BEAST CHARMERS RIDDLE: O FOR ORPHEUS
I became what I sang to: a lion hunting memory.
Strum echoed the slink; pluck, the tripping bite
that led her to early death. I roared a blind
glance, tongue pierced through to story.
I was a mustang impatience stung.
I foamed bitfocused and shunned
other lips. I made woods weep, rocks
split, lament a tsunami to uproot oaks.
I gave all the suffering pause
but couldnt stop.
Tortoise shelled, maniac clawed,
a boar in rut.
I want to be left alone
I want to cry
be left alone
and left to die
||but the maenads screech
such rhyming lies
all hell already thinks
does it call out to me, come on
back downbut Im
an average swimmer
fail at too much I try
cant climb staffs, take control
of the oars, get myself to sink.
Though I heave and swallow
salt water crowds, buoys
all my old music clinks
and I do not die. The named
go on naming; all singers echo me.
JACKIE WHITE holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is an assistant professor at Lewis University. An editor for Rhino magazine, she has had poems and translations appear in ACM, Blackwater Review, Folio, Third Coast, and others. This is her first book of poetry.
TO ORDER COPIES: Send check or money order for $8 made out to Anabiosis Press. Send to Anabiosis Press, 2 South New St, Bradford, MA 01835.
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last updated 8 February 2015