[I decided to stick with the theme of modern mythic retellings for a bit. Further thoughts on Cassandra after the jump.]
Cassandra Smokes in Bed
Beside me, limbs tangled in the purple sheets,
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.
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.)
(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.)