Come Out and Tell it (Twisted) Slant


Hello, I am Penelope.

I am a free-spirit, a girl with wings. I am strong, and a tiny bit proud of that.  I am a survivor and a seeker.  I would say that I’m a feminist, in the sense that I “advocate and support the rights and equality of women”. Though it might be fairer to say I advocate and support the rights of all. I am sane. I am as whole and balanced as any human can be. These things you probably know about me, if you’ve been reading here very long. You know, too that I’m a poet, a dreamer, a woman who falls deeply, and complicatedly in love. I am a sexual, sensual being.

These things paint a picture of who I am. They focus on my passion, my strengths, even my weaknesses, but in a positive light. These things are the easier things to reveal. But these are not all that one would care to know about me, if they want to understand my journey.

I quoted Anaïs Nin, above, because in so many ways, too numerous to count here, I can relate to her. She wrote prolifically of her love, her affairs, her dreams and passion, her weakness and strength. She celebrated her life, and damned the world that would judge her for it. She can inspire me, like nobody else.

She taught me, among a thousand other things, that I can be strong, and choose to surrender my power – that it does not make me weak, or compromised to submit, as I choose, to whomever I choose. She taught me that the fact that I’m not what some would call ‘vanilla’ is part of my make-up, and a passion to be celebrated as strongly as my ability to write a poem or to command the attention of a room, and persuade a crowd to follow.

I’ve hesitated, not knowing how much of this part of me to make public. Not everyone sees this departure from the norms as a positive thing. Some who learn I live a life of alternate sexuality, who might have cheered at my being polyamorous, or bisexual, will doubtless have a negative opinion of me, after this revelation.

You can rest assured, dear reader, that I will not turn this blog into a showcase for photographic and literary depictions of graphically sexual acts. This is not my purpose here. You’ll find no photos of trussed up girls, legs spread wide, backsides in the air. It may be that you, or I, enjoy these things, but this is not that place.

My purpose today, is simply this: to share my truth – that I am twisted, kinky… my sexual, and relational preferences, according to wiki, “go beyond what are considered conventional sexual practices as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners.”

I have had, and will have, relationships that involve a power-dynamic. I have and will submit, by choice, to a very strong, gentle, sexually and mentally powerful man. It is part of what feeds my soul and my body. It is this deeply emotional, psychological, spiritual connection that I want to reveal to you in the coming months dear reader, along with my poetry, and my polyamorous journey. This is part of me —  part of my passion, my polyamory, part of my chosen way to live life in the fullest way I know.

I hope you’ll stay with me on the journey.


Telling Myself the Truth


Some days when I think about writing poetry, the right words hide behind clouds, and the phrases sound like children’s songs… very sad, awkward, nursery rhymes… and so, I pick up my pen and write a letter, or pick up my paintbrush and dabble in color, or I cover my head with a blanket, and read a fairy-tale that sounds like …a thousand, awkward, sad nursery rhymes.

Some days, when I want to write memoir, I worry that my life is too boring. I can’t think of anything good to say, and I can’t complain, because life is okay. I think about the past year, and the road ahead, and today looks so much like a hundred before, that I am bored. Thankful, but not really living a life I’d want to read about.

Some days I just focus on Facebook, and catching up on the shows that fill my DVR, and folding laundry, or washing the same dozen dishes, again… and again… and again.  Sometimes the real poem, the real story is going on under the surface, behind the scenes. Sometimes it looks blurry, and I can’t find my glasses, and I don’t really know how to tell it anyway. Even now, as I type those words, Emily Dickinson’s “Tell all the truth but tell it slant —” slides across the backs of my eyes like a ticker-tape.

The truth is, I’ve been stacking writer’s blocks.

The ink in my veins is sitting patiently, while I stare out of the window, and wonder where the muse went. She is here, too. Waiting for me, to pick up my pen and “keep your hand moving”  like Natalie Goldberg taught me. I know the answer is in this simple movement… this reflex gesture that has become my auto-response to life… until it isn’t.

They say it takes two and a half years to get over the death of a five-year relationship. I’m thirteen months in, and I just want to take off this heaviness, like a winter coat, toss it onto the floor, and stand in the sun.

But baby, it’s still cold outside.

I’ve been afraid to break open my heart, and spill its contents onto the page, because I’m tired of finding the same, dry, tired grief inside. So I’ve been stealing masking tape, and twine, sealing wax and chewing gum, I’ve been sealing up the edges and binding up the seams so that nothing can escape.  Still I’ve been smart enough to pour in good poetry, great fiction, hopes and dreams and watercolor paintings. I know how my heart works.

While the ink waits, I feed it, with these things. So when my courage finds the right crack, The language will be there to push the ink out.

Today, I’ll just go through the motions, and hope.

Ask Pen – Vol. 5 – Holiday Headaches

My latest Ask Pen article is up at Here’s a preview:


Dear Pen,

2014 has been a great year, I met and fell in love with a wonderful guy, his wife is becoming a great friend, and as the holidays approach, I feel like celebrating. Problem is, holidays are full of traditions, and family, and as a secondary partner, I’m sort of the outsider, not sure what it’s fair to ask for, but don’t want to spend the holidays alone. Help?


Dear Hope,

Congratulations on your new relationship! It sounds awesome. Holidays can be stressful for polyfolk. Families don’t always know about, or welcome multiple partners. Established couples can find it difficult to change long-held traditions when a new partner comes along. Add in multiple holiday parties, the question and cost of gifts, and Uncle Joe, who can’t figure out who this pretty new stranger is at the holiday table, and it’s tough.

On the other hand, all partners have rights, and the desire to celebrate with those you love is a valid and important issue to address…