the first green shoots breaking the dirt,
at first weed and flower indistinguishable;
allergy attacks and coronavirus at first
often indistinguishable, death mimics pollen;
in my daily life, texting with a new person
suddenly realizing they are a new bloom,
so many weeds pop up from dating apps
that a real connection is as unexpected
as volunteer wildflowers, or the mint that resprouted;
every day now is unique, the gift of reappraised mortality;
I sit on the piano bench during our worship recording,
church done by 4 people with an empty sanctuary,
feeling in my body the absence of the assembly,
realizing that the Sunday after Easter this year
is the 10th anniversary of my last time
presiding at the table for communion,
being ordained a deacon took away
being able to do sacraments in the Methodist church
that I was able to do when merely licensed, a weird system,
getting kicked out of the ordained club was only one loss;
driving home, 5 or more colors of wildflowers
are blooming in the highway median;
life continues, with mine on a deep pause;
I am learning small things matter most,
longing to stand at my stove cooking for her
while she sits up in my bed studying;
I am able to see one of my lovers, and that connection
deepens and morphs, skin and heart and vision;
today I will plant the antique roses that were shipped
from a farm in east Texas, an act of defiance
against the real possibility that I will get sick,
against everything that is fucked up in our world;
an act of raising my middle finger to our liar-in-chief;
an act of planning for the near-time, maybe in weeks
when one of these will bloom, amazing fragrance,
one bud, cut, filling a room with rose scent,
and putting it next to her side of the bed
when she will once again be there,
her head on my shoulder.
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Quarantine connection

I’m touching my nipple with my little finger, she said.
We were lying in bed, late night, not in the same bed.
We had met a week and a half ago
on a dating site that has not been particularly useful
but just in this past week pointed three women my way,
all of them very sub, all of them intelligent.
She was the most interesting, right up front
being very clear about what she wants
even if we can’t go there yet.
We have talked on the phone every day,
sometimes for hours, I’ve sent her pictures
of my toys, describing in detail
the effect of each on bare skin; she sent me a picture
of her mouth on her current Dom’s cock.
She says she is very oral, that she can orgasm
simply from giving her man oral pleasure.
It’s more than kink lining up, more than the chance
to really, REALLY, let my sadist out to play,
which I can’t do with any of my current partners:
it’s also an instant connection, the kind that leaves you feeling
as though you’ve known this person your whole life.
My princess said, when I sent her this woman’s picture, she’s hot.
She has short hair; I can almost feel it under my palm
when we talk about how I can use it
to give non-verbal instructions. She called me sir,
and I corrected that, I hate titles, please use my name;
I’ve been to too many events where pretentious 20 year olds
called themselves Sir and Master and Dom, then
told stories that make it clear they have no clue,
told stories about routinely violating their sub’s consent.
I can’t stand that icky stuff, and I hope someday
those guys get what they deserve from a sub they push too far.
Using my name is also clandestine: my sub can ask permission
when in public without anyone knowing she is, just by including
my name in her statement or question.
 
So we are in bed, naked by my direction, she in her house,
I in mine, and she is describing to me what she is doing,
how it feels to touch her nipple, what that does
to her pussy, to her energy, to her desire
I tell her that is as far as she can go right now.
She has permission to give herself an orgasm later
but not now, we aren’t yet intimate enough
for phone sex, for hearing each other’s climax;
if she does self-pleasure later she has to describe to me what she did.
She agrees. I read her a poem about my other sub,
about holding space, and I hear the energetic arousal in her voice,
how it drops into little-girl intonations,
how she speaks, with almost no words, her desire
to please and pleasure me.
Finding a true sub, someone whose nature is this
and not just a persona they put on for play or fantasy,
is transcendent, it energizes all of me,
I feel every inch of my skin alive, energy pouring through.
Another partner asked me once, how do you know
you are Dom? This is how I know; the connection, the polarity,
her sub to my Dom, her surrender to my power,
it’s got nothing to do with the outward trappings,
and yes, she wants hard play, hard and stingy impact,
pain and being put into the sub-space pain causes,
but none of that is essential; in this moment,
lying in bed, her openness and surrender to my desires,
to my direction, to my power, this is all that matters.
Someone once asked, What is the true nature
of Dominance and surrender? This exchange,
her energy flowing to me, her desire to serve
fueling my desire to direct and encompass.
This is the true nature of surrender.
The rest is, as they say, commentary.
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Princess, maybe not for a while again

You are sleeping in my bed;
I am loathe to wake you,
torn between moments I need
and your need for rest.
It had been seven weeks since
the last time, and now,
will be months, your life
circumscribed by uncertainty
Searching words to fill this space,
not wanting to admit
not seeing you will be best,
anger at the circumstances
and people who leave us here
The way you touch my face
the way you ask for me
the way your body art
feels under my fingers
subtly different than bare skin
The taste of you, your sounds
the feeling of your hands in my hair
your desire pulling me in
I knew I needed this
now I am uncertain how
I can go without
Lying in bed yesterday, laughing
at some guys inept response
to you on a dating app
smiling at kitten pictures
laughing at our silly mispronunciations
outside, the sound of wind;
as you lie sleeping I let myself expand
aware of my yard, the plants
in containers on my patio
the scent of flowers not yet formed
However long it is until this is again
is too long, however long it is
until I know that I can bear uncertainty
is too long, however long it is
until you come into my arms again
is too long
the world is patient but I am not;
my roses will bloom whenever
the conditions are right, but I will not;
plants flowering, possible fruit and food
will come when the seasons allow,
but I will not, my desire for certainty
wars with knowing it is futile
I only hope, against fear,
against the sinking in my belly,
against whatever old pattern
sucks me down into despair,
that there will be this again:
you sitting at my table, you in my bed,
you on the phone and in my thoughts,
and when I am too old to hold you
I will still see, inches away,
your eyes, in a radiant smile.
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Last Straw

John Prine died today
and that was the last straw for me;
I’m watching videos of him
and crying: come on home, he sings
no you don’t have to be alone;
but I am alone, we go through days thinking
there’s always tomorrow, sliding into
the ease of open arms;
it’s all a lie we tell ourselves
because the truth of unknowing
is too terrifying to face daily

Tonight is a supermoon, silver fuzzed by clouds;
the world goes on, humans
are mostly inconsequential to the orbits of moons;
one lover at her home watching Moonstruck,
another outside looking at the moon
with me, but not with me;
the sweet sad songs run through
tears clean my eyes
an owl’s cry pins me into this moment

I want never again, though I know I will,
to displace now for tomorrow,
never again to dissociate
when a lover repeats a story,
never again to dismiss
the precious distinctness of each moment.

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Tongues

Supposedly a sword, my tongue
but really not even a dagger
it is best dipping into you
leaking pleasure, spiraling, twisting

so many places intersect:
my benchmark for a taco house
their lengua, soft and rich
gravy on my tongue;

my inability to persevere
in learning another tongue,
the one she desires to hear
soft, romantic, boleros in the air;

my tongue gliding along skin,
intent on tasting arousal;
my tongue tied, abashed
unable to express expansion;

too many tongues, not enough;
words plastering my ears back
and finally, silence, savoring
the end of all speech and sound,
as your tongue meets mine
hearts electrically connected

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Afterwards

I can wait to get back to normal
normal was destroying the earth
normal was destroying my soul
in unnoticeable tiny bites

maybe what matters is now
the now of seeing you on screen
the now of knowing I am not alone,
that many beautiful humans care

outside my window in the morning
birds sing on, the same songs
they have had as long as memory
memory being so fickle anyway

soon enough we will again directly
see each other’s eyes and smile
I only hope we remember
the gift of quiet, the sound of breezes

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Lockdown

I’m driving to a lover’s house
during what should be a full lockdown
but most people aren’t doing that
 
we are, because to do less
seems irresponsible towards everyone
who might die if they get ill
 
I drop what I was taking her
on the front porch
and retreat halfway down the walk
 
she opens the door and her dog
is going crazy on the other side
wanting to see me and lick my hand
 
all this tears my heart open
not petting him, not holding her
not knowing if we will be ok in 3 months
 
i cry foul curses on all those
who elected our national clown
who could have slowed this and lied
 
i cry foul curses on all those
who have put their personal profit
ahead of the good of the world
 
I am not good enough
to love them or their ilk
 
if there is a Divine
may She have mercy on us all
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Heaven is not a place

When I was a pastor and sat with people 
who were actively dying, like Anna,
by her hospital bed, holding her hand,
sometimes they, or their children,
usually a little timidly, as if it was something 
they should know and had forgotten,
would ask me, what is heaven really like?

