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As our special gift to you, a special holiday issue featuring all of the writers whose work we’ve been hanging onto far too long. I’m really sorry about that.
And bam, just like that we’re all caught up. Thanks for everyone’s love and support this year, I only hope this makes things a little brighter for you. Other than that, 2022 is wide open. Hit me up.
How to Have an Affair
I’m at my desk in the small office and Lynn is crouched under the desk sucking me off like a vacuum. The office is lit, so is the suite. Outside my locked door a few people pass by, with no idea what’s going on. It was Lynn’s idea, she didn’t think, just did it. She’d been sitting in the one chair I had, besides the one I sat in.
That one other chair was against a wall, just to the left of the office door. Some days she’d come in and sit, unzip her faded jeans, unbutton the top button and slouch slightly, letting the jeans slip so I could see her thick bush of red brown hair against her milky white belly, the bush so dark sprouting up against her pale flesh. I touched it. Again, the door locked, the lights on, sometimes passersby. I loved the moment her jeans slid and I saw the crest of her dark bush.
It all started in a night class I taught. There was a row of computers, Lynn at one. She’s writing a how to essay, how to have an affair.
We had night classes, and people were outside the building. I was out there talking with my girlfriend, who, like me, was taking a break from teaching a night class. Lynn came up by where we stood, outside the building, and made small talk. The only time we three were together. In weeks and months to follow she’d text: I don’t like your girl.
One Saturday afternoon I stepped back into the building, after a smoke break from grading essays, and saw Lynn at the other end of the long wide hall. She walked to where I was. I was startled that she was able to get in, because I thought the other doors to the building were locked. It was just her walking with a confident stride. I don’t recall what she wore. The two of us stood in my office. She asked about an assignment, maybe showed me some of an essay she was writing. She wasn’t there long, but I sensed something. I soon learned I was at the heart of her “how to have an affair.” She was married to a man with whom she shared two young children.
One Saturday afternoon we sat on a stone bench outside the public library, not on campus but in town. Gina, who taught in Cosmetology where I taught, walked by and we casually said hello. She didn’t know Lynn was my student. As Gina walked towards her SUV, Lynn said we should get a motel room, not right then but sometime soon. She’d pay for it. I thought it was too risky. I never got the chance to see her naked.
She stood about 5’7. She was slim but fairly large-boned. Her arms were not thin, not fleshy either, but fleshed out. Her hair, a shade lighter than her pubic hair, came to her shoulders and the ends were split. Giving her hair a chopped look. Her brown eyes, set in a face kind of wrinkly and pinched, seemed to squint, seemed slanted. She wore wire-rimmed reading glasses. She didn’t especially like to kiss. She liked to choke and be choked, in my office she talked about it, and put her hands on my throat. We never did that. She had small breasts, and though I got a glance, I never saw completely, only when she’d lift her t shirt. She often wore jeans with big slits in the knees and black t shirt. Sometimes no panties or bra.
One day I saw her in a very tight very short dress. In all my time of seeing students in classrooms and hallways, I can’t recall a dress tighter or shorter than the one Lynn wore that one day.
How to have an affair. From Lynn I learned arousal, foreplay, role-play. All so natural to her. I felt like a stud in her presence, most always. We messed around in the school library, in the public library, in the library of another school up the road from ours. One day in a small auditorium she sat up front with her husband and two children. When her name was called she stepped to the stage and I gave her an academic award. She went on to business school, then into accounting in Pennsylvania, where she and her family were from and moved back to.
In the three years we saw each other we messed around in my red pickup, in a graveyard and in bleachers on a track field. Also in classrooms empty of all but us. It was always good. She loved oral sex, and she liked risks. From her I learned sex starts the moment arousal starts, that arousal to be (for lack of a better word) healthy takes two. Audio arousal, visual, arousal of the long and the fingertip on the inner thigh. Sex starts with arousal, and can happen anywhere two lovers are in sync. Sex is play beside intercourse. Stimulation, satisfaction, more than just intercourse. My office was our bedroom, so was the library and the graveyard. And places for role-play such as Walmart and Target can be bedrooms. One night we messed around in a parking lot outside a bar.
Let’s go to a motel. I’ll pay for it, she said on that stone bench outside the public library. Lynn’s legs were long and slender. Not too long, or too shapely. She had that thick bush that started light and got dark toward the center. In my office, my index finger slid slowly into her cunt, with the door locked, and a few passersby, with no idea.
On Radishchev Street
At the beginning of the summer, in the heat, I hit the bottle. My wife, as usual, kicked me out of the house. I had absolutely no place to go.
For a while I cried at the window and begged her to let me in, but then I remembered that Father gave me the number of his new mobile the other day.
