The Phoenix  from TJOK–I can’t figure out how to remove the image of the original “old leather” cover of the first edition, so until I do both old and new will be shown. If you’re new here, you can now understand that I am a complete techno-idiot.

The first edition will soon be out of print. When Lethe Press published it this year they, of course, put the gorgeous new cover and I took advantage of the change-over to improve and correct a few little things. If you’re interested in the book, please buy the new one published by Lethe.

Thank you!

Excerpts With a Difference.

This is an experiment. It’s so difficult to take sections out of context for excerpts. I’ve decided to try excerpting several snippets that give a sense of what the characters are like. I would like comments on whether readers think it piques their interest in the book or not. Email me at



Kit, at 17:


“Everyone has some kind of power over me except myself. Someday I’ll have it. And when I get it I won’t let it go.”


Kit, at 24:


When he wanted sport it was not with a woman. And it would never be with anyone who begged.


Kit, at 24, seeing the painting “Phoenix”


He continued to stare at the bird rising on wings of red-and-gold flames. “It’s my soul,” he whispered. “My very soul.”


Nick, at 14:


 “I pledge my soul to purity, my body to chastity, and my industry to mankind.” Only the last would be easy.


Nick, at 29, after his first night with Kit (or any man):


He was a doctor. He knew a great deal about the human body. But last night he’d learned how little he knew about what his body wanted and what it was capable of doing and experiencing. He had sinned and sinned and sinned again, and had done it with complete joy.


The explosion of fury


In an effort to give peace one last try, Kit said, “Nico, I need you. We need each other. Don’t do this to us.”


“I’m doing nothing. You did the harm. I defied God for you. And you repay me by playing the whore with half the men in England.”


A bubble of unamused laughter rose in Kit’s chest. “Half, Nico? Only half? My God, how did that happen?”


“You bypassed the ugly, the insane, and the dead!”


Kit swung from his heels and knocked Nick flat on his back. He stood over him, fists cocked. “I need you more than I’ve ever needed anyone. But by God I won’t tolerate this. I’ve been faithful to you. I can’t make you believe me so to hell with you.”




Nick looked into Kit’s eyes and said in a strangled voice, “You are my private devil, do you know that?”


“No, I’m not,” Kit said without a smile.  “I’m your one true love. You simply don’t know it yet.” And then he kissed him savagely.


The confession


“Kit!” Nick shouted. “Kit! Kit! Wake up! Kit!” He called it over and over until the glazed look went out of Kit’s eyes. Dazed, he looked at his clenched fists and his arms being held immovable in Nick’s white-knuckled hands. “Nico, what did I do?” His eyes were wide with fear.


“You tried to strangle me and damn near succeeded.” He released Kit’s arms and slowly moved away from him. “You said the nightmares were over. Kit, I want to know what this is all about. I deserve to know.”


“Yes,” Kit whispered. “You do. I should have told you long ago.” He sat up, wrapped his arms around his knees, and sat there for a long, painful silence. When he spoke it was in a voice that sometimes broke, sometimes halted, sometimes fell silent for minutes at a time. “I was born Jack Rourke. My father was a demon and my mother was a whore. I was a thief. I was good at it. The scars on my back are from whippings my old man gave me just for existing. He broke my finger for no reason except that he could. My excuse for a mother did nothing to prevent any of it. … My old man tried to kill me. I killed him instead. I was fourteen.”


Descent into hell


Kit stared down at his bloody hands and at the body on the floor. Even as Nick watched, Kit’s battered face changed. The living light left his eyes. He pitched forward into Nick’s arms.


And… the poem.


Without the sanction of Society

Without the sanction of the Church

Without the sanction of God

Without the sanction even of yourself

I love you









 video for The Phoenix