Now, I don’t personally think
heaven is a place, but a condition of existence
but that’s not the time or place for metaphysics,
so I would tell them, I don’t know,
but I can imagine, because if what I imagine
isn’t true, then it’s not really heaven
and I wouldn’t want to be there;
and I would tell them, you can also imagine
because your heaven will not be the same
as mine, but they will have in common
that all the goodness of our lives
will be distilled into one continuous infinite joy:

everyone I have ever loved will be there
close by, even the ones with whom
it ended badly, or who died before
I could ever tell them I loved them; 
I’ll get to now. My parents will be there,
arms open, and we won’t ever have another fight
and they won’t ever again irritate the holy fuck out of me.
My brother will be there reminding me 
to joke them if they can’t take a fuck.
Every cat I’ve ever known will be rubbing against my legs
my Dittocat climbing my leg as a little kitten
Cringy the stray dog licking my hand,
all my lovers surrounding me in their arms, 
somehow all at once.

I don’t see any reason that we would see God 
any more than we do now and it doesn’t matter
whether there even is  a God or not
if I have all my feline and human loves again:
my heart will have no limit to how big it can be.
I will cry freely every time I see someone I have missed,
it will be a continual rediscovery
of everyone who ever passed through my life
and love will go on and on without end.
I realized, as I was sitting there,
holding Anna’s hand, that sometime 
while I had been talking, she had stopped breathing
a beautiful smile on her face,

I want us all to hold closely, 
in easy times and in difficult ones,
whatever we think about a divine or not,
that there is always a point to love,
always a reason to be profligate with it;
the promise, independent of any doctrine
but rooted in our bones and flesh,
in the knowledge we have 
that we don’t know exactly how we acquired,
is that no love is ever lost or wasted.

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Sleepless

I’m lying in bed, naked, alone
sleep is elusive
my lovers come to mind randomly
times we’ve had, times not yet
the sheets are cool against my skin
I used to long for someone, anyone
nights like this, skin to my skin
opening my bed to people unworthy to share it,  violating myself
now I  have more alone nights than not
by choice,  desire subject to self care
remembering the feel of her skin, hers,
the total enclosure and safety of his big spoon
none of this profound, and all of it
more complete than any previous fantasy.

Love is random and inexplicable
I remember looking across the room of her cousins
out in the country, just back
from my first slightly terrifying
horseback ride
our eyes meet and I know that night
we will again be skin together
in the small old bed, in a house
full of history but no ghosts;
or seeing another lover,  our weekly after-class date,
come in my house, throw her arms around my neck
her playfulness, hair thick in my hand;
or memories of other lovers now separate,
joyful and sad simultaneously;
or recalling the feel of his head
stubble under my palm
my arm around our mutual partner
relaxed, joyous,  after a meal out.
Moments slide one into another
nightlight on,  I’m sixty years old
and sometimes still afraid of the dark;
sleep still eludes, but memory sliding past,
scene passing into scene, unwinds
the tension I hadn’t even noticed
and then it is morning
another day I can allow transparency
another day more full than the one just past

 

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Her and Him

I was surprised you sucked him, she said
I said, What exactly did you think a threesome
was going to entail?
Well, she said, I guess I thought
that he would fuck me, and you
might watch or help and then you would
fuck me, but I wasn’t expecting you and he…
I said, you know I’m bi.
Yeah, I know, knowing in my head
is a little different from kissing you
and tasting him. Yeah, I said, I guess so.
So now you’re turned off.

 

She pushed me back on the bed
and straddled my face.
Do I seem turned off? I could scent
her arousal and his cum.
I pushed her off and pulled her
to the side of the bed, waist at the edge,
torso on the bed, legs down, knees bent,
ass out. Don’t move, I said.
What happens if I do? I had walked
over to where my toys are hanging
on a hook in the corner
and had some rope in my hand,
and then turned back and took
the small paddle down and tossed it
on the bed. That’s the really stingy one,
I said. You know I don’t do bratty.

 

She didn’t move.

 

I tied her ankles together,
then her wrists, then ran another piece
from her wrists over the other side
to the clip on the far leg of the bed,
across to the leg on her side
and to the ankle tie.
I went toward the door.
Where are you going, she said.
I’m going to clean up and come back
I could hear her calling
as I turned on the shower,
aren’t you going to fuck me?
I ignored her, she asked a few more times
then stopped. I came back in the room
quite a while later, with a glass of wine
and she said, again, aren’t you
going to fuck me?
No I said. You already got that,
twice. But I want you now, she said.
Hold that thought, I said. I lay down on the bed
on the other side, where she couldn’t reach
and checked online, texted another lover for a while,
drank my wine, told her about how it tasted.
She was almost moaning. I said,
your desire makes me happy.
But you still need to learn,
that when you tell me you want to surrender
and I ask you more than once
if you really, really, really consent,
if you really are willing to have me own you
for this time, or maybe forever,
and you say yes, that then I expect you
to surrender. Without any wavering.
What did I do? she said.
A lot, without asking permission.
You have to ask. I wasn’t going to
enforce that when he was here
because i didn’t want to out you
to your ex husband
when he doesn’t know you are my sub
but if you think I didn’t notice every time
you did something without our silent signal
or without asking, well,  you should know
me better than that by now.
Her hair was falling in her face
and I know she hates how that tickles
so i pulled it away and put her hairclip in it.
Thank you, David, she said.
That’s better, I like that attitude a lot more.
I’m sorry for not respecting our agreement,
she said. I forgive you, I said,
I know this is still new.
I’m not going to fuck you again now,
but if i untie you, what will you do
to show me you want to please me?
Rub your back? she said.
That’s a start.

 

And that’s how I wound up
with my hands tied behind me;
she got to be bratty,
at least until I got her not very well-executed
knot loose and rolled her off me.
I got to use the paddle after all.
and her ass was red and getting redder
until she finally used our safe word,
Donald Trump, cause, we’re never
going to say that
during sex any other time,
and it’s a great mood killer.

 

Kink isn’t my always-fare
but the trust it builds
tears open my heart
and, in the end, isn’t love,
isn’t openness, isn’t being fully ourselves
what it’s all about anyway?
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Old Shit

I learned, finally,
don’t reread your old writings.
None of it is true.
You,  not anyone else hearing it
you alone
know what you were feeling
and these words, that you so wanted
to catch that
are a bald-faced lie.
If only
I could stop trying
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17 verses for 4

1.
drunk on you, your words
push clouds of scent,
frankincense and orange,
penetrating the secret fortresses
I thought no one knew of,
softness sliding across my skin;
my ears burn with your thoughts
2.
As you have become
more present in my life,
you are less in my longing
and more in my being;
the poems of separation and longing
transformed to poems
of skin and smile and touch;
your fingers running along my back
leave trails of invisible words
that only partly fade by morning;
accretions of desire-ink
I am loathe to wash away
3.
I lean into your car window
to kiss you again
this could go on forever
I pull away sooner than I would
so that I can pull away at all
I want a time
when there is no constraint
honey on your lips, all of them
that I lick off luxuriously
your eyes inches away
terrifyingly, completely safe
fierceness melted into surrender
4.
I make the brackets and such of wood
to install the $2 wall-mount lamp
I got at the thrift store
for your side of the bed
when you are here studying;
I text you a picture and you return
a heart-eyed emoji
It’s my eyes that are full of hearts
stars circling overhead
5.
My skin has its own memory
better than whiskey
more real than ice cream
the memory of what your skin
is thinking; I hear a voice
speaking my own thoughts
before I have them.
6.
salmon sky morphs to rose
then violet at the edges of grey
then the almost dark
reminds me of your hair
7.
butterflies migrating
from my stomach to my head
even so, the anticipation
of your lips against me
clears my mind
8.
talking, you hold your hand out
to take mine; such a small thing
and unaccustomed for me
to be obviously desired;
I see something blooming
a secret flower, perhaps,
and want to cup it gently
in my hands, waiting to see
what it becomes
9.
I imagine your face
pillow distance
and in my mind
I grasp your hair;
soon enough,
I will know what sound
that elicits
10.
Your smile opens your face
light in your eyes,
when I see you as we approach
wherever we meet;
electric heat runs up my spine,
sparks in my hair,
flashes of energy passing
heart to heart, unseen,
except in the edges
of your smile.
11.
you lean over to take me in your mouth
28 years of marriage without this
always makes me want to say,
no, you don’t need to,
and then I think, shut up stupid
12.
Sitting on the edge of the bed
your back to me, the robe
slips down your shoulders
white silk for one of you
and red velour for the other
the gesture so similar
revealing to me your back
the top of your ass, the curves
and my leg is already tingling
knowing the weight of yours on mine
13,
After a while, there’s no I
no you, simply edges colliding
your eyes singularities
I am pulled in inexorably
and sometime later
emerge from the other side
a little more whole, a little more healed
your love patching all the cracks
my walls have sustained
14.
I go to meet a new potential partner
coffee, conversation, the dance
of becoming acquainted;
all of you who are mine now
have set the bar high,
it’s perhaps unfair to new people
but it’s me finally, from now on,
putting myself first, without guilt
15.
My ex said I must have been
weaned too early
because I never get tired of nipples
and she got annoyed
lucky for me you never
get tired of my mouth on yours
16.
I lie awake listening to the rhythm
of your sleeping breath
it sinks into my belly
the warmth of your hip against my hand
is the anchor for my calm
Earlier we kissed and I asked you
if you were sleepy and you nodded
my heart sparkled that you feel safe enough
to tell me your real life, your real desire
that you now can, with me, simply sleep
when that is your body’s need.
Your breathing in the night,
in my ear within your arms,
in my hearing sitting at my table:
I am so grateful for each breath you draw in
another moment you are with me
leading on into unimaginably
greater and greater presence,
17.
Your voice on the phone
ripples in my belly
It is a few days until I will hold you
if you think that it’s going to be sedate
you’re so totally fucking wrong
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My Girlfriend’s boyfriend

