The rivening

Here is the riven one. Here are the remnants, the consequences. Do not concern yourself with it. Do not observe the observer.

Into the torpor, it comes.

Fractured mind among minds, adjacent. The other strangeling sitting on a bench. Quietly piling static into the ether. With staccato clicks and swipes of containment it is holding a personal universe in order by will alone. Refusing to allow chaos to become confusion. Maybe other way round?

Here is the moment.

Here are the hands, tracing hands. Fingers across the lifeline. Here are the eyes, watching the hands flow through the seconds. Here are the words confirmed, returned, redounding on imagination.

Here is an end. Here is a sorrow.

There are roads we must walk alone, who stalked the cemeteries of insanity. Who know the peculiarity of our madness is unique. Who have felt the stone slab of isolation laid across our undug grave. We who belong in the silent earth.

And yet.

This is, after all, the rivening.

The human touch snakes its way through the loam, into the clay, across the broken lips. Around the throat, a gentle stab in nape of neck. Hands tracing wounds.

Hands, fists, recreating the wounds in an orgy of desire. Longing for your blood. There was

There was

Something happened

The once ‘I’ remembers these things

There were flowers of madness

there was


something happened



Here are the gates.

Journey’s end or journeys start?

Abandon hope or hope with abandon?

Here, then, are the gates.

A thread of black binds my tongue. Scarlet tendrils encase my hope. The thoughts that cannot be thought wait here. Unspoken words echo through intimate places. The unheld hand traces my lifeline with bemusement.

Finger to lips. Shhhh.

The moment of recognition.

Lightning strikes, blinding the heart and rending the soul. Afterwards the thunder rumbles on, dissipating against the broken rocks of desire and misshapen hills of fear – forever falling murmur. The unspoken dissolves into dust. Pilgrims to some promised land will one day wipe it from their boots.

The entwined mind traces its chaotic path across the page, skittering from this to that. Arcing toward the question before sliding again away. Eros walks the lonely halls of hope while Pathos contemplates the highest window. Persephone picks black roses for the table.

The nameless you who stalks these words, who walks a world beyond my ken – raven perched on my windowsill a moment, stranger that walked with me awhile.

What, then, of you?

It is not for me to see that which is shown without invitation. Not mine to divine the offered understanding. Not mine to place my finger in the holes in the hands or on the whole of the soul.

Here, then, are the gates.


A flower lost

“…tell me a story. Tell me a story you have never told anyone before. Make it up for me.”

– Isabel Allende (Eva Luna)

It is midwinter’s eve and I remember now what has not been.

The hot sand; your hand smearing the trickle of sweat from your cheek; your short hair steady in the breeze; your restless body ready. You walking from me to the water’s edge. My heart lurching when you turned and waved.

Again, that night under the starlight, away from the city, we stood alone together looking up at the forever that was never ours. My arms around you, hands resting on your belly, under your jacket for warmth. I loved your belly for its vitality, its potency, and its humanity. There were times you lived from your belly and those were the good times.

I felt the chill, that night, slide over my shoulders and down my sides. It was cool out and I had to disentangle myself from you to fetch a jacket and a blanket. Afterwards we lay side by side, staring up and away.

I remember your lipstick on my mouth and all over me. Your passion in all it’s extremes… Some things we must pass over in silence.

There were lean times and full times. Times of shelter and adventure. Times the road lay forever before us. Towards the end there were times of widening silence and unanswered questions.

I remember the moment I finally understood that it was not that I could never give you what you wanted, but that I could never be what you needed.

At moments when I am strong I allow myself to feel again the pain. As we disentwined ourselves from the other, nerve by nerve, thread by twisted thread.

It did not end easily, it did not end well. I became a monster – screaming at the dawning realization; a rat whose nest had been overturned – biting, snarling, clawing it’s way away from the intruding reality.

Your stony silence when everything had been said. Your looks of hatred, despise, fear and humiliation, your eyes revealing the scars I had left on your soul.

And then you were gone.

