Thursday, January 19, 2012

The City is My Mistress - by Riccardo Berra (c) 2012 all rights reserved

You know you're out there walking
 and one line,
then an entire UNiverse sneak up to complete in your head?
send a shiver up your neck, and a shine down your spine,
So beautiful, accurate and bold of you
You should
whip out that bloody smartphone or stone tablet
and get it down
fast as you can,
But you don't
You tell yourself 
You'll remember,
You set to remembering,
get home,
You set to forgetting,
Till later when you discover
You no longer have anything.
At all
To recall
That you were once inspired
But aren't any more.

Teeth to edge and hand to heart you beg the bitch.
Kiss her feet. Promise to write.
Promise to be true.
Stop smoking, drinking,
Stop fucking other women
(Hurtful angry shitful low)
days worth more
of staring you down
She relents and returns one line.
Which with
Grateful, beyond words,
you run.
Even if
not even close
To what you had
You get back nothing
More than you deserved

This city is my mistress
I know her so well in the dark
She over me
Pressing into her
Til the complete
of release
in the solitary spaces where nobody but she and I go
For the things I do in her I can tell nobody
For her skin in winter,
Reliably cold and firm beneath my feet
I do not come home
I only am home, in her

So even when she's distant grown
And I'd, retired, banished for another become
Lost in unrequited miscollections
Another anonymity
Some dumb cock
Forced to redrink
My own shabby breath for inspiration
Hers to the last
Is the name
I'll call out.

rbb 1-8-2012 all rights reserved
My latest, written sorta in reverse, pretty much as described above.

Two poems sorta written as one?
Erotic or not? I'm up in the air listening to
Mississippi John Hurt from D.C. Blues - The Library of Congress Recordings, Volume 2
Clipped on 7-January-2012, from I'll Fly Away - YouTube
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012


copyright © 2012, all rights reserved
by Ricc Berra

It's been six months, fourteen days, twenty hours and forty-five minutes since we met. 

How often have you heard this story? 

A man walks into a working man's bar on a hot city night and approaches a girl seated near the door. She pretends not to notice as he rakes her up and down; her new Manolos, black pencil skirt, natural pearls, and the seal gray silk blouse unbuttoned to flaunt just a little more than enough of what she's got. He looks like he just stumbled out of a bowling alley. Her hair is freshly cut and styled. His is tousled in unruly ringlets. Her makeup shows attention to detail. His face, though handsome enough, needs a shave. She sips a Cosmo. He buys a beer. Offhandedly, he announces, "I don't mean to offend you, but you don't belong here.

I act offended, but in truth, I'm not. I know what you mean before you do and I love you almost instantly for saying it. Still, I play coy and won't give you the satisfaction. You do not present well on first appearance. You will need to earn my trust.

"I've as much right to be here as anybody else," I address my own reflection in the bar. "And who are you to judge me?" My inflection rises convincingly toward the end, but I give it all away when my eyes flutter, pulled to yours in such a mad gravity that I blush and look away again. It's too late. You know you have me like bait on a hook.

You say "Sorry but you're so beautiful" and repeat that I seem out of place. It still sounds like a line, but when delivered with conviction, it works. I let you buy me a drink. And another, then a third and before long I'm at ease, laughing at all the right places, touching your forearm, resting three fingers on my thigh, biting my lip. All the signposts are there for you to read and interpret. You need no roadmap, no website seduction tips, you needn't bother, I've already read them all, practiced diligently in my mirror, everything from the perfect angle to avert my eyes, to the swivel in my hips as my bare knees brush yours when I turn on the barstool to face you. Everything has been planned, orchestrated, choreographed for you until you, emboldened by drink and by what you see down my blouse when I lean forward, brush my hair away from my ear and whisper a secret, how you'd like to take me home with you and what we'd do once we get there. 

There's no cab fast enough.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Girl with Two Lovers

By Riccardo Berra (c) 2011, Love on the Edge, all rights reserved
With thanks and love to Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard

A girl takes a shower, alone in her apartment. As she sits naked in the dark to dry herself, a familiar ache grows inside her. Lit only by the glow of her computer screen, she touches herself and as she does, she composes two emails, one for each of her two lovers. She asks them to meet her the next day, one at 1l o'clock, the other at 5 o'clock.   

The first lover is a day laborer, a brooding hulk of a man, to whom she writes:

You are strong and powerful. I am putty in your hands. When I arrive, I want you to tear my clothes off, slap my face, curse at me, push me, treat me like the little whore I am. You know what I deserve. I want to feel you smothering me, pounding me until I can't breathe and I dissolve in a puddle of cream. When you finish abusing my pussy, just flip me over and force my asshole until I scream and beg for mercy, though I expect none.