I went on a date
with my girlfriends boyfriend
and she said the next day
I’m glad you didn’t fuck him
I told her, you know
I don’t fuck on the first date any more
I was the first person she dated in a few years,
when we met, who hadn’t
tried to get in her pants, subtly or overtly,
on the first date, so it’s a running joke with us
because she always asks me, why didn’t you?
I mean, I’m not opposed exactly, it’s just that
I don’t know how to get past the awkward thing on a first date,
one minute you’re all, oh cool
your oldest daughter is in gymnastics, or,
I really love Thai food too, or,
and then you’re, oh by the way
when was your last STI testing? and, hey
I know there’s a big stigma around herpes
which I am trying to help dispel, cause unless
you’re pregnant or trying to get that way
or have an autoimmune disease,
it isnt’ a serious health risk, and yes,
my ex-wife had type 2 and I test positive
but I’m taking valcyclovir and never have had
an outbreak, even so,  it’s a little bit awkward
on a first coffee date to bring that up,
although I have when the date has stretched into hours
and it’s clear we are going to have sex the next time,
of course with my girlfriend’s boyfriend
it wasn’t either of our first polyamorous rodeo
it naturally came up and STI status
was a relaxed topic of conversation
so, no we didn’t have sex,
but I did kiss him and it was hot
she had texted me partway through
while he and I finished dinner:
What’re y’all doing? In bed yet?
She likes to text me when I’m with another partner
I used to think just to see if I would answer
but now I know it’s really a slight signal
of unease; what most people don’t realize
is that even when you are consciously polyamorous,
and know that to be your orientation,
you can still have feelings of jealousy
or fear of missing out, and with her,
when we realized a year ago
the special nature of our relationship
the type of relationship we have
makes her feel more vulnerable,
so I don’t get upset when she texts me, I’m just reassuring,
I said. no, we’re talking, and she said, what is there to talk about,
because she had told me he is a good listener, but a better fuck,
and doesn’t talk much, which isn’t true, he just doesn’t talk much to her;
so I replied, there’s LOTS to talk about, he is a very interesting man, and she replied
with the peach and eggplant emojis and I said, going offline but not for sex
not that I wasn’t thinking about it
he is one of the most attractive men
I’ve dated in the past year, and not
just because he is her lover also
I had been sitting there while he talked
looking more at his mouth than his eyes
and he knew it, I was thinking
about something in his profile that speaks
to what he wants to do with his mouth
to potential partners, and also
thinking about things he says in his Fet profile
that make his kink line up so much
with mine, and we talk, of course, about
our mutual partner, her alleyways and side paths,
and that leads to talking about pleasuring our other women,
I say, there are some books I need to write,
Pussies I have eaten, a memoir, or,
Pussies I didn’t eat, a very short story about adolescence,
I tell him about trying to have a section in a poem
about pussy- flavored ice cream
and how I lost it trying to read that one.
I realize I don’t have to try to be funny,
he is just taking in who I am
and I can see that he likes me, which makes me shy,
and we talk about how our mutual partner
is Princess to my Daddy, he is glad
she has that with me, she wanted it with him
but he already has an exclusive Little;
He is a switch, I am looking for signs of his sub
and find that, finally, right at the end of the date
his goodnight kiss is all about me
he is so clearly desiring my pleasure
that I freeze at first and then relax,
my difficulty in receiving is still real
even though my sex- coaching mentor
energetically blasted the block open
in front of 80 people at an event 18 months ago,
and little bits have come popping out since then
in somatic therapy or when im with a lover
like the way they blast a kidneystone
with a sonic blast but then you still have to pass the pieces
letting bits of my receiving block out
had been necessary but no fun,
so his kiss is all for my pleasure,
and I have to deliberately open to that;
later that evening, we text about it and I find
I don’t have to explain anything to him;
when was the last time I met someone new
that needed no explanation, maybe not since
I met his girlfriend who is my girlfriend
I have been with other men, I am beginning
to connect deeply with another partners other partner
he and I are seeing each other every few weeks,
he texted me from his vacation how much he misses me,
and suggested a few very dirty things he can’t wait to try
and still, this man who lives two thousand miles away
who I won’t see in person again for months
when he is here again on business
and sees our mutual girlfriend, this man
is hanging large in my fantasies;
she said, I get first dibs
on date night with him, of course, I said,
but in between we have text and maybe phone
and maybe I am already falling
and I’m certainly in lust
with my girlfriend’s boyfriend.
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Dusk (expansion of Circling)

When I came in you came to me
and you were trembling; I liked it.
When I stood behind you
and leaned toward your neck,
your arms shook; I liked that too.
When you lay on the bed
trying not to look at me
your legs were, in slow motion,
opening then closing; I liked that more.
When I told you that all I wanted
was your complete surrender
your body arched up from the bed
involuntarily.
You knelt above, naked,
and pulled your hair across me.
Your hair hides your face.
I had to reach
and push it aside to pull your mouth to mine.
Your eyes flutter open against your will
when I tell you the only way to get what you want
is to look at me.
Our awareness narrows to my face
almost touching your shoulder.
I trace my fingers more slowly than possible
down your spine, when I reach the top
of your ass you open your legs
another surrender, another access granted
I trace down your cheeks then sudddenly spank you
you gasp and make the sound I love
somewhere between complaint and arousal
a sound full of promise and desire.
I mold my hand to the back of your thigh
sliding around and finding your wetness
dipping in my fingertips,  bring them to my mouth
anticipating your full taste later.
you reach over and pull a pillow under your hips,
offering yourself to our ritual.
I ask you, do you belong fully only to me?
You say, you know how I hate
that question, and I strike full force
with the stiff-fall flogger on your ass,
you make that sound again;
you say, yes, I am yours, David.
I lay down the flogger and, retrieve your day- collar,
an antique bracelet, silver and mother of pearl;
you have been wearing it when we go out
without any prompting now.
You hold out your arm for me to fasten it on your wrist.
I say quietly in your ear,
you know that my possessing you
is what you want
so why would you ever think
you could go back to not having this?
Your breathing quickens.
I give you permission to roll over
and the look in your eyes,  full surrender,
full acceptance,  melts my heart
and brings me to full erection.
The room eventually grows dark
and we are, for the moment, complete.
Even now, in this moment, your surrender
stirs my heart and my arousal,
and when next I see you,  kneeling,
coming into my bed desiring my pleasure,
I will again claim you, my sub and my Beloved.
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Cantos for R

