Thursday, August 9, 2018

Queer Utopias: Supple and Turbulent, Chapter Two


2

“I thought lunch wasn’t till twelve,” offered the wry voice above me. My eyes had practically rolled to the back of my head, but I looked up and tried to focus. I think Jake planned all along to put on a show for whoever came down the slope first to find us in the water. Level with my face, two wiry calves rose above combat boots and disappeared at the knees into a leather kilt. Enough chain hung looped from the right side of the wide belt to shackle a Harley to a telephone pole. The waistband was slung below Kurt’s tight, lean, flanks. Belying his smirk, two enormous brown eyes recalled an El Greco saint who’d just flagellated himself into ecstasy. His thin, close-cropped hair was bleached white and scruffy over dark roots. From the ring in his ear dangled a Scots terrier made out of twisted wire.

“If you don’t drop that skirt, I’ll ruin it when I pull you in,” I said, grabbing his ankles.

He obliged with one fast tug on his belt buckle and a kick of each unlaced boot, then plopped down on the bank, naked except for a steel cockring, to straddle my shoulders with his legs. I still wasn’t used to the Prince Albert that dangled from the head of his cock, though I’d seen it in March and again in the photos he sent us that night he was too horny to sleep. When he told us he was getting pierced, I should have known not to expect anything less ambitious, and he’d already upped the gauge twice. The weight of it pulled his glans down to just below the curve of his smooth, hairless ballsac.

“If you think I’m going to risk chipping my teeth on that, forget it,” I said, and pulled him by the arms into the pool on top of me. Jake splashed back into the water behind us, sputtering and coughing as he came up.

“Slave overboard,” Billy shouted from where he leaned over the rail of the deck. 
“Where’s everybody else?” Jake asked Kurt as they fell into a clinch. 
 


“Jim and Rajiv as usual can’t keep their hands off each other and went upstairs. Hank’s already in the kitchen rearranging what you guys did. Luke’s trading in jeans for his kaftan.”

 Billy came trotting down the slope towards us. “Room for one more?” 


“Cost you a blow job,” Kurt offered.


“Cool. Giving or getting?” Billy asked.


“Relax, we won’t collect till sunset,” I said. 


Reaching for his shoulder as he sat on the bank to untie his shoes, I planted my open mouth over his, losing myself in the bushy beard he’d grown out over the last months. On his back, my hands traced the serpentine curve of his spine where it meandered unpredictably back and forth below his shoulder blades.


He showed me an x-ray of it once when I confessed how perplexed I’d been the first time I’d tried to follow it on a massage table. He taught me that sexiness comes in all shapes and sizes. Nothing’s hotter than massaging Billy, leaning forward from the head of the table to lay the length of my arms down his stocky chest, raking his upper thighs and rubbing my frenulum into his forehead. Nobody responds more appreciatively to my attention.

He slipped into the pool, and I rested my chin on the top of his head as he nuzzled his beard into my chest, his mouth just clearing the surface of the water. I gave his belly a few friendly thrusts with my erection by way of hello. He returned the favor against my thigh. But I was already close to my edge, and I knew he just needed to chill after the long drive. Linking hands, we reached out to Jake and Kurt and lay back in the water together, feet to the centre of our magic circle, all going limp as the sound of the water over the rocks sank deeper into us.


“Is it going to be any easier on you this time?” Billy asked me, when we’d all gazed silently for a while at the leaves above us and the sky beyond.


“Yes. Maybe. I don’t know,” I said. “I’m getting used to seeing them together. It’s easier with the rest of you here than when I bump into them on my own.”  

Six months earlier, Jim had left me for Rajiv. It still cut like a knife sometimes, losing the heart of the man I’d lived with for twelve years to the man I welcomed into our relationship when we opened it up.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Honoring Our Bodies, Feeding Our Souls: Saratoga Springs, California, November 15-18

What happens in sacred erotic space where you’re safe to share the deepest longings of your body, mind, and soul? 







What does a community of queer brothers look like who commit to holding that space for one another?

