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Friday, September 01, 2006

Alison Deming Continues the Conversation





Blogger: Alison Hawthorne Deming

Kore Press author
Anatomy of Desire
The Monarchs on Audio
Broadsides Girls in the Jungle and Rehearsal Space for War



PERSEPHONE SPEAKS

by Alison Hawthorne Deming
(--after Patricia Barber’s “Mythologies”)



My father was the Big Guy
Generator
Energy Spill
My mother was Cereal
Corn
Matter Sink

Get real I used to tell them
Ditching their dream
That I would be
Forever daughter
Picking flowers in the meadow
While they made action movies
Out of everyone else’s life

What they wanted for me
Was never
What I wanted
So abduction is not quite the word
For what my lover did to me
For me is more like it

Oh beautiful sin in falling
Under the rhythm of his need
And finding I could answer
Stroke for stroke
Be bad and claim my loving
And find the pleasure good

How could I know
The hunger would persist
Would worsen
Once I had left
My mother’s threshing floor
My father’s distant light

Pulled into the underworld
I forgot what lay above
The soil drying seedless
The dying Earth
Unable to revive
Din of lamentation
Not even the gods could abide

My husband too is a god
He struts his ass like a jaguar
His sex is an epic poem
He loves the dead
Because they tell no lies
And yield themselves
Completely to the future

When he fed me the pomegranate
That would keep me
Coming to his dark bed
I did say thank you
My goodness married
To the limbo night inside

3 comments:

Emily Wall said...

Alison--this is a lovely poem. I especially love the line "my mother's threshing floor."

How are things with you? Are you still teaching at U of A?

I'm sure you don't remember me, but I took your poetry workshop my first semester at U of A in 1995. You had us draw our poetry histories--such a good way to begin graduate school.

I'm teaching now at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau and just beginning the process of finding a home for a poetry manuscript.

Any advice for an old MFA student?

destinykin said...

Has anyone done an anthology of writers; persephone poems? At readings I've subtitled my poem Persephone's Choice (the world's first custory fight.) Love the line about lover's ass like a jaguar's.
I like this blog!

Destiny

libramoon said...

Persephone's Worlds

I have wandered far from thoughtless girlhood,
am a woman, a Queen
in my own right
Yet I am treated with the expectations
of a mindless child
in my mother's summer home.
The Gods are all agog with Zeus,
fickle, abrasive, free to take full stance
above the laws he so imperiously commands.
My Dark King is so much more a man,
sincere, deeply feeling, committed to his realm,
compassionate, if not always kind.
Yet, here I must obey the crowd,
displaying charm and grace
in haute couture, making small, insipid
conversation with the socialites
decorating Zeus' lawn parties.
Up here, life is meaningless,
All flash and doggerel
to amuse, O', do entertain us
So tiring to endure the ennui.
Those not privy to opulent entitlement,
relegated to the dregs of servitude, or less
endure for their time, brutal, painful, short,
for no good reason.
I hear their horrid tales,
back in my rightful place and purpose.
Shrunken souls, shriveled by life time hungers
still growling beyond the grave.
I am balm and wise mother.
At last they matter, their stories opening in me
a marvelous passageway through which they are
taken into paradise.
My life above, the petulant daughter,
the pampered goddess spawn,
I endure coldly.
Summer's trivialities, properly obedient to
rituals of the socially conditioned
know nothing of my true life
under Winter's glory.

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