1
You ask me, are any of our texts poems?
They could be, and this one is;
if poetry is the essence of experience
you send me an exquisite two-word poem:
pussy throbbing.
The poetry I have most with you
is enfleshed: your hand
in the small of my back, your other
grasping my hair, pulling my motion
toward what brings your climax.
The poetry of openness, you at my table
the spaciousness of less conversation
living a few hours together at dusk
in the quiet of my house, and my bed.
I can and probably will text you poems
but, my dearest lover, the poetry I most desire
is you in my life and my bed and my heart.
2
we dance, a fully-free primal
ecstatic dance time, two hours
with simple rules: you may only
touch yourself but no one else.
a huge crowd, people allowing
their full erotic potential
to translate into movement
energy moving through the crowd
women sitting on the subwoofers
pressing their sex
into the corners of the cabinets;
I dance with dear friends, coach colleagues
people that, if we lived closer,
might have been lovers but now
we have moved beyond that;
it has been almost the entire two hours
since I lost you in the crowd,
then I move into an open space
and you are there;
we dance not touching per the rules
but energy passing between
you hold out your hand to move away
holding the space above my outstretched hand;
I put my hands across my heart
and then you do the same;
tears begin to flow, for the exquisite
connection we now share;
allowing each other space
not being a couple, not clinging,
choosing deliberately
when to come together
has opened a new way to be;
these tears are my heart
overflowing the corners of my eyes
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Day-end

I’ve said a lot of things that weren’t true.
It’s not that I was lying,
although there has been that at times.
It’s mostly that I didn’t know myself
so I said things that weren’t me.
I wanted someone to like me
so I spoke only the parts of me
that I thought would catch their fancy.
I wanted to feel like I mattered
so I left out the trivial
forgetting that life is lived in tiny bits:
the fluff left from brushing my lover’s hair,
the things in the kitchen drawer
that there aren’t quite enough of to categorize;
the feelings that pass through seeing a blue heron fly,
and how my energy surges when you touch my arm.
I desire to arrive at the end of my days;
no, wait, forget grand gestures, I desire
to arrive at the end of this day
a little richer from the tiny things:
sunlight coming through the spaces in my blinds,
remembering your lips on mine last night
and anticipating that again when next;
the pleasure of slowly, over the course of a day
preparing for dinner, for tomorrow’s work,
tiredness in my muscles, sweat and effort.
I want to finally be able, at the end of this day
to know my own truth fully enough to speak it.

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Cantos for G

As you have become
more present in my life
you are less in my longing
and more in my being;
the poems of separation and desire
transformed to poems
of skin and smile and touch.
*
I make the brackets and such of wood
to install the $2 wall-mount lamp
I got at the thrift store
for your side of the bed
when you are here studying;
I text you a picture and you return
a heart-eyed emoji.
It’s my eyes that are full of hearts.
[note: both these were modified and incorporated into 17 Verses for 4]
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Re-entry

We chose to add distance
to see what was essential between us,
and let the rest fall away, packing material
discarded into the recycle bin.
Consciously uncoupling, we barely talked for weeks.
It hurt at first, because I did not understand,
for some time I thought it was the end,
I flailed around like the skunk on my porch did once
backing into cacti then picking out thorns,
sharpening words to methodically
talk you back into the comfortable patterns
until I felt the truth of my body
that I needed this as much as you
that too much closeness had robbed me of my power
and diminished the electricity
tamed it, turned it into routines of dinner,
walking your dog, going to events, watching movies.
All those things are lovely, things I want
but not at the cost of the torrent of sparks
that opens now each time you come to me
the blast furnace door lifting
molten metal rushing out, heat between us
your skin against mine, your hands touching
the places you find both familiar and strange at once,
pulling me into you, looking at me as best you can,
eyelids fluttering in the winds of our connection;
our needs are the same, and become real,
a root connection, and also belly, and heart.
Six months ago I thought we were as deep as it could be;
I knew nothing; it is beyond my being left of the slash
or you the right, my surrendered one;
all modes merge into simply us,
I grow more and more translucent
power channeled through me
into heat under your fingertips
and your radiance shining through me
into the rest of my life, my other lovers,
my work, this poem, dear friends, everything new.
I have filled my life until now with pretension and bullshit
trying to be someone I am not, someone others
might find worthy, someone interesting
or at least not massively vanilla;
I ask myself, what has this gotten me?
failed marriages, relationships that have no real presence,
The result has certainly overreached the cost
I have lots of experiences of disconnection and loss,
well, fuck that, all I want now is to really be here,
in my body, in my heart, connected with whoever I am around
roots in the earth, sprouting amazing flowers
the deep red Autumn-blooming species tulips I have
still in my garden from 30 years ago
or the sticky burs from the weeds,
I am flower and bur, weed and cultivated plant.
I have had amazing sex and boring sex,
deep love and surface infatuations,
dearest friends and people who pretended to be.
From every time, every person, something is left.
The quality of each connection
is more on whether I am there than whether they are.
No love is ever lost or pointless.
As a child I was told ‘Honesty
is the best policy”, but really,
it’s the only way possible for me to be with you now,
exposing all of the pains I have carried for decades,
both of us doing that, letting it slide away into nothing
owning who we are, flawed, knowing
that we can still hurt each other despite intentions,
and still, each time we connect now
is like the first time, the joy spiraling out,
no more routine or expectation
letting go of what might be, of plans
or what I thought I desired for the future
my thoughts dissolving into vapor, floating away
into this moment, and the next, and the next.
You seldom make puns, but you called
our first sex after the time apart our ‘re-entry’,
with all the images that conjures erotically, but also
the spaceship coming back to ground,
flaming in the atmosphere, radio contact
momentarily lost, those journeying in it
alone but not alone, as it is in the isolated
calm and peace of my bed, the quiet
I have cultivated in my house for my lovers
in which I am immersed as I write this;
in front of me, in the window shelf,
is the lavender ceramic pot holding one of my orchids
the pot open for air and water to pass through,
nourishing what is inside without constraining it,
holding closely but lightly, the way, my beloved,
I will hold you when next we meet,
the way I hold your life now in mine.
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Cake at Midnight

You come over for our date, supper,
conversation, then you study,
about 10 I crept into the bed next to you,
your books on your lap, and I lay there
and watched you surreptitiously, the concentration
on your face not unlike how you look
when your arms are around me, and your legs.

My heart is overflowing looking at you
remembering a couple of days before that same look
but not from you studying, and I drift off to sleep,
about 11:45 you are putting your books away
and I wake up and remember we never had dessert
with supper, and although I would like a different dessert,
my favorite thing to eat, I thought once
that if there was pussy-flavored ice cream, or maybe
seasoned salt someone could make a fortune on that
but of course it’s not just the taste,
it’s also the scent of arousal, it’s the softness,
sounds and movements, my beard getting soaked,
well, I digress, this night you are as exhausted as me,
so I cut two pieces of the lemon-rosemary birthday cake
you brought me from your weekend in Austin,
where you had a second date with the man
you had been chatting with, which was fun and also
a little awkward, cause there were those first-time-sex things
and he was perhaps embarrassed because he hasn’t contacted you again,
and part of me was sad for you about that
and part of me was, like, fuck yes I’m your Daddy
don’t forget who takes care of you, Princess.

So we sit at my little white pine dining table that I need to build
a new top for, but I am loathe to because I have had it literally
for 42 years and even though my ex-wife tried to ruin it
by leaving it outside for months after I had left,
before I could come get the rest of my things,
the joints between boards in the top have opened up a little
and it’s not exactly flat, well, when I was 42
I was getting a little looser and less flat myself,
she thought she was getting back at me with this,
like, I’m not a woodworker who made it in the first place?

Still, this table is meaningful to me in ways a new one wouldn’t be.
I remember all the women and a few men who have sat with me,
eating love made visible in food I cooked, drinking wine, 42 years ago
Simi Rose’ of Cabernet Sauvignon, I thought I was so sophisticated
for having a “real” rose’, then later on German wines, Ausleses mostly,
because, let’s face it, I grew up Jewish on Mogen David
and sweet wines are where it’s at, even though now
I am more likely to get a good Madiera
when I go to Maverick Grill with my other partner,
or like last night dinner, an oloroso sherry, deep brown and intense,
and now lately I am finally getting back into reds,
Rhones and Riojas, so I keep putting off remaking this table,
with all the memories that are embedded in the top
like the few remaining tiny pieces of glass that are also,
from where my ex threw my favorite deep cobalt blue
citrus reamer at me and it shattered on the table;
tiny fragments of blue glass still sometimes cut me slightly
when I clean, which is fitting, I am still cutting myself
against memories of the relationships that did not end well,
wishing that I had been a more compassionate person then,
but fuck, I had to live through hell to get to the beginnings of compassion.

We sit at that table, not really talking, there’s no need
your love is so obvious and I am enveloped in it
and all the little bits of glass embedded
in my skin are slowly being pulled out of me,
iron filings drawn to a magnet,
by the warmth you exude when you look at me,
tears welling up in my eyes;
my gratitude even more in that moment
that you did not know me in my asshole years,
when I was so self-unaware; all the others who have sat at this table,
the memories, mostly good, of who they were
and how I felt about them, cannot in this moment
even begin to approach what I have with you,
eating cake at midnight in our underwear.

