Modern Romance

No one ripped my bodice,
no kiss lifted
my right leg acutely,
nor did I ever tango
or tangle in slick Tide
washed sheets rapturously.

But once, a guy yanked
my hair and cold-cocked
me on the headboard.
I roused, laughed. What else
could I do? Of course,
I groaned and swooned,
played the sexual buffoon.

He came. I went
and showered, closed
the curtain.
No knives flashed,
no violins squealed.
Rose scented bubbles
trickled down
the drain.

man kissing woman on street

Photo credit: William Recinos – Unsplash (Acute leg lift)

To the creator


Dear Susanne,

I’m ever so pleased you’ve entrusted me with the hair of your dog to knit a hat spun with llama wool. Pleased, too, to make it with Elvis’ fleece for you. Black llama mixed with the creamy hair of your wee canine will be absolutely stunning. You do have an eye, my dear.

You know, you’ve just given me an idea for the Twist of Fate. I could post pictures of all our llamas and invite customers to choose their llama wool. That adds an even more personal touch, eh? Although, what if everyone chooses the same llama? Well, I suppose I could lie. Never mind. Not a good idea after all.

I’m glad you got in touch with me because it’s time to set the record straight. Frankly, you’ve got Harry and my story all wrong. Continue reading

Harry poet

Harry writes poetry. One, published in the Gardener’s Seasonal Daily, was about planting seeds.

But Harry had a dark side and whenever he thought of Lady Smock’s curly hair post-coitus he got upset. She had a disturbing flat spot, made so by her head crushed on the pillow, eyes open, smiling as he took her. It never perked up afterwards.

Curly twirly halos tossed
pepper-upper exhibitionist whorls
invitations to bouncing conversations
exclamations galore!
but mostly confirmation
that casual sex doesn’t show
on a bed-head.

at the back a
depressed spot but
you can’t see it.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Jane Morris

Modern Family episode pitch – “Ring for service”*

*terribleminds:chuck wendig is running a Flash Fiction Challenge called “Pick an Opening Line and Go”. There were hundreds of opening lines to choose from and for some reason this one just tickled my naughty funnybone. (Please don’t add an r to that last word. Please don’t.)

A cock ring is a funny thing – particularly when it’s not being used according to package instructions. Mine were made of silicone, for first-timers. Rather, for my husband, Phil, who was a first timer. Me, too. We both were. I bought them as a joke for his birthday. Well, not really a joke. It was a purchase made as a suggestion. Something that would wake up our sleepy sex life since the children had become teenagers. Suddenly Phil became limply aware that any nocturnal noises coming from our bedroom would be correctly interpreted by the kids. Our sex life came to a near standstill.

“Phil”, I said, “Their ears are always plugged with earphones blasting out Pharell’s Happy or more likely Let it Go from the movie Frozen.” I thought the latter rather apt given I was trying to get him to let it go so we could be un-frozen. He was not amused. Are you beginning to see my predicament?

I’m not above taking matters into my own hands – infer as you like – but I was getting desperate. I love my man. He’s funny, handsome, and nicely built for a forty-something guy. We needed to get our juices flowing again. The answer? I bought him a package of cock rings for his birthday. I reasoned it was a win-win situation. When the bathroom door creaked outside our closed bedroom door, instead of panicking and losing his ardour, his new tool would keep a firm grip on the situation so we could carry on.

The rings came in a package of ten vibrant hues – Lemon yellow, hot pink, throbbing red, gregarious green, passionate purple. At the end of the day’s festivities we retreated to our bedroom and I gave him his gift. He laughed. Agreed things were dire, agreed to give them a whirl. But not tonight, honey. I’m tired, he said. Tomorrow, after our dinner party when we’re full of good food and wine and the pleasure of family. The wine especially. It will help me let go of my anxieties.

I was thrilled. There’s nothing better than a little anticipation to prime the pump.

The instructions said to wash the rings first before using. I brought them downstairs and left them on the kitchen counter intending to do it right away before the sleeping beasties arose for the day. I had lots of time. Alas, as any of you with teenagers know, stuff happens. I was distracted and forgot about them. Dinner preparations, cleaning, driving Luke and Manny for ice cream, Haley to the mall, and Alex to the library – it was a hectic day.

An hour before dinner I was running behind schedule. Cherry tomatoes needed chopping for the bruschetta, oysters halved, and the damn seafood risotto needed constant stirring. It was not going well. I called in the troops.
To Alex: Stir the risotto and keep adding the fish stock every 5 minutes for 15 minutes.
To Haley: Get out of bed!
Reply: I’m NOT in bed. I’m watching Game of Thrones season 2 on my laptop.
To Luke: Please set the table, honey. The napkins are in the bottom drawer and don’t forget to use the napkin rings and put wine charms on the wine glasses.

Frantic bustling, me running to have a shower and get dolled up, Phil arriving home with the wine, vacuuming. It came together. Like we would later in the evening. I spritzed on some perfume, tucked my soon to be heaving bosom into my mauve bra, pulled on the matching lace panties pulled on a snug, touchable midnight blue mohair sweater and fitted dark wash jeans. Phil would like the effect.

Our family arrived. We ate our cooked oysters with burnt butter – a Jamie Oliver recipe, if you want to Google it – in the kitchen. Phil stayed close to me, stroking my spine with two fingers, touching the small of my back, pulling me close to him – all in sight of our guests. It was going well.

Haley came downstairs in her pj’s – the same ones she’d been wearing all day – to bring the chicken wraps I’d made for the kids to the family room. She turned around and I saw a flash of yellow in her hair. It was one of the cock rings. The oyster stuck in my throat, hot and salty. I coughed it up, turning first red then white. Cam, shouted, “Hold on Claire, I know the Heimlich manoeuver!” I gasped for air and said nothing. Haley sashayed out of the kitchen wearing one of her daddy’s cock rings to hold up her ponytail. I pulled myself together though my hands were shaking and my lips tight. Phil knew something was up when he looked at me, but what could I say?

Dinner was ready. The risotto was presented to oohs and ahhs. Mitchell asked for the recipe. The scent of fresh mussels and cod mingled with fennel and parsley was divine. I set the platter on the dining room table which was colourfully set with fresh tulips holding down the center. Luke had outdone himself, carefully wrapping each napkin with a piece of bright ribbon.

Everyone sat down, picked up their napkins, peeled off the ribbon and set the cloth in their laps. Cam picked up his ribbon and looked at it. Then he looked at me. And smiled. Only it wasn’t a smile. It was more of a leer with an arched eyebrow for emphasis. Phil topped the wine glasses as I picked up my napkin. Yes, there it was. A passionate purple cock ring encircled the creamy Irish linen cloth. My grandmother’s wedding linens. Generations begat to reach me. Lovingly handed down to the daughter of the family. And wrapped around it was a cock ring.