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

 

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?

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

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

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.

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.

What sex coaching is really like

I am talking to a dear female pastor friend
about sex coaching, our first session,
exploring what she needs to work on.
She bravely sought me out, and I know her
to be so naive about most sex things
that even though she has a gay son
she has had to ask me three times
what the letters in LGBTQIA+ stand for
although I do kinda like what long-time local activist
Gene Elder called it, Gay BLT.
We talk about barriers to intimacy.
She said, I don’t like my husband’s beard much,
it tickles when he kisses me.
I said, have you asked him to trim it,
cause yeah, if I were dating him Grizzly Adams
beards aren’t my thing much either.
She said, yeah, he won’t. I asked,
how does it feel on the inside of your thighs?
she said, why would he be putting it…ohh!
Do people really do that? I thought
it was only something in racy novels.
Yes, they do, I said, has no one ever
gone down on you? She turned bright red in the face,
no never, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to,
I said, well many men like to and I am one.
She says, TMI. I say, well we are going
to be talking about sex together and
I want to ask consent to share
my own life as a way to help you
learn what is possible. She agrees to allow that.
We talk some more and I discover
she has never had an orgasm. She isn’t sure
how she would know if she had. She is 67 years old.
I ask, do you get aroused seeing your husband’s cock?
She said, you mean his thing? Yes, the word is cock,
she said penis, I said, say it, you will feel freer, cock,
she said c-c-cock. I said was that so hard.
Her voice changed to be that of a little girl,
that’s what HE called it. Who called it?
Granpa. I ask her a few more questions.
Goddamn, the first session and I uncover
trauma and abuse. I am not a therapist
and I am not qualified for this, and goddamn,
I see what might be the connection, this woman
who was my mentor in ministry, one of the bravest
most compassionate women clergy I know,
who has fought against patriarchal discrimination in the church
her whole fucking career, and who has never had an orgasm
quite likely because of granpa, because he told her,
never touch yourself down there, that’s only for granpa.
How old were you? Five, she said.
I am glad granpa is dead so I won’t have to go to prison
for killing him. Goddamn abusers, goddamn it.
In case you are wondering, and you should be,
even though I am not telling you enough
about this woman for her to be identifiable,
I do have her consent to tell her story.
As a sex coach, consent is the foundation
of everything; consent is not just for sex
but for hugs, even having a conversation.
I learned this the hard way as a pastor,
They told us in seminary that we should assume
that someone who has had a loved one die
wants to talk about them. They were wrong.
I stepped in that more than once, asking about
a recently dead spouse or child. When people want to talk
to their pastor they will let you know. Now, it is true
for most people,that if you have a friend
who has had someone die, and you are wondering
if you should talk about it, you should.
But a pastor is not a friend to parishioners,
we can’t be, there has to be a clear boundary
and consent to talk or else we are not trustworthy.
Maybe you’ve noticed I say we, and you remember
some poems I read over this past year about
surrendering my orders as a deacon in the Methodist church.
I have realized that just because some church full of queer-hating
misogynistic patriarchal bishops and mostly male pastors
thinks I am not fit for ministry because I have sex
as a single man, I don’t think that,
and I know for a fact that I’m a good preacher,
a good pastor, and I am not going to give that up
because some narrow-minded church men think
I should not have sex. Fuck that. I like sex.
So I am realizing that there are a lot, a lot, of people
who have been wounded by the church
like I have and often way worse, which brings me back
to childhood sexual abuse, and ministers, and sexual repression,
and my being a sex coach, and a pastor,
and I am wondering, is there a place for a spiritual community
of queer, or kinky, or polyamorous, or sex-positive people,
or people outright molested by church people,
specifically designed to be safe for them to be themselves?
I guess starting that is up to me. Fuck.
I’m back to sitting with my pastor friend
as she tells me things about her sex life
she has never told anyone, even her husband,
and she had never had sex when she got married.
I am honored to be in this sacred space with her
to be entrusted with this confidence
and witness to her courage and I give her some homework:
a video course on female self- pleasure;
a daily practice of learning which of her
non-erogenous zones are the most pleasurable;
and journaling (we pastors love that) about it all.
So, if you’ve been wondering what sex coaching is like
well, that is what it is: holding space, compassion,
non-judgment, asking the best questions you can
and letting your client discover that in reality
they had the answers inside themselves already.

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

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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