MALEVOLENT MELODY- Blood Into Ink Curator Collaboration

(Aurora Phoenix)

Your Urgency Pierced My Marrow


with vanilla milquetoast


you spun a web

the envy of Arachne

smeared in syrupy cajolery –

I supped on hand-dipped flattery


your urgency pierced my marrow with flim flam



Dilly Dalliance Bound Me


Lavender dipped

indulgent tongue

dripped incantations,

salacious songs—

your abuse was tender


dilly dalliance bound me with feathers



The Honey You Gave

Those words were sweet as honey and I drank them down like they were all for me. I fell for each one. But slowly, beneath my rose-covered eyes, they soured.
And, piece by piece, you took all you wanted from me. 


(My Valiant Soul)

Your Hands Are Stiff Wire


Cinnamon sticks plummeting

screeching lullaby with love and hunger,

A spasm spews on the back of an ant

The circle of disgust and disgust

My legs are broken, my arms are missing

yellow stingy archaic cry

Ruffling touch,

You disappear like a swollen pollen grain

As I chop my hair, chop the hideous you.




Lies and Propaganda


Anything goes, according to your arrogant agenda

Gaslight fueled, devotion fooled

Poisonous thirst for possession

And domination obsession

Believing exemption from

Sugar coated sin

As long as you win


Sticks and stones broke my bones, your lies and propaganda broke my spirit




No Longer Your Canvas


I throw out the bouquet of violets, salvia, red roses

you lay in empty contrition on our sheets of white linen

where I nurse the most recent bruises you have drawn with your fists

once you are gone, I adorn myself in essential oils

bittersweet for truth

thyme for strength

rosemary for remembrance

though my left eye may be swollen shut

I have never seen more clearly

than I do as I walk out the door, hidden suitcases in hand


I will no longer be the canvas for your unholy rage


Forged of Flame: A Shield Maiden Battle Song

My latest collaboration with my fiercely talented warrior sisters. Thank you Kindra for inviting us to your conflagration!

Blood Into Ink

valkyrie(Kindra M. Austin)

The fire that whelms me does   

not consume; for it is mine


I do control inferno,

a blood-borne lust to conquer


Here you come with buckets of water,

and a head distended with ego

convinced I’m a woman in distress

The fire that whelms me does

not consume; for it is mine


my defense mechanism,

desire to live forged in


Shield Maiden calls for no goddamned man 

(Aurora Phoenix)

these flames that fence me

char me not

they are the hungering tongues

of my animus

I spark them


feeding them on

the oxygen of my outrage

when the world crushes

upon me

you hasten forward

all suited up

toting your much touted hose

as if your stream

could touch these flames

these flames that fence me

char me not

they are the hungering tongues

of my animus

I fan them


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Unheard Incantations: A Collaborative Poem

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Breathe deep, dear love;
Be still with me
Listen to my heartstrings
A song meant just for you (KMA)

Each tear
An eloquent elegy
To tortured truths (AP)

Each note played
On a hand carved lute
Strung with strips
Of my soul (JWL)

Your breathless aura
Beats in time
Undulating ululation
With my exhaled psyche (AP)

Intertwined, tangled,
Unified: whole
Healed. (JWL)

Yet with hearts torn open
Bleeding out the notes of our song
You turned from me (ME)

I am fire
In desire
I beg
Save me (1W-W)

Fetch me an instrument,
For the untrained ear
Is soothed by that
Which it cannot comprehend. (LEL)

Not everything is black and white.
For even the eclipsed moon
Is not without a little light. (SD)

Whispers through the distance
I remember
As you reach for my hand
my heart (CER)

Our words
Drip like fire
Into embers
Wanting back
Their flame. (SFF)

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Written by:


