Water Closet

A Taurus kind of SUNday

It’s like the pimple on my shoulder

Screaming at the Mole— IMPOSTER!

They are both me

They are both mine

Why do they say that misery has a taste?

Or is it so

mething about company… 

What submissions do we choose?

I don’t always want things

that fit in neat pretty boxes

It’s always a test…

I think this is her dream not mine…

I want to write 

And move slowly through the world

Talk to the people I love

Held by a warm kitchen 

Serving them tea 

A hygge space for life

I want to be present 

And listen

Linger long eno

ugh 

To feel truly embraced 

by a hug

my stripper name is murphy maple

I’m usually the one holding the stolen goods when the cops show up.

Somehow, there was no room in the getaway car, so I stayed behind to ‘handle it.’

“Stand back everyone, I’m the prodigal son of a Western physician.”

I often wonder if I were interrogated, if and when I would crack. I have a pretty stoic constitution, but if someone started pulling out fingernails, I’d probably squeal.

In other words, not to worry – it would take a lot for me to rat you out… but I do have my limits. I’m no John McCain.

I have had some rather embarrassing run-ins with the ‘the law’ over the years.

At a fraternity ‘function’ in college, the cops showed up, and I took off at a Prefontaine sprint. I was wearing a ridiculous puffy vest from Ralph Lauren with a number 5 on the back. Imagine if Hogwarts had a rugby team – I was dressed like the captain.

I still remember the cops yelling at me as I ran, ‘Hey, number 5!’ And in my haste, I abandoned my girlfriend inside the party to fend for herself.

One of my ‘brethren’ tended to her that night, and I still sometimes meditate on whether or not she sucked his dick in the apartment complex parking lot while I was hiding from the fuzz in a neighbor’s closet.

Clearly, not my most shining moment, but a gram of cocaine and twelve cans of Natural Light will make you do crazy things.

Sorry, that’s unaccountable… it was probably more like two grams and fourteen beers.

Only a few months later, in an attempt to save that very same relationship, I stripped down naked in the middle of the campus dorm courtyard as a gesture meant to profess my undying love.

When I threw my half-clothed body on the hood of my girlfriend’s car to try and stop her from leaving me, a different set of police officers arrived to escort me home.

I inadvertently confessed to driving drunk that night but managed to stay out of jail, out of what I can only imagine was pure pity.

Thank you to the ‘boy in blue’ who took mercy on me that evening and attempted to explain to me that the noxious fumes of a toxic relationship were clouding my judgment. And the alcohol. Definitely that too.

I sure wish I would have taken his advice instead of trying to walk the three miles back to my girlfriend’s apartment building the second he dropped me off at my house.

I fell asleep (read: passed out) at her door that night.

It’s uncomfortable being the fucked up hero in your own story.

I don’t always like myself, who I’ve been, and how I’ve behaved. As I eke out these scathing Yelp reviews of my youth, I feel my insides churn.

On one level, I’m glad I feel ‘shitty’ about parts of my past because it likely indicates that I’ve learned and grown. And yet, I still feel charged with finding some balance of compassion and comedy with these memories.

Inevitably, I’m the main character in my own movie, but if I were an impartial audience member and not me watching me and didn’t feel the responsibility to empathize with myself, what would I actually feel toward the person acting how I acted?

I don’t know how relevant that question is. I don’t know if I believe in objectivity or if it has any real value.

Regardless, it’s a compelling thought experiment to try and see ourselves from this more etic perspective.

I do find value in confronting the sometimes harsh realities of my flawed humanness, the ways in which I’ve embarrassed myself, acted selfishly, the ways I’ve cowered in fear, my negligence, my codependencies, and all the other ways I’ve behaved like a human form of teenage ‘back-ne.’

How does one live into the larger context of our actions without making themselves a victim in the process?

I didn’t have a lot of things well-modeled for me as a child, and I can certainly see reverberations of the emotional void playing out in my most reckless behaviors, but that doesn’t excuse them, it just helps explain them.

I find myself sliding up and down the stripper pole of accountability and compassion, hoping someone will throw dollar bills at me when I stick the landing.

Which brings me back to being in the bank holding the big bag of money. Living into a story of being bad puts you in a mindset that you’ll only be good when you get caught for what you’ve done. And so you put yourself into situation after situation where you’re waiting to be exposed as the asshole that you feel like you are so that someone will finally punish you and absolve you of your sins.

Man, what a kink. An orgiastic merger of the neurotic and the erotic. Where does one start, and the other begin?

I don’t know how to put a period on this sentence. I think I largely remain unresolved on the matter, like emotional ellipses.

Just… thank fucking god I haven’t fallen asleep at anyone’s door in over a decade. I’ll take the win.

by: anonymous

Exposure

It’s not my intent to shock or offend, and while I’m honored to be featured in this art, It’s not about wanting to be looked at.