 
 

 
Frank Dunn and I have invited men to ask those questions for the last three years at  a retreat in the wilds of western Maryland. We’ve been astonished by the open hearts and embodied wisdom of the men who’ve assembled there--by the creative depth, the juiciness, the power, and the playfulness of the experiences they’ve crafted together.


This November, we invite you to join us in northern California, as we offer that retreat, “Honoring Our Bodies, Feeding Our Souls,” for the first time on the West Coast, at Saratoga Springs Retreat Center, two and a half hours north of San Francisco.  
Saratoga Springs offers delicious meals using fresh and organic ingredients. Come soak in the sixteen-man hot tub, walk 260 acres of hiking tails, enjoy the charm of the 19th-centurn lodge, the warm beauty of the assembly hall, and the coziness of the rustic cabins.


Here is what participants have said about their experiences of our Maryland retreats:

When I try to put in words the experience we shared, “extraordinary” doesn't even come close to describe my experience. Since I've been home and back to work, friends I've had for decades and family I've had my whole life have noticed and commented on how centered and grounded I've become once again.
--Doug, Upstate New York


Through the retreat I found parts of myself that I’d forgotten, or that I thought were long gone. I will always be grateful to the wonderful men I met there, and to David and Frank for their compassionate, wise, and very sexy leadership.
--Rob, Toronto
 
The retreat gave me a place to experience my sexuality in a way that revealed to me how crucial it is to my spiritual life and practice. To share all of this in the company of my brothers was truly a blessing.
--Robert Mitchell, Fremont CA
 
I was challenged.  I was delighted and surprised.  My heart was touched in unexpected ways.  I was moved, even to tears.  I was supported and accepted by men who had been strangers.  I made friends with men who, like me, are on a journey.  I set out on an adventure.  It was profound.  It still resonates. 
--Christopher, Ontario

The workshop begins late afternoon on Thursday, November 15 and concludes with lunch on Sunday, November 18. You can access Saratoga’s website and the registration page here.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Queer Utopias: Supple and Turbulent

Here begins the third of my novellas imagining a world where we might be more truly and completely at home.



Supple and Turbulent

1



“This should hold if the wind comes up,” I told Jake, testing the tension on the cords as I tied them to an eye-hook I’d just screwed into the siding at the back of the deck. Converging in lines of yellow, green, red, white, and blue, nine sets of prayer flags floated in the breeze, stretching from points all along a branch of the big oak that rose above the slope below. Prayers printed in a language none of us could read flowed off the cloth into the wind, for the benefit of all sentient beings. Jake practically broke his neck tying them to that branch, but we couldn’t resist the surprise and delight they’d give the others when they arrived.  


“Looks good,” he said, and ticked down his memorized list. “Cabin swept, lunch made, playlists ready, two gallons of sun tea brewing on the deck. I’m sweating like a pig, and. that creek’s calling. Come on.” He nodded down the slope. A stream plunged over the rocks to the left of the cabin into a pool wide enough to hold four or five men up to their chests, and tranquil enough to float in till you’d had enough of the chill and craved the mid-summer sun again. From there the bright water flashed and babbled over rocks along a creek-bed that divided the bottom of the lawn from the top of the woods. 

“Nothing to do till the others get here, at least for an hour,” I said, “even if they get the van right away and the traffic’s light near the airport. I’m right behind you.”
 
He was already down the steps, stripping off his T-shirt and dropping it in the grass as he padded toward the pool. Slabs of loose, aging-farm-boy muscle gleamed across his shoulders in the mid-morning sun. Stopping on the rocks at the edge, he pulled down his cargo shorts and boxers and kicked them aside to sit bare-ass on the cool stone. I just love Jake’s boxers. The pair I traded with him the first weekend we ever had sex still get me hard as soon as I pull them out of the drawer and step into them. 
 
He dangled his feet in the water, leaning over to splash it with his big hand onto his face and into his thinning salt-and-pepper hair. By the time I caught up to him and peeled off my own sweaty clothes, his dick was pointing skywards along the solid, relaxed curve of his belly.

“You here to cool off or get hot?” I grinned. My own cock started to swell as I sat down next to him and pressed my thigh against his. Prodding his foot with my toes and jumping in, I turned around to play at pulling him in by his ankles. “You know we don't want you shooting that thang till tonight. I’m here to keep an eye on you. You better pace yourself, big guy.”  


