Featured Post: The Well of Loneliness – Candice Louisa Daquin

Getting ready for work
Bag on the table
long 10 denier
black hose
so fine
makes legs look like swans
dark and sleek and endless
the way you’d like to be
dressed in costume
the person you want
gradually painted on
first the eyes, dramatic and smoky
lips full and plump the youthful devotee
cheeks pinched and shy
complexion covered with dye
hide the flaw
hide the truth
hide yourself
be someone new
getting ready for work
never ready for life
picking up habits of preservation
in the early morning light
what works here
what shows there
a fallen hem
a lost pin
shoulders too large
hips too narrow
breasts lurching to breathe out
an invert triangle
wiggling into yourself
trying to get out
of being legitimate
the role of responsibility
both necessary and loathed
a little toast, a little wine
the rattle of pills
medicated time
protecting ourselves from the glare
of the social climb.

Read more of Candice Louisa Daquin’s work at The Feathered Sleep and at Whisper and The Roar. You can also follow her Facebook – Candice Louisa Daquin & The Feathered Sleep.

Featured Post: Tipping the Velvet – Candice Louisa Daquin

“Watch me tonight won’t you?” she said like a little girl and I nodded my head as she walked through to the staff quarters of the club and I carried on straight ahead and showed my laminated membership card.

“How are you Lana?” the club’s cashier smiled a red lipsticked smile at me and gave me a kiss on the cheek “Doing good Josie, doing really well” I said, sounding more courageous than I felt, but at the same time, feeling every bit as good as I’d stated.

“Glad to hear it!” she chirped, her bauble earrings swinging, and I walked on through to the velvety darkness of the bar area, and found myself a corner table, close enough to the stage but set apart from other tables, where it was darkest.

“you always sat where it was most dark” a familiar voice said and I wheeled around to see the bartender, a beautiful young blonde woman, smiling at me. “How you doing?” I said, patting the seat next to me. “Can’t tonight Lana” she said, grinning, “it’s going to be a full house, we have new talent starting tonight and evidently she comes with a ready made fan club.” “Is that so?” I replied innocently, as she handed me my usual drink and I gave her a $10 tip in cash. “Thanks Lana darlin,” she replied already walking toward a group of customers who had come in and were finding seats near the front.

I settled back in my seat and the show soon started. The first girls were the usual, I knew them, nice girls, pretty and energetic but there was nothing there to hold my interest. Dominique didn’t come out until three drinks later, making sure we’d all paid our dues in bar credit and tips. The stage darkened and I heard her shoes first, tall and thin, shining in the darkness.

A blue light snapped on and I saw her skin, white as snow against the black dress she wore, her hair curled slightly against her neck, waving like a 1940’s movie siren. Her lips were a dark red, almost vampiric, her wrists bound in leather, her legs encased in long leather boots. She looked electrifying, a hush went over the audience, everyone’s eyes fixated on her, as French music lifted into the air and Dominique began to move. Her body was like liquid, as sensuous as cream, she turned and lifted to the sound, pealing her dress from her shoulders as she went. I found myself becoming terribly excited and tried to focus on anything else just long enough to satiate the burning between my legs but nothing worked, her magnetic pull had everyone transfixed, even the bar staff were watching her with a sort of curiosity, surprised that this newcomer had the power to reach out and grab us all in one soft movement. Her eyes seemed to be trying to find me in the darkness, she looked into the gloom from the soft glare of the blue lamp she danced under and we locked gazes, she was dancing for me.

I wanted her so much I ached all over, her hands were touching her own skin where I longed to touch, she cupped her small breasts inside their tight corset and pulled on her nipples to accentuate them under the see-through material. Her skin was taught like a young girls, she still had almost no body fat, she moved across the stage, touching herself, looking as pleasured as anyone could imagine being, a act yes, but such an act it entranced us. The music died down, she was still half-dressed but everyone felt she had been more naked than any dancer that had come before, see the trick with Dominique was, she could pleasure you without even giving you a thing.

