Athena Talks to Her Therapist about Zeus


Athena Talks to Her Therapist about Zeus

To hear my father tell it

I am his idea made
The continuation of a thought he is still having.

He introduces me with an arm tight around my shoulders
and a tone that says
Behold this laurel I have grown.

Perhaps I should be grateful
he never sees me as a woman.
Not the way he sees other women as women.

Which is to say: as girls.

Which is to say: as barely more / rarely more
than cows
or slot machines.

I lay down with my own snatched mortal
an awestruck youth tender and bruisable as an olive.

As I ran my tongue along his sinewed curves

I prayed for the vulgar piercing
to cancel out my virgin goddess destiny

my father’s daughter’s never-to-be-touched destiny

and rode my mount until the heat of our bodies
rose thick and pungent
as charry smoke from any sacrificial offal.

In their own fear
the Muses never include this part of the story.


[Image via]

Cassandra Smokes in Bed

[I decided to stick with the theme of modern mythic retellings for a bit. Further thoughts on Cassandra after the jump.]

cassandra_le dormeur by picasso
Pablo Picasso. “The Sleeper.” Provincial Museum of Fine Arts. Málaga.

Cassandra Smokes in Bed

Beside me, limbs tangled in the purple sheets,
Agamemnon sleeps.
His naked back rises and falls gently in slumber
and in no way resembles the bludgeoned calf
I already see him become.

He thinks thrusting into another king’s daughter
will purge him of the memories: his own child on the altar,
the plunge of the blade in his hand.
When he shuddered between my thighs,
I felt her butchered screams pass into me.

I will make room for her amid my madness.
In these generations of death,
what difference comes of yet one more.

As the stickiness of his seed oozes out of me,
I take a long slow drag on my cigarette
and watch the smoke of a dozen burning cities
roll off its embered tip.


Continue reading “Cassandra Smokes in Bed”

Alice writes a Mythic Poem. Someone Else decides to publish it.

“Psyche Opening the Golden Box” by John William Waterhouse (1903)
“Psyche Opening the Golden Box” by John William Waterhouse (1903)

That someone else being Silver Birch Press, which–in addition to being a publishing house based in LA–also runs a poetry blog. Throughout October and November, SBP’s blog has featured poems inspired by fables, fairy tales, and mythology. (Links to some of my favorites from the series to follow.)

And now they’ve featured Telemachus’s Sister Also Waits by yours truly! (More on me truly to follow as well, below the jump.)

(Some of) My Favorite Poems from the Mythic Poetry Series

Interview with Persephone, by Stephanie Barbé Hammer
(Persephone’s “final advice” for the audience is poignant and perfect. Also: bonus points for a non-kink-related dig at 50 Shades.)

Sir Gawain Takes Out the Trash, by Fred Voss
(Who dares say there is no room left for chivalry and mighty deeds in our much-diminished world? I’m totally on Team Frank.)

Walking with Medusa, by Robin Dawn Hudechek
(I never expected to find myself longing for Medusa to find her own happy ending quite so much before.)

The Minotaur in the Labyrinth, by Melanie Knippen
(Knippen’s piece grew out of empathy and the question: “Is it the monster’s fault he’s a monster?” I want terribly badly for someone to bring her Minotaur home, to give him love and food and a yard to play in.) 

What Was the Wolf But a Woman, or When Eating Sustains More Than (a) Life, by Paula J. Lambert
(I love meditations of Little Red Riding Hood almost as much as I love meditations just on the color red. Lambert happily gives me both.)

And finally, another (far kinder) take on Penelope, by Gail Griffin. (Who also wrote a delightfully subversive glimpse into Goldilocks in Bear.) Continue reading “Alice writes a Mythic Poem. Someone Else decides to publish it.”