the devil is in my ear;
he whispers to me.
satan is at my side
his scaled coils curled around me,
constricting my lily-white throat
i open my mouth
let him slither down into my belly.
the devil is inside of me.
he has a venomous tongue
and a boa’s muscular body
when i sleep
i feel his tongue lick at the lining of my stomach
my abdomen roiling as he moves,
displacing my skin.
when i wake, i lay one slim hand over my belly
to feel his turning and writhing,
he is curled in my womb
growing and growing
i am helpless to do anything but feed him.
how can a mother refuse her starving child?
at the breakfast table,
my own mother stares only at my swelling belly
what? i ask
she only shrugs.
she serves me a bleeding fruit,
red juice spilling over the sides of my plate
onto the tablecloth that is as white as my throat;
the fruit’s blood stains the fabric.
eat up, she says
you’re eating for two now.
it is the most natural thing to lean down,
pulling my hair back,
and lick the juice from the table.
it tastes of copper,
sweet and metallic
just like blood.
in my belly,
the devil winds himself into a sleepy convolutions
i carried him with me for months
cringing when his fangs scraped against
my soft insides
and when he was finally ready to put in end
he fought his way back up my esophagus.
i vomited him up with my own blood
more bitter than the fruit’s blood;
i did not feel like the mother of god
i felt like i was dying.
i looked at the floor
ready to see my son
to see if
he was worth it.
nothing was there.
the devil is nowhere inside of me;
he never has been,
it was only my own belly
my own fangs
my own slick coils
it was my own voice in my ear,
urging me on.
it was only ever myself,
slithering down my own throat.
who’s the heretic now?
you were once alive,
like all of us,
your heart beating with our suffering
the fall from grace is always the most painful.
you are here now
in the dirt with the rest of us:
a breathing corpse.
your heart beats for nothing.
you wanted to know about
what made a god
so different from a devil
i remember that now,
the sound of your labored breath
catches in my ear
i’m sorry no one ever told you before.
(it is nothing, baby—
there is no difference.)
you were good;
you stayed in at night
and only fell in love when you were supposed to,
but you loved her hair,
her eyes were so beautiful in the moonlight
that you didn’t remember how high your window was,
hovering on the second floor,
now when i look at you
i only see your still chest,
your crooked neck.
i see it,
i get the picture,
it was you and you alone that night
your hands clutched tightly to each other
the rasp of your gasps in your throat,
you were daring,
you poor, retched thing.
when you are afraid,
there is no feasible way to roar,
but half credit for the effort,
half credit for the croak,
that’s the kind of work we like to see here
it still isn’t enough.
they tried to tell you that death couldn’t be pretty
and they were right:
but it was beautiful to you
all that blood
all those endings,
it was as organic as the inflation of your chest.
what a time to be alive.
they wanted to weigh your heart
against a feather;
how silly was that?
when it outweighed it,
they wanted you to watch your own soul eat it.
that’s some cannibal shit.
you can’t breathe with all that muscle in your throat.
you were the card-holders,
the one with a flush in hand,
you were the one with the ultimate poker face
and a still chest;
they never would have known
that you were alive.
you were supposed to lie with the rest of us,
all for one
one for all
but they caught you breathing on the sly
so now we’re all done here,
with slit throats and dead eyes.
you were only supposed to pretend
until they looked past us.
we write you in as the weak link:
the one who didn’t hold their chin high enough
who didn’t breathe quiet enough,
we hold you accountable
for the way everything fell apart,
all because you were alive
when we were supposed to be
it was a crime,
all the things you did,
the smoking and the dying and the ruining.
you were criminal,
your cloudy breath and blank face and dirty hands,
none of it happened the way it was supposed to and you,
you just looked on,
watching it all and saying nothing,
just like god.
when the sun set and your cool sighs blew over the dead grass,
over the motionless, scattered bodies,
it was like you were never there at all.
the wandering ghost.
She feel too much
Or nothing at all;
She will flood you with a love so profound it leaves you gasping for breath,
Or she will abandon you in the desert, thirsting for her.
She is all razor sharp edges and warm hugs at night,
A soliquey of love at its finest.
She will be the black hole that swallows up your every smile,
Every heartbeat will pulse in her hands.
It is all or nothing, those who dare love her.
There is no in between.
i. Sacred garlands.
An altar by the sea.
White stone, turning red.
ii. A desolate shore, stained with blood.
A mother’s howls
Chase a thousand ships across the sea.
iii. Scorched earth, ransacked homes,
The sounds of dying men.
Be happy, Briseis.
Achilles is the greatest hero
to ever live.
iv. A tent replaces a temple,
A king replaces a god.
Priestess of Apollo,
Slave to Agamemnon.
Only the gods can save you now.
v. The ring of steel, the clash of armies,
The smell of sweat.
Penthesilea, lying on a Trojan plain.
Throat full of blood and dust.
vi. Rough hands, a temple
Ringed with fire.
Eyes like thunder.
The gods look on,
vii. A queen, swaying on the brink.
A city burning, a family
A shrill laugh,
A black abyss.
viii. Another altar, another maiden.