Now another forever has passed since that imagined time. I stand and peel the vegetables for the evening meal. The pots putter on the stove, the microwave hums. I try to peel lightly, taking no more skin from the potatoes and carrots than is required, leaving their shape and substance intact. Sometime I imagine you standing beside me, peeling with me.

“That’s all, I don’t even think of you that often”

– Leonard Cohen



Five o’clock came and he left the office so fast his car clock still said 17:00 when he got in.
He only had to meet Shae at six, so he stopped to buy some flowers and a bottle of wine.

He arrived at her house at 6:03.
She took the flowers in one hand and his hand in the other.
“Come.” She led him to the lounge and dragged him to the couch. He pulled a leg up and she sat between them, her back to him. “Hold me.”
Max’s stilled any questions in his head. ‘What is this about,’ just wouldn’t work now. He simply buried his face in her hair and tried to feel spiritual. At least she wanted him here.
He kept his hands still on her womb. Not hanky-panky time.
They sat in silence through the sunset.
She stood and pulled him up.
“I got pizza, I don’t want to cook tonight.”
She had made a salad to go with the pizza.
They ate in silence.
Something was happening here.
“I want you to do something for me.”
“I haven’t told you what it is yet.”
“It seems important to you.”
“It is.”
“Then yes.”
“It’s going to hurt me.”
“And maybe scar me.”
Max paused.
“Excuse me a second.”
He walked into the toilet off the lounge and looked at himself in the mirror. He tried to recall the room and the creature. And the other creature.
He returned. “Yes,” He looked in her eyes, “but can I shower first? Please.”
She laughed. “Yes you can, I need a shower too.”
They showered together. He washed her body with reverence, trying to memorize it with his hands. He shampooed her hair and rinsed it.

He washed quickly while she dried off.

They dressed in gowns and returned to the lounge. She brought them each a glass of wine, he touched his to hers.
They drank in silence, facing each other.

“Wait here,” she walked to the room and shut the door.
Max stared into the night, reminding himself that he was here by choice. All that mattered was this moment. She had managed to drag him into a magical place. No not magical, this was something else…
Ah, yes. Sacred. This was a sacred place.
She returned and held her hand out to him. He took it and followed her to the bedroom.
The candles cast a deep golden light, the room flickered in their glow. Shades flitted in and out of existence, dancing around the room. The bed was covered in a white sheet, stretched tight. On a bedside table sat a tray covered in white cotton cloth.
A pungent incense pervaded the room.

He stopped. This was a temple.

She stood by the tray and beckoned him over.
She point a some slim orange packets. “These are razor blades. Please clean them before using,” she pointed at the alcohol swabs. “This candle is beeswax. It burns hotter than normal candles. You will only use this one on me. You will only cut on my back from here,” she pointed to her shoulder blades, “to here,” just above the small of her back. “I want to bleed. Then you will pour the beeswax into the wounds.”
He nodded. “Same safeword?”
“No safeword tonight.”
He nodded.
“And no sex either.” Again, he nodded.


This was not about sex. This was not about performance.

Max walked to the bathroom and scrubbed up. It was impossible to close the taps with his elbows. He eventually resorted to using toilet paper to close them. Not ideal.
She was lying naked on the bed, face down.
Should he be naked? The potential of blood on the robe. His flaccid member. Her averted face. He disrobed.

He broke the blade lengthwise in it’s packet. He unwrapped it. He ran his eye along the blade behind the swab. It was no scalpel, but it brought back memories. It would do.
Her hands were folded above her head as if she were awaiting a massage.
He incanted the words, “Blood of my blood.”
It was a mere scratch. No scalpel, this.
He pressed in and dragged down. She gasped.

