Where’s Letterman’s Sex Sidekick?

It’s a reminder that sex scandals are always harder on the women, tainting their career achievements if not outright erasing them.


In case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post write up of David Letterman’s farewell episode of the Late Show noted the glaring omission of Stephanie Burkitt from not only the farewell show but any of the episodes available on Youtube–none of the nearly 300 Burkitt appearances on the show are available to the public–and concluded with the unacknowleged, unspoken epitaph of the mistress: she was an evil temptress.  

Maybe because I was not a Late Show fan–not for lack of appreciation as much as lack of a later bed-time–but I think that’s horse crap. 

According to Argetsinger, the author of the WP article, the successful chemistry and therefore appeal of the Burkitt-Letterman on-air rapport in the short skits they performed and personae they adopted was most probably based on their behind-the-scenes affair. But as his mistress and therefore THE stain on Letterman’s not so much stellar as sentimentally-preserved reputation, Burkitt has been erased from the Late Show history. Boom. Missing, as if she never existed–and soon she will disappear from the fickle and short memory of adoring, gushing late-night television fans.

Maybe Burkitt, an established attorney now, wants it that way. I hope so. Otherwise, the celebrity worship culture strikes again like the mafia of the lottery of who gets fame/recognition and who gets persona non grata in show business. It’s who you know, right? Just not how you know who you know. 

Blech! American society’s sexual dysfunction and the war on women combine as complicit culprits in Burkitt’s on-air erasure of a significant portion, I’m guessing, of her history. It’s just part of the biz.

Blister Toad

credit: http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/cane-toad0.jpg

Old greedy blister toad,

brown and rooted, he is

surrounded by mossy scum,

squat-padded among the lilies,

too green with rage to notice.

Swizzle-tongue swats at flies,

he splat spits his beady hate

in a black glare of marbled stare

and glowering grin, grinding gut

that churns out pity, starved

for the want of a fatty gnat–

a wart on a brimming pond.  


“10 Royal Mistresses Who Had Their Men by the Crown Jewels”


Can anyone resist such a title? Fond of history, I enjoy reading articles such as these, especially enjoy the visuals, that memorialize the enduring human qualities and behaviors associated with attraction, sexuality, lust, desire, power and manipulation, the give and take of the human condition. 

The soft portraits of these women round the textures of the stories out nicely. Enjoy on this last Friday of May, Menstrual Hygiene Day (no, not making that up).


Post-post graduate school poem about the nothingness of everything

credit:  http://www.tech-gaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/12-6-My-Pretentious.jpg
























































































Women Masturbating: “Cat on Cat Crime”


The Huffington Post featured four women confessing masturbation misshaps in delightfully amusing stories of cringing embarassment, shock and humiliation. The real treat, however, lies in the frank delivery of the details by these clearly bold, tickled yet slightly discomposed young women relating early masturbation experiences. A study in rich human expression, the video reveals not just fodder for the prurient interests of some ill-intent viewers nor merely a sensationalism meant to draw readership, but a display of complex emotion evoked by the age old pastime–storytelling.

To boot, this video joins the growing dissemination of women’s sexuality imagery in the media, a necessary deployment in the continuing project of feminism’s de-sculpting (a chip at a time) the sedimented profile of and attitudes toward women in American society–all the while Huffpost gets points for edginess and the interviewees for bravery. It’s a win-win for all (except for those cynical ones who chalk it all up to exhibitionist tendencies of a selfie population and the marketing ploy of a savvy for-profit journalistic enterprise).

And the War on the Poor Continues


war on the poor–

locked in jails for traffic tickets 

to feed the coffers of the insatiable

county that fines

and collects debt 

by killing the despicable poor.

Crime of poverty cannot be borne,

not even if born into it.

No excuse.

Don’t be poor.

Don’t be spawn of indigents







Don’t do it.

It may be your life 

–or death.

It’s hard to believe there are still debtor’s prisons that people die in. Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would have thought the story in today’s Guardian a lie. 


Power to the People:  Happy Memorial Day (a flag wave to free speech)

Flag waving

Credit: James Gort

I am not fond of patriotic measurement. Those who denounce others for lack of patriotism are often too busy waving flags to find time to write their Congress people about the injustices around them: the disproportionate number of black youth in prisons, the war against the poor, and the cycling of drug addicts in prisons on the wheel of blind ineffective policies and inhumane disdain for the weak and poor, to name a few. The ignorants of history get my guts gurgling. 

Peace-loving by nature, I do bite when rankled. My teeth sunk into an unsuspecting victim on Facebook (where else more appropriate?) on an ex-student’s thread after the post question asked why everyone was getting so riled up over PacSun’s new design: an upside down flag. The first responder raged about disrespect for the flag. I smelled that one coming.

Also inherently pedantic and boorish, I tried to positive spin the symbol as patriotic while teaching a history lesson about the founding fathers of our nation finding it so important to democracy that citizens of a nation DO speak up and out for what they believe are best policies and interests for the country, whether those sentiments are critical or supportive of existing ideas, policies and laws. However, the tepid response held that a positive critique helped more than a negative one. 

She misses the point.

When PacSun disseminates t-shirts with upside down flags, it may be merely smart marketing to the rebel, the cool folk, the hipsters or youth generally, those with piss and vinegar in them about something–and not necessarily the country’s welfare. However, the symbol should evoke the ultimate patriotic act: expressing dissatisfaction with the nation’s behavior. 

What could be more patriotic than to care about the nation enough to speak up? To want changes? Apathy or blind complicity wreaks destruction to a democracy grounded on a bustling marketplace of ideas. 

