Books I Read in 2000 (59 titles)

All the books I read in 2000. Click on a title to purchase it from

Benet’s Readers Encyclopedia
Author: Harper and Row Publishers: New York, 1987.
I’ve been reading this reference encyclopedia from front to back (wierd, I know); I’ve finished from Letter A to K.


A Letter of Mary: A Mary Russell Mystery
Author: Laurie R. King

Author: Sarah Waters

Angela’s Ashes
Author: Frank McCourt

The Archivist
Author: Martha Cooley

At Home in Mitford
Author: Jan Karon

Black Ajax
Author: George MacDonald Fraser

Carry On, Jeeves
Author: P. G. Wodehouse
The classic story of the hapless Bertie Wooster and his dazzlingly efficient manservant Jeeves.

e: A Novel
Author: Matt Beaumont
A very fun little novel entirely of composed of fictional e-mails inside a fictional ad agency in London. Despite the almost total incompetence and scheming of most of the staff of the ad agency, they have a bid on one of the largest campaigns ever; a Coca-Cola promo. I was tempted to start labeling the characters with people from work, but as the novel progressed, I was really afraid to. The best part, though, is the author bio: “Matt Beaumont worked at several London advertising firms before he sold his first novel. In anticipation of the publication of in the United States and United Kingdom in Fall 2000, he is taking a break from corporate life.” I’d imagine that he has to!

Author: Georgette Heyer

The Golden Compass
Author: Phillip Pullman

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling

The Inimitable Jeeves
Author: P. G. Wodehouse
The classic story of the hapless Bertie Wooster and his dazzlingly efficient manservant Jeeves.

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth
Author: F. C. Ware
A beautifully illustrated hard-bound cartoon book, it tells the story of Jimmy Corrigan, an Irish kid from Chicago going to visit his estranged father. I bought it because I’ve seen other work by Ware, mostly book jackets, and it’s an amazing illustration. The story is very depressing though; it bounces back and forth from the modern day Jimmy to his grandfather’s (also named Jimmy) story of his relationship with his father. These stories, interlaced with dream states, fantasy tangents, and diagrams (including a cut out 3-D assembly of the elder Jimmy’s childhood home) are a very entertaining if disturbing read.

Killing Time
Author: Caleb Carr

The Late Mr. Shakespeare
Author: Robert Nye

The Moor: A Mary Russell Mystery
Author: Laurie R. King

Author: Virginia Woolf

The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Norman Juster
Milo’s a cynical little kid with nothing to do, until a tollbooth appears in his bedroom one day, and he hops in his car, rides through it, and finds himself in a kingdom where, with the help of a large ticking dog and an equally cynical bug, he becomes responsible for rescuing the princesses Rhyme and Reason to save the kingdom. That’ll learn him to be cynical and bored.

The Queen’s Man
Author: Sharon Kay Penman

Right Ho, Jeeves
Author: P. G. Wodehouse
The classic story of the hapless Bertie Wooster and his dazzlingly efficient manservant Jeeves.

Sailing to Sarantium
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay

Author: Edward Rutherfurd
Like the book London, this novel takes several English families through their whole family trees from the Ice Age up to modern day England. As they build, tear down, lose and then unearth and misinterpret their heritages, we get to see the history of the island, the hubris and humility of mankind, the triumph and sorrow of good and bad people, and the inescapable stamp of their ancestors on their faces and personalities.

Very Good, Jeeves
Author: P. G. Wodehouse
The classic story of the hapless Bertie Wooster and his dazzlingly efficient manservant Jeeves.

Wheel of Time Series – The Eye of the World [Book 1]
Author: Robert Jordan

Wheel of Time Series – The Great Hunt [Book 2]
Author: Robert Jordan

Wheel of Time Series – The Dragon Reborn [Book 3]
Author: Robert Jordan

Wilma Loves Betty: And Other Hilarious Lesbian Parodies
Editors: Julie Trevelyan, Scott Brassart

Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton: The Chronicle of One of the Strangest Stories Ever to Be Rumoured About Around New York
Author: J. P. Donleavy

Non – Fiction

The Activist’s Handbook: A Primer for the 1990s and Beyond
Author: Randy Shaw

Ancient Mysteries
Author: Peter James and Nick Thorpe

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Watcher’s Guide
Authors: Christopher Golden, Nancy Holder

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Monster Book
Author: Christopher Golden, Stephen R. Bissette, Thomas E. Sniegoski

The Cluetrain Manifesto
Author: Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger

The Culture Jam: The Uncooling of America
Author: Kalle Lasn
“Lasn views contemporary existence as one in which people have almost entirely succumbed to the cultural mandates of consumer capitalism, turning to corporations for guidance about how to look and what to desire.” I agree with him about most of these ideas – and I think this is a very important book. Some of Lasn’s logic stumbles here and there, and needs further analysis and study, but from and intuitive perspective, I think he’s on to something.

