the poetry brothel

“Are you breaking up with me?”
“Is that what you want?”
“That’s not an answer.”
“No, I’m not breaking up with you.”

What follows is a bitterness-tinged relief and droplets of hurt that will surely dry on the carcass of their “love”.

What follows is her tears, again. His cynicism about the train-wreck of her emotions, again. And she’ll cry harder. And he’ll get meaner. And she will beg, “stop, just stop for God’s sake.” And sometimes he will and sometimes he won’t.

What follows is her sitting outside smoking and drinking, again. He’ll grab a beer and not say a word, again. She’ll ask him why he’s so cruel, again. And he’ll tell her she’s impossible. He’ll tell her she drains him. He’ll tell her she’s a mess. She’ll cry again or push her talons out and scar right back.

And inside her, the howls objecting to how ridiculous whatever they fought about was. Inside her, the mind’s voice will revive the love and say let it go, again. And she’ll tell him she’s sorry sometimes and sometimes she’ll ask him to hug her and sometimes he will and sometimes he won’t.

Or she’ll ignore him as completely as he ignores her, again. Hours will pass and the sadness and anger will grow dull but throb still, again. Then he’ll come to her talking as though nothing happened. No point. They both know it, they do. It’s their thing, the same arguments on loop, wearing different masks. And she’s tired and he’s tired. He’ll say he’s sorry again and she’ll forgive him again or retaliate ruthlessly.

And it’s always her fault and it’s always his fault. Again. Again. And love flowing in rivulets in between.

Graveyard Gravity, Brothel Poetry

Might be the saddest poem I ever wrote.

anonymous asked:

Can you explain how Milady and D'Artagnan and everyone are different in the books compared to the tv shows?

To do this question justice, I should probably re-read the books and write a long, properly researched essay in comparative literature. But I will have to restrict myself to a few bullet points. Anyone reading this – feel free to add your own points. It’s been over a year since I last read The Three Musketeers, and I didn’t anticipate that it would’ve been useful to memorise all details. The gist is that pretty much all characters were given a modern mindset for the series, and that they were stripped of qualities that made them pretty much reprehensible human beings in the novel. In conclusion: the BBC versions are less entitled, more tragic. Just add manpain™.

Here’s an overview:


  • Starts out with an entirely different premise than on the show: he sets off from home with his father’s blessing to become a musketeer, and is infused by the proper feudal spirit. “Endure nothing from anyone except Monsieur the Cardinal and the king,” his father tells him. Pretty much the exact opposite to how he’s introduced on the show, where he and his father travel to Paris to complain about how the King and the Cardinal are ruining the country with taxes. His life’s ambition is to become a musketeer, and that’s his motivation for going to Paris; whereas BBC d’Artagnan became a musketeer because of the narrative imperative. Either that, or because of his crush on Athos.
  • Becomes the mastermind of the four. “I always said that this cadet from Gascony was a well of wisdom,” murmured Athos. He comes up with their cunning plans.
  • After he finds out that Milady is Evil, he worms his way into her bed by pretending he’s the man she’s in love with and whom she is actually expecting that night. He manages to sneak into her bed by seducing her maid, who’s in love with him, so that she smuggles him into Milady’s bedroom. All this happens while he’s in love with Constance, because, as he tells Athos: “I loved Madame Bonacieux with my heart, while I only love Milady with my head” (‘head’, yeah, right).
  • On his way to London to retrieve the Queen’s diamonds from Buckingham, he assaults a complete stranger (who due to the narrative imperative later turns out to be Milady’s lover) to take his passport off him, injures him and leaves him to die. Then, casting a glance on the handsome young man, who was scarcely twenty-five years of age, and whom he was leaving in his gore, deprived of sense and perhaps dead, he gave a sigh for that unaccountable destiny which leads men to destroy each other for the interests of people who are strangers to them and who often do not even know that they exist. […]This being properly done, they drew the Comte de Wardes close to his servant; and as night was approaching, and as the wounded man and the bound man were at some little distance within the wood, it was evident they were likely to remain there till the next day.


