two autumns

October 30th, 2016 · 1 comment · permalink

(two autumns like a bookend, a series of mirrors, of months that gnashed their teeth into my hair and my hands and my heart and left holes on the other side; autumn like a darkened ruin; autumn like a spell.

i have been holding the whole of this thing in these hopeful bones, that this year might find my way back to a careful grace. a worn stretch of road. a familiar moon.

give me that quiet home again; give me that protecting shelter. give me everyone safe and two strong hands to cup my tired bird heart to rest. give me a tender prayer in the shape of a solid lover, give me those holy rooms. give me the veil and the song and the ritual. give me those soft sacred spaces, a warmth to curl up in. an ending to come home to.)

dark(ly)/dark(lis);

September 12th, 2016 · 0 comments · permalink

and you girls of late with all your talk of hungry sex at 2am, kissing on countertops, building up my want; sitting on the edge of the bathtub in the thinnest camisole, legs crossed, eyelashes full & low with want. lying draped over pillows, sleep beneath my lids haze through my heart; a suppleness in this body, clandestine want; the heat in my belly, a soft, warm breath of wind blowing across my skin, sliding up my shirt. thoughts of lovers hungry & slightly drunk on the front porch. crimson lipstick, open mouthed smiles. distressed hair and smudged eyeshadow. small bare limbs. all heat and tangling.

let me tell you about wanting, the way it begins to rain, musky, humid: long wet tresses gathered around my throat, pushed up against the wall, mouth to mouth. every space, every wall, every corner. everything humid with rain, heated by bodies. wild hush. wild palms.

strange(st) angels;

August 13th, 2016 · 0 comments · permalink

“my tender teen self spent so many nights smoldering & aching, sighing Hope’s words on a moody stage with a boy who would eventually hurt my heart so badly that i ran away in the middle of the night and drove cross-country to find a space that i could finally start healing in.”

.
(just over the mason-dixon line, i went feral in a tawdry hotel room,
sobbing and scratching at him, striking his chest

over
and
over

and he let me.

(carefully)
holding me down just enough to avoid real injury,
letting my blows land
again and again.

what he had done was the worst thing he could have done

to a girl
in love

but

at least he gave me the space
to hate him for it.)

a true & tender thing;

July 28th, 2016 · 1 comment · permalink

sitting in a room with a woman i immediately like who is reading from a piece of paper all of the things i have noted that i would “fix” about myself. she says, very softly, “wow, you’re really hard on yourself,” and i look up, surprised. we have been laughing, she is so easy and fun, and now that humid feeling right before you cry, the tender shock of a stranger saying such a true and vulnerable thing about you. the cadence of her voice a kindness.

i have been carrying this with me all day. her voice was so soft. (“wow,” softly, softly. “you’re really hard on yourself.”)

rubbing my thumb into it as a smooth stone. a quiet hum against the skin.

Scent{ing} · TABU by Dana

June 4th, 2016 · 0 comments · permalink

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Legend has it that in 1932 Dana, originally a Spanish perfume company, gave the brilliant and highly respected French perfumer Jean Carles instructions to create a perfume that would suit a prostitute. I am unashamedly delighted by this, but then I’ve always had a penchant for smelling like (the idea of) a 1930s Spanish prostitute. More likely, however, they were simply looking for an enticing, sultry fragrance that would draw women in from all the usual polite florals flooding the market at the time.

Tabu was Dana’s first fragrance and, until recently, I hadn’t scented it in half a lifetime, but I did wear it as my signature scent for years throughout my teens. I remember it being very sensual, exotic, and warm, and applying it was an exercise in restraint else everyone within 20 feet of you would feel haunted. Tabu has undergone multiple reformulations over the years, but most reviewers seem to agree that the unmistakable scent is still entirely recognizable. The perfume I recently sampled was vintage Tabu.

Notes: “Just about every strong raw material in the universe.” Bergamot, orange flower, basil, neroli and coriander, heart notes of carnation, jasmine, rose, clover and ylang-ylang, base notes of patchouli, civet, oak moss, amber, musk, vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, benzoin and vanilla.

Tabu has been described as everything from “ambery-warm-spicy sex potion” and “hedonistic trainwreck of booze, spice, and ripe oranges all sprayed down with raunchy musk” to “the leftovers of a dessert buffet in a medieval hall.” It is carnal, powerful, mysterious, and unapologetic; deeply sensual, rich, and heady. The Queen Oriental of oriental fragrances.

From The Non-Blonde: “We tend to be scared of perfume that is so aggressive and doesn’t try to hide its raw sexuality under a layer of pastry or fruit. Tabu is a little extreme. It wraps you in an intoxicating mix of exotica, lures you in and then puts on the moves. It dries down to a very faint […] sweetness and a lot of flushed skin.”