Four more dancers and she returned, this time in her underwear, a different outfit, a dark almost brown-red lace. The panties were cut in a French style, with bits of silk clinging to her thighs, she wore the same long leather boots that pulled almost exquisitely tightly against the soft flesh of her thighs. She unpeeled long gloves, she removed her bra and her little breasts sprung out of the material like tiny upturned champagne glasses, the nipples dark and hard. It was this Dominique, as lovely as any woman I could ever have imagined that I had fallen in love with, me the consummate voyeur, used to seeing scores of women remove their clothes for money and able to remain detached at all times.

I had slept with some of the girls, over the years, taken them home and let them go between my legs in gratitude for the tips and kindness I had shown them. I had found ways to be inside them, ways to make them cry out for more of my touch, reversing the roles from voyeur to lover in a moment’s passion. But I’d never loved a girl, never let her inside my heart, never wanted someone as I had long wanted Dominique. I was the watcher, I had power, I didn’t let anyone touch me that deeply.

But this night she had me, as if I were collared and bound to her bed, she had me. I was as suppliant and hungry for her as I had been years before, she was as lovely and able to control me as ever. She removed her panties and turned away from me, I saw the lovely shape of her buttocks and tiny waist, I watched as she touched herself and came away wet and I knew it was because of me, I knew she was enjoying herself as much as I was watching her. The song ended, the audience almost too stunned to clap, money strewn on the stage, she walked off, only in her boots, her little breasts looking surprised against the cold of the evening.

I wanted to run to the bathroom and touch myself but I knew I would not do this, as I would not go back stage but wait to see if she came out to find me. I knew if she did, men would watch her, beg her to spend time with them, women would hate her, also want her, it would be difficult to command any time with her. But just as I had thought it might be best for me to leave my details at the bar and hope she would call me, I felt her hand on my shoulders and turning around I saw her, fully dressed and in her coat, waiting behind me as if we had a prearranged destination.

“Are you coming then?” she said smiling widely at me.

“You have the rest of the evening” I said looking at my watch that now read 10pm.

“That’s the perk of the job” she laughed “I get to set my own hours, and since I bring in more than all those others combined, well..” she looked toward the owner of the venue who was behind the cash register with a satisfied expression on his face “ I can do what I want really…”

“And what do you want?” I smiled in spite of myself.

“You know the answer” she said, taking my coat and pulling me out of my chair. “Don’t worry you don’ have to pay the tab, I have it covered” she said “the least I can do for my muse”

‘Your muse huh?”

“That’s right” she said, touching my lower back as we walked out of the bar, a hundred faces turned toward her “didn’t you know?”

“I didn’t actually” I said, smiling “ I should pay more attention”

“Oh I think you pay attention really well Lana’ she said, taking my hand in hers, ungloved, I felt the warmth of her flesh and tried not to melt, walking out into the cold and wanting her so badly I could not feel it.

“Where are we going?”

“Your place” she said, hailing a cab.

We rode in silence, she kept her hand in mine the entire way, I didn’t press it too tightly but I wanted to, it felt like a small bird although my hands are not big, hers are very delicate, like the rest of her she is built like a dancer, with high thin shoulders, a long narrow torso, slender legs and hardly any curves, she is grace personified, as long as a cool drink. She is bewitching with her long hair falling about her and her velvet eyes boring into you, there is nothing else you can notice or care about in her presence.

Read more of Candice Louisa Daquin’s work at The Feathered Sleep and at Whisper and The Roar. You can also follow her Facebook – Candice Louisa Daquin & The Feathered Sleep.

