it’s 12:22 a.m.


Hands Typing


It’s hardest at night, you know. For everyone, I suppose. Memories haunt you, sleep eludes you. The hardest time for me is between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. That’s when I would wait for his call. I would read his letters, play cards, play with myself, but I couldn’t write then, or read a book or watch tv. I just waited. He almost always called, for years, expect for those months when he was with her, or during one of my many breakups with him. He was a stranger sent to startle me, violate me, a lover under my sheets to kiss me goodnight. He was fantasy and freedom. How does one just stop that waiting? How does one stop thinking about it?


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late super bowl / grammy thoughts




I totally understand the need for artists to make a statement in their work. They are passionate, soulful, contemplative, and often tortured people. They have a platform and a talent in which to express their dreams, desires, demons, both political and personal. They have followers, people who idolize them, emulate them, hang on their every word, people who look to their art for direction and inspiration. And the very large artists have the means to tap into a very large audience, to rally the troops, to introduce a cause or position that they believe is for the greater good. So it goes with Beyonce, making a statement. Big surprise.

But artists are also entertainers. They can make us laugh or cry or dance, they can take us to a better place with a song, a story, a brushstroke. And yes, of course art and statement can beautifully co-exist, movies do it all the time–American Beauty, Wall Street, Selma, think Planet of the Apes. But somehow when it comes to pop music, when the divas and divos start talking, I stop listening,  The world is TOO much statement, artist people. There is too much strife and sickness and poverty and inequality and injustice and hatred and violence and too much opinion and I look to you to make me feel good. I understand that some need reminding about what’s wrong with the world, that they need a fire started underneath them to act, and I understand that you have the ability, the clout, the cash, to affect change—I just want a good song and dance. Bless you, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, the Hooligans. Funk me up.


photo credit:


another amazon review


lips (1)


If you read my post I had no idea, and hopefully, some of the hilarious feedback on Tuscan milk, you’re familiar with the spoofing that’s going on in Amazon customer reviews (seems to be a lot of people with too much time on their hands). These reviews came to my attention from a gentleman in my writer’s group, and perhaps in an attempt to stay current, or perhaps to challenge the crap out of me, this group chose writing an Amazon review, on any product, in any literary style, as the prompt for our next meeting. Below is my first attempt at product and review.


Banggood Women 3D Shimmer Matte Velvet Long Lasting Water Maintain Lip Gloss Lipstick 1# Baby Pink


Dear Banggood Women,

Your 3D Shimmer Matte Velvet Long Lasting Water Maintain Lip Gloss Lipstick is awesome! I love it!! And it really is 3D. Seriously, I’m not kidding. I just put this stuff on and it looks like my lips are sticking way out there and I’m pretty sure they didn’t grow any but whatever you did to make them stick out like that is awesome. And it’s very shimmery. I don’t know what matte is, maybe something like shimmer, and I don’t know how much water it maintains but it’s a little slimy so maybe that’s the water thing you’re talking about.

And really cool pink, but I don’t think I would call it Baby Pink. It’s maybe more like pantie pink, or maybe like that ribbon that runs around the top of the pantie, like that thin, pale pink ribbon that girls maybe 8 or 9 have in their hair. But then I guess it would sound kind of stupid to call it 8 or 9 Year Old Girl Hair Ribbon Pink, so Baby Pink is okay or do you like to call it 1# Baby Pink? Anyway, it’s a good pink.

And it’s very long lasting. I went out the other night with my boyfriend and some of his friends and we were all smoking and drinking and eating and my boyfriend said my lips were really hot and when I got home it was pretty late and even after doing a lot with my mouth, I still had plenty of pink on. Maybe it had something to do with all that red stuff in my drink or all that kissing but anyway, my lips were still sticking way out there! How awesome is that!!!

The price is good, too. I bought lots of expensive lip gloss lipstick and sometimes I would spend $5.00 maybe $8.00 but I think $3.40 is a really good price considering the quality and I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who wears lip gloss lipstick. I don’t know if it comes in any other colors but the 1#Baby Pink, or whatever, is good.

Sleepless in Arnold Cause My Lips are So Hot



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are you awake?




Do you leave your warm bed to go downstairs for a cigarette or some pot or food or some other something to take your mind off what it is that’s keeping you awake? Is it me? Am I the one that disturbs your rest? Do I haunt you, tease you, arouse you, shake you from slumber? I think probably not. I think it’s probably just me that walks around at night, opening and closing the refrigerator, opening and closing the computer, checking my phone, my pulse, the clock, the calendar to see how long it’s been since we touched. The moon is wasted on me tonight. It illuminates nothing and the night is still dark.


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lost lust letters no. 2


kbat (1)


He felt her as he had no other woman, even when they were not together. He longed for her, her little girl voice and her sexy, throaty laugh. He loved the way she dressed to provoke him, sometimes the demure and conservatively dressed woman, but always the sluttish wanton underneath, smoldering with the mostly unseen but deeply felt allure of their sexual history. He loved the look in her eyes, constantly shifting, but ever alluring. He loved to feel her walking next to him, her perfumed softness, her subtle curves and the fire in her eyes as she silently challenged and played with him, the feel of her curves as he discreetly ran a hand over her in public. He loved the girl like voice and the mewling cries she made when he took her, the playing of roles, the token resistance as he pushed himself into her at any time it suited him, the loving opening when she enticed him to deeper efforts, the deliberately whoreish behavior which attended their lovemaking, her tears when he pushed her further or deliberately hurt her, and the gentling her when they came down.


photo credit:


edge of old


tumblr (1)