Life routinely turns itself upside down:
You come into my bed, your head on my shoulder
opens long-unrehearsed paths, each time new,
my Princess and lover and heart’s delight:
I meet someone unexpectedly and they fit me
in ways I never could have imagined two days ago,
my power flares and spreads out my extremities
sparking from my fingers into her palm,
tigers and lilies and the unknown becoming real,
my thoughts cannot keep up with sensations;
the certainty I had 42 years ago
has given way to only a willingness to let go
of what might be and live in what actually is;
I know less and less each year;
but I do know some things:
on the other side of despair is clarity;
on the other side of heartbreak is joy.

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60

I had my 60th birthday yesterday.
Over the weekend gifts showed up:
unexpected and delicious time with my lovers,
a party surrounded by friends,
phone calls from people in other places
who love me, some new earrings,
my Princess saying at pillow distance
I love you so much, Daddy.

I have been thinking about past birthdays.
I hadn’t written about this before
until a couple of weeks ago on Facebook
when the actual day was there, mid-September.
Three years ago, two weeks before
my 57th birthday, I went to a meeting
of the personnel committee at the church
I served, and they told me they were reducing
my salary by 40% for the next year,
that I wasn’t worth the amount of money
they were paying me, that I was ineffective
despite the same people telling me the Sunday before
I was the best music director they
had ever had there. I went home from the meeting
and told me now ex-wife and she yelled
and said I had ruined her life, I had made her
move to this shit-hole of San Angelo
and now I wasn’t even going to have enough money
to pay the mortgage, which of course was factually wrong
and she threw things at me, my grandparents china
she was eating off of, two plates broke,
two more out of the 16 I used to have, and she hit me.
Not the first time she had hit me either.
As a friend I have now says, why did you stay
when you weren’t even getting any pussy?
I know now, but that’s another story
and another poem, perhaps.

So that night, I went in the bathroom
and got out all the pills, the leftover opioids
from dental and surgical procedures,
and put them in a line on the countertop
a total of 11 bottles, see, the expiration date
which had passed on some didn’t matter for this,
and I looked up on my phone what the overdose
for each one was, and I had about 80%
of what was needed for three different kinds
so I figured that together it would be enough
plus they all had acetaminophen mixed in
to keep you from taking too much, but it wasn’t relevant
if I killed my liver, so I opened up all the bottles
and lined them up, and wondered how many
I could swallow at once, would I get halfway and decide
not to finish or not be able to keep them down
and have to go get my fucking stomach pumped.
I was thinking about that when a colleague
who knew what I was going through at the church
with the allegedly Christian assholes there
and knew I had the meeting that evening, he texted me,
hey David, how are you? and I thought how I didn’t care
if my wife would be hurt and distraught and angry
if I ended my life and that anyway I hated my life with her
anger all the time, no sex, her hitting me and yelling
but that there were other people who would care
and did care, and I sorted out the pills
into the different kinds that they were
and put them back in their bottles and put the bottles
back in the cabinet and went out into the living room
where my wife threw a book at me literally, and hit me again.
I was ashamed of this for a long time.
Now I know that I am not responsible for my abuse
that I stayed with her because of childhood patterns
I was not the master of, I never learned how
to be in a relationship in a healthy way before
and I don’t blame her now, she was just as unconscious
and hurting, we all are in some way, so that now,
when I wake up every day more and more conscious,
I am deeply grateful that my life is amazing and glorious.

Three years later I am in a place where I would not
ever think about that again, I know that for truth
because I was that distraught again recently
when I thought one of my lovers was leaving me,
and it didn’t cross my mind to end my life.

So this birthday, I am fucking 60
and alive and in love and joyous
and have women and men who want
to be in my bed and text me that often.
I am surrounded by love, I have more sex
than I have ever had, except for that two year time
when I was 24 and 25 when I picked up
a different woman or sometimes man almost every night,
I estimate a total of 600 people, not bragging
because I’m not exactly proud of this
I survived it and this was in the early 80s
and many of my friends died of AIDS,
I did this without caring about my safety,
kids, don’t try this at home,
until one morning I woke up next to a woman
who was clearly my mother’s age, whose name
I couldn’t remember, and I decided I was done
with anonymous fucking but in reality it never was joy
it was pain, self-medicating through my cock
so now, when I can handle everything in my life,
when I am becoming more self-aware and conscious,
I can say with truth that I have more love than I have ever had.
This past weekend I was surrounded
by lovers and friends and even some family,
and if there ever was a good way to start a new
birth-year, goddamn this was it.
Somebody at my party said, 60 is the new 30,
fuck that, 60 is the new and perfect 60,
60 is the light streaming down when the sun
comes out from behind rain clouds, 60 is the taste
of the ripest strawberries and bitter chocolate,
60 is my lovers eyes, each of them in their turn,
at the other edge of a pillow, their hands in my hair
telling me what they want to do to me,
60 is knowing that each day I have left
is irreplaceable and lovely and perfect,
I”m not even looking ahead to see what might be,
today, right here, now, is enough.

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Echoes of Hayden

I wanted to write a poem about being a feminist
and I did, but I can’t read that one;
that landscape belongs to women
who have experienced oppression in their bodies.

I wanted to write a poem about being gender-queer
and I did, but I can’t read that one;
I might be queer but I’m pretty damn safe
in my expression and sparkle.

I wanted to write a poem about religion
and I did, but I can’t read that one;
I don’t believe anything or not believe anything,
it’s all just irrelevant to me now.

I wanted to write a love poem,
and I did, but I can’t read that one;
the lover it is about isn’t my lover at the moment
and maybe we will be together again but I don’t know.

I wanted to write a protest poem,
and I did, but I can’t read that one;
I am weary with outrage fatigue and I don’t really know
that I have any right to protest when I am so comfortable.

I wanted to write a poem to make everyone happy,
and I think I have, but I can’t read that one;
when children die by suicide how could I?
and besides, happy doesn’t sell anything.

There are lots of poems I wanted to write
and I have, but I can’t read them today;
this is the only one I can read today:
it’s where I start each day, full of possibilities
that I want to own but that aren’t my path,
browsing through joys and angers and frustrations
that aren’t legitimately mine, sorting them out
like the coins in my change jar when I get low on cash.

The poem I can write, this one
is not long, or complicated, or beautiful
but it’s real, and all I want any more
is to do whatever I have to
to start each day real, and alive;
to be faithful to who I am even when that’s not
who I wish I was in some odd fantasy;
there are so many things not right,
all you have to do is look under any bridge,
or talk to the parent of a child who has died,
or sit with someone whose cancer is overrunning
their body like the weeds in my alley,
to put the lie to “God won’t give you more
than you can handle” and other sentimental bullshit;
but I am convinced that if each one of us
tries to start each day as real as we can be, then maybe,
just maybe, together, we can heal the world.

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Princess Poem #1

You don’t mind when I have one of those days
where I want to listen to sad songs
and cry a little, for no real reason
If you’re here, the time I see you each week
you just snuggle up to me
and put your head on my shoulder
and sometimes, you tilt your head
and look up at me with those eyes
that pierce me into my deepest parts
and tell me I”m your daddy
Your tiara is hanging on a little place on my shelf
by the door to my bedroom, I see it
every time I go out the door and remember
the time we first realized this was our true desire
to be this to each other, for you to let me
nurture and hold and care for you
in ways my heart has always desired
and those times when your skin is against mine
and you look at me again, your eyes radiant
I live somewhere between joy and tears
holding what seem on the surface to be
disparate emotions but underneath are not
my joy and sadness are merged in your touch
and your pleasure cries open me up to parts
of my life that used to be dead, now awake
from your touch and your smile and your words

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Safety

The leaves are dropping from some of my trees,
maybe heat stress, or they are confused
about the season, cause, here that’s easy.
I am confused at your ambivalence
you say we are only friends then want to go to bed
you tell me we wont talk about our relationship
but we do, you say, no contact for the weekend
when you are at a retreat and then text me.
Ambivalence is unsafe in my body.
My mother was loving and compassionate
helped poor people, volunteered in the community
and could fly into a rage and yell and slap us
and so ambivalence in a partner now lands in me
as inherently unsafe, unsafe in my body and heart
waiting for the slap or the anger even when it never comes;
the leaves are partly fallen and partly still green on my trees
and I so want to be safe with you, to draw you into my arms
every part of you becoming alive and me also, everything green.
I don’t know when that will happen.