The second man is a poet, an intellectual, to whom she writes:

When I arrive at five, I will be Baudelaire to your Rimbaud. I will undress slowly and you, as you always do, will recite the sonnet you've written, just today, just for me. I love that my restless spirit is your muse, your poetry our foreplay and that my body is your consummation. I ache to feel you slip inside me, softly, slowly, until my passion overwhelms me. When I feel your breathe arrest and the flood of your seed inside me, I will know our love is sacred.
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Modeling Session

by Riccardo Berra/Love on the Edge ( (c)2011all rights reserved)

No. doesn't only want women with gray hair. Who told you that? Your floral print dress is pretty. It compliments your olive skin. The conflowers make your eyes pop. Relax. Lie on the bed. Pretend you've just awakened from an afternoon nap. Good!

That's one series. Sit up. Face the window. Pull the bedsheet across your torso so the camera thinks you're naked behind it. Good.

Slip the dress off your shoulders. The tiny bow in your sexy peach bra shows just above the sheet. So do the straps. Don't look at me. Look to the side. Think about what happens when we're done taking pictures. Yes.

Now look to camera. Your hair falls over your right eye. Show more leg. Yes. Lovely.

Take off the dress. These shots—they're just for me. The peach panties are at the bottom of the frame. Good. Slide them all the way down and lie back.

Open your legs. More. They make a nice triangle in the center of the frame. No, I'm glad you didn't get that Brazilian. I love all that hair. Pinch your nipples. They're hard already? I know. It doesn't take much.

Spread your lips. Do what you do when I'm not around, but you're thinking of me. Yes. God yes.

So beautiful. Yes. This session is over.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sometimes a cigar is more than a cigar.
by Riccardo Berra (c) 2011 Love on the Edge, all rights reserved
Ricc Berra. My pleasure.  Glad to meet you too.

What do I do? For lack of a better term, I guess you could call me a lifestyle photojournalist. I work for that famous cigar mag you see on the newsstands and know by its thick glossy cover stock and glam shots of celebrities sucking on fat stogies. You do? Always great to meet a fellow enthusiast. Yup, that's it—last month's issue. There's little LiLo going down on a Cohiba. Yessir, I did. That's my cover and I can tell you stuff about her and that photo shoot that even the tabloids don't know. Exactly, what's the point? Poor little girl has enough crap on her plate without me piling it on.

Anyway, you're probably thinking, stop, you lucky bastard, you're killing me, you're, what did you say, a divisional shipping manager? You also write in your spare time? Two kids in Michigan State. Okay, yeah, shit, I know it costs a bundle. Mine starts Cornell this year. So you save like Scrooge, maybe you score four or five premium smokes a year. I won't deny I get the best, pretty much all the time, perks of the job.

I didn't always have it so good; so yes, I agree I am a bit jaded. Most of the time with factory seconds you're lucky to get a good five in a bundle. Champagne tastes and beer budget? Yeah, I feel you.

Point is the last thing I want to do is sit here and run my mouth to some guy I just met, so we can talk about anything you want except politics. Sure. Let me see your pictures. Handsome, your boys. You must be proud. Here's mine. You kidding? I don't mind.

Oh you like those shots. That's a celebrity golf outing. Yeah, that is Jack Nicholson, the Jackster.  To say I'm a lucky bastard because of all this isn't even the half of it.  Look, since you were decent enough to buy me this second drink and we're both got too much time to kill while they de-ice the wings, I'm going to tell you a piece of the other half.

I'm just back from northeastern Brazil, a charming, ancient colonial town in the Bay of Bahia called Cachoeira. One of Brazil's largest cigar makers set up shop in Cachoeira the late 1800's when its Portuguese founder left Lisbon find fame and fortune in the New World's tobacco fields. The company, Luz da Luna, was named after Dona Maria Luz de Luna, infamous widow consort to the deposed Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro II.

Brazilian leaf is enjoying an uptick of popularity due to some risqué ads that feature shots of a former Miss Brazil provocatively non-attired in the title role. You've seen them? You are a dedicated reader. Save that issue, it could be a collector's item. The ads were pulled next issue. Anyway, Brazilian Mata Fina leaf is a sort of Rodney Dangerfield of the tobaccos. But I've always found it rich, sweet and spicy—very much like the country and its people.

The publisher of the mag knows I like it. I gave a Luz da Luna cigar a great review so the president of the company asked for me. Now, I admit, other than enjoying a good smoke and having a way with words, I have no special credentials to do this job; I don't even speak Portuguese. So when I got down there, the first thing the company's press liaison did was to set me up with an interpreter, a whip-smart, funny little character named Joacy Campos-Leão, who spent most of his time regaling me with tales of his latest trip to "Novo York-ae." The parts he left out, I'll save for later.