He watched the rivulet trickle down to her spine and pool in the hollow of her back.
This was not about sex, but he allowed himself the pleasure of dipping his finger into the pool and raising it to his mouth.
So much different to his own blood, this taste.
“This is your flesh, broken for me.”
He cut again. The trickle ran down her side and dripped to the sheet.
He lifted the candle from the bedside. Tilting it to the first wound.
“Ugh.” The first real cry of pain.
It dripped into the wound. Then the other.
Clean the other blade. Forefinger above, thumb and middle finger bracing. Corner in and drag.
“Broken beauty, blessed are you.”
He dragged his finger though the stream and offered it to her. She suckled on his finger.
“Heart of my heart.”
The sensation of her lips were too much, he felt the swelling. He pulled his finger away.

The next cut was deeper. This wound was enthusiastic in its profusion. He staunched it quickly with the candle. It persisted and he pressed his thumb to it. After a few minutes it quietened.
It was a strange substance, this blood.
He turned her over. The coagulating blood would stain the sheet. Artifact of the evening, if not art.
Her eyes were closed. He stroked the blade across her neck. There was no temptation to press. Only the opportunity.

He bowed his head in supplication.


Test for 2015-10-27

Two days ago he had not even known that they still made them. Now he held the pack in his hand. Kneeling over her he took the slim sheath from the pack. Still wrapped in it’s paper he bent it lengthwise, middle fingers underneath, thumbs and forefingers above, until it snapped.
He Gently lifted half the blade from the paper and surveyed her back.
Dimples in the lower back, broad shoulders. A beautiful, spotless back.
He had to trust himself now. He brought the blade down and cut into her. ‘Blood of my blood,’ he whispered to the woman-being beneath him, “love of my love, blood of my blood.’
She lay beneath him, unmoved. His insufficient penis and that of his father and his father’s fathers laughed at him. They laughed at the insignificant scratch.
He cut again. She winced.
And again.
She cried out.
Bringing the blade down with careful precision he cut again. The blood flowed. She screamed. He knew he would love this creature for a time and know her for all time.
He reached across for the beeswax candle and held it above her. Tilting it carefully into the wound until the flow was staunched. Leaning down, he licked the rivulet that had flowed from below her shoulder blade down her side to the swell of her pressed breast. Her blood tasted different to his own.
“Blood of my blood,” he mouthed.
“Lust of my lust, soul of my soul. I drink from the blood that makes me whole.”
Sitting up, he cut again.

They sat in the bath, staring at each other. His tumescence evidence of their unfinished business.
“Did you forget Istanbul?”
“No, ” she grinned, “Tonight was perfect.”


The muse

It is no accident that the Greeks struggled with their muses.

The problem lies not with the muse herself but in her interaction with the men inspired by her.

A man of letters is an odd beast. Containing on average the same amount of testosterone and adrenaline as the average man, he lacks that average man’s simplicity and forthrightness. He is tempted not by the feel of the flesh, but by the idea of the mind behind the flesh. He falls in love with an illusory image and takes up his pen to write.

Gazing at the object of his desire with a sense of melancholy loss, he writes down the moments he should be feeling, closes his eyes and feels her pressed into his spirit as if he were in this moment pressing himself into her flesh.

The muse is a virgin goddess. Not because she has not let a man between her thighs, but because of the thousand she has inspired to visit her sanctum sanctorum in dreams. Her holy of holies. Her mind. She will remain inviolate to them, forever.

The man of letters can satisfy any carnal craving with a few flips of the wrist, or a delicate lamb chop on risotto with mint and parsley. But he cannot, can never in the age of the universe, satiate his desire to know. To delicately tease apart the individual thoughts of the other-mind.

He can never seduce the muse.

Such are the secret words of a man touch typing another few moments to his final end.

Movie Review

Nymphomaniac- A review

I feel sad for the professional reviewer sometimes. Those epicureans who force feed themselves on a diet of whatever slop is thrown before them until they cannot tell the bacon- from the orange-rind.

Take, for example, the reviews I have read for “Nymphomaniac” by Lars von Trier. I was drawn to it by a review I read in the Guardian. I am not sure what Peter Bradshaw was thinking when he wrote this, but he really seemed to have put some effort in. Unfortunately, he seems to be the only one. For the rest, they have all the enthusiasm of a bored wank on a Sunday afternoon on the couch watching National Geographic. And all the vitriol of one’s spouse on discovering one doing so.