I recently saw the movie, The Lady in the Van, starring the much acclaimed and beloved, Maggie Smith. While Ms. Smith was brilliant as the transient Ms. Mary/Margaret Shepherd, it was the mostly true story of writer/author Alan Bennett—his biography, his imagination, his writing process and problems—that intrigued and delighted me. The movie portrayal of Bennett as two men, household Alan and writer Alan, was executed masterfully and oh, so relatable, with lines of dialogue, civil and some not-so-civil, between the two that I wish I could remember—I have never been any good at remembering movie lines, but then, I could always read the book. Without giving anything away, a line of Bennett’s near the end of the film speaks about writing as a journey into self—a belief held by many great writers, expressed in a variety of ways. And I have often been told and read that the more personal your journey, the more universal it is. Our tragedies and triumphs are hardly exclusive to us, getting down to the heart of it all is what many struggle with. Thank you to those who can put the struggle, the answering of questions to paper, who lead us to understanding while charming us with words.

Bennett’s dialogue made me think of a poem I wrote 7 or 8 years ago, not a great poem nor one that my poet friends raved about, but one that became ridiculously meaningful to me, a line from which became the title of this blog. Meaningful because it became self-fulfilling—I was startled, and I continue to crave and seek the startling—but also meaningful because I can pinpoint the beginning of my journey into self with this poem. After this piece, my life began to spill before me and onto the page. Don’t discredit poetry as an avenue for your words. It is as powerful as prose.

My poem again, just in case you missed it.


Whats Love Got to Do With It?


She had an affair not for love nor lust

Nor obsession with her fading self.

Standing on the edge of old

She wanted to be startled at every turn. – pn


photo credit: Ain Lim


I had no idea



Many thanks to the brilliant G. Thomas Woodward for bringing this to my attention.


MILK REVIEWS – check this out!


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heart poem


I think of you on valentine’s day

and how you once shot your heart

into me with a syringe and I knew

the rush was coming but I gasped anyway.

It was hard and cold but pain is pleasure

you said and I held it till it warmed

and you kissed me.


Your heart later fell from under my skirt

but I picked it up quickly and you smiled

and shot me again with some drug I never had before.

Give it to me, baby, I whispered,

you know I love hearts,

as you played with my thigh in the car. – ph


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lost lust letters





Darling, I am full of you. Every day you walk through my mind. Every day and night I have you in my arms, you are next to me, you sit next to me at a restaurant, your thigh against mine. Every morning I open my computer and think of opening you.

You cannot imagine how just the thought of finding grey silk lingerie gives me a purpose and makes my imagination run wild, seeing you opening it, trying it on, and then modeling it for me, teasing me, taking off your dress and standing in front of me in pale gray silk, pale gray stockings, my hands running over you, moving the silk over your hips, up and down, imagining your pussy moistening, pushing my fingers through the fabric, through you, immersing myself in you, losing myself in a cloud of scent and sex and love.


photography: susa dosa


the ladies at lord & taylor and women who compliment


peniel enchill


Despite the beating that working retail has delivered to my body, I love my job. I work as a sales associate in a very busy department at Lord & Taylor. I’m part time and my shifts typically run 4 – 6 hours—piece of cake. I don’t make much money but I don’t have to get up early, I have time to write, the discounts are great, and I love my co-workers. They are mostly older, black women, with older women names, Helen, Ester, Ruby and Millie, proud, well-dressed and well-respected. As you know without my telling you, they are full timers and have worked retail forever. They are workers bees and women who tend to women, in an intimate womanly way–like my body looks like shit, no honey, you look good. They remind me of my mother—they are nurturing, savvy, and smart shopgirls.

And then there are the young sales girls, the ones that work mostly nights, after their day job or after school, with the made-up sounding names of young black girls, Sheniqua or Prestique or Lasheena. They’re too often lazy and full of youth but I love them just as much as I love the older gals, and they all hug and kiss me when I haven’t seen them in a while. I know only a little about any of their personal lives and they know little about mine—we’re usually too busy to hang out at the register and talk, and really, it’s a refreshing way to work. Most of the women in the store (and yes, there is a handful of male sales associates) take their breaks and lunch in the break room, a quiet, utilitarian space with low-volume Judge Judy type programming on the t.v. and little chatter—everyone is tired of standing, walking and talking. I like to sit there and play games on my phone—again, refreshing and again, I really do like working retail.

The customers can be problematic, but for the most part, they are lovely woman who want to talk about clothes and their issues with sizing. My biggest complaint regarding customers is when they nag, beg, and feign entitlement for coupons or discounts. I have often said that if Lord and Taylor sold a sweater for $1.00, someone would ask if they could have it for $.50. I shrug it off–I clock in, I clock out, it’s certainly not the kind of job that keeps you up at night.

But what I love most about my job is being around women who compliment, both customers and co-workers. These are women who compliment easily and truthfully, who make you feel good with a simple you look adorable or I love what you’re wearing. I worried at first that this surely must speak to my low self-esteem, but I don’t think that’s the case. I have always complimented women a lot, I like to, it’s kind and sweet, it makes me feel good and it makes them feel good, be it a compliment about their hair or their home or their skin tone (a compliment I stole from the best complimenter of all time, KK). And I like to be around women who think like I do, who express themselves like I do, who lift the spirits of others with gentle flattery. I’ve expressed this prejudice of mine before–if a woman comes to my home and doesn’t compliment my style or decor, she’s most likely not someone I could get close to. Who doesn’t like to be petted?

Compliment today, everyday. And men, learn this lesson once and for all, will ‘ya? So, so simple and sweet.


artwork: peniel enchill