Wednesday, April 24, 2024

He Expected Me to Run

Idris called it textbook random,
little questions framed in generalities,
getting to know someone without
truly getting to know someone.

His pop quiz surveys
weren’t innocent or casual.
He liked cruel for dessert and
feeding piranhas for fun.

Tell the ignorant a lie three times
and they’ll take it as truth.
I became the topic, the target,
of Idris’s petty collection
of insufferable friends.
Tired of the shoebox of bs
he thought I couldn’t escape
I clawed him with truth, 
“A peacock will lose its feathers when
Circe comes to claim its tongue.”

©Susie Clevenger 2024

Circe has often been identified as the first witch in Greek mythology.
"The Sorceress," 1913, by John William


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Everybody's An Object of Something

Harlyn is tattooed with bitter bandages,
vivid scarred blood signatures of bullies
she’s had the ovaries to survive. 

Not many welcome different because it doesn’t fit
the definition of candy-coated pseudo normal. 
In this modern soap ring circus authentic is surreal.

Harlyn doesn’t care if she fits in nor does
she want to be an eyeliner zombie doing Tik Toks 
so her face will trend while her spirit calcifies.  

Everybody’s an object of something.
Usually, it’s attention…Why hide when
someone's always carrying arrows. 

When she gives it much thought, she knows
she’s always under the gaslight.
Funny how the unread believe they own the bookstore.

Copy and paste aren’t shoes she’ll ever wear.

©Susie Clevenger 2024


Monday, April 8, 2024

Wishing for Persephone

In this sludge of wildflowers
I grieve for their petals 
trampled by feet oblivious
to their pain.

Like astronauts from another planet
humans chased the perfect landing
to place a photograph as a flag,
conquerors who never considered
the legacy of their shoes.

I’m sure the valerian craved
their pink and white blossoms
could have sedated the callous plastic sheep
before they ever reached anything green.

Oh, I too love photos, bright images
capturing a countryside rainbowed with spring,
but I look where my feet are going as to not
assault euphoric rebirth with the crush of my boots. 

If I were Persephone, I would pluck
the spotted spurge of armchair busybodies, 
and turn them into fodder for Aphthona. 

©Susie Clevenger 2024