Besot with Fire.

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I don’t want a dehydrated love
that lives somewhere between
purgatory and just good enough.

I’d rather bust my knee on the sidewalk,
bruise my arm and cheek on the wall,
crash my bike on a rocky path, crack my
wrist for a love full of oxygen caught fire.

Turning blue to red. Scarlett Crimson.
I don’t want to be rescued from the flames.
I want to be wrapped in them

Let’s lose the word complacent,
and replace it with passion.

Trust that a love full of imperfections
is more interesting than one
full of perfect nothingness.

Let’s get pleasantly disoriented
on a bed of salacious.

Where everything we need
is a finger trail away.

Let’s follow the glint of rosebuds
and not be afraid to step on the
thorns.

Let’s create a love of different rooms
we can waltz into.

Now a lover.
Now a friend.
Now a sexy stranger.

Nothing predictable, no room
for maybes.

I want a love full of poetry,
but nothing conventional

I want crude statements.
Expletives, obscenity.
Possessive pronouns.
Imperative verbs.

A lexicon of love and sex.
A love that’s not offended by
the Fword -foreplay
and likes to fucking fuck.

No! I don’t want a dehydrated love
I want a love that is fully
saturated.

I don’t mind drudgery but lace it
with swoon, with heat.

I believe in the power of endurance and faith,
but let’s pepper it with decadence and sin.

I don’t want us to look back
and realize how sane we were
for each other.

I want to reflect back on
a crazy love that took us and
the moon down.

One that resides somewhere
between soulful conversation and
a wet dream.

-Tosha Michelle

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NY Times Best Selling Author Sylvain Reynard on Poetry.

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NY Times Best Selling Author and my favorite enigma Sylvain Reynard was gracious enough to write a guest blog on poetry. If you aren’t familiar with Reynard’s books,you are missing out on riveting tales full of suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. You can find out more about SR and his work by going to http://sylvainreynard.com/ You can also find him in all his tweeting glory @sylvainreynard

This poet is a huge fan. You will be too.

Now I give you SR in his own words

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Many people avoid poetry.

Poetry usually brings to mind limericks, or schoolyard sing-songs, or angst-driven blank verse. But The Iliad and The Odyssey are poems. Dante’s The Divine Comedy is a poem.

Poetry is extremely flexible as a genre and like other arts it contributes something important to the human experience. Poetry can be a thing of beauty and a medium for reflecting on profound and sometimes unsettling truths.

When I wrote The Gabriel Series, I was inspired by the poetry of Dante, hoping to introduce the beauty of his art to a wider audience. Dante is not very well known anymore and few people read him outside of school or university.

In my new Florentine Series, I was inspired by the poet Apuleius’s account of the love affair between Cupid and Psyche. Again, this is a poem that is not very well known and infrequently read.

You can read the tale by starting here: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Latin/TheGoldenAssIV.htm#anchor_Toc347999726

Psyche was the youngest of three sisters and very beautiful. Her beauty was so great, it intimidated prospective suitors. Her older sisters quickly found husbands, while Psyche remained alone.

Her father feared that Psyche had been cursed by the gods and so he sought out an Oracle, who instructed him to deliver his daughter up to marry a great winged evil. In sorrow and despair, the father obeyed. Psyche went along with the Oracle’s instructions, proclaiming that her condemnation was the result of unbridled envy.

And then something surprising happened…

“…prompted by the sight of the evening star, Psyche retired to bed. Now, when night was well advanced, gentle whispers sounded in her ears, and all alone she feared for her virgin self, trembling and quivering, frightened most of what she knew nothing of. Her unknown husband had arrived and mounted the bed, and made Psyche his wife, departing swiftly before light fell. The servant-voices waiting in her chamber cared for the new bride no longer virgin. Things transpired thus for many a night, and through constant habit, as nature dictates, her new state accustomed her to its pleasures, and that sound of mysterious whispering consoled her solitude.”

Psyche was delivered up to someone, but far from treating her evilly, he treats her well. He gives her pleasure. He loves her body. But he only comes to her at night, so she has no idea who he is.