Gods are not the only ones
Who demand blood.
viiii. A Trojan ghost
Walking the shores of Greece
The wind whispers
With the voices of the dead.
Dragged from ash and rubble.
A war to punish a woman?
A war to punish all women.
Sing to me of the Boy,
The boy with sunlight in His hair,
And gold in His veins.
Sing to me of His glory,
Of His smile that burns of light,
And His eyes as bright as stars.
Sing to me of His rage,
Of his flashing arrows,
Bringing death or plague.
Sing to me of His kindness –
Of his mercy to the sick,
And aid to the fallen.
Sing to me of His vision,
And how His oracles
Have always shown the way.
Sing to me of Apollon –
Sun-bright, beautiful, and glorious,
Who sears my heart with His song.
wind blows, leaving behind goosebumps
on their washed-out skin.
the two girls are huddled together against the cold
one breathes out,
her exhalation of smoke made thicker by the chill
the cloud dissipates slowly;
the other girl watches it go.
it inspires a keen nostalgia in her
for the simpler times when
it was only about cigarettes and weed,
when they only worried about hiding the butts of joints
from their mothers.
it inspires a keen nostalgia in her
for the simpler times before
everything got worse
and they both needed more to soothe the itch.
we can start again next week,
the smoking girl says,
once this weather warms up a bit
i don’t want to do anything
with all this cold here.
the weather has not been warm
since last year,
the other girl doesn’t say this,
she only nods and
accepts the pipe from her friend.
i’m getting tired of this
she’s been tired of this
preaching to the choir,
her friend says and takes the pipe back
to take her next hit
she blows it out,
her soft mouth puckered
lips violently red against her sallow skin.
the girl wipes her nose;
the cold is making it run.
we have to stop,
the girl beside her
she watches the smoke float away lazily
looking as though she wishes
she could follow it up into the clouds.
things have always been quiet,
the room only filled with
her soft voice
her rattling breath
the sound of
my own sadness.
but never before has it been
it is a loss
as much as it is freedom,
i am a pioneer;
this quiet is just as terrifying as
it is relieving.
i make the now-empty bed,
fold sheet over bedcover
then lay the cold duvet over it all,
pretending for just a moment
that i am laying it over her again.
the bed remembers the shape and scent
of her still body.
i sleep through the mornings;
i do not want to look up at the clock
and see 7:22 staring down at me.
the hands on the clock watch me
like i watched her,
but i feel no comfort,
the only sound in the room is a soft ticking.
she kneels down in front of her altar:
a large stump standing alone
in a dark forest.
she has never felt more
her forehead presses against the wood,
if her eyes were open
she would see ants crawling over the rot
with red blood mites sucking at them hungrily
she is starving for her own magic;
the bugs are starving, too.
out of the corner of her eye,
something moves swiftly past her
perhaps a person
perhaps a ghost
or a spirit
or nothing at all.
she places her palms flat on the stump,
her teeth holding her lip,
a fat drop of blood runs down her chin
splatters on the wood.
“let it eat him alive,” she whispers
and the universe hears her
and the universe tastes her blood.
it wants more
she wants to give more.
above the girl,
a full moon rises,
about to tip back into its waning cycle,
but she only feels herself growing bigger.
the picture is serene:
the waning moon and the waxing witch.
she moves one hand to the pouch on her waist,
releasing a handful of salt on the ground
a single, red candle burns in front of her
as another drop of blood falls to the altar,
she extinguishes the flame with precision,
squeezing it between two tips of her fingers.
“let it swallow him whole.”
the night wraps itself around her body,
holding her like a lover
when she started, she swore to herself that she would never do it,
that she wasn’t dark and so
she didn’t need the darkness.
now that she’s had it,
now that the power is rushing in through the wound splitting her skin,
she knows that she’ll never turn away from it
she’s never been so happy
to break a promise.
Hello- sorry to bother! I am writing a term paper on modern interpretations of Greek Mythology, and I absolutely adore your poems. Would it be okay if I cited your poetry and included a link to your blog? No one would be seeing it besides my professor, and I understand if not! I just thought I would ask before I did anything!
submitted by: @mikupu
Anyone that wants to cite my poetry is more than welcome to! You’re never a bother, dear.
I’m very, very, veryyy slowly making my way through the 200+ requests in the inbox. This is the first time in a long while that I’ve felt mentally able to face that much pressure. This is also a friendly reminder that
requests are NOT open please don’t send them.
As always, chat feature is open to those who want advice, want to chat, need to ask permission for tattoos/citations/etc. (You’re always welcome to do any of those without explicit permission but I still am touched when people pop in for it.)
Another idea I wanted to put to y'all: @nosebleedclub has unreal poetry prompts and I’m considering participating in them, so check out their blog and lemme know if that’s something you’d like to see, lovebugs.
I’ve been MIA for awhile; I haven’t had much time on my hands lately, between working and sending off writing and personal matters, but I just set up an Instagram account for the blog a couple of minutes ago. It’ll be mostly preview snippets of poems that I haven’t published here and pieces of short stories that I don’t publish here.
