Zaedryn Meade
Zaedryn Meade ( is a queer butch activist, classically trained poet, spoken word performer, and smut writer. She has self-published two chapbooks, Covet (2001) and Valence: Fool's Gold in the Shape of Poems (2004), and one spoken word CD, For the Record (2004). Fervor: Poems from the East Village was the third in her chapbook trilogy. Her smut stories can be found in Secret Slaves: Erotic Stories of Bondage (Alyson), Love at First Sting (Cleis), Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 and 2007 (Cleis), and Super Short, Super Sexy Stories. Her poetry has been included in various collections including The Seattle Review and NPR's "This I Believe" project. Zaedryn holds degrees in both social change and creative writing
from the University of Washington, and she studied and taught performance poetry at the Bent Writing Institute for queers. She received an Honorable Mention in the Emerging Lesbian Writers Fund from the Astraea Foundation in 2008. Born and raised in the rainforest of Southeast Alaska, she now lives in New York City.

Fervor: Poems from the East Village 2005-2007

ISBN 978-1-929355-42-6   $10

Fervor: Poems from the East Village is a celebratory exploration of the rituals of love, loss, and desire in relationships. The collection sifts through the inner emotional landscape of the development of romance through chivalry and gender dynamics, following the destruction, mourning, and healing as relationships grow, change, and end. The urban textures of New York both amplify and distance human connection and relation as the city itself becomes a lover.

A sample poem from Fervor.


You bring out the want in me.

Pull it from my pelvis like a pencil-thin purple string, purling my heart, bruise-colored and plump like an overripe berry, warm with sunlight and juice, falling off the vine with barely a brush of your fingertips.

You welcome the way I want you, wrapping yourself around it, giving it a soft place to curl up and sleep. The way you look at me in the morning, when we wake bare-chested and touching everywhere, and we’d stand at the window to watch the sun rise over the Cascade mountains, watch the traffic lights change from green to yellow to red to green, my arms around your shoulders, your pink mouthed reflection in the glass: the weight of your body leaning back into me; the color of the sun on your already stunning, smelting skin, stinging from the long night of lambent sex, lingering like a flush of red wine. My hand in your hair. The curls of it so delicate. The skin of you so thin I’m spinning on your grin, imprinted on my skin, a hint of your own glimmer tinting the slim limbs of me, too long too thick too much but then I discovered they were made to fit around you.

Remember how you used to want me? Remember the times early on when our lovemaking was still all heart and solicitous, fragile and raw and sometimes too too much, saccharine-sugar-sweet, and you would whisper fuck me with such quiet breath into my ear every pulse of my body would strain to hear you say it again, say it again, and you would, so I would.

Now our silences are getting longer. I watch my impulses to bring my open palm to the small of your back, bring the inside of my elbow to the underside of your knee, bring my ear to the hollow of your breast-bone and listen. I watch my impulses until they fade away.

I crave anything that will send my body into a tense coil of fervor, that sends my blood rippling like the fist-hard contractions of your stomach, sends my pulse thrashing on my neatly smoothed bedspread, sends the cadence of my heart like a high-hat in a big-band, taa ta-ta taa ta-ta. You watch some TV show with a laugh track and sip hot chocolate and all I want is ice, crunching on it slowly until it threatens to chip my teeth and I’m forced to wait for it to melt. I want crushed ice in my throat. Swallow pieces whole as my tongue allows just to feel them on my soft palate: cold, jagged, melting.

Like you used to.

You clean the apartment in tiny shorts and that sky-blue tank-top that clings and encircles and reveals and I want bread, flaky dough, thick with yeast and salt and rising in hot ovens under fire over coils of metal made for turning on, ,and turning red. I used to fantasize about the usual exotic positions, threesomes, getting caught, but now just thinking of kissing you makes me wet and wanting caramel. Usually too sweet for me, suddenly I want that tinge of crisp pressure inside my skull-bone that comes from nowhere but burnt sugar. I’d suck sugarcane if it grew on my windowsill fourteen floors up where the New York air can still care for things with life and sweetness. I’d lick my fingertips, touch them to scattered sugar crystals on the cool white marble countertops of our borrowed kitchen and let them dissolve with the acidity of my saliva.31

You leave early and come home late and I can’t even hold a conversation with you anymore because every word in my mouth is clouded with why are we not kissing right now? and my tongue bursts like a berry every time I try to say I love want you. Juice in the corners of my mouth, spilling down my chin. I can’t think of anything at all, except that right now, we are not fucking. I’m ravenous with thirst and longing, insatiable, this pit in me can’t be filled by anything but the thin tender skin of your pink mouth

And I think: I’m becoming a vampire, a cannibal, willing to do so much to get that saccharine-sugar-sweet feeling in my mouth again. You are teaching me slowly to put desire behind glass and watch myself reflected, superimposed, and to rename that feeling ‘satisfied.’ To watch my own ravishing hunger fading away, the lights changing from green to yellow to red. And I’m watching your every move, but I want you so much I might just be willing to let you lock it all away for good, keeping the key around your neck on a pencil-thin purple string.