Father is my last chance in this life. He rescued me many times at critical moments. Just my savior in life, I’ll be damned, I thought as I crossed myself and called him. Father was in a good mood. Most often he is not in a good mood and gets angry, then becomes fucking paranoid.
“Come over here, idiot, we will rescue you!” he said.
Well, we got shitfaced drunk, of course, on Radishchev Street, close to the marketplace there where they trade and cheat in the afternoon and rob and kill at night, at the time a rat woman sells moonshine. It’s cheap and worse than poison. You can die easily. And a lot of people do die on Radishchev, mostly young men and women.
I drank her stuff and then for several hours was unable to find Father. Wandering in circles, I almost drowned in a mud puddle, and was beaten by night bombers — young punks who like to beat up drunks just for kicks. But wet, bloody, and utterly frustrated, I at last reached the house of Colonel, where Father lived.
Colonel usually wore civilian clothes and put on his uniform only in case he needed to punish somebody, like his wife Mashka. He often locked her in the garage and held there for several days without food or alcohol.
Father arrived in the afternoon, driving his white but dirty Oka. Long, black hair on the sides of a shiny bald head; a straggly beard, a pale face and burning mad eyes. Father is absolutely drunk when he yells, “Get in, motherfucker, we’ll go get whores!”
I got into this lopsided Oka and we drove to the Tank. It used to be a place where newlyweds went to get their pictures taken, but now it’s a place where hookers hang and haggle. We took one aged slut with big boobs and a cheerful nature. She was slightly sociable. I remember one day we picked up a very young and arrogant bitch. She drank our beer, smoked our cigarettes, and boasted about working in the Netherlands. (In their language, a blowjob is called “a walk in the daisies”). Father listened to her for a while and then blessed her on the head with his large fist.
But this busty whore sucked us great in turn with different jokes and gags. Father gave her a cigarette and told her not to sin anymore.
By the way, the locals claimed they loved and respected Father, but humiliated and insulted him behind his back. One night when he was stoned, they brutally beat him, broke all his ribs.
That evening, Colonel, dressed in his uniform, was beating up his old woman Mashka with an army belt, calling her names, like “fucking sheep” and “dirty animal” and she did not mind because she was grateful to Colonel as he once found her in the garbage and took her home ragged, dirty, barefoot and almost hairless.
Father was sitting in a corner, apparently thinking of something divine that we fools couldn’t understand, looking askance at Colonel and his pathetic half, whispering to me from time to time, that some of them would soon die.
Finally, Father thought about something and disappeared. Colonel, slightly revived, took a Prima cigarette, handed it to me and pointedly raised his finger. This meant that God willing we should soon be sure to have a drink.
Together, we recalled how we recently beat up gypsies. They wanted to deprive of her flat our familiar lame girl in leather pants, whom we treated with the moonshine from the rat woman. We drank and she complained to us about the Roma. Colonel quickly put on his uniform and grabbed the gun. We taught those devils a good lesson.
I even fell asleep to those sweet memories, and when I awoke, I saw the cheerful face of Father. He was in high boots, a leather coat, under which the fraying robe could be seen, and a black wide brimmed hat. He threw a wad of money on the table and asked Mashka to set the table and even kicked her in the ass.
Colonel only grinned. After three glasses of moonshine, Father began to serve a sort of black mass. He turned on the old hard rock – Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin – and twitched to the wild rock. Shivering and shaking, he walked the Irish step across the hut. Then he grabbed a big cross and a censer and began to bless us all, on the head and on the ass.
In the morning, Father and I decided to unwind a bit and drove to Fairytale Lake, a beautiful place. We drank beer and chatted. It was cold at night. We were beset by mosquitoes. Towards morning we caught three kilos of fish and two water rats. The fish we exchanged with the locals for moonshine and ate the rats because we were starving.
In the evening we drove back to Radishchev Street. Once there, we were greeted with tragic news. Colonel had kicked the bucket. He fell asleep and never woke up. Even the rat woman was mad with sorrow: Colonel owed her twenty rubles. Mashka is in deep mourning. She does not understand anything. Just drinks, cries and smokes one cigarette after another.
Father frowned. Now this funeral will fall on him. Nobody else here gives a damn. He’s alone to take care of this whole goddamned Radishchev Street, but he always prays for it.
Beat me out of me,
beat seeds out of me,
beat the skin off of me,
beat the need out of me,
beat me until tender meat,
beat me until you’re sticky,
beat me until I am sleepy,
beat me until my heart ceases.
