Nov 2021, fave media

I have a number of poems that have been sitting on my harddrive gathering dust, so I’m trying to post them here and on IG. It’s made it so I’m posting more than twice a month; and I’m trying not to overthink that.

Oh, forgot to mention I was published in the Backbone zine; it’s free/pay what you can online!


Books

Melissa Caruso’s The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2)

The Obsidian Tower was one of my favorite books last year, so I was very excited for the sequel to come out. While not identical, Ryx and Severin give me similar vibes as Jude and Cardan from Holly Black’s Folk of the Air. Patreon.

Olivia Dade’s All the Feels (Spoiler Alert #2)

If you read fanfic, you gotta check out this series. Plus, a hero who loves fanfic tropes!

Erica Ridley’s Lord of Pleasure (Rogues to Riches #2)

A fun and magical novella with a hint of fairy tale vibes.


Misc.

Article: Fonda Lee’s Twitter is the Worst Reader

“Never have I witnessed a clarification or apology on Twitter lead to reciprocal outreach or reconcilation. The Twitter mob does not say, “Oh, thanks for clarifying. I’m also sorry about the misunderstanding and for jumping to conclusions. Shake hands and move on, shall we?””

“But diffuse offenses unknowingly caused by one-off tweets don’t justify online dog-piling when nothing about the underlying structures of power or representation are actually changed and the only real result is exhausted creators withdrawing.”

Film: Eternals dir. Chloé Zhao

So I know it’s getting mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. I forgot I was in a movie theater full of people who were too close to me. Love the family dynamics. Also Makkari/Druig that is all.

Podcast: All That and Mo’

I’ve long been a fan of Mollena’s, and I will follow her wherever. She also has the gift of storytelling; I could listen to her talk about anything. Patreon.

Podcast: Where Should We Begin?

Esther Perel’s podcast is back! Spotify airs the episodes before it gets to other podcast apps.

poem: land-crossed love

Written 2.21.21, but finished the last stanza Nov 2021. There’s also one or two more poems in this series, which I jokingly call “I was ghosted and all I got was some dope poetry.” Working series title is “rocky mountain love.” The closing lines are a riff on Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High. Cross-posted to IG.


I call you my land-crossed love –
we share the same shoreline,
pacific ocean waves caress our curves;
and we are also separated by 1,000 miles,
1,600 km, another border we cross.

If we weren’t separated by the cascade of mountain ranges,
a spinal column I long to climb with fingertips and tongue,
I’d say you were too good to be true: the kind of person
I longed for as I fell asleep, as I tore through cartridges of ink
writing in my diary, This is what I want, teasing out each side
of desire, like some kind of ten-sided die; pursuing what
makes me sigh with the same devotion I once gave to finding
what part of my mouth made my ex fist his hand in my hair
and call me his for the night.

I learned I did not do casual well, once my summer fling
became a four year affair that persisted long after I knew
he and I were not right for each other. So perhaps it’s just as well
that you and I are so far-flung, because I’d be tempted to
give you all of myself, go deep-sea diving without any safeties,
without first learning if my devotion was a gift
you’d handle with all the care, reverence, and awe I deserve.

I don’t know yet what will grow, but as we talk
of you driving the pacific coast to greet me,
driving together to peer down the grand canyon,
how you want my hands in your hair, not for sex,
but just for the comfort of touch; when the fucking
adorable gifs you send are studded with some kind of
wonderfully clear declaration; when you tell me you
can give me what I’ve always wanted: touch,
plentiful, freely given, so much I’ll never wonder if
I’ll go without again, I find myself thinking
that even though the future is so uncertain,
and I’ve never done a long-distance relationship,
that I am going to love you so deeply, so surely.

But for now, you slumber beneath
clear skies, in a cabin in the mountains,
just as my tarot cards told me when all I had was
a wish; and I am beneath the same starlight,
in a house at the other end of the cascade,
holding this small love in my hand, like a flame,
a dream waiting to burst into full bloom,
a lighthouse bright enough to call you here to me,
and sure enough to burn as long as it takes
for you to cross a thousand miles. And when at last
you place your hand in mine, oh,
ocean deep and mountain high,
oh how mightily I will love you.

poem: devil’s doorbell

Written 12.7.20 when I first heard the phrase “ring the devil’s doorbell.” I don’t usually write fiction poems, so I was surprised when I started writing sequels to this! Which worked out well, as this was supposed to be sexy, but has since turned into a 4+ poem slow burn. 🤷🏻‍♀️ The working title for the series as a whole is “courting a devil.” Or maybe “courting the devil”? We’ll see. Cross-posted to IG.

This poem also contains references:

  • the patriarchy description is a riff on bell hooks’ description
  • the title of Rebecaa Solnit’s Paradise Built in Hell (despite having not read it though)
  • a goat who survived a California fire
  • a church that was spared during a California fires

And mood inspiration taken from the following songs:

  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia
  • Barnaby Bright’s Highway 9
  • Zoë Yungmi Blank’s Bay Rim

they told me,
not to go down to Georgia,
that if I was looking, for a
good ol’ time, I needed to
find the oasis in the middle of hell,
and ring the devil’s doorbell.

now, there are a lot of places
that are hell. the first place I looked
was between me and the
white supremacist cis hetero capitalist ableist
patriarchy, but conceptual hells, found in
empty spaces and worn out places
were a bit too hard.

so next, I looked to the people I loved most,
because it’s always been easiest to
bare my ugly, to be cruel, to those
I loved; I learned that one from my mother,
so I also searched in the tangled family roots,
bound up in blood, salt water, and stale
airplane air. and while I didn’t find
the oasis I was looking for, I did find
a skeleton key. and I let out all those family
ghosts, skeletons in the closets, and watched for where they flew.

I tried for something more literal next.
I drove on down the one-o-one, past
blackened hills, california côte-rôtie,
appellation d’origine protégée, because we
protected our forests too well, and now our bodies
are so much tinder, waiting for red flag warnings that
we’ll just ignore. I found the spot, next to the church, where that goat
laid on down and was spared the inferno’s grasp.
grass is growing here again; they’re rebuilding what was destroyed,
laying wreaths of flowers on the cross, as if the fire
won’t ever come again. so I laid on down, and

there, I pressed my lips to the ground,
and the devil christened me with the taste of salt –
I remembered the fear in my bones,
the tremble in my hips telling me to run,
the beat of my blood, declaring how much I wanted this,
the triumph of claiming this body, this life as mine,
and I opened my mouth, my self to it with relish,
and vowed I’d always run my tongue along desire,
and sink my teeth into pleasure, and never let it go.

poem: until the sheets

Crossposted from IG. Written 10.20.21. Inspired by conversations with friends about dating people whose feminism fell short. The Janelle Monáe quote is from Many Moons (lyrics here).


You
came into my life
too good to be true,
wearing a feminist shirt and quoting bell hooks
and Maya Angelou – that made my mouth water
more than any shirtless selfie could’ve. You
swept me off my feet,
long talks turned long
dinners turned long
midnight hours. I
spent many a witching hour with you.

I have spent many a new moon, seeding my intentions,
been dreaming of a love that makes life sweeter.
So I began spinning dreams of you
on new moons too, side by side with me.

I loved letting my hands touch you,
knowing you chose to be here with me,
that I could make a claim on your time.
But when you slid outta that feminist shirt,
I wonder if you slid outta your feminism too.
Your pillowtalk was what you had learned
from luminaries like Grace Lee and adrienne maree,
your sisters and aunties and nameless exes.
(if we broke up, despite what we taught each other,
would I just be another nameless ex?)
And you began joking it wasn’t a big deal,
if I skipped my nightly meds if it meant more time with you.
Something was planted in me then.

Somehow, your
promise to read Alex Elle with me,
never happened. And you
began asking if we could stop using a barrier during sex,
even though I had said I only did that with in-it-to-win-it
in-it-for-the-long-haul lovers, and you
hadn’t even told your friends we were together. You
never told anyone, not even me, if were dating,
even though I’d asked and asked during our
six hour conversations about sex, feminism,
and cable TV shows of the 90s.
And something grew in me when
in public, your
tenderness was nowhere to be found.

So when I told my best friend about you, about how you
wouldn’t hold my hand at the grocery store,
and when you
saw my face, you
promised to make it up to me in private.
She took my hand in broad daylight and said,
“You deserve someone who loves you
and makes it clear to you, who does not make you doubt.
And I am here with you.”
The warmth she gave me was different from the
longing I had for you. I
cannot love you for who I want you to be, I
cannot love you for the potential I see with you.
I can only love you for who you are now,
for how you treat me now.

I remembered that I’d heard you
have many conversations
not just with me but with other starry-eyed people
about the state of feminism. But I’d never heard you
say that you are the harvest of
more women, femmes, and
celestial mermaid fairies than you could count.
And when you sing to the masses of
the beautiful bloom that you are, you
do not mention the hands that sowed
you, do no thank the hands that nurtured
you, do not apologize to the hands that
were stung and swollen by your nettles
as they grew you into this flower
I and others wanted to draw close to.

Feminism is one way I try to get closer to being free.
And you could not bring your feminism past your fashion
or beyond the public accolades and into who warms your sheets,
who cleans your sheets. And so, even though our first bites
of each other were sweet, it was time to rinse the taste of you
outta my mouth, the scent of you off of my skin.
People like me have loved people like you a long time,
people whose public claims of gender respect and gender power
fall short, that’s why there are so many memes about
red flags, trash cans, as many as there are fuckboys and fuckbois.

When Janelle Monáe asks,
tell me are you bold enough to reach for love?
I still respond with everything in me:
Yes, yes I am. I believe in love,
I believe in my capacity,
limitless, endless like the sky,
to love as deeply as the sea,
again and again. Each love I have
is as unique as a snowflake’s fingerprint, and you
have melted away. But I do not mind, there will be
a better love. I am sure of it,
it is in me, it is on the horizon,
and when it is close enough for me to hold,
I will reach for them,
and they will take my hand,
and together we will go
into the sun-warm embrace of our community.

Oct 2021, fave media

October was a great reading month for me! New releases from three of my favorite authors: T. Kingfisher, forthright, and Nalini Singh. Also I learned a lot about myself in Tia Williams’ Seven Days in June, Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Storm, and Hayao Miyzaki’s Spirited Away.


Books

Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídia Divina

The book I’ve been waiting for since Labyrinth Lost. Magical, filled with love.

forthright’s Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate (Amaranthine Saga #5)

I’ve said it before, but the worldbuilding in this universe has made this a go-to comfort read for me. I love the intimacy (especially physical touch) everyone gets: family, friends, lovers. There’s also a B-plot queerplatonic romance between two men in this one! A five book long slow burn no less!! My spirit left my body.

Read More »

lessons in consent

This was originally written back in 2017. It was around the time Kitty Stryker’s anthology Ask was coming out, and I think Stryker had some post that inspired me. I picked it back up in 2020, and have since edited and added to it. Thanks to Jenna for betareading this.

Content note: We often hear consent applies to situations beyond sex, and this piece is an attempt to describe what I’ve learned about consent in my actions towards others in daily life. I’m not sure what content warnings are applicable (for example, this ranges from sex to giving unwanted hugs). If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. This is also NSFW because of sex.

Word count: ~1,900


My mother does many things right by me. One of them is teaching me to listen and obey when people say stop. At eight, I know no meant no, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

I am an only child, and when I have playmates over, the moment one of them says no or stop, my mother is listening to make sure I obey.

She never gives me the sex talk, but this lesson stays in my heart, even if it does need some polishing.

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Sept 2021, fave media

A quick note: a premise I suggested made it onto the podcast Monstrous Agonies podcast! Listen to episode 37 on your podcast app of choice, or read the transcript. Podcast Patreon.


Books

C.M Nascosta’s Morning Glory Milking Farm (Cambric Creek #1)

…listen friends, IDK what to tell you, this somehow manages to be “a high heat slow burn with a lot of heart” romance despite the big monsterfucking vibes. It was a ton of fun, and I will be checking out her future works. Nascosta’s Patreon.

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poem: anger becomes

Every now and then I post poetry on IG, and I’m going to try and cross-post them here too.

Originally posted 9.12.21 on IG, and originally written 6.30.21 for a prompt from Napa Women’s Circle & Victoria Fowler. “God is Change” is a quote from Octavia E. Butler’s Parable books.


I was once the gate you traveled through to the underworld, but
grapes become wine become vinegar;
trees become paper become revolution;
poison becomes antidote, only if you give it time.
I was your catalyst, trail of gunpowder set aflame, so
I am not the same anyone, just as
you are not the same anymore.

You cannot plant a seed and expect it to remain just a seed;
you cannot amputate a limb and be surprised it is not the same;
you cannot devour your anger and expect it to be unchanged.
God is change, you know this. The question then is,
how have I changed for having slept in your iron and bone
all these years? I am not the same, I know this, and I am
unbothered by it. The question then is,
will you take me in your palms, the same way you did
your despair, and see me for what I am? Will you
allow me into your home, will you let me take off my shoes
and rest awhile. You may not know my face anymore,
but I promise we will learn from each other.
I may not be deep sea, galaxy diving like your despair,
but I come bearing gifts all the same,
if only you would let me be your rite of passage again –
I may no longer be gunpowder set aflame,
but I can be stardust set alight,
and I long to see what I will become
next.

July 2021, fave media

August wound up being a busy month for me, so this is coming out later than usual.

Books

E.J. Beaton’s The Councillor (The Councillor #1)

Sixthlight’s summary says it best: “This is basically “recovering from imposter syndrome: the epic fantasy novel”, as Lysande learns to make friends, wield power, and stab people, and I liked it a lot. Plus the central – romance is a bit strong – central developing relationship is a bi-for-bi-with-D/s-undertones power struggle between Lysande and city ruler Luca Fontaine, whose thesis is “I murdered a lot of people to get where I am and I apologise for none of it””

The Dom/sub UST vibes was *chefs kiss*. I had to inhale and stare into the distance at multiple points. I need the sequel and resolved sexual tension now!

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