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Accumulation

All the little griefs
of a day or a lifetime
and sometimes, other’s lifetimes
gather in my chest
and without warning, unexpectedly
my body turns them into joy

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Copal

there’s a familiar unfamiliarity between us
or perhaps it’s an unfamiliar familiarity,
the reverberation of times together;
the way you held my hand so tightly
after a long and intense joint therapy
at the end, your arms around me, you saying I love you;
later, that echo again, at dinner, then later
walking your dog, who I had missed so much,
when thinking that perhaps we were through,
realizing that in a breakup you break up with pets also
so that early in the evening, arriving to your house
when he greeted me in his total energetic exuberance,
as I was kneeling in your entry hall, holding him close
and scruffing his back as you went to dress
for a date that was not a date, picking out burrs
from his uniquely kinky fur, then, tears came, gratitude

because it wasn’t a breakup, it was something
beyond, unexpected, beautiful, unknown,
like the flower on my desert rose that hasn’t blossomed
for the 5 years I’ve had it, until this week;
like seeing you, so radiant, earlier, in our session, struggling
to bring the truth of your body into existence,
like feeling the sheer physical pleasure
of myself in alignment, of my edges being solid,
energy running up my spine, and simultaneously,
the barely defined path forward, hovering
in the space between us, fragile and unstoppable both,
something beyond the immediate past, new and old all at once
something with no label, starting to be.

Watering plants on my patio, I reach down
to the feathery leaves on my copal tree,
the miniature of the ones we saw on the mountain in Oaxaca 2 summers ago,
many small leaflets, slightly green,
aromatic, leathery; I crush a few between my fingers.
The sticky resin on my fingers, fragrant,
reminds me of afternoons in our hotel, your sap on me
the limbs of our bodies connected; we have
put this aside for now or forever, we don’t know,
the rightness of that, the truth of it in my body
shocked me out of unawareness.
Bringing my fingers to my nose, I inhale,
the fresh scent of the copal leaves greener and brighter
than that of the burning resin, tears of the gods,
that exude from the trunk when cut.

Smoke rising from the charcoal in an incense burner
is the path we are choosing, transcendent and transitory;
your radiance and bravery burned me earlier.
What was before has to die, to be burnt into new fragrance,
for me to be whole, for our connection to be completed,
to open between us something unknown
and known, completely new and older than the day we met,
where perhaps we can both, finally, be safe.

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Joy-tears

I am standing in my kitchen making dinner for a lover
and suddenly I am overcome
it’s not the onions making me cry, this is real, deep sobbing,
I’m leaning against the counter with all my weight
so I don’t fall over holding the 10″ chef knife;

My brain wants to make up a story about it,
that it’s thinking about how the lover who is coming for dinner
is talking seriously, with her husband, about moving out of the country, for good,
whether or not the narcissicist-in-chief is reelected, that the bigotry and hatred
that is so evident in our country, that was hidden before, is too much for them,
and they are going on mini-vacations over the next few years
to check out different places to possibly live and see if they could do that,
and I know if they move I will see her maybe for a while on Skype
but it will be too hard and sad for both of us and we will drift apart;

or my brain wants to take me to why I don’t have pets now,
how I had to stand there by the vet’s table while my snuggle cat Artemis
was euthanized and before that my Bubba and my Otis and my Flea
or I had to see my Ditto-cat shivering in a cage at the vet’s clinic
who fucking didn’t treat his injuries and all my rage couldn’t reverse
what that asshole vet did fully on purpose to try to sell me
on expensive surgeries and procedures that wouldn’t have done anything,
all those things coming up in memory, knowing I can’t bear
to have another animal-love die; or it’s the dreams I have sometimes
way too often, too realistic, and too frightening, dreams of complete loss,
of standing in the cemetery at my Beloved’s family ranch,
standing at her grave with her siblings and dearest friends,
not knowing what happened, inconsolable;

or it’s the real-world, solid grief, of missing my brother
who died in 2008 of a sudden massive heart attack
while stoned, sitting in his hot tub, getting a blow-job
from his second trailer-trash wife who had to be SURE
my elderly mother with dementia knew those details,
and fuck, when I die, getting a stoned blowjob in the hot tub
wouldn’t be the worst way to go, except, I’ll have to get a hot tub first;
so he went happy, but I am still angry at him
for not taking better care of his health because I need him here, now, to talk to,
I am already older than he was when he died and he always accepted me
just as I was, and I know he still would, and there are days
where I need to know someone is out there who does.

My brain tries to make up all these stories about the grief
because that’d what brains do
but the grief isn’t about anything
some of it is older than me, inherited
some is just my anxiety magnified infinitely
so I simply stand there until my chest opens a little
and the tears stop and my heart is back to something like normal.

My lover will be arriving soon.
I think: vulnerability turns her on a lot,
maybe if I’m still crying I’ll get laid.
When I text her this, after the fact the day
I am writing this, she said: sorry you didn’t get laid.
I said, Princess, your head on my shoulder
was what I needed last night, and no more.
I think: it’s so easy to mistake boundaries for rejection
when she needs time alone, I feel cut off
when I need time alone, I don’t even need to explain
but I do and fuck it up
because I”m not being true to myself,
I’m trying to fit my need for quiet and solitude
into a framework not meant for that,
and maybe I can just say: tonight, I am enough
I am not broken, I care for you,
but my need is to be my own primary.

All that is going through my brain, leaning
against the counter, holding the freshly-sharpened knife.

slowly, ever so slowly, everything unclenches, the joy I have almost always now,
joy at being alive, joy at being in love, creeps back in, pushing grief ahead of it
like the tide pushing shells and rocks up the sand at the beach, and maybe, even,
just barely maybe, and I think this because hope is always hovering
over my shoulder in the same space where my connection to everything resides,
maybe they weren’t tears of grief at all but joy-tears, tears for all the beauty
I have in my life, so that I seriously need to ponder and uncover why
my brain goes to sadness as it’s default, because I have more joy
than I ever would have thought possible just three years ago:
deeply-connected lovers, new possibilities for more of the same,
women and men, some more closely connected already than others,
expanding each of my edges;

As I dry my cheek I realize they were cool tears, not burning ones,
cool water to wash away the silly distractions of the day that I got caught up in,
so that when my love arrives I am really, finally, completely here.
All this slides away as I hear her key turning in the lock.
In the end, only joy matters.

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The Dance of Becoming Acquainted

The dance of becoming acquainted
at first, is just wild rock and roll
or maybe R&B,
you do your thing, I do mine,
perhaps we do them in the same space
with some influence that shapes
what the other is doing, but mostly
I move how I do, and that’s that;
I’m always moving to the slower beat
the one behind the main beat
feeling it in my hips and wanting to sway;
like one partner said, as if this was
an insult, I dance like a girl. yes, proudly so.

A little later in becoming acquainted, it’s more like Bachata
in open position; your hands above, mine inverted, yours resting in mine,
two arm lengths apart, but moving at least
in the same direction to the same rhythm.
Then, in dancing as in everything, I’m the lead
and I bring you into closed position
my right arm around your left side under your arm
hand on your shoulderblade, your elbow resting on mine
other hands giving each other enough pressure
to keep the form, sense the moves.

When I know you more fully, it’s Kizomba
chest and belly to chest and belly
my lead in my intent and pressure,
slow and sensual. There’s the old joke,
why do Baptists not have sex standing up?
Because someone might think they are dancing.
I think about that, and the Irish saying,
dancing is a vertical expression of
a horizontal impulse, when I see anyone I desire
across from me, their body moving in ways
that make my heat rise, energy moving up my spine;
or when I see her dancing with another man
her hips moving in ways I know from my bed
and sometimes, just sometimes
I get it exactly right, exactly locked into my partner’s intent
and we are like one body, the beast with two backs
but on the dance floor and not the bed.

One night at a dance workshop, where there were
separate rooms for each style, in the Kizomba room
the songs flowed one into the other without pause
and I watched a couple who had just met,
an older man and a gorgeous young woman
getting acquainted through their moves, his lead sure
without being oppressive, her follow only a moment behind
and my heart longed for that with each of my loves,
that connection, that intensity, so that my eyes were teary;
and then my dance and bed partner, seeing what I was watching,
leaned over and said, seeing them makes me wet, I want that with you;
and I realized that it’s not the dance of becoming acquainted
that I need to learn, but the knowing each other in every sense of knowing
that I need to let flow into my lead, so that whether or not we are lovers,
my follows surrender, as all good follows eventually must.