“That’s real colloquial, dude,” he said. 

I’m not the one with a Ph.D. in macroeconomics. Dude,” I teased him back. He slid off the rock into my arms. Our pricks collided, then settled up against each other’s bellies as we fell into a tight hug. My tongue darted out to take a swipe at the salty sweat that trickled under his jaw-line toward his collarbone.

Then we floated apart to let the water bear us up. A school of minnows came over to investigate our toes. Opposite us, under the shade of a yellowwood, a crawfish scuttled across a shallow ledge of rock just under the surface, its olive body rippled by the play of sun-dappled water just above its back. We leaned back further, floating up to our necks. Above us, sunlight glinted between leaves that still wore the emerald freshness of late spring and plenty of rainfall in the hills of eastern Tennessee.
 
Sometimes, when the stars line up, Jake becomes my perfect daddy, the father I spent my own boyhood dreaming of. I melt every time I hear his voice grow warm with love and pride, speaking of his two grown sons. Somehow, he’s even more that perfect daddy on a massage table with his ass in the air, begging one of us to work fingers a little further into the blossoming rosebud tucked between his big, muscular glutes. I’m only five years younger, but I suspect sometimes I become for him the son he’ll allow himself to get it on with. He’s confessed to me how he’d quietly longed for his own boys as they were becoming men, behind the firewall he put up between them and his desire.
 
Joking with Jake was the only way to negotiate the rising tide of horniness all eight of us had suffered for weeks. We teased each other about perpetual erections by e-mail, on the phone, in person, egging each other on and trying to hold back, both at the same time. Now, at summer solstice, by some miracle, we’d saved up three full months of lust for each other. Eight flaky faerie fuck-monks, Kurt had called us in an e-mail he sent out one night announcing he was so cranked up he couldn’t sleep. Instead of trying, he’d sent us all a dozen digital photos of his fat, perfect perfect, shiny with lube and clenched in his hand, a chain linked up between the oversized Prince Albert protruding through its tip and a studded dog collar buckled firmly around his neck.)

Jake was standing beside me now, scooping my feet off the bottom of the pool, a hand behind my tailbone, another supporting my neck and shoulders, swirling me gently around the deepest part near the centre. Below the flat of his palm supporting my sacrum, his middle finger burrowed gently, a friendly river creature nuzzling easily down the crack of my ass. He shifted his forearm so that it could take over the support of my back, and the pads of his fingers found their bull’s-eye. I took a deep, contented breath into the slow circles massaging me open to the cool water. They felt even more delicious because I knew he wasn’t trying to go any further just now.


 
There was nowhere to go, no goal to get to. Not till the feast at sunset. Just two men in a pool of cool water, along with the fish, under a canopy of leaves, waiting for their tribe to gather.  All I felt was gratitude for my life, and for these men with whom, against all odds, I’d become lovers. Somewhere up in the branches, a dove began its soft, gently mournful five-note song.  As I arched back a little further, my erection bobbed in and out of the water. Jake bent forward to give it a gentle lick, tickled it deliberately with a couple strokes of his moustache, then stood back up, grinning and making a show of smacking his lips.
 
Up the slope, beyond the cabin, car doors slammed and voices drifted down the hill and around the house, just audible over the noise of the waterfall. I started to rise from the pool, but then Jake said, “They’ll make themselves at home and come looking for us if they want. I bet they’ll show up soon enough in the heat.” 

So I lay back into the strength of his arms bearing me up, and into the comfort of his fingertips subtly caressing me, coaxing me to open up. The moans I let out surely encouraged him. He floated me back over to the side. I felt his wide thigh lift beneath my hip to roll me over on my side away from him, and then I was sprawled across a smooth patch of grass, my legs still dangling in the water, my chest pressed into the turf. I felt his hands flatten against my asscheeks, pulling them apart, and again the tickle of his moustache just before the tip of his tongue found my hole, then slid down my perineum, and I felt one of my nuts and then the other roll into the warmth of his mouth.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Meditation on Sacred Intimacy: A Guest Post from Rob Corbett

I'm deeply honored that playwright, performer, and teacher Rob Corbett offers this reflection on his experience of sessions we shared this spring.


