think my daughter is scheming to have her friend Allison try and seduce me. She wants to know once and for all if I am like that. If I am susceptible. If I am that kind of a man. She tests me incessantly. She wants to know if some sort of curse of blood lust might justify, like an irresistible fate, her own unseemly peregrinations. Her friend Allison is a little slip of a Jewish thing. The way she invokes my name, like an apostrophe. She calls out my name, plays with the sound of it in a cloying tone as if I were something she assumes should be her very own. I really think she’s thought through a whole damnable scenario in her child’s mind, mapping it out with myself the central player she wants and feels entitled to, like an irresistible fate.
      The winter wind whipped around New York as if it were Chicago. Lust to him that night was as much ache for refuge as his familiar old craving for a woman’s fresh harsh touch. There were hot black bitches in the rummy warm club that posed for a chateau. The smiles of the slick sweet-looking white girls, there to mostly observe, seemed rapacious, all the more so because, in another context, they might glower with the fresh glossy charm of popular demimondaines. Fashionable in shirts polka-dotted or colorfully blotched like clowns’ faces, they might have been minor celebrities. They might have posed for Vogue. They were also imaginable as very special suburbanites. Yet such confident acculturation, just shy of hauteur, only seemed grossly appetitive in this swirling raucous place where sullen men stalked their own undoing. 
      Once he had pressed his face up inside the corner of just such a woman, and to this day in the aching night he might smell the hyacinth-like powder that drenched her thighs. Women, who, if only the world no longer existed, would still be meaty and wholesome and glad like carnations, have registered instead these sundry wicked pictures of wildest desires asked and answered. That their lovely tight and pink-lipped smiles are crafted so fine from such forbidden knowledge makes the Time that must finally ravage these beauteous veneers a merciful deliverer indeed. Yet he didn’t want to judge them, he felt no tangible disapproval. Only, in the dim light of the chateau where they sat and smiled and watched, they tormented him. The smiling superior faces revivified the hyacinth stench and he saw again the small hole in the sweet corner that had been like honey to his tongue, although he trembled when he gave it suck.
      Her knees fell back until there was nothing left near him but the smiling eyes as even the shape of her mouth and nose and cheeks was distorted when he laid in so close to her. His cock dug into the small sweet corner and he buried her face in kisses, his tongue probing the fresh mouth that delighted him now because he could utterly swallow the wicked smile, so that whatever she knew, whatever awful instinct had been honed in her, he would share. And, by sharing, they could love. Whatever she knew he would know, and she would know that he knew. He pressed into her corner deeper, arching his back as if to spare her nothing. As he pressed, she smiled and winked. Dear Lord, she winked!
      Ooooh Ooooh Ooooh what a little moonlight can do oooh oooh. Mistress Candelaria announced herself, a little slip of a thing, but formidable in a vinyl red vest and black garter belt. Mistress Denise came by too, black and overt, her nipples conspicuous under a white t-shirt that draped down to the edge of her purple leather skirt. “You’re a little slut, aren’t you?” Mistress Candelaria taunted him as she pressed tight against him from behind, pressing her loins into his rear end and dangling the riding crop around his thighs.
      “I may have to pee soon,” said Mistress Denise beside them now, and he thought ahead to the jet of vile warm water. The quick slap of her open hand on his ass reverberated in the cavernous place. Mistress Candelaria pressed harder against him from behind. She tickled his anus with one of the metal spikes hanging down from her leather pants. Such physicality overwhelmed him.
      These women being employees of the chateau were paid to ritualize their contempt, yet he could read the tell-tale signs that the rituals hadn’t yet gone stale for them with the passage of one night after another. See how Mistress Candelaria’s lips purse strangely, as if she were sucking something piquant. See how Mistress Candelaria and Mistress Denise encourage each other with resolute, supportive smiles. See how, when she drags the crop against his testicles, it’s a very nearly solicitous caress she offers. They needed to be doing this. They had pleasured many men in their worlds, they had swallowed the cum fuck of many harsh and silent men. It was here to this place they arrived at last, nervously reassured by the imaged debasement, in him, of all the others who had taken them too roughly or with too cruel indifference in the bygone bad days.
      Such girls still pretty but scarred by time held sway here. It was that very combination in them, the alternating currents they physically mirrored, of coarse vituperation and residual loveliness, that so intoxicated the men they mastered. They pulled him down prone and beat him in unison. As they gesticulated, he glanced up for treasurable glimpses of their leering grins. The sweet white face and the raw black one harmonized at his expense.
      But then the old power rose up within him. It always rose up slowly. But once it rose up, it rose up omnipotent.
      “You need me,” he said, a sudden interruption to the implicit script.
      “What?” asked Mistress Candelaria. In response, he licked her shoe. “Work on that heel,” she commanded.
