A.H. Scott: Just One of the Girls

crossdresser photographed in Hamburg living room
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2021

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Just One Of The Girls

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Standing before my mirror, a spectacle of burgeoning bliss I see in reflection
Just one of the girls ‘tis I
From fishnets, wig of curly locks, and toe-pinching stilettos that brings forth a happy tear of sigh
Corset tight fills me with delight
Lipstick in the color pink, or maybe a darker rose I think
Softer tones and contented moans
I have muscles a bit bigger than the light feathers most may think of when imagining a girl
But, I don’t care when I dress up for myself in this hidden world
Clara Bow and Greta Garbo are accentuations to my flow
Sumptuous Marlene embodies the tender illumination in this living space of contemplation
Unlike The Blue Angel adorned in a tux
Lace, frills and a feather boa make me feel deluxe
Scattered reels at my feet are gems of classic Celluloid which I adore
Nice to have a few memorable sprockets on my floor
Masterpieces of Lang and von Sternberg’s deft touches are perpetual in my visionary flair
Strands of long pearl necklaces I wear from time to time with a flapper’s dress is a lovely sight when I shimmy about
When I indulge myself here I never pout
Garter and panty of finest fabric and vinyl is my vestment of victory in this private space
Exposure of light and shadow formulate my craft
My imagination never takes a rest
Just me being one of the girls is the best
Aromatics of star anise, cinnamon, and fragrances so sublime are entwined in the atmosphere of my lush abode
Starting my solo dance of seduction in stilettos I strode
Chanteuse’s voice drifts from the gramophone
The Little Sparrow reveals her heart within the words of “C’est L’amour” in that triumphant tone
Michel’s copper spire of Baroque is the beacon I see against a skyline of midnight
To the black! To the red! To the yellow!
I curl and sashay myself within this banner of serene reality
Night in Hamburg is a glorious thing to see
Especially for just another one of the girls who is me
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Milan Burnett: My Thoughts About Sex

Erotic photo semi nude of black model Milan Burnett
Homepage: October 2021

Text by Milan Burnett, Copyright 2021

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My Thoughts About Sex

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I was never always the confident, outspoken individual that I am today. I struggled a lot with self consciousness growing up, and it took a lot of self reflection and mental work to look at myself in the mirror and claim that I was beautiful. I was never a fan of dressing to impress while in school, not just because I didn’t care much, but because I truly didn’t feel beautiful on the inside either. I believe the true definition of beauty belongs solely to the individual, and starts with genuine self love and self care. I realized that doing small things for myself such as getting my nails done at the salon, or just taking myself out for drinks, was super important. I was never big on makeup, but I learned to love a nice hint of lip gloss, too. That instant shine and pop of color to the lips? A simple, yet sexy, classic! Once self care became a more recurring thing, the confidence and self awareness eventually came on its own.

I always think back and find it amusing how I went from this self conscious, timid person, to where I am today. When I was 19, I found myself working at my very first gentleman’s club as an exotic dancer in Queens, NY. The first day was a nightmare. I hardly made any money, and the girls I was working amongst were certainly not shy like I was, and knew their way around the floor. I was determined to come back and make it worth my while the next time. The more I got acclimated to the environment, I also became much more comfortable and free with myself in general. Not to mention, the money I was making was great after a while! The topic of sex and being free and open minded wasn’t taboo there. And I appreciated that.

I never understood why the topic of something as natural as sex was such an awkward or “explicit” thing to talk about amongst peers. Not to say every conversation should revolve around it, or be overly graphic, but there is certainly no need for people to be as prude about it as they usually are. Sex is one of the most freeing experiences for me. I completely let myself go. Sex is passionate, it’s fun. With the right person, I love being able to let myself go, and allowing that inner succubus to come to life.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR : Milan is currently an administrative healthcare professional, originally from New York, now residing in Philadelphia. Aspiring model and real estate broker. Free thinker. Humanitarian by nature. Spiritual revolutionary in the making. This is Milan’s first contribution to Tony Ward Studio.