Sacred Intimacy with David 

Terra turns
The second shoe drops  
The turned cheek is struck
It is hard
Lost

Fear, insecurity, confusion – I reach
yes
gentle and strong is your yes
Yes
 

YES come 

 

On your altar
naked
bound
afraid
synapses spark through the dark
dragged willingly
 

waste of time
                                                breath
useless
                                                breath
imposition
                                                breath
forget
                                                breath
get on with
                                                Breath
inhale  -  hold  -  release
 

Your fingers on my heart
                                                Breath
My belly
                                                Breath
My cock
                                                Breath
My self
                                                Breath

inhale  -  hold  -  release
 

To the edge of now
To the brink of here
A thrust
To trust
To is
To present
To my
I come
I belong
I am
I can
I come
 
The yes that was always mine
That is
I come for your wisdom--you bring me to my own
 
The sphinxes follow

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990). Untitled, plaster phallus sculpture with paint and ink. 15.5 in.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Procession

The drumming starts on the wide front porch of the lodge at the retreat centre. The heat’s abated since earlier in the week. It’s warm but not oppressive as the couple, heads crowned in leaves, lead off down the steps into a wide circuit around the compound’s central green. We gather up more men as we process around it and then head up the hill. Trees overhang the path, and the steep slope to our left is covered in ferns.

I look ahead and behind me at forty or fifty of us on our way to the handfasting. We’re here for the two men who’ve invited us to celebrate with them, on the last afternoon of a week-long northern California gathering. But the gift they’re giving us all is inestimable.
Celebrating with them, we’re also taking part in something that almost none of us, for a good chunk of our lives, could have imagined might ever be possible.
Somehow, we all made it.
In creating this ceremony for themselves, these two open-hearted souls have offered us all a living experience of a world where we’re fully at home. I look over my shoulder here not to make sure it’s safe, but to take in the sight of comrades behind me streaming up the hill.
We reach a circle of laurel branches and vine leaves in the shadow of a live oak. Mulitcolored fabrics hang from the branches. A line of prayer flags flutters. Behind it stands the officiant, wearing stag antlers and holding a staff. With it he casts a circle around us  all. Four others take their places  bearing the gifts of the cardinal directions.
One by one, he lays six cords across the grooms’ clasped hands, each a different colour, each representing an aspect of the bond they share and the pledges they make to one another. A bell rings to mark every pronouncement.
 
It’s a wedding, after all, so some of us cry. In joy for these two men, but some of the tears also fall in joy for us all.

 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mandala




I 

Taking up the brush
to paint the east gate blue
as we maneuver naked around one another
fourteen men filling in the lines
within whose boundaries we can play
as children before us were capable of playing
playing now at monk-see monk-do
with the ersatz materials at hand
all symbolism simplified
poster paints instead of sand
on a prestretched canvas
the petals of the lotus
on which the central temple rests
now collaged with the fragments of our longings
an Attic vase
two musclemen smiling at one another
across the divide of someone else’s fantasy
a spruce cone
deceptively phallic for a tree’s swelling ovary
a dragonfly
New Age ascended master
portrait of the artist as a young man
all opening now as petals of one flower
around the improbable goal of pilgrimage
yin-yang of two cocks
curved into one another
our contradicktion in terms
of tantric homosex
this vision of a temple we’ve raised
against all odds
for a few days at least...
 

II

...and the dedication two nights later
wherein we speak forth witnessed meaning
into these fragments
then silently pass our map of cosmic truth
from hand to hand out the door
and to the verge  of waiting flame
not quite the sweeping of sand into the river
but dissolution nonetheless
by what means we have
for what we have created
chanting Om Mane Padme Hum
as fire dims then licks
then at the flashpoint blazes out
with what we have
what we are and offer
under a night sky swarming with stars
amidst a woods swarming with fireflies
our feet wet with dew upon the grass
sister of our flesh

Thursday, June 21, 2018

At Solstice



From Wallace Stevens, "Sunday Morning"
 

VII

Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feet shall manifest.