Perhaps there’s a hint of rebellion for good measure, but the truth is, too many people in my life have taken issue with the fact that I chose to participate in this. For me, it was a positive thing that I would prefer to own. 

My initial reaction to this photo was embarrassment. I had to ask myself what I was afraid of. Exposure? Being found out and seen for what I am? The worst happening? I’ve already been there. My humiliation runs infinitely deeper than a few rolls on my belly or someone’s opinion.

This first photo made me realize that.

I lost my mental capacity, freedom, health and autonomy. I’ve been sliced open wide awake, both literally and metaphorically, and bled dry on the alter of someone else’s pain. 

Hell, someone even profited by publishing their self absorbed version of the most personal chapter of my life without my knowledge or consent. It’s available for the world to read. I couldn’t feel much more exposed.

A few nude photos won’t break the bank. If anything, they represent acceptance, self possession and a learning to coexist with grief, trauma and pain. Those things are of greater value to me than my pride. I would rather celebrate than hide them. 

The energy of this group was electric and flows through these photos. They capture an authenticity that outweighs the the sum of their imperfections, which is incredibly compelling, in art and life.

Not all battle scars are easy to embrace, mine are scary and ugly. They still hurt, and would much prefer to be ignored. Each woman here bears her own. 

We live in a world full of beautiful things, but life doesn’t happen in the big moments we work so hard to beautify and share with others. The range of what makes us human is found in the spaces between. The silence that cradles each note, the stillness before movement, the pause between breaths. Somewhere in the neglected margins are the moments where we just are, without fear or judgement.

That’s what I see in these photos.

Jess, you have a special talent for capturing those moments and the connections they allow.

by Leah Helman

photography @littlegreeneyes

NATURAL

my truth—my truth is always ugly. 

most truth is. 

i wish i could stop being in love with you. 

i wish that i didn’t project my own fear and feelings onto others. 

i wish i knew exactly what to do to make everyone happy—fulfilled.

i realize I have secrets i didn’t know i had.

there are certain things you just don’t say… right?

i think that it will be easier to write when they are all gone…am I setting myself up for them to all be dead—I hope not.

“NATURAL” we have become very afraid of what this word means…

by: rae of f*cking sunshine

(diary date: 12.17.18)

 

august 2018

i was,

sure as first fire

on my way 

to some infinity

when your pale

but certain shimmering

pulled me (into orbit)

with a softer

kind of gravity.

 

does Destiny then

always preclude

a destination?

 

if so,

why does Love

seem so unaffected

by all our accomplishments?

and why does Presence,

resting atop nectarous peaks

endlessly pour its sweetwater

into the parched basins

of our deep

and unfulfilled desires?

 

Everything

is simply awaiting

our Arrival.

 

and You.

calling to me 

from beyond the folds

of darkness – 

why have you inhaled me

with a bated Breath?

 

and for how long

will my hands

have to pass

through your apparition

on their way

to touch the World?

 

UNTITLED

This mind is a prison
So is this addiction

Flip scroll fantasy fuck all
Pointlessly pulling out

Frame by frame by frame
Insanely tame little beast
And a cage

Sitting quietly for once
Anxiously packed
like squirrel nuts

For the future she said
And bled

Time filling space
With pain easing the peddle
Of gas to the flame

Night sky and stains
Spinning over again
And again

Machine wash cold
tumble dry low

by: hyperkinetic~earthworm

porn chronicles vol 2.

i’ve never been in a fistfight in my entire life. the closest i came was in 7th grade when my best friend and i were masturbating next to each other and got into an argument over which porn to jerk off to together. one hand on our dicks and driven to rage by a cocktail of softcore Cinemax porn and mid-pubescent hormones, we attempted to deliver blows with our non-dominant fists. it’s the only time i’ve ever been angry enough to hit someone. as if some primal instinct overcame me – an urge to biologically brawl over sexual resources. we imagine ourselves so evolved and yet our hardwiring can be ‘magically’ hijacked by a digital mirage of tits. did some part of our psyches imagine we could impregnate the women on screen by ejaculating into the VCR slot? it would have made for an even better story, had i tried. 

looking back on my middle school years, there was a sweet window of time where my friends and i used to shamelessly masturbate in the same room together. there was no dick measuring. there was no discussion of stamina or prowess. for the most part, it was all innocent self-discovery. the only thing i remember feeling embarrassed about was that most of my friends were already ejaculating and i had yet to ‘blossom’ into a full-blown crusty cum rag. one time, right after i orgasmed, i snuck into the kitchen and chewed up some Cap’n Crunch and spit it into a towel to make it look like i had cum. clearly, i had no idea what semen looked like and if i had actually shown the towel to my friends they would have been seriously concerned for my health considering the yellow flecks of mashed corn cereal in my cum.  “It stays crunchy, even in milk!”