Studio News: Lost Negatives Due to Flood

Inez. At the Penthouse Club New York. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

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Studio News: Lost Negatives Due to Flood

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It is always a good practice to go back through the files to find new pictures that were never made available to the public before. Unfortunately, some of the negatives from this shoot for Neiman Marcus in May of 2004 were lost during a flood at the studio on July 25, 2021.  The flood was caused by a ruptured water main at the corner of 6th & Bainbridge streets in Philadelphia.  We were at ground zero during the event taking on thousands of gallons of water before the Philadelphia Water Department was able to shutdown the water flowing at break neck speed through the ruptured pipe. 

It has taken me weeks to sift through the losses of countless negatives that were in the darkroom suite while I was  in the process of reviewing negatives from the archives for an upcoming exhibition at the Dupree Gallery opening on October 1, 2021.  Unfortunately, some of the images I was considering to exhibit have been destroyed due to catastrophic flood damage to the negatives that were in the process of being printed in the darkroom in consideration for the exhibition. 

This color negative of  Inez, modeling lingerie for my client Neiman Marcus  survived the floodwaters. Approximately, twelve thousand seven hundred and twenty  other negatives in color and black and white did not have the same fate. 

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Katie Kerl: Thirty Seven – The Power of Enlightenment

Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2021

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Thirty Seven: The Power of Enlightenment

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Lying in bed recovering from a long birthday week in Miami. This year I took a different approach to the trip. I reserved two days for myself at Hotel Victor in South beach. Let me tell you what a hidden gem this 4.3 star Hotel and Spa is. I picked a pool side room that had two chaises, teak cabana out of my bedside door, and the breakfast to go with it. 

Upon arriving walking into the lobby, I immediately noticed some of the best musical talent lining the walls. Biggie Smalls, Madonna, Prince, Bob Marley, and one piece that said, “waiting for change”. That is exactly what we have been doing this year, and our entire lives. To say I was pleased was an understatement. The friendly welcoming staff was great. There were bikes to ride up and down Ocean Drive, MAC computer stations if you needed to work while there, gym, and spa.

The K’alma Spa which happens to be located on the bottom level of the hotel was quite the experience. I immediately went down to book a massage. I chose the 90-minute massage and meditation package. K’alma happened to be a crystal healing spa as well. Upon arrival you walk into a gemstone lined hallway and are asked to sit under one that spoke to you. I just so happened to choose the rose quartz which happened to mean eternal love. It purifies and opens the heart to promote healing and inner peace. I felt like I made the prefect decision. The massage melted the year filled with pandemic, cancer, and losses right off me. The meditation room and large lounge chairs and hanging bird cage seats as well.  The staff was so kind and informative. They have a second location in Chicago as well. I will absolutely be be headed back there.

I walked Ocean drive and met lots of new people who were likeminded about life. I ate at Café Americano located in the hotel. They offered 20 % off for their guests. I thought this was going to be basic being they were handing out discounts. I stood corrected; I highly suggest it with all the gimmicky spots on Ocean Drive. I had the snapper, and the whole fish the next night with complimenting blueberry lemon drops; which my waiter kept flowing. 

Joia Beach is my absolute new favorite beach club. All bamboo, rattan, live edge seating/tables lining Parrot jungle. The servers are all nice and gorgeous. The cocktails were amazing, and their happy hour is 4-6 Mon-Fri. We had the hummus and a few orders of the grilled octopus. Filled with the who’s who of Miami. Friday nights if your lucky to get a dinner table they have a DJ, fire throwers, and little boutique shops straight out of boho heaven.

We checked out Papi Steak as well. It is a part of Groot Hospitality. We had a surf and turf meal. Aged rib eye, lobster tail, branzino, truffle butter, the asparagus and mushrooms. They brought out a real gold flecked cherry cheesecake at the end that said Happy Birthday. Papi Steak also shows an Alec Monopoly piece located in the middle of the dining room; Alec is a famous graffiti artist. The restaurant Is family friendly and saw many happy kids. The cocktails were even better. While the waiters boasted double breasted jackets; the dress code vibe was Miami luxury streetstyle. I would absolutely go back there.

This really made me appreciate how far I have come this year. Everything I did by myself went seamlessly and better than my expectations. No one next to me on my flights, barley spent any money in certain places, getting let into table only events, and sliding into Dance floor at Space Park that we just so happened to be guest listed on; thanks to a friend. 

