Kissed by Venus, A Love Letter to the Editor

baxterclare Baxter's Blog & News 4 Comments

Flaming June – Lord Frederic Leighton

Kissed by Venus is the only magazine I ever take time to read, from it’s always-arresting front cover through to the back, where Botticelli’s delectable Venus suggestively anticpates the next issue.  Front to back, every contribution merits praise, far too much to post in a comment box.

“Flaming June” – A perfectly prescient cover for this late, burning-summer release. Thought until I blew it up it was a Waterhouse I had overlooked (love him – he’s the background of the computer on my website) but now I’ve found a new artist to explore.

“Requiem” – Where did we go? Modern culture is fast losing so many of the ceremonies (bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras) that honor the transition from childhood to womanhood. I had no clear demaraction and live with the benignly lingering ghost of the girl/young woman I used to be.

“Stranger Than Fiction” – In my early lesbianhood I wore my hair in a mullet and tried to be a man-hating butch. That lasted until I realized I would have to spend the rest of my life actively disliking over 50% of the human population. And wasn’t that what I was supposed to be so angry about, that men were such misogynists, each and every one hating each and every woman on earth? I’m embarrassed to say my hypocrisy lasted even two weeks. I let my hair grow out and decided to judge each man, and woman, on individual rather than collective merit.  Now, many suns later, with the publication of The River Within I’ve had to confront that ‘what is a lesbian?’  question all over again. Still have no sharp or easily defined answer. That in itself defines diversity.

“The Art of P” – One of my favorite quotes is from James Hillman, attributed to Don DeLillo: “The work…comes out of all the time a writer wastes. We stand around, look out the window, walk down the hall, come back to the page…”. I like to add, “… and repeat.”

“A Fairy Queen” – Deeply in the middle of Wilson’s When Women Were Warriors, Book I, and now know I have all the promise of Book II to look forward to. Ahhh.

“Kissing Bobby Kennedy” – Like reading the diary of “Joan” on  “Mad Men”! What could have been a very sad essay about the Butterfly Effect, was actually very affirming. If one considers that a single kiss may have diverted history’s course, if it was that important, then I like to believe it had to happen, was destined as part of a master plan we have no vision for. I think our choice of a God does indeed “see every sparrow that falls”, and as hard as that may be to watch, there is a reason for each sparrow’s fall. Maybe RFK would have recreated the mythos of  his brother’s Camelot (though even paradisaical Camelot was eventually lost). Or maybe he had to fall so things could get worse before they got better. Either way, I’m glad Marguerite met her date with Fate.

“5 Simple Rules” – Well, I at least know I’ll never be living with Jane Hunter.

1.  It will be on my list of Lifetime Achievements should the cutlery ever find it’s way from the dishwasher basket into a drawer. Any drawer.

2.  Half my socks are stuck invisbly to the dryer and I assume the other half are equally stuck someplace in the washing machine. Either that or the sock monster got them. Given how often I clean, there could well be a sizeable sock monster living happily in the pantry.

3.  What’s a laundry basket? Is that something sock monsters eat?

4.  Aw, come on. The best sex is shower sex…all those slippery suds….the risk of a broken leg…running out of hot water….

5.  Cooking…that’s what restaurants do, right?

“The Dead Place” – Response to Chris, when she cheerfully announces she wants to recon ‘the dead place’ even though it’s four in the afternoon: “Run, you idiot! Run like hell!” Response when she decides to continue despite Sophie’s (her very smart girlfriend’s) protests: “Run, you idiot, run!” To Sophie, who has a very bad (and sensible) feeling about this place: “I hear you, honey. How about you and me go back to camp and start a little fire?” Finally, to Chris, “Listen to your girlfriend next time!”  

I love Kate Genet – she’s good, clean, spooky fun. The lesbian Stephen King.

“More Than Zero” – With nurse practioners like C.M. Harris’, we need more articles like this. I hope this gets reprinted in other places.

“And Thereby Hangs A Tale” – MKM is very brave. I’m glad I got the easy, on-line interview. Phew! And maybe because I’m a writer, I get a kick reading how many words a day an author writes and what time she does her best writing. (After working all day, John Grisham wrote when his wife and kids  finally went to bed – incredible!!)  

Another AbFab edition, Alexandra. Venus and I wistfully look ahead to the next.












Comments 4

  1. What a wonderful write-up and encapsulation of the latest issue of the magazine, Baxter, thank you for that! And I’m happy to hear we captivated you from beginning to end, cover to cover, and yes, hope we continue to do so.

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  4. Thank you Clare. I didn’t see this before or would have thanked you sooner. It was shock and dismay when Venus ceased publishing. Truly a beautiful magazine. Plus, I got to friend you.

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