      “I will take it all,” he said. “I will take it all and make it part of myself.”
      “Stop blubbering,” said Mistress Candelaria. 
      How lovely she looked with her legs way back after all these years. After all these years, he was so close to her, so much a part of her life. Her face as he possessed her was like a tulip that was just now opening. It opened just a little and just enough, as a tulip might. She was as friendly and familiar as a gardenia. Her eyes were glimmering forget-me-nots. The mere fact of her in pleasure was pleasure to him. Her flesh after all these years was simply suppler than ever it was when they were younger. She responded to his touch more readily than any other woman he knew. As when they chatted at night, a sublime domesticity pervaded the place so that nothing between them needed to be forced.
      They were used to men who, out of some fount of prosaic rage, the same basin serial killers suck from, grow suddenly furious and imminently violent. But this was something different, stranger, and vaguely more unsettling. He wasn’t just out of control. He wasn’t out of control at all. He wasn’t crazy. He was dangerous in a different way. They saw that in the way he smiled when he looked up at them pouring their blows on his naked rump. “Enjoying yourselves?” he asked, an ineffable biting challenge in his quiet voice.
      “We are,” said Mistress Denise, uncertainly. “And I’ll enjoy it even more when I get to pee all over you.”
      “I must be pretty important to you,” he said, grinning on one side of his mouth. “Much more important than you are to me.”
      “You’re just a slut,” said Mistress Candelaria, threatened though not quite conscious why.
      Her sister’s boyfriend pinched Candelaria’s tits. He grinned, and she smelled him all sweaty. Women’s team sports cannot be as popular, or at least not as impressive in the popular consciousness, as women’s individual sports. With individuals, we focus on and deeply appreciate pure quality apart from power. Martina Navratolova is universally regarded to be a much greater tennis player than Roscoe Tanner, even though no woman could ever muster up a service as strong as his. With team sports, however, the lust for power obtrudes. Definitive pronouncements, as to who in any match-up would win and who would lose, are demanded. Those outcomes define the governing criteria. A team of Martina Navratolovas would pale in the public estimation beside a team of Roscoe Tanners. Collectivism blockades spiritual expression. It blockades pure play. No one really has unqualified admiration for women’s basketball teams or college basketball teams or college football teams that cannot compete in the NBA or NFL.
      “For me this is just a pleasure, an adventure, an exercise,” he said, his butt elevated, and most ungainly. “But for you poor things, it’s all desperate need. And you’ll never salve the wound that makes you love it.”
      “Fuck you,” said Mistress Candelaria, but Mistress Denise was nonplussed. A decidedly intimidated glaze swam then in her round brown eyes.
      He rose up and pulled his pants to his waist. “You try so desperately to be desirable, but don’t you know that anybody dressed like you will do just as well?”
      “What are you talking about?” cried Mistress Candelaria.
      “I’m talking about the gaping wound that is you.” He felt all the power he had squashed in one direction rebounding in the other.
      “I’m not the one that goes out and gets spanked in public like an asshole,” said Mistress Candelaria, snickering, but Mistress Denise was deserting her. Mistress Denise retreated backward, into the concealing shadows of the strange shadowy place.
      “For me, all this is nothing more than having a very interesting and different kind of dinner,” he said. “An exotic dinner, that’s all it is. But for you, it’s the whole desperate longing of your life.”
      “Fuck you,” said Mistress Candelaria. She stepped backward and turned around, eager to abandon him and this nasty scene altogether, in order to accommodate any one of two- or three-dozen other men waiting to be touched and harshly spoken to, or to chat banally with the other women. He kept looming forward, happy to stay on the attack.
      But the lust for hot physical touch stirred in him again, and part of him wanted to be back on his knees with Mistress Candelaria’s tiny chastening hands upon him somewhere. “You don’t like to play real games,” he taunted, but regretfully, for he wanted so to sniff at her breasts under the vinyl breastplate. He wanted to be touched and loved.
      “I said ‘fuck you!’” said Mistress Candelaria.
      “This is the real game I’m playing,” he said, watching as she finally escaped him. “And you haven’t got enough inside of you to dare play it.” She may or may not have heard the last taunt.
      Candelaria’s breasts had a delectable softness. There was a chill about them, like chilled white meat, the meat of a fowl like chicken or pheasant, on ice but far from frozen. She was inviting like a summer ade. Her hips rotated as he sucked the tight ruby red nipples. She reached down between his legs as if she owned him there.
      The games he played! After every five pages, when reading a book like The Ambassadors, he’d backtrack, counting up strikingly exquisite or admirably ideational words or passages or paragraphs or conceits, versus those that, based on whatever critical criteria he applied, fell short. After ten or fifteen such extractions, he had an actual objective tally, almost like a baseball score. It was a vulgar way to get his arms around the text, yet ironically revealing, it seemed, as a way to pass a finalizing edict on the likes of Henry James.
      His cock was like a forearm.


