Eurydice Descending a Staircase

Striking how in myth, it’s always accidents
sending women to hell,
keeping them there:

Persephone waiting to go home with her momma til
whoops no, forgot to read the fine print
’bout don’t eat no Underworld food and suddenly
her juice-stained mouth means no escape from Hades for you
young lady,

Eurydice partying at her wedding, steps on a snake —
ne’rmind the groom with his honey-on-fire voice that lulls every beast,
even gonna put Hades’ three-headed guard dog down for a nap
but can’t stop one punkass garden viper.
Too busy showing off for his future father-in-law maybe
(god of music and prophecy give it up for Apollo!)
to think of snakes.

Don’t get me started on that other colossal fuckup as he’s leading her out,
turn around too soon and whoops there goes the wife
back down unto death.

When does an accident beggar the accidental.
Am I really ‘spose to believe that Little Miss My-Other-Name-Is-Snake-Goddess
couldn’t notice one small fanged tendril coiling up her ankle
as she and her nymphs pounded through their vegetable dance?

The true Eleusinian mystery:
what do Eurydice and Persephone whisper to each other
sitting in hell’s stony corners

eating pomegranates.



[Featured image: Nude descending a staircase, Marcel Duchamp.]

11 thoughts on “Eurydice Descending a Staircase

    1. Same here — I’m a particular fan of the way mythic references can serve as a lexical shorthand, evoking a whole sense of context and meaning without many words.

      Glad this piece worked for you!


    1. I am not surprised. 🙂 If you are not already familiar with the painting — or with the art movements of Futurism and Cubism, both of which Duchamp borrowed from heavily — this piece can seem largely indecipherable!


    1. I’m so glad you liked it! You had posted one of your own on Eurydice, a few months back on Facebook I think? — about denying herself her senses: it was devastating — and she’s been gnawing at me ever since.

      Liked by 1 person

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