Curse of Madame C: A Far Side Collection
Author: Gary Larson

Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity
Author: Jakob Nielsen

Do What I Say: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette
Author: Meryl Cohn

Feel This Book: An Essential Guide to Self-Empowerment, Spiritual Supremacy, and Sexual Satisfaction
Author: Janeane Garofalo, Ben Stiller

Flash 4 for Windows and Macintosh
Author: Katherine Ulrich

Foster Child: an Intimate Biography of Jodie Foster
Author: Buddy Foster and Leon Wagener
A(n unauthorized?) biography of Jodie Foster by her erstwhile brother Buddy. A somewhat embarrassing book to read, partly because you feel like a voyeur, and partly because you feel strange about the confessional nature of her brother’s story. It also seems to be told through a glass darkly, as though Buddy doesn’t really have all that much contact with his sister, or rather that he does but she doesn’t talk much when she’s around. I read it because I’ve always thought that Jodie was somewhat of an enigma; even when she’s onscreen, there always seems to be a part of her that isn’t there. The book didn’t enlighten me much.

The Frailty Myth
Author: Colette Dowling

Heroes Rogues and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior
Author: James McBride Dabbs, Mary Godwin Dabbs
This book seemed balanced and well-researched. They observed not just men, but the effects of testosterone on both men and women, and the consequences for both sexes of having high or low testosterone, as well as the positive and negative effects having high testosterone has on men and women. It was also interesting to read how testosterone interacts with other hormones, like serotonin. Their conclusions were consistent with human behavior I’ve observed. I think it would be fascinating to do a similar study on the effects of estrogen; perhaps there’s already a book.

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
Author: Bill Watterson

In The Groove: Vintage Record Graphics 1940-1960
Author: Eric Kohler

Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong
Author: James W. Loewen

The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery
Author: Steve Sora
A worthless book that ultimately founders on the rocks of “unreadability,” I’m only linking it to Amazon for consistency’s sake, not as a suggestion that you should actually buy it. It spins out a mass of conspiracy theories about a mysterious lost treasure of the Knights of Templar and about a mysterious well/munitions dump/buried treasure vault on Oak Island in Nova Scotia. The theories are as implausible as they are contradictory and illogical. The gist of them is that a) Christ didn’t die on the cross, b) Christ DID die on the cross but left a child in the womb of Mary Magdalene, c) Mary Magdalene and her child, and perhaps Christ himself, went to live in the south of France, where they and their decendants were protected by the Knights Templar who planned to put them on the papal throne or maybe the throne of Jerusalem, d) the Knights Templar took their treasure and the secret lineage of Christ and the holy Grail and the Spear of Longinus to Scotland when they were persecuted in France, e) the Scots explored the North American mainland centuries before the Vikings and built settlements there, f)The Scots buried the treasure of the Templars, the Grail, the spear, the lineage of Christ and several pink elephants in a fantastically engineered vault on Oak Island, planning to return for it later or to just leave it there, or something, g) all attempts to excavate the Oak Island vault have been cursed, h) although the vault is elaborately booby-trapped to flood, the constructors left several markers urging on excavators.

May I Kiss You On The Lips, Miss Sandra?
Author: Sandra Bernhard

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Allusions
Author: Elizabeth Webber and Mike Feinsilber
It’s a reference book, but it was a nice read, not too long, and I learned the origins of many expressions I didn’t already know.

Never Be Lied to Again: How to Get the Truth in 5 Minutes or Less in Any Conversation or Situation
Author: David J. Lieberman

The Onion’s Finest News Reporting
Author: The Onion

Pope-Pourri: Little-Known Facts You May Not Remember from Sunday School
Author: John Dollison

The Portable Pundit: A Crash Course in Cocktail Party Conversation
Author: T. E. Krieger

The Queen of Whale Cay
Author: Kate Summerscale

Singing For Your Supper: Entertaining Ways to Be a Perfect Guest
Author: Edith Hazard

Snowmen: Snow Creatures, Crafts, and Other Winter Projects
Author: Frankie Frankeny (Photographer), Peter Cole, Leslie Jonath

Strange Sisters: The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949-1969
Author: Jaye Zimet

Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton
Author: Diane Wood Middlebrook

The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
Author: Stephanie Coontz

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life
Author: Spencer Johnson

Continue ReadingBooks I Read in 2000 (59 titles)

The End of the Raven (by Edgar Allen Poe’s Cat)

Henry Beard
From The Book: Poetry for Cats
A Parody of “The Raven” from Edgar Allan Poe

On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,
I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,
Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.
"Raven’s very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o’er the floor,
"There is nothing I like more"

Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headed
Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.
While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,
Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;
For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor –
Bric-a-brac and junk galore.

Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents’ worth –

While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,
Then I crouched and quickly lept up, pouncing on the feathered bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore –
Only this and not much more.

"Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it’s time I dried out!
Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;
How I’ve wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty
Put and end to that damned ditty" – then I heard him start to snore.
Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,
Jumped – and smashed it on the floor.

Continue ReadingThe End of the Raven (by Edgar Allen Poe’s Cat)

Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Author Unknown
A Parody of “The Raven” from Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets:
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand, I then invoked the SAVE command and waited
for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond’ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
"Save!" I said, "You cursed mother! Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
Just, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult illusion? Some manical intrusion?
These were choices undesired, ones I’d never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed the choices as the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting, baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key, choosing one and nothing more,
From "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

With my fingers pale and trembling
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee
Timidly I pressed a key.
But on the screen there still persisted words appearing as before.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience wore,
Saying "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

I tried to catch the chips off-guard
I pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed machine: I begged and cried and then I swore.
Now in desperation, trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before.
Reading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

There I sat, distraught, exhausted by my own machine accosted
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night.
A gasp of horror overtook me, shook me to my very core.
The lightning zapped my previous data, lost and gone forevermore.
Not even, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

To this day I do not know
The place to which lost data goes.
What demonic nether world is wrought where data will be stored,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, into black holes?
But sure as there’s C, Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
You will one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?

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The Raven

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Edgar Allen Poe
From the Book: Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" ‘Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door–
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow–vainly I had tried to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lenore–
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore–
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me–filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
" ‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door–
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door–
This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"–here I opened wide the door–
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
but the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"
Merely this, and nothing more.

Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore–
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore–
‘Tis the wind, and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not that least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door–
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door–
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though they crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore–
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
though its answer little meaning–little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no sublunary being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door–
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour,
nothing farther than he uttered–not a feather then he fluttered–
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before–
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

Wondering at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster–so, when Hope he would adjure,
Stem Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure–
That sad answer, "Nevermore!"

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in from of bird, bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore–
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried "thy God hath lent thee–by these angels he hath
sent thee
Respite–respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Let me quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!–prophet still, if bird or devil!–
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted–
On this home by Horror haunted–tell my truly, I implore
Is there–is there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!–prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us–by that God we both adore–
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore–
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sing of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting–
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating of the floor
Shall be lifted–nevermore!

Continue ReadingThe Raven

Love’s Philosophy

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Percy Bysshe Shelley
From the Book: Complete Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (Modern Library)

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle —
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother.
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea —
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

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The Second Coming

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William Butler Yeats
From the Book: The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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The New Colossus

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The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty

Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Between 1820 and 1920, approximately 34 million persons immigrated to the United States, three-fourths of them staying permanently. For many of these newcomers, their first glimpse of America was the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.

The statue, sculpted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, had been conceived of as a gift of friendship from the people of France marking the two nations’ commitment to liberty. France provided $400,000 for the 151-foot statue, and a fundraising drive in the United States netted $270,000 for the 89-foot pedestal.

The Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus saw the statue as a beacon to the world. A poem she wrote to help raise money for the pedestal, and which is carved on that pedestal, captured what the statue came to mean to the millions who migrated to the United States seeking freedom, and who have continued to come unto this day.

— The U.S. Department of State

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From Second April

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Edna St. Vincent Millay
From the Book: Collected Poems

Into the golden vessel of great song
Let us pour all our passion; breast to breast
Let other lovers lie, in love and rest;
Not we,–articulate, so, but with the tongue
Of all the world: the churning blood, the long
shuddering quiet, the desperate hot palms pressed
Sharply together upon the escaping guest,
The common soul, unguarded, and grown strong.
Longing alone is singer to the lute;
Let still on nettles in the open sigh
The minstrel, that in slumber is as mute
As any man, and love be far and high,
That else forsakes the topmost branch, a fruit
Found on the ground by every passer-by.

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For the Goddess Too Well Known

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Elsa Gidlow
From the Book: Eighteen to Eighty

I have robbed the garrulous streets,
Thieved a fair girl from their blight,
I have stolen her for a sacrifice
That I shall make to this night.

I have brought her, laughing,
To my quietly dreaming garden.
For what will be done there
I ask no man pardon.

I brush the rouge from her cheeks,
Clean the black kohl from the rims
Of her eyes; loose her hair;
Uncover the glimmering, shy limbs.

I break wild roses, scatter them over her.
The thorns between us sting like love’s pain.
Her flesh, bitter and salt to my tongue,
I taste with endless kisses and taste again.

At dawn I leave her
Asleep in my wakening garden.
(For what was done there
I ask no man pardon.)

Continue ReadingFor the Goddess Too Well Known