Truthfully, It Excites Me, Devon Balwit

Charles Hood, Specimen Jars


Truthfully, It Excites Me




I prefer meetings like yesterday’s, with the old woman ready to go into a trance at any moment and her daughter fingering everything (boot-laces, pajamas, rug, mattress), silently marveling at so much European luxury.


Emawayish has taken a fancy to my blanket.
She agrees to dictate sacred songs in exchange.

To my eye, a bargain, incantations
for factory woolens, but my boss finds them

too short, the blanket an excessive present
for so little work. Worth, it seems, shapeshifts

like a demon, growing and shrinking, satisfying
and evading. Who gets the better bargain—

the poor songs, mute on an archived page, or
the blanket, shouldered and displayed till it unravels,

the final threads knotted for adornment, the last,
a splash of red snagged from the dust by a bird.



The more the house becomes a sort of church, the more it also seems like a sort of brothel…[A]ren’t churches and brothels identical, insofar as they are places where man goes in search of peace?


I need these rituals. I want to be possessed.
This, after all, is why I left Europe for the dark

continent. How hard, though, to escape
impotence, my only ejaculations while asleep.

I watch the adepts dance, the witch doctor
wrap herself in entrails. There, amidst blood

and shit, I can almost understand, almost
cross over, before tumbling back outside

the circle, aping what I cannot become.
Having paid to be here, I keep my boots on.





I can still see her huge, yellow she wolf’s nipples.


Does it bother me that my wife reads these entries
about Emawayish, my succubus? Truthfully,

it excites me. I plan to bring a little rawhide whip
back with me, amulets and consecrated earth.

I will sprinkle the soil between our sheets and pull
her down. Overcoming my habitual fear of finishing,

I will thrust into her and finally come. That she
types these pages serves as the longest of foreplays.



                                                [epigraphs from Michel Leiris, Phantom Africa]

Devon Balwit

Scroll to Top