Featured Post: The Price of Salt – Candice Louisa Daquin

The King, he didn’t approve
Of willful girls who refused
His games of spite and egotism
Her value of salt became a breaking point
Of banishment and shame piled on top
Had she said … Gold. I love you more than riches and pearls
I value you more than saffron and silk
He may have forgiven her trespass
But salt? So plain and unadorned
Like her as she stood before him, making her case
For some it takes an actuality to contemplate
The true worth
Something she’d always known
When he ate his meal and roared at the cook
What kind of muck do you call this ??
They owned they used, not a pinch of salt
Without taste, lacking all substance
He realized late
The value of her chosen condiment
For gold builds nothing and salt is life
She is gone now and he has only his former ire
The moral of this tale reaches far and wide
When a woman loves a woman
Those places within others she must fight whom
Scorn her worth
Even the price they place, no value when she chose a mate
Sharing her gender
She had no right they said
To disturb the status quo, who wants to know?
About her sordid private life
And one in mock horror made mention of
The innate repulsion, thinking of two women in love
She said
As her salt sister before her
No you have it wrong
It is I who do not care a wit
If you should be uncomfortable in my company
Or seek to demean that which fills me with sea
And the moon as she glazes over, in swoon
For you can all go and stay away
We girls of salt shall determine to stay
Our shadows of brine and ocean deep
Impossible to puncture with ignorant needles
Be you hater or wishing to mock
She of salt shall have the last word
As in the fable when the king discovered
Real love rubs deep, not floating upon shallow surface
He saw his error in assuming worth
Can only be found in the simple cover
Rather than our skins filled with sea water
We beings of salt and fear and love and torment

Read more of Candice Louisa Daquin’s work at The Feathered Sleep and at Whisper and The Roar. You can also follow her Facebook – Candice Louisa Daquin & The Feathered Sleep.

Chloe at DissociaDID Vlogs about We Will Not Be Silenced

Chloe at DissociaDID talks honestly and movingly about the importance- and the challenges- of reading We Will Not Be Silenced
the segment on WWNBS starts at approximately 10:00
We Will Not Be Silenced is available through major online book retailers globally, including Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble online.

The Caged Bird Caterwauls – A Pantoum – Irma Do

I know why the caged bird sings
Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Vibrating out into the fractured world
There is no accompanying harmony

Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
There is no accompanying harmony
When the free birds don’t want change

Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
She caterwauls until the cage shatters
When the free birds don’t want change
Her powerful voice portends the power of action

She caterwauls until the cage shatters
Vibrating out into the fractured world
Her powerful voice portends the power of action
This is why the caged bird sings

The first and last line of this pantoum is the same (as the form requires) and comes from Maya Angelou’s literary autobiography of the same name. This book is part of the Feminist Book Title Challenge from Christine at Brave and Reckless. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was a poet/writer/activist whose words and work centered the reality and truth of her African American female experience. Her poem, “Still I Rise,” is my current mantra especially after reading about the recent incidents of gun violence perpetrated by white supremacists in the USA, as well as the unfettered proliferation of anti-immigrant policies.

Maya Angelou also wrote a poem titled, “Caged Bird” (1983), which has the following refrain:

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

You can read more of my writing at I Do Run

Toni in the Room with the Yellow Wallpaper – Irma Do

Her voice bounced off the yellow wallpaper,
Reverberating with strength and wisdom,
Uplifting the mahogany tones
In the old-fashioned design.
She refused to allow the surround to distract her,
Refused to explain her powerful gift.
She rose above inert ideas
Owning her freed self.

Toni Morrison died this past Monday, leaving behind an unapologetic legacy of literature centering Black American lives. She spoke candidly about racism in America, calling its function a “distraction” (read more here).

In this quadrille for De Jackson at dVerse (Quadrille # 83 – Voice), I have imagined her in the setting of Charlotte Gilman’s novel, The Yellow Wallpaper, to fulfill Christine’s Brave and Reckless August Feminist Book Title Challenge.

For me, Toni Morrison embodied the ultimate goal and greatest achievement for any writer/poet – that is, to write stories/poems as your Authentic Self.

You can read more of my writing at I Do Run

The Separation

How could I leave her there

I saw the bruises on her neck

and the underside of her chin

As soon as I landed

& when I departed

I held her hair back

As she vomited shaking

& clung to me bawling

As her monster jeered

“You act like your whole family is dying

She’s just going back to America

Now stop it.”

What could I do?

She begged me not to hurt him

& I offered up a thousand solutions

Even a citizenship marriage

But she was too sick to see clearly

Now she writes to me:

I’m so happy and so proud

You got out of your abusive relationship

I’m just so sorry I couldn’t do it

Then she doesn’t write anything


by Georgia Park