Eating Pizza

We sit eating pizza

and drinking red wine

with the curtains open to the moon.

I welcome the heaviness of the wine,

as I welcome the

weightless night outside;

the heaviness of your body on mine,

sinking into the bean bag.

Your warmth too,

is like a wine

that has escaped my lips

and slithers down my neck,

down my belly.

I have let go the oars of my body,

and now drift free and drunk

in the darkness of your skin.

Far off I hear some horror,

the shrill call of a bird

caught in the arms of flight.

But my body is free of struggle

and your perfume has sipped

the last closing of my eyelids tonight.

Perfumes/ Visions

You were engulfed in

scent then.

Easily, you gouged my

senses, enfeebled me.

My eyelids, sunk low,

inhaled a purple vision.

It was as though

I could gather up

so many billowing

folds of fleshy aroma,

even flagellate it

with wicked tongues.

And you, empress of

labiryntine perfumes,

it was enough to be

free of you,

a debauched survivor

out of the depths

I had plumbed.

But now, what scent? Where?

Have I absorbed it,

from a thousand nostrils,

that opened on the

pores of my skin?

No, it’s here, a

transfigured appetite.

In cool, desultory caverns

of aged lust,

I prowl, a succubus,

eyes, hands, lips,

inhaling your bewitched offerings:

fresh visions, that

waft between your thighs,

like the smoke rings of

some hookah,

made of the darkest metal.

Ricky Barrow, Copyright 2013.


On this blustery,

sea spray, salt-whipped day,

I danced with the

whistling, whooshing wind.

The fragrant spray of her

spit and naked breath

shook the buildings beneath

their spindly steel garters.

She carried me up

in her dizzying tango,

around stooping telegraph poles;

over popsicle stick houses,

we fox-trotted humming wires.

We passed old men

at besieged bus-stops,

laughing at women

in up-turned skirts,

as they spun around

like inside out umbrellas,

harassed by her

laughing breath.

She would bite at the ankles

of frightened little children,

and strangle men in suits

with their pin-striped ties,

madly clutching toupees.

Full bosomed secretaries

tumbled upwards,

like dirigibles,

into her voluptuous mists.

And I too grew fat and round on her breath,

mouth agape as she rushed in.

And tall as a hot air balloon

I rolled around this great

windswept city,

a grape on her dancing tongue.

Heron’s Call

Grey heron 

circling Kagami river.


barely heard cry,

a reed whistling

on the glaucous shore.

Beneath these

listless clouds,

hung out

with the faded streamers

of last summer’s festivals,

who does he

call out to?

And the slow river,

its waters faintly glinting

like the scales of

some giant, ponderous carp,

calls him back

again and again

to this abandoned place.


These white flowers,

such delicate, perfected


raised in the airless

white light

of a glasshouse:

their scentless perfection

is obscene.

Tell me what they know of nature.

That there are no pungent

parts to a woman?

that she hides no

matted, reeking troughs

where desires lie strewn,

sweetly decaying?

I’ve seen cold dark moss,

dead moths,

flayed wings like

fallen petals

ravaged by whirlwinds,

mud strafed virgins,

cadavers collapsing into formaldehyde.

I’ve embraced the

grime and snot

of flea-infested beauty.

In this age

of sanitized madness,

would you still cradle

your beloved’s corpse?