I wrote a lengthy essay on Milady, where I talk about her characterisation in the book. Here’s an additional thought:

  • Milady has a son by her second husband, and a monkey. I wish they had left in the monkey. I don’t even like monkeys, but the idea that dramatic Dark Action Girl Milady would have such a silly pet as a monkey amuses me. (Still, seeing as Milady doesn’t even appear to have a maid, any servants whatsoever or even a house, the monkey is the least important omission.)


  • Was utterly whitewashed for the series and turned into this noble and tortured hero. He’s much more entitled in the novel. Book Athos’ idea of honour is to lie to the lower classes and invoke his honour of a gentleman to get out of paying them. He would never do anything as saccharine as giving a beggar money, because he “has the hands of a musician” *rolls eyes*
  • Doesn’t think twice about gambling away everything he owns, plus d’Artagnan’s possessions (including horse, saddle, money and a diamond ring), simply because he’s bored.
  • Is a talkative and merry drunk, on the whole, rather than an angsty one.
  • Has trained his valet not to talk. If the poor man does happen to talk, Athos thrashes him mercilessly, albeit dispassionately.
  • Hangs his wife without a trial, because he discovers that she’s branded with the sign of the criminal on her shoulder. I think it is generally agreed that the main mystery here is how it is possible that he found it out only because she fell from her horse and he had to rip her clothes open and not during all that sex that they were having.
  • Defers to d’Artagnan when it comes to their plans of campaign, because he considers d’Artagnan their master strategist.


  • Is a vain dandy. That’s the core of his characterisation, really.
  • Likes to parade around all pimped out, and pretends he has more money and riches than he has. Book Porthos would die of apoplexy if he ever learned that he became famous as the slums-raised bastard son of a former slave.
  • In order to raise money, he pretty much bullies his married mistress to steal money from her husband, and when it’s not enough to meet his requirements, he goes off in a sulk.


  • Surprisingly young. He’s only 21 or 22 in the first novel.
  • Was meant to become an abbé and was in a seminary since the age of nine. Leaves the seminary temporarily to duel with a man who insulted him when he was reading poetry in a brothel. That evening I had translated an episode of Judith, and had just communicated my verses to the lady, who gave me all sorts of compliments, and leaning on my shoulder, was reading them a second time with me. Her pose, which I must admit was rather free, wounded this officer. Kills that man in the duel and is encouraged to leave the seminary due to the ensuing scandal.
  • Keeps talking about how he’s only a musketeer for a time and plans to become ordained in future. There’s one *very dramatic* scene where he thinks that his mistress has left him and is determined to become a priest straightaway – until he learns that she has not abandoned him after all and changes his mind instantly.
  • Is the least sociable of them. As to Aramis, he never played. He was the worst Musketeer and the most unconvivial companion imaginable. He had always something or other to do. Sometimes in the midst of dinner, when everyone, under the attraction of wine and in the warmth of conversation, believed they had two or three hours longer to enjoy themselves at table, Aramis looked at his watch, arose with a bland smile, and took leave of the company, to go, as he said, to consult a casuist with whom he had an appointment. At other times he would return home to write a treatise, and requested his friends not to disturb him.
  • After d’Artagnan, the other one with the brains and the plans. Well-connected in society through his “cousin”, i.e. his rich and influential mistress, who remains in the background and provides money and support, if needed. (Actually, this is something I still want to tackle in fic. Aramis can keep all those scattered loves of his life, but there’s that one long-term lover, an older lady who guides him from afar, who’s aware of his flirtations and affairs, and equally aware that he’s first and foremost hers and always will be.)

I’m sure I’ve omitted loads; also, I’ve confined myself to the first of the D’Artagnan Romances. And I haven’t even mentioned Constance, I may do this at some later point.

‘And everybody talks and sings and drones and phones and gossips about love, but no one tells you how to practice it, you know?’ she sips her cocktail, 'like you hate, so you hurt–you’re sad, you cry–you’re horny, you fuck–but you love,’ she pauses, 'and what? what do you do?’