The oracle prophesied of a great winged evil, but her husband reveals himself as a tender, attentive lover, who truly cares for her. One evening, he speaks to her,

“Sweetest Psyche,” he said, “my dear wife, cruel Fortune threatens you with deadly danger, which I want you to guard against with utmost care. Your sisters think you dead and, troubled by this, they’ll soon come to the cliff-top. When they do, if you should chance to hear their lament, don’t answer or even look in their direction, or you’ll cause me the bitterest pain and bring utter ruin on yourself.”

Psyche subsequently is faced with a dilemma – should she trust her husband’s actions and how he treats her, or should she trust the judgments of her family and the Oracle.

Psyche knows what it is like to be judged on appearance alone, without regard to her character. Suitors shunned her, because she was thought to be too beautiful and too perfect – like a statue. In the poem, it looks as if she places all her trust in appearances as she strives to discover her husband’s identity, not trusting that his actions have revealed his true character.

But what would looking on his face reveal? Would it make his actions a lie? Psyche doesn’t stop to reflect on her husband’s nature. If he were truly monstrous, he’d treat her badly and not kindly. He loves her and brings her pleasure and she seems to enjoy his company, although she is plagued with doubt. Her doubt, however, reveals a fatal flaw in her character – she cannot trust her judgment of her husband based on his actions; she must judge him based on his appearances. This fatal flaw will be her undoing …

You can read the rest of the story through the link I posted above.

I deal with similar themes in “The Prince” and “The Raven,” and also the next book in the series “The Shadow.” The male and female leads find themselves in a situation where they end up having to trust one another’s characters rather than outward appearances. Indeed, the importance of having a good character is one of the themes of the novels, along with love, sex, hope, and redemption.

I welcome your comments on the myth of Cupid and Psyche and I hope that you will take time for beauty and poetry in your daily life. – SR

The Importance of Being Wicked.

I know the importance
of manners and kindness.

Every now and
then though, I take
advice from the devil,
who likes to massage
my shoulder.

I break the cup of tea
and guzzle from a
wine bottle. I rip
apart my dress of
virtue and fornicate
with the wild flowers.

I dance naked through
a continent of imagination.
Stopping to wink coyly
at the opposite sex

Sometimes I swim
on a full stomach
and dress as a
category five hurricane

Finding passion in
every swirl. He tells
me, I’m such a pretty,
little savage.

He encourages me to
be reckless with my
destruction. Briefly,
the world stops for me.
I speak without language.

Then I awake in a bed
of obligation and social
graces, a world of selfless
and righteous living.

Posed. I rise and begin
my day. The devil hides
under the pale satin of
my dress. Later, we
scribble poems over
a path of moonshine,
skinny dipping in a
dark pond of paper.

Diving to the bottom
of uncharted debauchery.
Laughing at how “literally”
some people will take
this poem, and how
one will say he knew
it all along.

-Tosha Michelle

What Type of Man is He?

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What type of man is he?

He’s of the tall and handsome variety
Bright, witty, well schooled in inky places.
He’ll seduce you with the sweet cadence
of his voice, making you think of velvet,
ivory towers, the first sip of hot chocolate,
and the fragrant smells of fall.

He’s the type of man who knows
how to wear his clothes. Fashionable.
fitted to his slender, masculine physique.
He is habit forming to the eyes
Sexy glaucoma. Sparking a fever
with this sentence, which ends
with an ache.

He’s the type of man who will appeal to
your darker places with his Machiavellian
maneuvers. Your upper and lower body
engaged in political debate. One part
rallying for a call to action
(la Marquise De Merteuil)
The other wholly disapproving. A rebellion
stirred in ungodly places. Places that
will beget and begat desire.
Remember even in the Bible
all that begetting and begatting
ended in tragedy.

He’s the type of man who can unbound
the tightest of books. beautifully,
unfairly. He’ll draw the words out
like the sweetest, stickiest of
taffy. The pages anxious to please,
willing to set fire to themselves if
he finds them lacking.

He’s the type of man who’s engaging, entrancing,
so very hard to resist. Touch if you dare.
He’s a stunning disaster. One you can’t
turn away from. The type of man
you will be fatally drawn to. If you touch him,
you both may suffer. Yes, I know. He’s so magnetic,
but he’s a danger zone. One you know, you
shouldn’t enter, one you must not enter,
but if you are anything like me, you just
might anyway.