Be Gentile With Me
It was her first time.


They exchanged photos and intimate letters but had never met.  She acknowledged in one of the last letters that it would have been impossible for her to confide so much in someone she had actually met. She asked him if he resented the racial fantasies she verbalized, and he reassured her that he did not. He seemed perfect, a soft-spoken gentleman yet physically imposing in the photo, like a chieftain. He could appreciate the vaguely pornographic dimension of her fascinations without feeling demeaned in the least by the explicit caricature. The fact that she had not cheated on her husband in twelve years of marriage confirmed a kind of integrity in her lust. She didn’t cheaply expend herself in fantasy. This particular desire had built up in her over time. He, in his city, was a widower in whom many vague desires had numbly accumulated during years of self-willed inactivity.
      He had told her in one letter that the conservative way she dressed in the photo, in a heavy wool sweater and straight blue skirt, added immeasurably to his interest. He hoped she could let herself go when they finally met, without embarrassment, without fear of his despising her because of her desires, or of his regarding her as at all cheap. She needn’t worry about expressing herself as overtly as she was apparently driven to. What she was as a person made it all the more treasurable to him for her to do just that. He suggested that his desire was enflamed in direct proportion to how fundamentally reserved she really was. In short, she was a prize.
      She was to be in Washington that month. He would drive in from Baltimore and they would take the next big step at that time. “I can’t stop thinking about you,” she wrote. “I’m destroying myself with desire.”
      “Your face in your photos dominates all my thoughts these days,” he wrote back. “No, I cannot see the contours of your body in any of the photos, but that makes me ache for you all the more. I don’t even care what your body looks like. I just have to see it. I just have to see all the things that are yours. It’s being yours that makes them beautiful.” His cock rose as he wrote. She opened her legs as she read.
      “Be gentle with me,” she whispered, folding the letter inside her thighs. “Oh Douglas,” she whispered in the lonely time when her husband was asleep.
      She read his letters again and again: Douglas, from Baltimore, who conquered the modest married lady without having met or even spoken with her; conquered her because she could dream of him when she was alone in her own sacred private place. She read the letter in which he imagined seeing her dance naked without knowing she was being seen. She read the letter in which he confessed to wanting her in all the secret ways no one else had had her. She read much of the night and went south in the winter.
      The barracks were full of sandy-haired boys, and he figured most of them had had it up the ass at some point in their lives. They were all emanations of the one same spirit he lusted for. She might have tolerated the thought of her husband buggered by a big stud, but then, when he kissed the guy’s balls in slavish gratitude afterward, she wondered if he had taken leave of his senses altogether! She wondered as she wandered. She wondered what to do with her own body in the wake of all of this. 