I look at you and hold out my hand and you stand and take it;
I lead you onto the dance floor, for now, perhaps,
in open position, or we can still dance rock and roll if we desire,
but inevitably, as we dance ever closer, learning the other’s stories,
opening our vulnerabilities, we will be dancing
belly to belly and chest to chest
and most lovely of all, for me, mind to mind and heart to heart.

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Flirting

When I was married, if a woman flirted with me,
I could count on a nuclear barrage when I got home;
even if I didn’t flirt back, all hell broke loose
she threw things or threw things at me
and there was no protection, like when I was in elementary school
and we had ‘duck and cover’ exercises getting under our desks,
as if that was going to make any difference
if an atomic bomb went off at the refinery a handful of miles away.

Nukes are no longer part of my daily life
that arms race I just walked away from
so now I can just figuratively sit back
and enjoy flirting, the energy, the fun, the playfulness,
although with you, well, the heat was almost
as fierce as a bomb blast, when you touched
my leg with your foot, or took my hand
and placed it on your ass, even though I had set
the container to only be making out,
that was a difficult, I should say hard, moment
to withdraw from.

Flirting is location and person specific.
Flirting is the wind going through the trees in my back yard,
sitting crosslegged on my couch, wanting to look
at your short skirt when it rides up, but instead
looking at your face, thinking about how your lips
will feel against mine. Flirting is the connection
when I put my arm across the back of the couch
and touch your shoulder. We talk about our histories, music, friends.
Your eyes are shining, radiant.

The energy of flirting is the energy
of fucking, 100 times slower; approach, withdraw; enter your space
move away, a little, from your space, each time a little farther in,
savoring the connection as much as I savored the salad you made me for supper.

More, please.

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Picnic Table

I liked the way your hands felt
between mine, soft and powerful
I could feel the energy,
touching the inside of your wrists
your gaze changing, some hints of passion.
I like hints. I like the slow movement
with someone I am meeting;
the teasing out of story, of connection;
the possibilities, or not, that open.
Your eyes are soft and stern simultaneously.
When I approach a definition of self,
a naming of your path,
that fits you, your whole body relaxes.
My desire is to open that path
since where it leads can’t be known
from this side of the gate.

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Not Across the Universe

Words come flowing out
things I might have said
years before but bit back

I’m sitting on the couch
we bought for our new house
my tongue shredded by pain
lips bloodied the way my arm was
when you dug your nails in
heart cut partly through
in little ribbons
like those Mexican paper flags
that hang from the strings
in the restaurant we go to
every Sunday after church

My words hang in the air
between us, you unable to hear
both of us crying

You say, you promised to stay
when I was old, I say
I don’t feel safe with you
and I leave, and leave again
multiple times as I retrieve
the rest of my stuff that
you hadn’t yet destroyed.

Fast forward three years
I’m sitting on another couch,
my beloved’s, it’s later night,
I have come to your space
to tell you difficult things,
things I need from you
I am crying suddenly
flashing on the memory
of the other time
and you look at me
and I see that this time
I am heard, you fully hear me
and in that single moment
you heal my heart
from all those years
she told me
that I was nothing.

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Rules

In a text, you were flippant
about one of my rules.
I text: this isn’t a game
to me. Thirty minutes go by.
Then your reply: nor to me.
My heart swells, this is the first
moment of complete certainty
since your first surrender;
I am dizzy with what opens in front of me
and I reply: then, when you are with him
You WILL wear the bracelet
as your day-collar?
Your reply: Yes, David.
I never knew exactly the power
your obedience would open in me
and tears of gratitude come
that you are mine.

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Surrender lessons

Surrender is your head
on my shoulder, fingers
tracing through the tangles
in your hair, my cheek
against your head.
It is in your eyes,
maybe even as a plea.
Surrender sprouts from words,
from tiny gestures.
It lands in your settling
more and more against me,
as your breath become gentle waves;
in the energy waves of your back;
in the way you allow
my enclosure.
Then it has escaped for now.
Perhaps, soon, we will open again
the fence that allows it
to enter and run freely,
howling at the moon.
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Erotic Blueprints™

I am a certified coach using The Erotic Blueprints™ developed by the somatic sexologist Jaiya Ma.The Erotic Blueprints were developed by Jaiya out of her more than two decades of work helping people discover their body’s true responses. They are an excellent tool for improving communication in partnerships, learning what our own true desires are, and uncovering blocks in our emotional, physical, and spiritual responses to one another.

Want to discover your Erotic Blueprint type?
Click here…

Once you know, you can to send me the quiz results here and we can discuss what that might mean for you.




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False Doctrine

I read some poems a while back
at an open mic in a bar
and I sucked.

Lots of ways to say that. One friend I had
who is very prim and proper, wouldn’t use the word suck
things “Hoovered” or sometimes
if she was really upset, “that vacuumed”
I could have said, I blowed.
But let’s stick with the word suck.

I like that word. It feels like something I can own.
I’ve sucked at lots of things
in my life. Being a school-teacher,
being a husband, being calm and secure in meetings.
Sucking is something I’m used to.

I didn’t used to be used to sucking.
My ex-wife said, women don’t like to do that
they just do it so they won’t lose their man,
But even at the time I knew she was wrong
because I had a girlfriend, before I met her,
who couldn’t wait to get my zipper open.
So yeah, I like to get sucked.
and I am with women who like to do it,
thanks be to God.

I bet you think that’s an odd thing to go to,
when I’ve switched to talking
about oral sex, thanks be to God.

I used to be a pastor.
I say used to be, because the powers that be
in the church I was part of
found out that I like, among other things,
being sucked, that I liked fucking,
that on occasion I liked flogging someone
and tying them up, consensually, of course,
and a lot more, and I’m single,
and the rule-book says single people have to be celibate,
and I said, on my blog, that’s a stupid rule
and I’m not going to follow it
and so I broke their rules and
they did what they had to do
and asked me to resign, and I did
because I’m trying to live authentically
and I don’t fit their rules.

But anyway, I like sex and I am in love
with a few amazing women,
being polyamorous in my orientation,
and the church is messed up
in my opinion, (which is only that)
about sex and about love and about real intimacy.
It’s one thing to live your conviction
that sex is good and sacred even outside [gasp]
the narrow bounds of hetero marriage,
but it’s another to say so publicly
and I went too far in that to be ignored,
so I am no longer a United Methodist deacon.

When I was in seminary, I went to a Presbyterian seminary,
right about then the Presbys were arguing
about whether gay and lesbian people
could be ordained, and they voted yes,
and half of my class came out.
And some churches took their toys and went home,
left the denomination, and how stupid is that
because the Presbyterian church uses a call system
for their pastors, if they need a pastor,
people apply and are interviewed and hired,
and no one can force a church
who doesn’t want to to hire a queer pastor.
But they left, and the same thing
happened in the Lutheran and Episcopal churches,
and is about to in the Methodist church,
and they all wonder, they spend hours and weeks
wondering and studying and having conferences about
why young people don’t want to come to church
or why gay and lesbian people don’t want to come to church,
and that is such a waste of time, it’s totally obvious
that no one would want to go someplace where the leadership
doesn’t and can’t ever look like them;

so I was in seminary at that time, and I saw
a tee-shirt that one of my classmates had,
and on the front at the top it said:
Everything Jesus said about Sex,
and there were two Bible verse listed, two,
and on the back it said at the top:
Everything Jesus said about money, greed, and the poor,
and the whole back of the shirt was covered in tiny print
with Bible verses, over 200,
and still, the church in general is way more
worried about who fucks who
than who is fucking over who.

But I am convinced, from everything in the Bible, even,
that the Divine is way more worried about who is fucking over their
sisters and brothers than who is fucking who consensually.
I think this because I think the Divine is about love,
the Divine is love, and love, at least among humans
and that is all we can really know,
(because anything we say about the Divine is mostly incorrect)
among humans, love craves to be expressed;
and if the Divine really is about love
and really is, as Christian theology says,
three persons in one, in eternal conjoined bliss,
mutually holding one another completely in union,
then the Divine is polyamorous
and having one continual creation-long energetic orgasm.
You can see, probably, if you ever went to church
how this could be considered false doctrine.

And so, because of all this, I am no longer a fucking preacher
but I am now, and will always be, a preacher of fucking.
Can I get an Amen?
[that’s an inside joke for any
of my former colleagues who might
be reading this…]

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The Body Gathering

What if there were a church…

where every time we gathered we built from scratch a safe container of consent…
where no one was judged for who they are or how they express that truth…
where everyone was honored and supported in the place they are in life…
where we could talk openly about sex, gender, consent, pleasure, and relationships..
where the leaders were open and honest about their own struggles and challenges…
where you, you as a precious divine being, felt truly at home…
where we were engaged in the world, helping the least and lost, the marginalized, sex-positive, kink, and LGBTQAI+ communities…
where a connection to the divine Presence is more important than doctrine or belief….

