Finding open Space


…do you think the angels

are only full of love?

…think again the friend

who breathes behind me like

a soft-spoken day.

What have you awakened too?

…does it have a name?

…why must we sleep with our eyes closed?

Our language fails us…at a time like this,

when…my body is casting a shadow upon

these words like offerings of purple-plum roses,

and they drip on the floor too ripe to be contained…

too seasoned to be on display.

The current of truth is carrying you

through rough waters with wise words and

…heavenly promises.

This journey does not come without a price tag:

We cannot play without the grave…so close…

one can smell the smoke swirling sweetly

upon the waters of Varanasi…

Let us close our eyes and honor

the truth, there is no escape…

I see it in the sunken eyes of what use

to sparkle with conversation and life…

The vocal cracking of the bones and

the crown of the crone who lies in her bed

beckoning death with her sultry whispered song.

…do you think the angels

are only full of love?


©2015 Gesso Cocteau Studios



…in memory of an artist….


Neither words

imprinted with keys,

ink or tattooed braille,

quill sword embedded

in  flesh where soft meets line.

Neither paint, color,

breath caught in lung________

half emerged,

or fruit colored nudes

sin split open seeds exposed,

our dialogue

littered with love making stories

how you made them



moan and merge

yielding tenderness and lust into

a braided knot….

Yet none of the above

can douse or dismantle this

sweet bitter burn.

Your eyes between

a black tangled forest of your mane

and my empty hunger for you__________



the haunting prequel to us

is miles apart

screaming erotic distances.

______Who can domesticate this feral feline

who hisses at the hand who feeds her_

who turns her whipped back

on silk comfort and reaches for you.

Advance and retreat

flesh and trunk

you piercing the marrow of my bone

with your laughing innocence

me opening wide to receive this fragrant fable…


The snake who slithers down the chakra

of my spine

you asking me questions

my answer begging you to touch_

the brush and hand

the chasing tool and flesh

are one.


My gash

has turned to blood____

What would Tolestoy

think….watching me throw myself

beneath the blade of your words

slitting myself

wrist to elbow

bleeding out like a perfect

red tide




a tiny female

trying to grasp

a moving landscape…

Neither impromptu typed words

travelling through fiber optics

imperfect like my desire

nor Leo’s last paragraph,

“Surmounting the sensation of an

unreal immobility in space,

and to admit a touch or motion

we could not perceive of by sense.”

We are all subject to analysis

and the earth that we root ourselves to

is spinning through space…..

We are all sunyata

hollow and void

but we are also swollen and growing

into an undetermined or unspecified thing

________the forgotten.


Maybe I am a bird

with wings of water

           flying low_______looking

for somewhere to land


maybe your standing

             in one of your paintings

with your hands held open

             and maybe

I land_______rolling into human skin

               feeling your breath upon

my sealed lips________

          and we swell into

one another_____


ancient and mythological,

returning to one another…..





May 23 2013


the taste of  thirst…


If metaphors of pain

are what you remember

may my mouth be open to the ground

burying our prayer

in open hands of water.


If the dampness

of my tongue

reminds you

that there is now an implacable silence…

If you dream of me

walking through a forest upon my knees

from the roots of tangled trees

weave me a crown without thorns

and place it upon my feet.


If this new but familiar emptiness

kisses you with parched lips

and the cut of a thousand swords

rips through your tongue

and if you decide to speak

obey the silence you have commanded…


If you decide to look and cannot find me

remember this space was pure

without expectation

open to all possibilities

now buried by void.


We have both been frightened

by being and not being

with pale patience are mouths went mute

and the curves of my body unwrapped their need

into the shadows of your voice no longer respondent…


If this knowing

that I would come to you

and struggle between a ledge and a river,

in your voice that has lived a thousand years

would you have said …just once….

“be with me” ?

The flavor of having is so often

bitter and sweet…

it is the taste of the tongue between the crevice

the taste of  thirst…


Gesso Cocteau 2013 ©



Song of Desire


(mi canción del deseo)


when I realized the actuality of your being was a perceptible idea

but not a tangible emotion I left…

I left our playground…

our temple ….

our palace of sensuality ….

I surrendered

to your vanishing glaze as I watched it fall

upon the bloom of full cheeks

and the blush of a rose…

bittersweet the scent of blood….the concept of youth…


Memory has a touch….

an impression that words cannot embrace…

our derivative pleasure of mythological desire

was a construct of shadowy words

whose impressions only left me wanting more….

one cannot appease an appetite with illusions

and this avid thirst I had for you only left my lips

parched and impatient….

no moist kiss of attainment ….

but still……the need …..the urge….the wish….


Forgive me for wanting the idea of you…

from scattered phrases of our conversations….

the song of your ebony beak….

the apparent expressions of our presences and desertions….

the dominion of our sensualistic lexicon which released

a glossary of our imagination….

During this interval my personal narrative

 of guttural pleasure lays scattered

amongst this unhallowed paradise…


I sense beneath your darkness a keen vision….

a piercing gaze…your obscure objects of desire….

being in the eye of your desire never taught me

what exactly your inclination was….

desire is never without the projection of want…

life wanting itself through the movement of desiring…

and yet……the true object of our craving may not have been

what we necessarily thought in the beginning…

We do not always know what we want…

desire is mysterious….

divine dimensions of hunger…

desire which gives birth to this lubricating lucidity  ___

life cannot be divided between the sacred and the profane….

I bow my head in shamelessly celebration of

what was our sweet force of lust and undeniable pleasure….

The coronation of my tail with your black feathers….

the claw impaled within …the gold emptying….the water

of want and the white milk you made from my blood…


Your fallen whip of black thorns…

the weeping of my body…

the fire that never finds its blaze…


Desire is the essence of life….it is how life began…

It is where we started…


_______ In a shadowy inked cavity….…a cavern….tenebrous den….

where dark skinned birds with beaked apertures watch….

where the hollow are probed…..the holy are indecent and blasphemous…..

where you and I ……can only whisper who we might have been…



©Gesso Cocteau 2015





Finding the edge

was so easy, falling off

was simple.

Resisting the edge seemed

so unnatural.




The palms bent their wings

into the sun

fringed from the ripping

of the wind, frayed by their own design.










The bald man babbled prayers

to a patriarch god

who sat roasting his son on a spit.

And the rotund comedian

who bent out of control

lay dying on the 60th floor.




I realize the edge is sharp,

perhaps not as cutting

as the words that slit your tongue

forking their way through my heart_____

but sharp enough to sting and to stiffen

into a ridge of realizing.




The warm bath water

that blanketed my cold

and gathered comfort

now leaves me wet.




I am slipping off the edge

and when they find me

naked and torn,

they will shake their heads and say,

“she wrote such common poems.”


© Gesso Cocteau