Kindra M. Austin

Sarah Doughty

Michael Erickson

Stephen F. Fuller

John W. Leys

Lois E. Linkens

Aurora Phoenix

Christine E. Ray


I Don’t Know Nothin’ ‘Bout Burnin’ No Sensations

Written in collaboration with the incomparable incurable romantic, Ward Clever 

Even as the world burns, there is passion


if I were Scarlett

and you were Rhett

I would bat coquetry askew

with the vigorous

smoldering upswing

of my languorous lashes

meet your insolent gaze

with my own


in green impudence


if I were Rhett

and you were Scarlett

I would kiss you like I meant it

with the sensuous

tender emotive

of my firm grasp on your body

eliciting a gasp and a smile

from us both

a smirk moving 

from my lips to yours

in cocksure swagger


if I were Scarlett

and you were Rhett

I would turn convention

on its stiff lipped head

twining my fingers

through your rowdy hair

I would untie us both

unlace my tightly cinched stays

strip societal confines

from red-blooded heart


if I were Rhett

and you were Scarlett

I would ignore the world ablaze

surrounding our majestic interlace

take up arms to lift you

staircase beckoning

lips at your throat

a whisper implied

leaving your breath



if I were Scarlett

and you were Rhett

I would boldly name the enemies

none of whom are you

unburden myself of solitary doubts


draping them

across your shoulders

glance intimates

climbing ardor

breathy murmur

brazenly confirms


if I were Rhett

and you were Scarlett

I would protect you from tomorrows

none of which are certain

never let you see my wavering eyes


hiding them buried

in your hair cascading

scents soothing


burning skin

blushing excitement


if I were Scarlett

and you were Rhett

I would salvage tenderness

from genteel ruins

mythic antebellum joy

I would sow my seeds

of fiery determination

in your fertile imagination

scatter caution to the winds

with our rough and ready hands

budding passion

the likes of which

la-di-da ladies

have never seen


if I were Rhett

and you were Scarlett

I would let all the light in

through every window

forget where we came from

and who we were

forget for a moment

that I was a gentleman

and you were a lady

we part and meet again

pictures of sensuality

replacing past transgressions

with raw yearning


if I were Scarlett

and you were Rhett

I would re-write history


envelop your roguish streak

with parallel strokes

of my own

clasp your tattered

smoking jacket

velvet as my skin

in fiery intertwining


if I were Rhett

and you were Scarlett

I would open your curtains

gaze upon the glowing moon

your starry eyes

carry you gently

slipping across the threshold

before you and I

became too satiated

to stay awake

my lips would remind you…

tomorrow is another day


A Conversation, Colored Lonely

(written in collaboration with the inimitable Lois E Linkens)


it is at night,
when the silence screams the loudest.
when the curtains are drawn,
and the candle snuffed –
the air is burnt,
with the orange glow
of the blackened wick.
a single star
in an empty sky,
a tiger’s eye
in the witching forest,
a lonely car
on the midnight highway.

in the daylight

the silence is shushed

its horns ground down

under the trampling of the day

it finds kindred spirits

lurking in the pauses

poised to pounce

between hither and yon

a rabid Chimera

intent on foiling its captors

it is at night,
when the silence grows its wings;
when it becomes
arms and fingers
that squeeze and squash,
leaving their purple stains
across my skin.
so tomorrow,
i’ll cover up –
for what does loneliness wear,
when it wants to make a friend?


in the daylight

I dress to kill that silence

bedecked with breastplates

silvery self-reliance

protecting mawkish heartstrings

strained to breaking

by the violent plucking

of the silence in the

blue-black night

diamond crusted gauntlets

constrict my fingers

stretching toward contact


it is at night,
when the ancient words echo;
Plato’s Symposium
rattles through my brain
like bullets fleeing from the barrel.
you are incomplete,
he whispers;
your God-given substance
will not sustain,
your severed arms
are bound to flail
in this darkness,
grappling for a mate
that never comes near.
as i topple on the edge of sleep,
the condescending voice
of ancient wisdom
bends my will across its knee.


in the daylight

learned philosophers


under Ra’s harsh glare –

elderly drunkards

babbling in their cups –

beneath the penetrating rays

hypocrisy illumined.

I splashdown

in the well of loneliness

dug by my constraints

listen as they old-woman cackle

when I savor the dip.

I taste the madness

of love requited

sip from my flask

fractious firewater

eau de fierce independence

with the throatiest of howls

I birth my own

dancing star