Anyway, I do my thing with the president of the company, we tour the fields, we spend time in the curing sheds. That was day one. Then the next morning, we go their horticulture labs. It is, it's a very sophisticated operation.

So I'm just taking notes, you know, doing my thing and it's lunchtime, but the president is called away to a board meeting and his sons treat me to a nice long traditional Bahian lunch with many bottles of decent Portuguese Caves Velhas red, followed by some truly excellent smokes and it's mid-afternoon and I've basically gotten everything I need for my piece. So I bid the brothers bom dia and  I page Joacy to take me back to the hotel.

I thought I'd crank the AC and maybe get a little shuteye. Though we're icebound up here, down there in March it's blistering hot and I'm sweating like a pig. Joacy turns to me in the car and says you have two choices Señor Berra. We can go on the site seeing tour (to which I mop my brow and grimace at the prospect) or … we can go for a swim. Swim it is he says and he says he knows a spot on the Rio Paraguaçu, less than a mile from my hotel. We drop the camera gear at the hotel and I change out of my seersucker suit and put on swim trunks, a Panama hat and my loudest Hawaiian shirt. Business traveler's tip, though executives do tend to dress conservatively, there's no such thing as a "too-loud" Hawaiian shirt in Bahia.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Adulterers' Manual

by Riccardo Berra
(c) 2011, "Love on the Edge" no reprints, all rights reserved

You meet by chance in places your spouses don't want to go to with you. You never thought you'd even like somebody like her, right up to the startling moment you fell and fell hard. She is so flustered and disorganized that it would irritate you if you weren't already so hot for her. Sometimes you're desperate for things you never thought you wanted. It's only now that you realize how many times you've felt this way before and never had the courage to act.

He is so cocky and self-assured that you're certain it's an act. You don't care. You'd forgotten that just talking to a man could be so heartbreakingly erotic. When he offers you a ride home, you tell your girlfriends a breathless story you hope they'll never see through. By the time they see you leave together, you don't care anymore. He says it's not out of his way. You know it is.

A light rain mists the windshield. You fumble to turn on the wipers. You fiddle with the radio and when there's nothing worth listening to, you make small talk instead.

His car pulls off into a dark, deserted park and you say nothing. He could be a killer or a rapist, but you're already wet. Your body has decided. Cars fly by on the road you just left; their slithery whine of wheels and engines on wet blacktop fades as he kisses you for the first time. Your cunt aches with an open poverty you've never felt before. He tries to take you standing up; your panties stretched just above your ankles, your knees shaking with the twin terrors of discovery and desire. The car is warm against your bare ass.

Her breasts are small and pearly white with hard nipples clearly outlined through sheer black lace on this moonless night. You can't do it though you want her more than anything, more than any woman you've ever wanted. You become afraid that she'll think you don't and that it will be over before it begins. The irony of it is enough to make you weep.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Wild Hunt

by Riccardo Berra

(c) 2011 all rights reserved

Lo!, 'tis true I prized a hunt above all else when I'dst should'a been a'church and 'twas rather in the fields and forests with aught but the wind and the bay of dogs to flap me beard. And though 'tis true, I be  trothed to a soothfast woman of good birth who'd bore me two stout lads and a pretty wee lass, I have laid many a maid on Hallows Day.

The maids all howl and cry at their ravishment and I see the murdrous raving tearful fathers bound for their own safety by my men. All eyes dry forthwith when they spy my coppers. Unlike masters who only feign nobility I do not slaughter parents to plunder the sweet morsels of their daughters. I pay all their due. I am fair and beloved of my people. My ready maids preen; take airs, an outsized vanity in their lord's cock in their pink withers and they strut their blossoms most tiresomely for my attentions. Don't go to her Lord Eadric, instead take me again, Lord Eadric, they cry out, for is not mine sweeter than any other quim you have tasted?

I pat their arses and tell each and every maid she is my best. Now they only wail when I quit their straw chambers for the other more glorious rut; that of horse and dog, of spear and quarry.

Now I lay me 'pon the heath, breastplate cleaved, and all is a senseless red haze, but for the far off bay of the hounds. The boar's right tusk has split my chest like a maidenhead and his blood spills with mine. My last spearthrust spit him clean, snarling throat to quivering entrails. His life gurgles forth, dark-spilled, mixed with mine, his panting head and glazing eyes pressed to me as hot and fast as any lover's final embrace.

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