      The scheme she seized on was blatantly designed to maximize the blissful shock of their first encounter, yet she had fastened on it unthinkingly, as if the vision of what lay ahead was so prepossessing that it operated on her like an opiate, and so she acted half-insensately. The blatant scheme was thus devised in a trance, and she followed through in a trance as well, phoning and leaving a message on his machine that she’d be delayed, and that he’d probably get to the hotel before her. But she would leave an envelope for him with the concierge. In it he’d find her room number and the key. Please go on up, make yourself comfortable, and wait there for me.
      When she listened to his greeting on the machine, it was the first time she heard his voice, which was deep and lovely and measured. When he picked up the message, it was the first time he heard hers, which was pitched high, rather girlish, yet tentative and slow to finish each sentence.
      Then came interminable darkness. She stretched naked on the bed and waited with her eyes shut tight. It would be a shock for him to walk in and see her there, to see her supine and ready just as she had prevaricated. She couldn’t stand the thought of meeting him for the first time in any other way. His groping with her clothes. The insufferable clumsy half-measures that would lead them from their gracious dream to its realization. A bra here. A stocking there. Nervous efforts to converse. To reassure each other that the great license granted in their letters, and his happy acceptance of her lurid secret desire, was not to be abrogated by the dull release of the actual encounter.
      Yet she was frightened. The gentle articulate groping in his letters was a comfort. The letters bespoke a good, fine man. But for all the heated distant callings of their souls, back and forth, still he was a stranger. The darkness was a comfort. She kept her eyes shut through the late afternoon, waiting. Her body was frozen in its pose. She had dreamed a pose to pleasure him, and she configured it now: her arms arched behind her head, her pale white shoulders and belly exposed, lilies placed so as to hide each nipple, and a cluster of peonies between her legs to hide her little bush. Her legs wide open were nearly hanging off the bed. She felt radically posed in the self-imposed darkness.
      As the door was being opened, she fell deeper into the darkness. The peonies gently tickled her between her legs. She hardly heard the rustling of clothes just by the bed. No one but her husband had ever seen her naked. Other men had groped, other men had touched, but no one but her husband had ever seen her naked. And no one, no one had ever seen her like this! There was a man in the room now, an actual man whom she had never met or spoken to – she understood that in the darkness – and she understood that at any moment now the darkness would be invaded. She heard herself breathe and felt her lips opening slightly, just short of a smile.
      The voice of the total stranger intoned, “Samantha.”
      And her eyes opened, and she saw the large man swollen full with his own magnificent need. He was naked and huge. “Ah baby,” he said finally as she reached over. He loomed above her an extra moment as if the thought of their imminent coupling was too much to compass too fast.
      There were big beautiful women strutting without, dissatisfied with life. But they had much pure love to give despite all that. “Would you like to see my imitation of myself when I’m all alone?” she asked.
      “Yes I would,” he said.
      So she opened her legs and started caressing herself furiously, moaning his name as she did so, and begging him to come fuck her. Herself, when she’s alone.


The old people thought it the fattest thing that shines at night.
Their sons tried calling it chaste
but under the seas of tranquility it was unsavory and dim
and dirty, and it hurts to plumb those depths. Wow, it hurts!
No wonder the goddess was cold and cruel,
she resented such thoughts as I am forced to think,
of you who know I know how deep you've delved.
You were the first man to walk the moon.


      He saw the child who did not exist because he had never wed or even met the woman to whom he gave his life. The child was so beautiful it tore his heart out to realize that she, the bright beauty he adored, had not come into being at all! Life’s simple lesson is that old men with children ought never regret their own lost lives. They do so at their own peril. They imperil their souls.
      The verge was enormous inside her. A relentless thing had entered her, a living monument. She was occupied. She could imagine, and was awed by, the many years of pent up desire with which he probed. She opened her legs as wide as they could go.
      “I like a woman with a sense of humor,” he told her when they first met.
      “I don’t blame you,” she said.
      “I like a woman who’s intelligent, and can carry on a conversation,” he winked.
      “Of course you do,” she smiled.
      “And I need a woman who can accommodate me,” he said, lowering his voice.
      “All a girl can do is her best,” she beamed.


I Got With Child A Mandrake Duck
I got with child a mandrake duck
And caught like flame a falling star.
I do such deeds as poets undone
Pronounce impossible to be done.
I am the man who can,

I am the guy, but why?