-Tosha Michelle

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Bite and Release

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And it always starts this way
You’ve been on the phone for hours
with an aching head and heart
And he’s screaming at you
And you’re screaming at him
Wishing to God you had never met
And he’s blaming you
And you’re blaming him.
Tallying up a score of who
hates who more

And it always ends like this
Three in the morning and
he’s at your door
Suddenly you’re a parody
of every chick flick ever made
And he’s French kissing away
your crazy
And you’re caressing away
his pride
Bodies fluent in each other’s doctrine
You fall into bed and something
that is easily mistaken for love.

-Tosha Michelle

It’s All About The Fit

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“And now a she-wolf came, that in her leanness / seemed racked with every kind of greediness / (how many people she has brought to grief!)” (Dante’s Inferno I 49-51).

Poet’s note- I’ve always preferred Roman mythology and the of story of Romulus.

“Double Breasted Seduction”

I like to loiter under the covers on nippy winter mornings and watch you get dressed
You look best in tailored suits. Stylish and sleek.
My crisp man with your neatly pressed long sleeve shirt
You’re putting on my favorite (periwinkle with a hint of purple flecks)
The sun winks its approval through the blinds.
The tree branches gossip with the sky, swaying to your beauty.
I feel every bit like the wolf Dante wrote about,
as I watch you slide into each sleeve
Popping each button, your eyes fixed on me.
I beckon you over, my knees on the bed.
Is your belt unbuckled?
My hands moves things along
tucking the hem of your shirt into your pants
slowly and playfully smoothing always the creases
enjoying the feel of you and the brush of luxury your clothes provide.
Pampering you, I tie your tie (Double Windsor knot)
Wishing I could tie up all your loose ends.
When you walk away to get your keys and wallet
I can’t help noticed how your trousers
caress your rear, hips, and thighs
Such a seductive covering, carnal captivation
You kiss me goodbye. Your fingers lighting fisting my hair.
Breathing my name in a sultry abbreviation.
Whispering sexy sentiments into my ear
All I can think of is tonight, I get to undo my crisp man
I can’t wait to uncover your double breasted seduction,
and dress you up in me.

-Tosha Michelle

Gin Soaked Memories

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Music glides and slides,
weaving its way through the room
Smoke darts to and fro,
twisting and turning between the tables

A solitary figure sits at the bar
Rolling his tumbler
He stares into the bottom of his glass,
looking for salvation

He throws his head back
and down the drink in one shot.
Liquid fire to warm his November soul
a taste mixed with memories

In his whiskey colored eyes,
the light of her impression,
a girl he loved once
His pixie, a fair, faint slip of a woman

Every moment recorded and
filed away in meticulous order
taken out and revisited in times
of gin, regret, and recollections

He recalls the days of Aphrodite and Dionysus,
the nights before
Hades and Tartarus-
a life lived freely once, in a time long ago

The days of morning glory,
fireside dinning, Parisian wine
Swaying to Charlie Parker on repeat.
Two souls lifted on the breeze of contentment

The nights of melting and meshing,
into silk sheets-teasing hands, guttural moans
Hard on soft. Passion so smoldering
even the windows cried out in a steamy release

The days of sultry tempting lips
that tasted of strawberries and unmitigated sin
a soft neck made for nibbles and kisses
an intoxicating fresh clean scent
The hint of vanilla and warm sugar on her skin

The nights of stolen moments,
faded hope, broken hearts
shuttered glances, hushed goodbyes
a love that fell out of time

As the bartender pours the man another drink,
the past blends into the now
Playing out like a moving picture book

He sees her behind the bar
Reflected in the neon,
dancing with shadows,
singing her reminiscence tune

She beckons, inviting him to come along
His foot taps along to her song.
Her rhythm fades.

Where did she run off to?

He reaches for his wallet and pays his tab
stumbling forward out the door

In his mind’s eye,
he glimpses her,
dashing ahead of him.
Her dress billowing in the wind

He rushes onward,
trying to catch her.
Chasing the sound of her laughter
His arms reach out to embrace her

Hands are left empty.
She’s only a ghost hidden among the leaves
Fragile and wild, shifting like the finest lace
disappearing into nothing, shattering the illusion

The man finds only lights flashing him blind
the blare of horns, people, and endless chatter

Briefly, he and the night stand still,
aching with a thousand remembrances
Mournfully, he shakes his head,
sighs, and wanders off into the night

-Tosha Michelle