in reflection, it’s compelling to me that even at the age of 12, there were some inherited feelings of inadequacy in my sexual understanding. i don’t think any of my friends actually gave a shit whether or not i was cumming into a towel at the end of our close-but-not-quite circle jerks. but the fear of not being man enough had already gotten a hold of me. don’t get me wrong, i love cum. next to period blood and ovulatory fluid, it forms the holy trinity of bodily elixirs. but certainly, it was convenient in those early days of orgasm not to have any clean-up work. i was streamlined, baby… efficient. zero-emissions. carbon neutral. also, something undeniably shifts when a body starts to produce semen. not only do some of those aforementioned militaristic impulses to impregnate seem to sink in, but the body also begins to expend energy in expelling and regenerating its most precious resource. in the pre-cum days, i was the multi-orgasmic wonder boy. no semen retention necessary for me, Grandmaster Mantak Chia.

what strikes me about this period of my life is how both sexual and asexual it feels inside me from this present vantage point looking back. there’s a potent tension in this dynamic that i feel compelled to unpack. i am tempted to sing a song of my budding queerness – as in, “look how gay i was but didn’t yet know it.” but that feels a bit cheap in post. as the adage goes, two boys masturbating in a bed together does not a homo make. as far as i know, every single boy i jerked it with in middle school went on to identify as straight man. and so did i, for many many years. what’s more interesting to me than attempting to solidify a sexual identity, is the simple observation that there was never any question of sexuality amongst us in those masturbatory trysts. not once did any of us pause to ask ourselves or each other, “does this make us…?” perhaps, if one of us had suggested we watch other dudes make love while we touched each other, there would have been more inquiry into the matter. and yet, as the adulterated nature of adulthood set in, no longer could any of us masturbate in the same room together without it having to mean something more about who we were. this is the ‘nonsexual’ component i’m attempting to pry free here. the act of masturbating was sexual but the mutuality, the shared sexual expression, was playful, was platonic, was gleefully conspiratorial. 

as i reflect on this tension, as it derives from my own psyche, i am drawn toward a certain weight that sexuality holds that this other energy does not. why is one playful and innocent, while the other carries an intangible gravitas? what am i overlaying onto my sexual expression and identity that mucks it with a severity that wasn’t present in those moments of pioneering new sexual frontiers? i can’t help but feel an urge of equalization between these two energies – to marry the maturity of my sexual understanding and experience, with the whimsy of a pre-teen cumless orgiastic ecstasy. to feel light about it all again, to laugh about the awkward mashing of flesh and elementary chemistry experiment of fluids. to feel at the same time both reverent and irreverent. in awe of the beauty, the sacredness, the consecrated slurping of Eden’s most nectarous fruits while holding everything else in a waggish contempt. 

i’m not one for proselytizing. if you’ve read anything i’ve written in this space over the last few years, you know that i tend to flicker like a hummingbird, impishly testing tainted waters for freshness. but i feel the fire in my loins on this one. dare i say, some conviction? if there was a church for me, its ruins seem buried somewhere beneath the sheets, with my cock in my hand and an unsoiled cum towel lying eagerly in wait. in this moment, i am part archaeologist, part priest, when i say, if to no one but myself… please, for the love of God, go masturbate with your friends.

 

{Nameless}

She remains nameless
As she tosses and turns her hair
We talked once
I forgot her name
And still can’t remember
I resist talking to her
For in my mind she is the most amazing person
Intelligent, caring, all that one could ever want
Maybe she is: perhaps not.

by: Paul Kirby

Biographical Poetry: Era Ending Introductions…

I came into this existence with enough privilege to choke a cow.

And enough trials and tribulations to keep me humble. 

I fluctuate between total fearlessness and crippling insecurity.

I have had the deep pleasure of having 4 parents and 4 siblings.

And knowing the intense pain that comes from losing one of them to early death.  

I have felt the soul crushing rejection of missed opportunity and failed love.

I have seen the horrors of human trauma etched on to souls and skin.

I have been lost and aimless and in the process learned how to swim.

I wet the bed till I was almost 10 years old because sleep always swallowed me.

And didn’t really learn how to inhabit my body until I was 30.

I can be strict, calculating, and cruel, but also soft—so surrendering and soft.

If I could digest the world and free it from all its suffering, I don’t know if I would.

And you can feel as furious as you would like about that.

For there is something here in the madness and the decadent pain. 

Something real—smelly, broken, and rude… like sand paper on fresh skin.

Yes, there is something in the roughness that I have come to realize—heals.” 

 

by: rae of f*cking sunshine