Unmuzzled and other poems

by Tyler David Jones


‘You’ll be unmuzzled, you certainly will.’

– Walt Whitman, “Faces”

When first I rubbed that oil

on skin, the scent like cat piss

(a flushed throat protest)

I thought it slow:-

the pitiful creep of wolf hair

from thatched dividing line to 

full belly, pelting underskin.

I missed the spreading fur

from thigh to ankle

–the thick dark pattern–

black whorls sprouting

in armpits,

musk down soaked

in wet-scent.

It took months

to feel my teeth full boned

and muscles harden, swollen:

the new broad shape of

me in moonlight.

Now nightly, whether

bloody or just hungry,

the red firm length of me


on thighs,

drips unsheathed on

ass, the hot

and needy scent

(deep) in

nostrils. Smell 

the man I am today,

the bucking

dumb-dog need to

eat prey mate.

No oil or gel will beckon

saltlick semen forth

to breed with

or drop balls or

tear milk teats

from rib wall,

but note, this howl is


now it thunders,

wakes all keepers.

To Forsake Body

‘What does it mean, to forsake a body?’

– Jubi Arriola-Headley, “Daddy”

remember when I offered myself 

bodily, envy made manifest

in grasping hands, desperate for your

hesitance, well aware

of the dangers of insistence

(and you, you knew all that it meant

to fear touch yet overwhelm my skin

with your smooth, olive lick of 

thighs– quivering bulks

like statues atop earthquakes)

I cupped your balls with both hands,

drank my fill, shared 

the precise sound of longing

forged beneath my tongue

and brought you in among bones:

the choke of my throat is not just 

tears but an expression of reverence;

the words in your mouth not a kiss

but a need to be heard

Rx (Once daily)

I sit on your lap, all gangly knees and sharp shoulders,

pleased by my own audacity – the guts (you’d say

the balls) it takes to breach your bubble yet again.

My chin on your collarbone, your chest a steady heat,

while you lengthen your breath and wait with me.

I play with your ponytail: bat it enough, you’ll crack.

Tug on your shirt, you’ll react

to me, to me, to me.

I think I should prescribe this: me in your lap,

once daily. Supplemented with kisses,

if necessary (if permitted).

I hope tonight’s the night you finally try it:

twist my top, work me open and down me.

I touch every hole of your belt, like a question.

You toss me back and eat me entire.

Ode to a Massage

Aaron, afghan, show dog, 

glazed with fur and silken words,

show off. Investigative, analyst,

curled, perfect and sleek,

touching us because I have allowed it,

shining, flushing, riding, and

I did not cry. I thought I might

flood to ocean at the sight of him.

Instead, I’m aggressive, instinctive,

on display and well revealed,

his soft touch pressure at the fascia,

at the muscle. Every fingertip precise

to prevent a reaction.

The semi-public nature of the rooms, all linked to one another. The single corridor. The constant opening and closing of doors. A vacuum, a fan, his intake of breath:

it was pleasant. I felt…


This heavy feeling as heavy petting. Or heavy petting as heavy feeling. 

I am beginning to learn how to tell the difference.

Tyler David Jones is a twenty-seven year old trans poet from the depths of Somerset. He is in his final year as a Creative Writing degree student at Bath Spa University and writes with ever-increasing honesty about his experiences of gender, trauma and queerness. Twitter: @write_or_ty