We also hit Tree House and Space Miami for Solomun. One of my favorite techno DJ’s. 

This week also happened to be one of the girls 40th as well. 

Let me tell you; life is a trip with how this week ended.

 The Airbnb they rented was made for a party house. All Miami themed rooms, outdoor graffiti art, and pool table which ended up being the DJ set up instead. 

Thirty-three people, three tables, and $9700 later Space music never disappoints.

 Although, when you find yourself at these events there is always the one completely out of control person who just never seemed to grow up mentally. Now, I’m standing there realizing this in a night club and thinking to myself, “thank you god I do not solve my problems by partying anymore.” It made a friend look so ugly to me. I had it with the weirdness and popped up on the raised area and shook it off dancing for a bit realizing I made every right decision for myself this year. A week in Miami was not going to change that. I got to see a few people I had not in years who ended up being even nicer the more I talked to them.

The last day kind of just made me feel sorry for the person who upset almost 30 people being selfish and not dealing with their real-life issues. Letting someone know their actions were inexcusable was one of the most eye opening, and sad things I have had to do in a long time. We all go though it. It is the effort it takes to put your bruised ego aside and save your friendships before you have none left. Another point I tried to make before leaving; own you mistakes to keep people in your life. 

If there is a consistency to your issues and multiple people have brought it to your attention. 

It is you, not everyone else.

When do you decide to do the work and become self-aware?  

All in all, outside of a few strange hours I had an amazing week of self-discovery. 

I am coming home for a Photo shoot for my latest interview. 

It is about empowering women entrepreneurs who are doing alternative things, while still having it all. 

I hope to do many more of these with the laundry list of things that stop women from starting. 

Crypto is up from my latest piece. I am overjoyed I took the leap and jumped in. Now I am looking into NFT’s which is art built on digital block chain on the Ethereum network. As of 3:33am march 31st Ethereum is at $1851. I also picked up cardano, polka dot, chainlink , Vechain, cosmos, and uniswap. This is by no means financial advice, but everyone needs to be waking up to the bigger picture. Financially, cultural equality, environmental changes, and the way we interact with people. 

This weekend case in point. 

We have all been through enough this year. 

It is time to take a step back and all become better in order to be happy. 

You are not finding that in a club or sitting doing the same bullshit you have been for decades. 

Once you realize your true potential and power no one can say anything to you. 

You have fuck you power. Which hopefully follows with fuck you money.

Men have been saying fuck bitches get money for decades. 

Now we are just taking your advice. 

Thanks fellas!!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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Photographs of Katie Kerl by Frank Siegel, Copyright 2021

Email: fsiegel@comcast.net

Instagram: nikonfrank2807

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To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-the-ascension/

Sharon Wang: Love is a Decision

Photography by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021

Photography and Text by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021

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Love is a Decision

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“Ah, Moon – and Star!

You are very far – 

But were no one

Farther than you –

Do you think I’d stop

For a firmament

Or a Cubit – or so?”

The decision to love is never an easy one to make. It is a mutual commitment from each person that chooses to be in love. The story in this series exhibits a girl who is deeply in love. The setting is my room, where all my emotions are witnessed. 

Just by looking at the Polaroids on the wall saturates the room with the smell of sweets, the sound of laughter and the sensation of rising adrenaline. Love offers us the highest highs and it is the energy that gets people through the tedious work. It is the happy annoyance of choosing what to wear for a date. However, love is also a poison.

There is no way for two individuals to share the completely same emotions, and that is when miscommunication and disconnection comes into play. The sadness and disappointment that accompanies the fact that some of our love is not being echoed compels the individual to do silly things — like talking to stuffed animals, wondering what they are thinking, or using substances. Love sometimes loops us into despair. However, the only antidote of love is love itself. It is a touch, a kiss and being in the vicinity of the person on your mind.

After all, love is a decision that we make. It is a fancy trap that lures everyone that falls for it to enter the swirl of every possible feeling, but hey, it is love.

“But, Moon, and Star,

Though you’re very far –

There is one – farther than you – 

He – is more than firmament – from Me – 

So I can never go!”

— Poem by Emily Dickson, #240

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About The Author:  Sharon Wang is a sophomore enrolled at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa.