prose poem: taurus birthday affirmation

Written for the inimitable kuuleimomi’s birthday. Crossposted to IG.

There’s a Tumblr (?) post that goes something like this: staying soft in this world is not a weakness, it is a strength. This is a variation on that. This also draws from all the Chani Nicholas affirmation horoscopes I’ve read over the years.

Keeping your hands open in this world that has brought down rulers upon your palms. Keeping your mouth open, even after your then-best-friend put the black licorice jellybean, your least favorite flavor, on your tongue. Keeping on, even after capitalism squeezes every cent from your blood, the joy from your marrow.

All of this is a skill. One of my favorite quotes (author unknown even with googling) is that the heart is a muscle, and like any muscle it can grow as we use it. Our ability to remain open, receptive, vulnerable, whatever you like to call it, is also one of these muscles. I have practiced unclenching my hands, even as I sleep, so I can catch whatever dreams come my way. Naming what I want, asking for what I want, letting myself have what I want – I have practiced all of these. I still do.

To paraphrase the end of the Utena movie, the world gets that much bigger for the way we live, pushing at the limits of what we are told is possible. Octavia says the only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s been done before.

So I believe in wedding rings on all my fingers, vows of commitment to all my relations beneath this sky and maybe even beyond it. I believe in your palm in mine, and another’s in yours, and another’s in theirs going on and on – a whole loving community. I believe in rain on my tongue, and all the fine dining and comfort food I love. Speaking of love, I believe in love running through my veins, that love is a key and a door to a different world. I believe in pleasure that makes me cry out, in joy that pours through every crack and crevice and barrier ever put in place.

On this day and all days, I keep on, I choose to try, I choose to believe.

April 2022, fave media


Olivia Dean’s I Wish I Didn’t Miss You (Angie Stone cover)

This grooves hard.

dollstr!ke’s In the Blue

I love a good pop song.

KAINA’s Casita (Live at NPR Tiny Desk x SXSW)

Rebirth Canal’s AI

I keep thinking about these lines: “i want to you be gentle / i want you to be strong // with all senses uncompressed”

Allison Russell’s Nightflyer (Live at the 2022 Grammys)

I love her voice in this lower register.

Sophia Subbayya Vastek’s The Seas That Made Us

The Suffers’ Don’t Bother Me

Doesn’t it just make you wanna dance?


Film: Maggie Q’s The Protege

The cat-mouse UST? *chef’s kiss*

TV: Bridgerton S2

OMFG. SO GOOD! I know a lot of people weren’t into all the changes between season, but I am into it. (Also, it’s normal in romance books anyways.) The eye-fucking! The UST! A dark-skinned leading lady! I do think the season could’ve benefited from additional episodes to work through the fall-out though.

Podcast: Where Should We Begin? S5x06, Twice Married, To Each Other

I really liked her tips that to help diffuse an argument, try arguing while lying down or touch each other. Transcript here.

poem: devil’s food

Sequel to devil’s doorbell! Our narrator discovers they’ve captured the attention of a devil. An excerpt was cross-posted to IG. There might be a couple more in this series, no ETA though.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that
looking for the devil’s doorbell
wasn’t a one-and-done kinda deal.
Like all adventures, it is an invitation,
a call, and like an open door,
anyone can come on through the other side.

Let it not be said, that the devil does
not have a sense of humor. They
did not knock at my door, but rang,
at the very reasonable hour of 1:30pm,
as if they’d known any earlier would’ve
roused me from my slumber and I would not
have answered; and any later, I would’ve
been gone grocery shopping.

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March 2022, fave media

This was a slow month for me, but was carried by good TV and film.


Melissa Febos’ Body Work

Will be thinking about the essay “Mind Fuck” for awhile.

Erica Ridley’s An Affair by the Sea (The Siren’s Retreat #2)


Reread: Nalini Singh’s Whisper of Sin (Psy-Changeling #.75)


Caitlyn Scarlett ft. Her Ensemble’s Forgive Yourself


Lizzo’s Watch Out For the Big Grrrls S1

I binge-watched this and it was so much fun.

Niecy Nash Betts & Jessica Betts React to Couples Astrology Reading

11 minute video, English captions available. I believe in love!

Queer Disability Justice Dreams

1 hour 45 minute video, ASL and English captions available. Discussion between Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Sami Schalk. I’m especially thinking about the mutual aid parts.

Honorable Mention: Domee Shi’s Turning Red and Lana Wachowski’s Matrix Resurrections

Feb 2022, fave media


Jessie Mihalik’s Hunt the Stars (Starlight’s Shadow #1)

Tremendous fun. I picked this up sight unseen based on how much fun I had in her previous trilogy, and it was totally worth it.

Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis

Hysterically funny. Also the demisexual rep took me out.

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poem: werewolf girlfriends

Written 6.9.21. About once a year I try writing song lyrics. Was going for sapphic, sexy, werewolf, fairy tale vibes. Cross-posted to IG.

[Person 1]
Once I sink my teeth into you,
girl, oh girl, I’m not letting go.
Gonna run my tongue along the
length of you, split you right open
and swallow whatever spills
right outta ya.

Girl, oh girl, didn’t they warn you
about girls like me, all roaming hands
and empty stomach, seeking what
will keep me sated, I taste and taste
hoping this one one will keep me warm,
but oh it’s never enough.