A definite love it or hate it kind of scent and not for the faint of heart. It doesn’t work on every woman (or gentleman, for that matter), and a lot of ladies look down their noses at this one as being too provocative, too sultry, and – due to its mass market availability – too cheap. All I can say to those women are, you go ahead and wear your overly sweet, safe ponytail fragrances. I’ll be over here dabbing Tabu on my inner thighs and kicking my heels up with the rest of the passionate boozy good time girls.

Scent{ing} · Tallulah Jane & Grasse Roots

June 2nd, 2016 · 2 comments · permalink

I was an ardent fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab for years and reviewed nearly every scent that I tried over on the forums, but – overwhelmed by their enormous catalogue and put off by all of the limited editions that I could never get my hands on – I eventually got away from it. These last several weeks, however, have found me falling into the larger intoxicating world of perfume in a very big, very serious way. Grief therapy, diversion, simple lovely new passion; I’ve found myself here for myriad reasons, and it has not been unlike stumbling into an unexpected love affair, all dewy eyed flushed skin and softest sighs. I feel like I have been living on another planet. I am drunk on perfume.

Brother and sister perfumistas – (and by the way, I would place myself solidly at stage two of that little list, with perhaps a healthy dose of stage four) – will empathize at the tidal comings and goings of sundry perfume samples my home has newly been experiencing. Naturally, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on each of them going forward in the hopes of enticing some of you into this perfumed little world with me(?) or, at the very least, helping someone to find a new scent that sings to them.

And with that; on to the perfume . . . !

» Read the rest of this entry «

{ Love always, your sister }

May 12th, 2016 · 0 comments · permalink

A young woman in one of my online grief support groups, someone who recently lost her brother as well, came to us all with a post today asking, Have any of you felt this way? Do any of you think these things? She went on to talk about how she endlessly worries about where her late brother is. If he’s scared. Is he warm, happy, is he with us. Is he with us? Is he okay?

My younger brother, Tyler, at 22 years old, passed away unexpectedly in the early hours of October 25, 2015. Not a single day goes by that he’s not with me; not a single day that I don’t wake up with him on my mind, or think of him a thousand moments throughout the day, that I don’t go to bed worrying over where he is. Is he scared? Does he understand what’s happened? Is he okay? Is he okay, I just need to know that he’s okay.

Death confounds me. Each time I have been confronted with it, I am left utterly bereft and wailing, my hands out with questions and questions and questions. “Where are they, where? Are they okay? I don’t understand, where did they go, where. They died? They died?” Where are you, where are you. Where.

Where.

Understanding that this is natural, that there is at least one other sister out there carrying these questions around like a veil stopped my heart. The ache in recognizing yourself in someone else’s grief; sweet, painful. Healing.

The night my plane left to go home for my brother’s service, we had just barely taken off when I glanced out the window and startled at the beautiful brilliant flash of a shooting star. It felt like a kindness, and it has stayed firmly with me. I can’t claim to know what happens when we die, but I know that there is magic and joy in tandem with our grief, and I do believe that the world around us softens for us in our pain. I would like to believe with all my being that my brother is in these small stars; in the cardinal that visited my mother as she sat asking for him to let her know that he’s okay; in the sweet ladybug friend that came to visit as I photographed Tyler’s tree today.

Or in the shooting star I saw tonight as I stood outside, thinking about my brother and the star I saw as our plane took off towards my home last November.

But of course, I have no way of knowing.

But on good days.
Well, there’s hope, anyway.

Today is my young brother’s 23rd birthday. It is important to me that the world know that he was beautiful and kind, soft-hearted and compassionate. That he was funny, he was so funny. He was thoughtful and loving and so precious to me, so so precious. I miss him so much some days I can’t breathe. I hurt profoundly with his absence, every day.

But I also move through the world with a much deeper, wider love in me now, this space in me that I hold for him, where he resides. When we lost my brother, I lost a pure sense of home, this thing that felt like a literal physical part of me, and that has left generous scars in my world; but I am also changed in sweeter, tender ways. I am softer. Kinder. I am living for him, because he can’t be here to live with me.

.
My little bubba, I have never been more proud of a being than I am of you – I am so proud of you – or more fit to bursting with warmth and love and this huge, deep gratitude that I get to be your sister. I love you endlessly. Over and over again, I just love you, and love you, and love you.

Happy 23 years of your beautiful essence, my sweet TyTy. I ache with the not knowing if you are still with me, but as far as my heart is concerned, you are with me always.

With love,
always and always,
Your Tata* ♥

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