Would you come to that church?

Would you support it’s mission?

I have, for some time now, been urged by my mentors and friends to find a way to integrate all the parts of my life: pastor, church musician/liturgist, sexuality coach, social activist, and queer gender-fluid masculine-primary pansexual polyamorous man. There is no existing church in San Antonio that would welcome me fully in all these parts of myself, even the most progressive ones. So I am desiring to start one, one that I would want to go to, where I would feel welcome in all my different life-bits.

This ‘church’ will have a local San Antonio, TX real-world component and a virtual component.

Our focus will be to use ritual to heal ritual damages; to help everyone who has been shamed, traumatized, abused, or oppressed by the Church to find their path toward healing. Secondarily, or maybe more importantly than healing, we will build community, share our wisdom, help those who are living at the sexual margins work out real-world problems, and be a resource and safe haven for anyone being actively hurt because of their sexual orientation, gender expression, or kink.

If you are interested in this in any way, let’s talk.

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Spillway

Heart so full it spills out of my eyes,
we walk; I let my finger
run down your spine to the hollow
above your jeans, that last time,
too long ago, I had pulled
from the ankles, down your legs
exposing lace and paleness;
and underneath your talk of work,
family, friends, house paint color names,
Forest Mint, Early Periwinkle,
underneath I hear the same voice
earlier husky with desire, wordless,
that opens in me sensations
I thought were gone, never to return.

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Shimmering

From one reveal to the next
there is a hard inevitability
like the glint of the obsidian’s edge
slicing open my heart
like the glimmer of grandmother’s diamonds
on my littlest finger
I slide forward into new skin
the feel of yours against mine
mine suddenly awakened in a burst
my fingertips running over your scalp
lips hovering, almost grazing
and letting complete or nearly so strangers
see into my darkness, the conchoidal shimmer
of the edge slicing into my awareness
taking away the old, glitter running
down the waste chute, going into
the oblivion of what’s already done,
and when I open myself, let you see me,
I stand shivering, sometimes scared,
always better at the end
than when I first let the knife strike my skin.

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Permission

We had chatted online
but meeting in person
electricity was in your eyes.
We talked of openness,
domination. I shared a writing,
your body involuntarily shuddered,
you laughed and revealed
your desire for surrender.
My pulse was faster, your eyes
were glimmering, unflinching,
the connection so clear,
and yet I hesitated to ask
what my desire was, for touch,
for body connection.

Now, as I write, I am glad I hesitated,
because, later, we text: you, I suppose,
in bed, me still in the hotel lobby, and
you ask for permission to pleasure yourself.
I instruct you on the proper form
for that request, and you comply,
your obedience delights me,
your brief surrender unfurls a whole landscape
that could, perhaps will be, between us in time.

My breath comes faster, my body
reacts, cock erect instantly.
My mind’s eye sees you naked,
because, of course, I had been,
even without meaning to,
mentally undressing you earlier
as you talk about your lingerie,
noticing your cleavage, your body’s outline.

I see in my imagination your face in ecstasy.
I am not sure which was more thrilling:
the idea that my thoughts
pushed you toward this need
or that you shared it with me
so openly and clearly. I cannot wait
for our next conversation.

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Joy, again

Driving to a nearby town, I feel electricity surging;
my chest full and opening, thoughts of multiple loves
alternating, lifting me, crackling fire overhead,
sensations rippling up my torso, as if I had lit
a sparkler from the bottom, throwing off white-hot bits
Habit can reduce the clarity of sight:
our movements on autopilot, this exit, that side road;
but, when I remember, I see the new leaves,
flowers that yesterday were not yet opened from bud;
my own daily change usually too close at hand to notice,
an autumn leaf of fire more red than expected,
dark sumac berry clusters richer, thicker than remembered
Sitting in a coffee bar, in a buzz of people, I defocus,
trying to see them as I might a flock of birds
or a stream of bats emerging from under a bridge,
all intent on their needs and concerns, driven
by both consciousness and unknown desires;
my attention settles, I notice, holding hands and smiling,
an older gay couple deep in conversation
their care and affection palpable, transparent
surrounded by rightness spiraling out of love
I rejoice that I am alive in a time where they can be open and out,
where I can love many humans, of any gender
my life becoming translucent, unashamed, a channel
Everywhere people flow in and out of my awareness;
I am too small to contain all the love and desire
I am constantly becoming more capacious,
a sparkler as long-lasting as the ones of my childhood
not only gold but red, green, violet, orange, multi-hued,
drawing hearts of sparks in the air
and there is a world of ugliness all around, still;
how dare I, some ask, be overflowingly joyous?
I know only one remedy for hate:
to live as full of joy as I am today, and tomorrow
to do that again, my expansion a middle finger
to the shrunken and mummified that would constrain
I wish for everyone the same electricity
a current of desire running up your spine
filling your eyes with the wetness of awe
spilling out of all of us, flooding everything,
until each day is once again plump, erotic, and complete.
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Wine Bar

I sit across from you
hearing your words
feeling something else old
slide beneath, rustling
in the bushes, and the old,
old impulse to try to fix
what can’t be rises in me,
I push it away, blue-gold threads
of energy tangled up between,
a useless thing, because of course
you are not broken, not in need
of any fixing, just momentarily
paused, contemplating your life
the butterfly perched briefly,
a bird in mid-flight;
leaves moving in the wind,
all things are just a ripple;
but if you would allow it,
friend I love, I would enclose you
and make a space where
for a flight’s-time, for the length
of the wind’s movement,
you could be at peace.

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Divorciversary

Across the room, my three
lovers, my delight, comfort,
and Beloved, sit, close together
in conversation, about what
I don’t know, unnecessary to know,
and I see from a distance
mutual respect and admiration
and you, all of you at once
look up at me, and in your eyes
I see myself reflected, for a moment
as you see me, through the lens
of your affection and love
and suddenly my heart
is entirely too large for this chest,
I am dizzy with joy and humility
that all of you love me,
that my life has brought me
through every bit of anguish
to this point, this evening;
the rest of the room of people
oblivious to my revelation,
to my certainty that my desire
to grow old with each of you
is an adventure only beginning;
I am larger than I can be,
and coming back to myself I find
your eyes, and yours and yours,
where I get lost repeatedly,
now are places where
I am finally, completely found.

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Home

the back of my hand rests
on the napkin holding tortillas
your fingers curled around mine
each thumb to the other’s little finger
I am focused totally on you
to the best of my capacity
and this is uncomfortable for you
I say, my desire for you
is for you to fully receive
this amount of love
we speak of desire and love
you say, I am afraid
of being submerged, of losing
myself, and I totally understand
I say, my therapist asked me
a decade ago, why I got married
I said, I loved her, and he said,
that is not usually enough,
most people have other reasons
as well, and I admitted
that I had hoped she would help me
be accountable to being the man
I thought I could be but that it didn’t happen
and he said, did she give you any reason.
and I told you, now, in this moment,
that what you had said earlier, in our pleasure,
that you desired that I be more fit,
that you had not said ever to me
for fear I would be hurt, had landed in me
as deep love, as the reason I need
to go beyond my own will to do this
to be fit and healthy for me,
for you, for what is between us,
for the length of our desire
to go on and on into old age together.
later sitting on my back porch
with coffee, your legs resting over
the arms of both our chairs
we talk about our deep desires and fears
about what our future might hold
about what home is and isn’t
and I thought, but still did not have
the courage to say,
my home is where you are

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Stuff

I’m at a lover’s house
and you text me a picture
of yourself in my bed.
My house is yours, I told you
and it’s true
I come home and find your clothes
by the bed, your chapstick
on the counter, your shampoo
at the edge of tub.
You said before,
I’m living with you
and dating my husband
who I like and you love
and we, you and I, are in love
and you said, part of me is entirely yours
and the genius of that
slid everyone in my constellation of loves
into a new alignment
not a pie divided up into finite pieces
but an ever-expanding, unlimited
love for everyone, all expanding
together and each part of me
getting bigger now than even
the single part of me was before.
I grow huge and transparent
and bubbling up in me,
like the bloops of your lava lamp
are new shapes and arrangements
always shifting and changing
but still me, still you, still them
still all of us
and part of me is entirety yours,
and hers, and hers

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