Sex & X-Ianity: The Sacred Collective Podcast

Sex & X-Ianity, Corner Coffee, Minneapolis, MN

Thanks to the Sacred Collective podcast here is the audio from Maria French’s event, “Sex and X-ianity: A new theology of sexual ethics beyond purity cults”, which was took place at Corner Coffee in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 9th, 2020. The event was MC’ed by Brandon Meland, with music by Andriana Lehr, poetry by Chris Fletcher, and a talk given by Maria French.

Sex & X-Ianity Event Podcast

Sex & X-Ianity

Corner Coffee, Minneapolis, MN
Once again, my colleague Maria Francesca French invited me to be part of an event she hosted called “Sex & X-Ianity” – she asked me to participate by reading my poetry for the spoken word portion of the event. The event was centered around the incredibly damaging effects of purity cult(ure) within certain forms of Christianity, like Evangelicalism. Here are the pieces I wrote and read along with some photos from the event.    

Greetings and thank-you…
I would like to invite all of you to a place not too far away, a small one-bedroom apartment dimly lit by candlelight, an open bottle of Beaujolais and a Leonard Cohen record playing quietly. While you are sitting alone looking out the window as the snow is falling and you wonder how you got to this place in your life, who would want to hear your story, share your bed, find comfort in your arms? 

"A crisis of faith - when you seriously question whether what you believe, how you see, what you're committed to is actually true - is a good thing. It's not pleasant. It hurts. The ground goes wobbly. You may be reaching for sleeping pills or alcohol or a lover to get you from 2 to 4:30 a.m. each night.”
~ Kent Annan, Author
That Year 
He took lovers that year
Like brilliant novels
Reading part way through
Without finishing 
Before starting with the next
He wanted nothing 
But a new page to turn
Until he forgot what he was reading
Andriana Lehr, Musical Guest
Maria Francesca French, Speaker
Brandon Meland, Emcee
Christopher G. Fletcher, Spoken Word
She desired a poem 
A portrait of 
a man...
Who could have sex with her soul
While tasting her thoughts
As she read books to him wearing only the breeze  
a man...
Who could unravel riddles with his tongue 
As he watched her words turn into moans
She desired a poem

"A morning of awkwardness is far better than a night of loneliness."
~ Hank Moody
Narrow hips
Small breasts
The waif walked into the bar
Ordered a tequila without training wheels 
Sat down and shot it
Turned to me 
And asked, “who the hell are you?”
I replied, “no one.”
As I winked and whispered, 
“Your eyes have smitten me.”
She snickered and said, “I thought it was my ass? Whatever it is buy me a drink.”
“Sure, for now it’s gin and tomorrow is already here.”
“Fuck tomorrow and maybe you later” she yelled for the whole bar to hear over the din
Okay I said, “blow jobs are like fist bumps now - let’s drink to that.”
"Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent human being in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all of the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine."
~ Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 3; 1939-1944 
 "My reputation as a ladies’ man was a joke 
that caused me to laugh bitterly 
through the ten thousand nights
 I spent alone.”
~ Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing
Sex dripping from bathroom walls
Gin stained hearts
Smoke filled dreams
You start out ragged
And end up halfway distinguished
Smelling like a secondhand store
Wearing ripped black nylons
Smoking Lucky Strikes
Looking across the bar
For inconvenience
To wash loneliness away for the night
Pouring pain out of a low ball into an empty stare
We write stories
On our bodies
In ink only our eyes can see
In a language only we understand
Exhausting our imaginations
Until the last word
In our flesh is carved
With silence and prowess
Indistinguishable lines from one to the other
Fluidity of writhing
Crashing waves
Reverberating thunder
Wild eyes illuminated with phosphorous
Contorting fetishes in secret wells
Deep reservoirs of unknown pleasure
Stories to loud to be silenced by fear
I will sleep with you
We will be without borders
Surrendered wills to prophetic tantric trances
Closer and closer and closer
Then again close
On the tingling edge of climax
Then the shaking and violent release
Of the storm clouds over the valley
Fermented grapes aged with alchemy
A sweet river of ecstasy dripping from the vine
Onto waiting lips and open mouth
Quiet sighs and worn moans
Soft rain on cotton sheets damp with sweat
Washing the night out of opened doors
With eyes closed the story is written
The ink is dry
Our bodies lost on unknown skies

“I will remember your small room, the feel of you, the light in the window, your records, your books, our morning coffee, our noon’s, our nights, our bodies spilled together, sleeping, the tiny flowing currents, immediate and forever. Your leg, my leg, your arm, my arm, your smile and the warmth of you who made me laugh again."
~ Charles Bukowski 
My Lover
Perfume and Passion 
Naked poetry on blank sheets of desire 
As love falls like mist on skin 
While the morning light awakes 
Rising over entangled bodies 
Wrapped in magic 
Spellbound in love 
Warmed by words, fragrance and desire 
Oh, lover 
How long ago was forever 
Before the day you walked in the door 
As yesterday faded beyond the horizon
I Love You
I love you
With candlelight
Soft music and wine
Tender kisses
Sighs beneath the weight of the world
Six degrees away from eternity
Lift me up to your eyes
Erase yesterday with your smile
Curl up next to me
Against the night
Until daylight
Refreshed in your presence
An angel singing
Turning tears into warm spring rain
Resurrecting love
Excavating hope
The blooming of forever
I love you
At the beginning of the evening Maria asked if I would create a poem in real time as the event was unfolding and then read it at the end of the event. This is what was created. 
After our shared stories
Purity past
Yearning for connection
After the lies our parents and pastors told us
Fear of desire
Virgin tears on pillows
Inside/outside/beyond marriage and labels
“Nuns run bald through Vatican halls, pregnant, pleading immaculate conception.”
Fucking the mind
While the body remains untouched
Desire dripping kindness
Fucking/masturbating/ethical orgasms
Sinful acts
Without context
Without relationships
What about the fucking judgement of others
Use your body when you do it
Feel your sex stories
Outside of power constructs
Counter cultural bodies
Dancing their truth to power