Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Izred's Necklace

Izred wears every prayer cremated in a liar’s lung around her neck in the stunning pretense gold can buy the ear of a goddess. A daughter born on the dark side of the moon, first born of the goddess Erebeth, she fed from the breast of shadows until she was old enough to eat the black tar of dying stars. Feral child of neglect she learned the value of hiding opinions behind teeth and eye until revelation held the fiercest sting.

Selfish weighs more
than coins hoarded
in a wallet.

Praying with an empty mind
won’t grow wisdom
in the heart of ego.

If you pay a goddess for attention,
her boredom may
establish your worth.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2019

Sunday, January 12, 2020


You stalk the wild in me,
hidden claws beneath my tongue
where words lie sharpened
to protect solitude when intrusive
camps at every door.

I catch glimpses of you in the mirror
when I search flaws to see which
brush can paint me out of questions.

Fire and moon
camp at the door of patience
waiting to see how many pins
my skin can hold
before I break.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2019

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Say It Again Without Meaning

In the moonless cage of gravity
the rusted wings of the canary
circle platitude’s corpse singing,
“Solitude doesn’t require a handmaid.”

Alone and lonely aren’t identical twins
nurtured at the breast of your perceptions.

Apparitions of every dishonest emotion
root on your tongue growing poison
from the rotted useless you feed them.

©Susie Clevenger 2020

Inspired by a Skylover wordlist

Monday, December 16, 2019


Monday sun poured into my bedroom,
work drunk and lonely eyed.
It pushed me toward a cup of coffee
to wash the poems from my tongue.

There’s nothing new in repetition,
grand in same old thing, crows have murder,
humans a nest of spines.
One step forward leaves you ten steps behind.

I walk three blocks to meet the devil at the bus stop
spinning lies through fingerprinted screens.
I feel alone in shoulder to shoulder, body heat
that leaves me cold.

Another week to empty my wallet into the hand
of more is mine.

Silence has no honor. Anger has its price.
I feel a question touch my shoulder.
Are you going to stand or keep your seat?

©Susie Clevenger 2019

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Raven You No Longer Silence

Does it burn, my dear? Does it trouble you
I have become the ink breeding scars
in the starless hours you can’t escape?

You were the cat who owned my tongue,
forced me to live by fist and bruise,
prowl night for one sip of light.

It isn’t pretty when chains break into truth,
when daylight burns away the shroud of threat.

Today is the future you thought would never come.
I have found wings; feel the wind of blue sky.

The irony is the cage you thought would always hold me
is now yours to pace and defend with teeth that no longer have claws.  

©Susie Clevenger 2019

The first line of my poem " Does it burn my dear? Does it trouble you" is from Kerry O'Conner's poem Firefly  I had several conversations about abuse this week, and when I read that line all those conversations began to mold into a poem. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Darkness in Light

Pharos ~ The Lighthouse
Kerry O'Connor
Used With Permission

Her gnarled light holds
the passage of dreams,
the last words of water
lullabies sung to souls
who trusted the sea
wouldn’t betray them.

In her catacomb of candles
ghosts climb stairs of wailing threads
searching for the key of gods
to free them from the breast of stones
that makes them hunt fog to deliver death.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Pilling (If only Risperidone was a Greek Goddess)

I woke this morning
with lemons on my tongue
and groans gurgling
in the pit of my brain.

How I wish I could remain
in sleep’s nightmare that
doesn’t require a pill
to keep me on the fringe
of normal.

My warden rests on its glass shelf
demanding I open the lid of my cage
and swallow the chain to hold
me to chemical sanity.

I argue the cinnamon elocution
of tempered mania robs me
of artistry, but the order of things
requires I swim with the tide.

Rebellion waits at Nyx-door
like the sheathed claws of a cat
waiting to shred perceptions
wild things can ever be tamed.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

A delicious list of words provided for poetic inspiration:
onyx,  groan, lemon, sticks, elocution, shelves, cinnamon, Twix, risperidone,
Nyx-door, warden, plunge, esthesis