Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Some Are Silk and Some Are Leather"

This poem came out of the April 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, [personal profile] fred_mouse, [personal profile] janetmiles, and LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills "The Lovers" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl making its $200 goal. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

"Some Are Silk and Some Are Leather"

In September, Dale and Kelly
make plans to visit some friends
over in San Francisco.

"Are you sure you'll be okay?"
Will asks, waving a hand at
Dale's bad knee. "The streets
are pretty steep there."

"They're vertical, man,"
laughs Juste. "Could put
Dale in a wheelchair and
push her off the cliff, yah!"

This is Juste's way of being friendly,
so they don't scold him, because
friendly is better than hostile.

Besides, he and Will have a point;
the hills of San Francisco won't
be easy on Dale's knee.

Dale is determined to go,
though, and Kelly doesn't
have the heart to stop her.

So they're in the city the week
of the Folsom Street Fair.

They're not exactly into
the heavy leather scene,
but they do love gay pride
and there's a lot of overlap.

Besides, a good marriage should
never let the sex get boring.

They don't want to go and
just gawk at people, though.

Dale used to be a cop,
and Kelly quite likes that,
so that's what they go with.

Dale wears a uniform
without any insignia,
just her metal cuffs
and a leather hat.

Kelly lets down her hair
and wears a skirt of
scarf-weight melon silk
with a knitted top
of butter yellow.

Both of them wear
matching handkerchiefs
of medium blue, tucked
into Dale's left pocket
and Kelly's right.

"What do you think?"
Dale asks as they stroll.

It's wilder than I'm used to,
a little outside my comfort zone,
but that's okay,
Kelly replies.

Dale kind of likes
the way people look at
the pretty femme on
her elbow, and Kelly
enjoys the envy from
the other copfuckers.

Kelly is, maybe,
getting curious about
bondage after seeing
all the displays, and it
would be quite a show
of trust for her to let
anyone tie her hands.

They pass a loudspeaker
booming out a familiar tune.
"Some are satin, some are steel,
some are silk and some are leather ..."

Dale is beginning to get tired,
but she doesn't want to quit yet.

They wander down the street,
browsing the displays.

They find a silk rope of
gold and rosepetal pink
to buy as a souvenir.

Then they find the booth
selling scraps of leather and fur --
calfskin and chamois and suede,
fox and mink and rabbit.

That's a definite hit,
because both of them
love sensory play.

They fill a grab bag with
scraps and finger-whisper
ideas to each other.

Dale gives a lingering look
to a bikini of pinkish leather and
golden fur. "You'd look hot
in that," she says to Kelly.

Her wife just scowls and
signs, When Hell freezes over.

Dale's leg is starting to ache,
the slope taking its toll. Folsom
may not be the steepest street in
the city, but it's not flat either.

There's something else, too,
itching and quivering under her skin
that Dale can't put a finger on
and it's driving her crazy.

She tries stomping her feet,
but that only kills the twitches
for a few minutes, and it makes
her leg hurt even more than before.

Dale leans harder on her cane and
moves on, ignoring whatever it is.

Some of the food for sale
here is downright lewd.

There are whole frozen bananas
topped with chocolate and sprinkles;
the monkey tails are most popular
with some of the gay men who are
showing off their techniques.

The lesbians are crowding around
a smoky grill packed with mangos
and skewered peach halves.

Kelly gets a peach kebab with
cinnamon sugar butter, and Dale
gets one with mascarpone
and salted bourbon caramel.

They're sloppy to eat,
and that's the point.

There's a group of activists
passing around clipboards
and chanting manifestos.
"You'll be the first up against
the wall when the revolution
comes," one shouts at them.

Dale snorts and shakes her head.

Kelly takes the clipboards, though,
and passes along the ones that
aren't completely ludicrous.

Dale doesn't mind giving the law
a hand from the citizen's end,
as long as the proposals
are sensible enough.

By then her leg feels like
something is trying to gnaw
her kneecap off, and she's
limping in earnest.

They're into a workshop zone
now, which is interesting to watch --
demonstrations of bondage and
discipline, but also yoga and
something that might be tai chi
under a banner that reads,
Harness Your Inner Energy.

Dale admires the grace
with which they move, and
Kelly reads the subtle meanings
in the motions and the forms.

The master taps his assistant
on the shoulder and she
takes over the class.

To Dale's surprise, the master
comes over to them and says
without preamble, "You are tired.
Would you like to take a ride?"

"I ... um ..." Dale says,
looking down at her hand
which is beginning to shake
from leaning to hard on it.

But how had he noticed that?

Kelly gives him a wistful look
but signs, No taxis here.

"I thought the street was
closed to traffic," Dale says.

The man gives her an enigmatic smile.
"We have our own transportation."

With a shrill whistle he summons a cart ...
drawn by large woman dressed as
a blue pony with a rainbow mane
and tail flowing in the breeze,
harnessed with black straps.

Her mistress climbs out of
the cart and says to them,
"We're volunteering with
Emergency Services. May
we offer you ladies a lift?"

"Yes, thank you," Dale says,
far too tired to protest.

There is nothing dignified about
being pulled by a blue pony-girl,
but compared to a wheelchair
this is a lot more fun.

The ride back to their car
is surprisingly smooth and swift.

Dale and Kelly even get a picture
of themselves in the cart, because
there is no way that Merle and Tanya
will believe it without hard evidence.

Usually Dale drives, but today
she lets Kelly take over, because
Dale's knee is definitely not
up to working the pedals.

It's been a good day,
Kelly signs as she climbs
into the driver's seat.

"Yes it has," Dale agrees,
and then promptly falls asleep.

* * *


“We all have a face that we hide away forever,
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone.
Some are satin, some are steel, some are silk and some are leather.
They're the faces of the stranger and we love to try them on.”
-- Billy Joel quotes (American Pianist, Singer and Song Writer, b.1949)

The Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco is a celebration of all things queer.

See Kelly's outfit.

The Hanky Code is one of many ways for queerfolk to communicate their interests, although it has variations. In this case, medium blue means cop (left) and copsucker (right).

The pink rope is #7 on the bottom. It's actually meant for tying a kimono. Yay, pervertables!

Fur and leather are popular for sensation play.

This is the fur bikini. Some people love such things, others do not. I made one to wear at a friend's book launch party once.

Monkey Tails are frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, on a stick. Get the recipe. Long tubular food is fun for gay men because it permits them to demonstrate their cocksucking skills in public.

This recipe for Grilled Peach Smoothies includes instructions on how to grill the peaches. You put them on a skewer like this. Here they are with cinnamon-sugar butter or with mascarpone. Grilled mangoes can be done up with lime. Eating wet pinkish fruit is fun for lesbians because it lets them display their cuntlicking skills in public.

Tai Chi Tao is a practice of martial art, energy work, and spirituality. See the master.

Here is the pony cart. Events blocked off from traffic really should provide alternative transportation in case of emergency, including people with partial mobility who run out of spoons before they run out of street. To encourage use and avoid harshing anyone's fun, this is most effective when the method can be matched to the venue like this.

Deaf people can get a driver's license, although they need some extra training to compensate for the missing sense. The politics can get messy though.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, romance, shopping, weblit, writing
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