Chris Butler is an illiterate poet shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. The final two books in his Poems of Pain series, “Hi, my name is anonymous” (Alien Buddha Press) and “DOOMER” (Ethel) are scheduled for publication in 2021. These poems are in the new series written by Antichris. He is also the co-editor of The Beatnik Cowboy.
A Dream Above the World
As I settled in and put my things on the floor, I took notice of the two gentlemen beside me. One had sandy brown hair, strong bone structure, with lots of sun kissed freckles. He was older, but he looked like he could be a male model. I noticed he had a gold band around his left ring finger, a family man, I assumed. The other man was olive skinned, with dark waves falling around his cheekbones. He was scrolling aimlessly on his tablet. Our knees touched accidentally, and I involuntarily jumped. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly. I didn’t mind. I tried to relax, opening my most recent read. I lost myself in the story.
Suddenly, I felt the dark-haired man to my right lay a strong hand on my thigh. He looked into my eyes and squeezed. Instantly, he pulled me into a deep kiss. I touched his ebony curls as he traced the curves of my waist, his movements becoming more needy. He pulled me onto his lap, and I was straddling him. To my surprise, the other man, Freckles, came behind me and kissed along my neck while tugging at my shirt. I turned to kiss him and felt his muscular chest as the man underneath me pulled my hips against him and grinded upwards against me. My heart pounded and my face felt flush. I panted as I tasted each of their warm mouths, rough stubble against my face and neck.
The man behind me reached from behind to cup my breasts, squeezing, and exploring down my front. I felt my body temperature rise. We laid down the best we could, intertwining legs and arms and lips. It felt so good to be between them. I relished the moment of being all over two strong men, eager to taste me. My heart picked up pace as they did, my breath hitched, and my eyes rolled back. Oh my-
“The captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign as we will be landing at JFK airport in about 30 minutes. Please enjoy the rest of the flight, as always thank you for flying with Delta Airlines.”
My eyes snapped open. I nervously cleared my throat and adjusted my shirt as I saw my book splayed out across my lap, I must have dozed off. I looked to my left; Freckles was sleeping peacefully with his head against the seatback. To my right, dark and handsome was still scrolling. I sighed with relief and tried to appear unassuming as I got my bags together.
When the plane landed, I watched as the passengers got off. The three of us walked together, but they took no notice of me. As we entered the gate, I watched the two men walk away, eager to return to their lives, and whatever they had waiting for them at home. I stifled a smile as I walked to get my cab, holding my naughty secret inside with pleasure. It was cool and clean inside the car; I took notice of the soft black leather against my skin. My mind and body relaxed as I stared at the blurred lights of the city on my way back to my apartment, longing to be wrapped inside the safe warmth of my big white bed.
The next day, I returned to work as normal. Sitting at my desk, my cat Chico rubbing against my ankles, I answered emails and planned my week ahead. Still jetlagged, my mind was fuzzy. I decided to make myself a cup of coffee and take a short break. I laid on my couch sipping my hot cup of deliciousness, willing it to wake me up and give me the strength to be an efficient human being. I opened my book. I read the descriptions of the sand and the cool waves of the sea, on the beach where the family built their sprawling summer home. The protagonist was embarking on a surfing lesson when the sentences started to blur on the page, I let the gentle tiredness take over and my eyes drifted shut.
I felt a strong hand reach around and grab my neck, pointing my head backwards, forcing me to look at the man behind me. Tall, beautiful, with lots of freckles. In between my legs, was a head of dark, curly hair.
Laws of Attraction
How can bodies still elicit sparks
when memory persists in melting time
and what was shared over thirty years past
be just as present in both our minds?
Secreted in a wooded room, candlelit,
serenaded by the shushing surf,
our steaming skin still scented from
the scald of mineral springs,
I silently lead you by your hand
to the table where I accept your wet invitation.
We meld with a startling magnetic click
as I slip into the exquisite geometry of your vagina.
And in the decades intervening
two lives were lived not knowing
that beneath the daily domesticity
of children’s lunches and grocery lists,
of albums posed with family shots
and stages of marriages’ constant twists
was a gravitational singularity,
of an event unduplicated in intensity,
when two were joined as one
and burnt into remembrance
like the nova of a distant sun.
Larry Oakner is the author of several books of poems, including SEX LOVE RELIGION (Blind Tattoo Press) along with the forthcoming chapbook, The Canticles of Private Lucius Swan, (Pen & Anvil Press) as well in Red Eft Review, WINK, The Oddville Press, and many others. Oakner lives in New York.
I called her pussy Little Scarlet
for it was as red and sticky sweet
as English strawberry preserves.
But that patch of ruby tangle is long gone,
her memory overgrown by seasons passed.
But O how delicious she was!