So let me give this a swing, and possibly a miss, as an amateur who does not watch many movies or write reviews for a living.

Firstly, whatever your expectations, prepare to be disappointed. Also be prepared for the neophyte you dragged along to watch with you to be gushing as you leave.

If you happen to be a fan of Melvyn Bragg and you have heard his “In our Time” podcast on Plato’s Symposium, you may walk out of Part II with a grim satisfaction.

This is a philosophical treatise on sex. It is not the kind of philosophy that the New Yorker would enjoy nor the kind of virginity that Disney would preach.

My first first year philosophy essay was on the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. This is the kind of philosophy, and sex, that Lewis Carroll would enjoy. “I discovered my cunt as a two-year-old.”

Lars von Trier is not taking you on a sexual adventure, nor is he making a philosophical argument. He is hosting a symposium of sex and symbolism.

From the slutty teen to the satiated masochist; from fly fishing science to a perverted ascension; with an argument of cocks and a quorum of pussies; Nymphomaniac takes you hither and thither, never reaching an obvious conclusion.

Unless it does.

Whatever your motivations for seeing this movie, you will feel cheated. Exquisitely and wonderfully cheated.


A brief interlude

Kay smiles as she and Jenny walk in. As we hug and kiss our hellos, I surprise myself by sliding my left hand gently down her back, starting between her shoulder blades and running down to the small of her back. I relax the hug somewhat, but she pulls me tighter. I allow my hand to slide down further, palm resting on the rump of her butt, fingers dangling carelessly downwards. Then I lightly grip her backside and break the hug. As we pull apart she looks me in the eye. She does not look angry, but she is not smiling either. She moves on to hug Grace, my wife, as I hug and kiss Jenny.

We walk into the kitchen where I am adding the last touches to dinner. I chat to Jen about this and that as I prepare the salad. Jenny has always been easy to speak to, an broad mind and a healthy sense of humour. Her husband is not with her again tonight so Kay is here as her ‘plus one’. Kay divorced a few years ago and still single as far as I know. She is a tall woman, a few inches taller than my six foot. She is easy going enough but often has a seriousness bordering on sadness, but it is not bitterness or anger. Every now and then she will say something outrageous which will make everyone laugh. It always catches me by surprise.

Doug and Sue arrive, and we move to the candlelit dining room. “Okay everyone, I sit at the head of the table and no-one sits next to their partner.” An arbitrary rule to add to the sense of novelty and increase conversation.

Kay is sitting to my right, Doug to the left. We serve and sit down to the meal. The conversation flies around the table. I consider it the role of a good host to ensure that everyone is involved and that the discussion doesn’t break down into two or three private conflabs too early. It will happen eventually, perhaps over dessert.

We are halfway through the mains when I feel a leg on mine. It must be Kay’s. I pretend to I have not noticed. The leg pulls away. I stretch out slightly and my foot bumps into hers again. We stay like that for a few moments and then risk a look at her. She is staring at me. The intent is unmistakeable. Still staring at me she inches her foot up the back my leg. I feel her toes rippling across my calf. This is wonderful, but someone is going to notice that stare. I am sure Grace has noticed already, but the others may be uncomfortable. Jen is almost certain to say something, she won’t be able to resist. Knowing her, it will be the kind of comment that stops the conversation dead, even if it’s a joke.

I meet Kay’s gaze again and then look pointedly at my wife. She misinterprets me and her foot moves away and her eyes drop to her plate. Damn.

We finish dinner and the Doug and I go out onto the balcony for a smoke. Jen joins us, even though she is not a smoker. Grace, Kay and Sue are in the lounge. What I love about the dinners at our place is the conversation. I do my best to pair groups of friends, four or five at the most, who will get on with each other. As the wine flows the subject change. From family and kids to spirituality and politics to love and, if we are lucky, sex. Doug and Sue seem like quite a staid couple, about 8 years younger than the rest of us, but they always open up to most subjects. Sue never drinks more than 1 glass of wine, but even that is enough to bring out her more devilish side. Doug is either a very lucky or patient man.

