The Ultimate Price | A Collaboration with Lauren M

©2021 Lauren M and Michael Raven

I can't let you hear
            ragged panting breathing
  I need to be hidden
                    so cover me
                      whole with
                          your body
           smother & jetblacken me

                  maybe I'll come up for air

                                  eve nt ually

        hot lips   your teeth
  tear the sutures clean to drinkme


                      fill me lover
          make me banshee howl
           wash my limp skin rags
     scrub my worn flesh clean

           an umbra eye-witness
 to sickness and laughter 
          nails clipped rough 
   from their beds
           as we assume 
             our positions 
      [in the funeral home

pale legs wrapentraptwine
       and draw hold tight
     in wine-stain'd lace
          neither of us will
     sleep this winter night


               nail me down 
           bury me|six inches deeper
          bone grinding in the morgue
             & the director weeping harder
                 than the preacher
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Lauren, from The Lexicon, once again lets me ride on her coattails for this, as she described it, a nec/romance piece we wrote together recently. I always enjoy when I have the opportunity to work with Lauren, as the pieces we have collaborated on over time seem to write themselves (okay, she does most of the heavy lifting, who am I trying to kid? I get to be the slacker).

I haven’t put the call out recently, but I am generally open to collaborative writing as long as the chemistry works between all of the writers involved (I’ve worked on pieces with as many as five poets on a single piece in the ancient past and it was only possible because we all shared a very warped sense of humor and it bled the piece through and through). Post a comment below, or use my contact form, if you’d like to try to work together on a piece of writing or DAW-based music.


She hated herself for looking, but what was she supposed to do when Kira absently dangled her high heel shoe from her toes. That was the clarion call for Paula to admire Kira’s stocking-clad (sheer black, of course) arch, ankles and then began the inevitable crawl up her muscular calves to her thigh. And, dammit, Kira’s dress was short enough that Paula caught a glimpse of the lace top of her stockings and the garter belt that kept those things up on her impossibly long legs.

All afternoon Paula had been distracted — so much so that it seemed a miracle that Kira had yet to notice her frequent and lengthy stares. Or, perhaps, Kira did notice and kept it up for Paula’s benefit. That should have made Paula feel better, but it had the opposite effect — she felt terrible because she wanted to comment on it, but didn’t know if Kira would take it the wrong way if she did.

And they were no where close to getting the Davis project done and it was due to the client before they left for the day.

© Michael Raven


“Why?” he asked as she nibbled his neck. “I mean, it’s not like I don’t appreciate it, but I’m ugly as hell.”

She shushed him, putting a finger on his lips.

“Your soul is beautiful as hell, and that’s all that really matters to me,” she said once he’d stopped trying to speak through her fingers. The matter settled, her lips drifted like soft velvet from his neck to one of his nipples and he decided he didn’t care about the whys of it all.