Main point is that it will be new content and y’all’ll have another place to check me out on. Go support it: @apoeticmythos. Same username as the blog here.
(Also, just throwing out there that we just passed 6,000 followers a couple days ago and that’s amazing, thank you all so much. Special shoutout to the followers that interact with me via private message even when I’m not posting. Love y’all.)
did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
yes. my wings decayed.
i clutched at star systems to slow the fall
and the burns still smoulder, faint shadows of feathers seared
into bleeding skin. this is pain? i don’t like it. i want to go back.
this aching… this is aching? why are my hands shaking?
l.s. | PICK UP LINES FOR FALLEN ANGELS © 2016
i slept all night once
and then all day
in the morning of the next day, my mother
came into my room:
are you okay?
we exist only to improve, i replied
through the bees pollinating my mouth.
the next day
i threw myself into life
ripping out my weeds
i burned all of my old thoughts in a metal trashcan
and scattered the ashes in the garden of my bed;
we exist only to improve, so
i will grow until i suffocate
oh so high in the blue sky.
If I looked into opening a Patreon or something similar in the near future, would anyone contribute?
“I’m taking the kids, don’t try to find us.”
“I don’t think I ever loved you…”
She watches the countless scenes
from above in Olympos
Men and women
and both and neither
Abusers and cheats
and pain and relief
Her eyes fall upon one pair
not married two years
the shattering of a wine glass;
red stain on the white wedding outfit
in the open closet
the Queen cringes,
gently touches her own veil
but if they are not willing
to at least try
Nor will she.
divorce is a key part
of the marriage.
The goddess looks away,
brushes the wispy veil
from her face.
“Zeus, my love–”
“Come hold me…”
“Of course, darling.”
I’m losing my mind, but.
In a poetic way. Very tasteful and worthy
From the backseat,
Sarah yells something like, ‘GOD IS REAL
JUST MICROSCOPIC WHICH IS
WHY WE CAN’T FIND HIM.’
Sarah pushes my heart around like an empty
loose wheel, always veering off course.
My new method of survival is
to gather up all the dead pieces: the red dust and
throbbing laugh, your knees, my bad
sense of direction,
sew them together to form something strange and
alive again. Or
close enough to alive.
‘THE THING YOU’RE AFRAID OF LOSING
IS ALREADY GONE,’
said the shovel to the dirt.
‘Worse,’ said the dirt. ‘It didn’t exist
in the first place.’
i have never known how to reassure people of my love for them,
how do you convince someone of something you’re not sure exists?
they ask me to smile and show joy,
when i’m happy;
be human, they say, show your feelings;
what if… they’ve all been eaten by the grey?
worse, what if i never had any?
what should i say when no one understands
what i mean by ‘i don’t know’?
is there even anything to say
when you don’t know
what it is you ignore?
do i not know how to show feelings,
or do i not know if i ever had any?
i woke up one day and it hurt. i woke up one day and the train was passing right by my window, my open window, and the wind of it blew my hair around my sleepy face. it was passing me right by.
i stayed up till all hours the next night, even when my eyes fell heavy and begged me to close them. i stayed up all night and this time, the train didn’t come.
the train only runs on fridays and this time it will be full of people who love me and who i love. i will catch it this time and i’m scared that you won’t be on it, because i won’t wait for you. my hands are shaking with exhaustion and there are people on the running train willing to still them.
i woke up one day and it hurt. i woke up one day and realized that no matter how much you love a person, they never have to care about getting on your train.
i can never make you care about moving out of this station with me.
i am sorry for your
but just keep them in your pockets,
just keep the hurricane in your pockets this time.
you were made to hurt
as you were made to fly,
you were made to love him
as you were made to love others.
kiss your body electric,
kiss your starry knees and your bright
paint brush fingertips,
kiss your pain goodbye.
you were beautiful before
you were told so,
just like you are loved
even when you cannot feel it.
i know that her eyes are
but so is our soul and
your soul is your home.
your apologies trapped in your skull
like fluttering birds,
but i promise you
that you are still yours.
being split open is only
one step closer to being filled,
even sutures and stitches
do not let this destroy you,
this is not a disease,
do not let this destroy you,
we do not want to find your body.
i know that it hurts but
that is the way of growing pains,
you are growing you are growing,
this can only make you more beautiful.
i want to tell you about
all the ways that it gets better,
though it seems that soon
you’ll see for yourself.
the emptiness is ringing but
you deserve to be with someone
who does not see your love
as an annoyance.
wipe away your tears,
this is not your end,
you are above this,
it is only your beginning.
I’m very excited to show off my newest piece of art, done at Empire Tattoo in Victoria BC. The quote, Queens raise Queens, is from one of my favourite poets @apoeticmythos who gave me her blessing a couple weeks ago to go ahead and get this done. I’m absolutely in love with this gorgeous quote and the meaning it holds to me.
Oh my goodness!!! It’s as beautiful as you. ☺️ I’m so honored to be a part of something positive and significant to you.
(And what wonderful, clean tattoo work. Props to your artist!)