I finish up my ciggie and head inside. The women in the lounge seem to be deep in conversation, so I head to the kitchen to clean up some of the mess and make room for the dishes from the table.

“I’m sorry about earlier” Kay has followed me in to the kitchen.

“Earlier?” I ask, feigning ignorance.

“Um, under the table…” She is staring at me again. Not trying to see my soul or anything stupid, just giving me all of her attention.

“I didn’t mind under the table at all,” I say, “It’s just that you are an awfully bad liar.”

“But… What?”

“Can you describe to me what Jen would have done if she saw you staring at me the way you were, the way you are now?”

“Oh!” She blushes and drops her eyes to the floor.

“Yes, exactly. She would have had everyone’s attention on you.” And me, I don’t add.

“That was really stupid of me, sorry.” She turns to leave.

“Wait,” I say walking over to her. “Jen is not here now.”

She turns back to face me. I move closer until we are inches apart. Our eyes locked again.

“But…” I put my fingers to her lips. Then slowly drag them down her chin, her neck, between her breasts and across her stomach. I trace the waistband of her skirt and then down her outer hip.

“I don’t mind the risk of getting caught, but not by everyone. It would have been a real pity if we had stopped the party.”

I bend my knees slightly and dip my hand under the hem of her knee-length skirt. I stand up and my hand comes to rest about halfway up her stockinged thigh.

“Are you nervous?” I ask.

She nods.

“Do you want me to stop?”

Her eyes close and for a few moments she doesn’t respond. Then she shakes her head.

I bring my other hand up to her face and start caressing it gently, tracing her ears, jawline, mouth, nose and eyes. Slightly more firmly, like a potter with clay, I mould her brows and her cheekbones and down again to her jaw and her throat.

I leave it there, encompassing her throat as I focus on her thighs. With the back of my hand and fingernails, I move up and down her thighs in small movements, each time moving slightly higher. Her stockings end three quarters of the way up. I move higher, avoiding her mons, tracing the line between leg and pubis until I come up against the waistband of her skirt again.

Her eyes are still closed, her head tilted up and her her lips parted. I squeeze gently on her neck and then thrust my other hand downwards in one firm stroke to completely engulf her pussy. She gives a shudder and her legs part slightly.

Watching her face I try to find the right rhythm. Fast, hard, slow, gentle. She humps back against my hand but it doesn’t feel right. An urgency overtakes me and reach up and drag her panties down and slide my hand inside.

“Oh fuck” she exclaims.

She is completely clean shaven and my middle finger slips easily between her labia as I probe down until my finger is at her entrance.

Her movements became more insistent so I bring my fingers back up to her clit and start a four beats per second, lets make this quick, rhythm. Her hands come up to my shoulders and her fingers dig into my arms. I feel her stiffen and change to slightly slower and more forceful pace. In the midst of her shaking I hear the conversational tone in the lounge change slightly.

I gave her a quick peck and shake her slightly. As her eyes open, I point to the door and then moved back to the table where I had left my cleaning up. A few seconds later Grace walks in. Kay was still leaning against the wall, trying and failing to look nonchalant.

“What on earth are you faffing with dishes for, you should be taking care of our guests.” She looked pointedly at Kay, ” our other guests, I mean.”

Kay blushes crimson. She really was terrible at cheating.

“Seriously,” Grace continued, “Jen has had Doug outside since we finished dinner and I think Sue is getting a bit irritated. I can’t blame her either, I wouldn’t trust that girl with my husband for 10 minutes. Go and get them in. It will look too obvious if I do it.”

“Of course, love” I said meekly.

“Kay, do you think you could help me in get Jen off the poor man. I am sure he must be suffering under her searing intellect and boundless enthusiasm.”

“Sure.” Kay giggles. That was a first for me. Kay never giggles.

We went outside to rescue a husband from the clutches of another woman.