If I didn’t sink my teeth into you,
you’d just run away into the night.
I know, because it’s what I did

[Person 2]
Little girl lost, you think this would scare me?
When my home has held more horrors
than the ones inside your mouth?
Let me see what big eyes you have,
let me see what great big paws you have,
let me see what big teeth you have,
and I will learn their shape with my hands,
and open myself up upon their tips.
Oh, little girl who plays as wolf, you think
you are the only one who knows how to hunger? I have
Heard the tales of all the bloodied hearts you left behind,
and I have made myself a perfect invitation for you.
So come closer, let me plunge my fingers
into your pelt, smell the wild on you,
and crawl right into you.

Girls like us are made for the kill
running wild throughout the night.
Wolves are not meant to go alone
and neither are girls without a home.
So you and I will go hand in bloody hand,
finding satisfaction ‘neath the roaming moonlight.

Jan 2022, fave media


The Mask of Mirrors and The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick (Rose and Rook #1 & 2)

I binged these. Once Mask of Mirrors popped off at the 50% mark, I read like… 1100 pages in 3 days? During which I read 90% of The Liars’ Knot in one day. TMoM is broody, but TLK is rip-roaring fun full of humor and identity shenanigans.

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

Hello, yes, sisterhood of nuns who spin the wind into magic. I need a sequel ASAP about Grace when she’s older and on her pilgrimage. And yes the magic system is cool AF.

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poem: repurposed love poem

Repurposed 12.7.21. I wrote quite a few love poems in 2021. Many of them weren’t shareable, but some lines I really liked. So I pulled out the good lines, reshaped it, and rewrote it into this. This is the last of the “rocky mountain love” poems. Cross-posted to IG.

I think of you, and the sweetness, the lushness of
speaking with you, and I want to swallow the moon whole.

If I could, I’d write you a love song;
I’d write you letters; I’d court you
with words; I’d comb out your hair,
rub sweet lotions into your skin,
and fold my letters to make you
whatever you wished: a crown, a ring,
a cape as soft as night.

Because you are so very tempting,
and your texts have my heart shining so brightly,
like the moon after their slumber, pulling at my heart
strings, leaving me spinning daydreams of you wringing
every sound I can make, until I am
lost beneath your hands, beneath waters still and deep
until you steal all the words from my mouth and the thoughts from
my ever-spinning mind, because
even my skill with words, bows before your tidal pull
until I am focused just on you
and the way my body lights up like lightning in a storm.

And in that stillness, listen: do I want
you, hands held beneath the covers,
or my fingers inside of you,
do I want the comfort of you in my mouth
like hard candy?

I, I wanna love you like this:
so dearly, as gently as when
a butterfly lands on you,
as fiercely as the sun loves
your skin.

When I don’t know what fantasies to spin,
the easiest ones are these:
our hands linked,
pressed against the bed,
fingernails against scalp,
you holding my hand as
you learn to walk in heels,
me leaning through my fear of falling
and balancing on the handlebars of
your bike.

poem: favorite self (solo & duet)

Written 10.12.21. Kuuleimomi asked: “What does your favorite self feel like? What do you like about them?” An answer in two parts: for when I’m alone and when I’m with others. Cross-posted to IG.

References in Solo:

  • “the understood boundaries of yourself” is from Robin McKinley’s Sunshine
  • Audre Lorde’s essay Uses of the Erotic
  • “new suns” is from Octavia E. Butler’s unpublished archives at the Huntington
  • Walter Mercado says he has sexuality with the wind in the documentary, Con Mucho Mucho Amor

i. solo
Sun-drenched and
glutted on books,
reaching for my third book of the day
the way I would another bar of chocolate:
guilt-free, shame-free, unrepentant.
This is where I find joy and pleasure,
because there is always room for dessert
or another hundred thousand words.

In as little clothing as possible
(doctor’s orders), the sun fills me up –
firm touch, heat that unravels me, a comfort
I soak in. My skin is always thirsty after all.
And when the wind slips across me,
I think get what Walter Mercado means,
the sensation of turning my head to the sun,
my shoulders to the wind,
the way I would ask a lover for their touch.
Sunlight spilling into me, working its
radiance through me the way Audre once worked
that yellow kernel of color into margarine.

There is nothing more I love than
a good story, the understood boundaries of
my self stretching. I take in whole worlds,
new suns, letting it make my heart
an open door for different ideas,
new knowledge; I let myself be found
in the words of people I’ve never met.
I let this familiar sun fire me, and
with sunscreen and coconut oil,
forge me anew.

ii. duet
Under the sheets and countless blankets,
a mountain of pillows, the kind of bed
I’ve been dreaming of since I was twelve
and read Hawksong. My body and yours,
wrapped up in each other.
I loathe mornings, but with you,
waking up isn’t a struggle,
I rise to waking joyfully.
The closer you hold me,
the closer my spirit holds me close.
Even the exiled parts of me,
cannot resist the warmth between us.
Even the constant spinning of my mind
stops to savor the moment,
thoughts slowed to honeyed speed,
I am nothing but subsumed,
nothing but present
for this long-awaited pleasure.
I’ve held my breath for years,
and now I breath this in,
high on this feeling.

2021, fave media


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

Dom/sub UST. *chefs kiss*

Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert and All the Feels (Spoiler Alert #1 and #2)

If you read fanfic, don’t miss this self-aware series.

Kiese Laymon’s How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

JFC the way this man writes.

Trung Le Nguyen’s The Magic Fish

JFC what Trungles accomplishes in a debut no less. Patreon.

Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1)

This makes it onto the list solely for the tenderest bathing scene I’ve ever read.

C. Spike Trotman, Emilee Denich, and Kelly Fitzpatrick’s Yes, Roya (2021 color edition)

Kinky OT3? Yes, please!

Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue’s Katie the Cat Sitter (Katie the Cat Sitter #1)

A delight. I’m still thinking about Chat Guevara. XD

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