How else do our nation’s law and policy makers know how to represent us if not for speaking out (yeah, I know…lobbyists, special interests and favors) at least in principle, on Constitutional constructs. Flag waving signals symbolic respect, approval and support of a nation, in whole or in part. Protests, letters to the district Congress person, flag burning and iconic imagery and slogans of dissent, such as upside down flags, literally and symbolically disapprove a nation in whole or in part. 

Patriots of a nation act, speak and opine. Shallow patriots wait for holidays to post sentimental gestures, gratified that they have done their part. Traitors silence speech of others, censor opinions they disapprove, the very acts from which the founding fathers of this country sought to protect its citizens. 

Plenty is upside down in America now. The downward facing flag speaks legions to me, one citizen among many who feel the same. Those who disagree speak freely in cafes on the streets, at the dinner table of their homes,  slouched at their desks on their electronic devices and behind the screens of anonymity on social media. 

And that’s the beauty of it–the freedom to express disagreement, exchange ideas and learn something–in a nation that not only tolerates but requires it for its very existence.

On this Memorial Day, remember American history. The antidote to tyranny lies in the people–who are the sovereignty in this nation–assembling, whether in private or public, to meet with other minds in order to keep the government in compliance with the needs of its rulers–the people. 

Power to the people, and their voices, echoing from the battle field groans of dying soldiers to the exclamation points typed on an IPad to punctuate a Facebook debate.

Bass Clef of a Mistress

credit: http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs41/i/2009/055/e/6/___Bass_Clef____by_cheinrich1981.jpg

A parade courses through my days,
one of twitters chirped from devices and trees.

An avuncular path leading back to my ears
sounds the thrumming pump of plasma drums.

I can hear my blood when the music starts,
like the rhythmic stump of dog tail in mid-scratch.

Silence moves me too in humming refrigerators,
ticking clocks, and buzzing transformers above.

Door knocks muted wood of knuckles shy
jar my attention in irritated curiosity and dread.

Like the broken peace pierced shrilly,
a dog barks inside echoing plaster and tile.

Water pour-sliding down pipes in gushes
forced like fingers hard-pressed on a fingerboard.

I hear the memory thrust of my grandfather,
his fingers crushing mine high atop the cello’s face.

“No, like dees, you put like dees, here!!”
A stranger loved in osmotic care for a family’s music.

Wind cries rarely as do the clouds in this desert,
so the trills of trickling rain sing sweetly suckling tears.

Muffled voices beyond closed doors wordlessly
play mornings mostly before the whispers of evening.

When the clanging of aluminum, teflon and iron
ring the truth fed in tones nourished by hand, we sing.

Our collective voices intone in the eyes of intention,
a shrugging will, and love-notes tucked in school lunch sacks.  

And when the confetti clears, the bass drum moves on,
the choir of antiquity will accompany me, soloist, alto, sotto voce. 





“Balls!” said the Queen. “If I had them, I’d be King.” 

Reading my daily dose of pop fodder in the Guardian, one of several publications I read daily, I, of course, was drawn to the titles that aim to lure cheesy-lover readers like me: When it comes to sexual desirability, balls are often treated as an afterthought. Mike Barry has my admiration for a good writer’s trick–making something from nothing. 

Yes, it is interesting that testicles are often overlooked in the sexual realm. Most regard them as unlovely, on the modest side, to gross, on the other end of the spectrum of ball aesthetics. But really, what’s the point? They still get all the privileges and priorities that the patriarchy has offered their owners for all of recent history, which I consider since prehistoric times: power.

As Barry points out, balls are associated with guts and strength, ironically enough given their sensitivity and vulnerability; in fact, they are notoriously the target of anyone’s defense in warding off a male attacker or downing an opponent in a fight. Betty White (at least according to Facebook “facts”) publicly defended the vagina’s replacement for the myth of tough balls since the vag “takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” (pun intended) to steal a phrase from an old Timex commercial. With all the pounding of penises (real or replaced) and punishment of birthing its built for, female genitalia more appropriately earns the accolade, “She’s got vagina!”, to praise an individual’s chutzpah.

However, one paragraph gave me pause in Barry’s article:

I certainly never thought I could feel sexually empowered by my entire package until I met my now-husband: he was the first person to celebrate all parts of my body rather than avoid or ignore some of them. Being with someone who didn’t view half of my sex organs as extraneous to our sex life forced me to reevaluate my own view of my anatomy. As gay men, our sex life was already considered transgressive; without the pressure to conform to a “normal”, heterosexual view of male sexuality as defined by my ability to penetrate a partner, I could allow my entire self to become a source of sexual self-confidence.

The intrigue lies not in the observation that a loved one can appreciate all of his beloved’s parts, even the socially stigmatized or ignored ones–a banal truth, in my mind–but in exposing the underlying assumption of the socially constructed male: his genitalia is defined and evaluated in terms of its heterosexual penetrative utility, i.e., big penis=big satisfaction (vaginally speaking).

How freeing not to be heterosexual just for loosing that construction, opening up the space to heart-see a man’s body parts in light of how two people enjoy–actually experience–their relationship. 

Sigh. Is it ever possible to free ourselves from the prison of preconceived notions grown from lazy, unconscious pattern makers, our predecessors? 

Nope, it’s too nice outside on a Saturday of a three-day weekend to get my panties wadded up over long-standing social ills. I’d rather spend the time with my daughter succumbing to ad-men/women pitching holiday sales at us, like Victoria Secrets’ 7 for $27 panty sale (buys me another day ignoring the pile of laundry in my bathroom).

Seriously, I found this piece, Thirteen Problems with Balls in Cosmo, though not current, timeless and informative (yes, Cosmo!), far more balls up entertaining than Barry’s piece, despite the poignant heart-felt human connective moment referred to above.