I Take My Coffee and Tea Black

August 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

This bitter is sweet
when taste understands the flavor
unclouded;
familiar liquid comfort
as I wake.
I am not denying myself honey,
sugar, or candy;
there is no denial on my lips.
This bitter is sweet
sweet enough for me
taken for what it is,
not what it could become,
As complex as its color
tinting shadow and reflection.
Acceptance warms me as
it cools.

12/08/2005

Book Review: “a gay, Victorian vampire tale”

August 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

Bitemarks and Bloodlines: Dying (Book I) by Mikhael Klaus

These days, when you think “vampire novel,” a story like Bitemarks and Bloodlines: Dying is not the novel you’re expecting. It’s a wild ride for any vampire fiction fan, starting with the characters. Quinn, a grave robber who murders when he can’t find a body to dig up, seems — until you know more about his life — like someone you want to get his comeuppance. Silas is a vampire without any of the suave sex appeal of Dracula, Lestat, or Angelus. If you remember the ’80s movie The Lost Boys, the closest vamp would not be leader of the pack David or newly turned Michael, but Max. If Max had been a gross lush. (The crazy thing is, I grew to love him.)

Written in tongue-in-cheek purple prose, with (possibly) anachronistically modern dialog, this story is sweet where you don’t expect it, shocking when you think you can handle horror, and a really fun ride that will make you examine the darkness of your own soul. It would make a terrific anime. The large cast creates a sense of the big world the author is creating with this series. It’s a world that unfolds with Quinn’s harrowing journey of discovery, but the story doesn’t lose the close focus that examines interpersonal relationships. With a satisfying conclusion, it manages to slam the table with philosophical truth.

This book is self-published and has aspects that could have been strengthened with editorial support. The romance plot line between Quinn and Cay is confusing, in that it’s hard to tell if they have been banging the whole time or flitting around the physical as well as romantic aspects of their relationship. The world building in the background is substantial, and has a history and cast of characters to support that, which means that much is alluded to that can’t be addressed in Book 1. (I *need* to know what happened between Silas and Adam. I need that, pronto.) Strongly in its favor, the characters are diverse and distinctive, at least, but I did wonder who I was going to be introduced to next.

Not for the faint of heart. The author lets you know early that you are getting into a story with abuse, blood, and torture. There’s plenty of humor and heart to be a release valve, though — just like a good roller coaster.

Still need a nudge to read this book? Take a look at the author’s Tumblr: BnB for original art (it’s gorgeous), comic panels, and mood.

Nothing Sweet

July 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

It is nothing; ignore the hints
the way my laugh follows yours,
how I watch your mouth as you speak,
and when you have caught me
reaching toward you, attempting to sneak
a trailing touch on your hair
so near to your neck, ear, and cheek.

Nothing comes of a hidden thought
of a secret whispered to no one else,
the boundary lines kept seemingly neat
a certain thing of clear intent
and if I’m sitting at your feet
when close to you, with hopes kept close
it is nothing; it is sweet.

1/18/2011

More Than I Would Want Now

June 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

That’s more than I want now
but it surely looks nice
A lake to swim in, when I’m only
a little thirsty
Beer, when a little bread will do
I don’t need that suite at the Four Seasons
when all I want is your shoulder to lean on
and the scent of you

6/04/2007

Untitled

May 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

Inside a keepsake box, in ribbon wrapped
Oh memory! In words forgotten, caught.
A glittering within bright papers trapped
Delight, as shining as if newly wrought

A gift surprise where so much once had been
The dreams poured out, but hope still there within

April 2013

Those roses with thick, thorny stems

November 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

Those roses with thick, thorny stems
lasted three years and more
growing on tall, tenaciously
after the business closed

Rooted firmly on the western corner
of that forgotten property
a building that once housed a grocery mart
the kind of place well-off people might shop

Before the uncaring landlord fenced in
the roses and the walls pasted with bills
homeless men used the roof
they slept in the safety of daylight
guarded by beautiful sentinels with
large green leaves and rich red blooms

Those roses with thick, thorny stems
that for three years or more survived neglect
That bloomed richly red amid dark green leaves
today lay piled in a heap
cut down to the raked dirt

I mourn the loss no one sees
the waste unheeded

Where can a man sleep?
Where can beauty grow?

6/4/2010

Autumn Crows

October 25, 2017 § Leave a comment

So quickly comes the autumn chill
With rain-fat clouds in a changeling sky
With shortened days, and harvest’s thrill
The sultry sun is suddenly shy.
Wool and warmth are sought in clothes;
Noisy crowds of bold black crows.

9/15/2005

Floating Leaves

October 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

As measured as the falling sand encased
within its glass pours its grains,
Our delicate threads of friendship baste
the pieces of a new pattern.
With Silver Needles, we stitch the hour.
Steeped into the tea we share
A quiet kind of renewal is fixed ~
A steady seam, a sure repair,
And the tranquility of floating leaves,
Fashioned to unfurl like a flower,
To mend what I would have thrown away.
With a paper crane I give wings
to the words I cannot shape to say.
Invitations, and green tea ~
These things hold a simple power.

9/13/2005

Summer’s Day

September 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

His love is like a summer’s day
More lovely than William’s sonnet
Like the restless wind of a woodland glen
And all the scents upon it.

Herbs crushed beneath my step
Only mimic his skin’s perfume
Beneath my lips like raspberries
And sweet as a wild bloom

He is as warm as the sleepy sun
And calm as the afternoon
His embrace is like the comforting silk
Of a moth’s unbroken cocoon

I wish my summer’s day would last
Til May becomes December
But summer days I cannot keep
I only must remember.

5/13/1998

The earth trembled, but only where I stood

August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

The earth trembled, but only where I stood
And the sky, no longer blue, split a seam
Shivering, I gasped within the fog
As in the moment waking from a dream

Overturned, the basket of the world
Spilled out the messy contents of my head
I leaped for down, but upward made my fall
I reached for peace, and found my love instead

My thoughts spin, and from that spindle drops
A thread of rich and variegated hues
And while I sit here plucking at the knots
To salvage wisps of floss that I can use

Then thread through a needle of my hope
And patch the gaping rends within the skies
The earth trembles — but only where I am
As if the universe has grown in size

11/16/07