Persephone’s Rising

By way of editorial comment: This poem of mine was published in Datura (2010), an anthology of Pagan poetry and essays by U.K.-based occult/esoterica powerhouse Scarlet Imprint.


Persephone’s Rising

If the Ides of March are past

whence comes this heaviness of heart?


He said it would be like this

in the silver half-light

the chariot steeds splashed across the waves

of Acheron

then I tumbled headlong into Lethe


No forgetfulness, though,

for She Who Never Slumbers Above

yet she caused the earth to slumber

her own body to be ravaged by winter’s withering


Golden poppy tresses

trembling with rage

as I found a new half-life for myself


the dead populace

and my beloved drank deeply

smeared himself

with my pomegranate juices

nectar more precious than wine, he said



Everything cavernous

cadaverous eye sockets

the mask of white loveliness

frozen onto my face like the folds of

the himation molded to my breasts

The pillars of this place

gleaming with the hope

of untold dreaming

the quiet denizens of this murk-world gape and shuffle towards me

arms outstretched



The curve of the sickle

Warm lap of abundance

Fertile in fallowness

Gaze not with the imperium of the Judge

but as an unconquerable Protectress

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A Wonderfully Wyrd, Spiritually Synchronous Spring Equinox Weekend (Or, “Look, Ma! I Got Engaged!”)

What do you get when you combine a romantic weekend getaway at an out-of-state B&B (a getaway that you planned for your partner’s 32nd birthday); supreme hospitality and welcome from the genii loci as well as the human residents of a place you’re visiting for the first time; the energies of the Titan goddess Hekate; the energies of the Inuit goddess Sedna; the energies of All-Father Odin; the energies of the particular Elder Futhark runes Dagaz, Ansuz, and Gyfu; an amber ring; and the supremely potent cosmic “reset” button energies ushered in by Friday’s whopper of a total solar eclipse Spring Equinox? YOU GET ENGAGED, THAT’S WHAT! Continue reading

“‘You Wouldn’t Have to Kill Me'”: Haunted Women, The (Fe)Male Gothic, and Wide Sargasso Sea

“He commenced his walk, but soon again stopped and this time just before me.
“‘Jane! Will you hear reason?’ (he stooped and approached his lips to my ear;) ‘Because, if you won’t, I’ll try violence.'”–Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847), Ch. 27

Recent literary criticism has attributed an air of notoriety to the Gothic’s reputation for contesting conceptual boundaries. Encoded within Gothic narratives is a play of terms, of oppositions, which attest to a fundamental ambivalence: good depends on evil, light on dark, reason on irrationality, in order to define limits. This play of antitheses means that Gothic is an inscription neither of darkness nor of light, a delineation neither of reason and morality nor of superstition and corruption, neither real nor fantastic, but both at the same time (Botting 9). Such amorphous inclusiveness reflects a major problem of defining the “Gothic” itself. According to Sarolta Marinovich, for example, it is “not so much…a specific genre in literary history…but…a mode of writing to be found in novels and poems alike” (189). Little wonder that Julian Fleenor proposes that the Gothic “is a protean entity not one thing. There is not just one Gothic but Gothics” (4).

One of the factors surrounding the Gothic that has remained constant over the past three centuries is its affiliation with women. Indeed, from its late-eighteenth century inception as a genre to its twentieth century “drugstore” incarnation as a formulaic “romantic novel stamped by a brooding sense of mystery and terror” (Whitney 11), the Gothic has been considerably shaped by women. According to the findings of feminist literary theory and criticism, the Gothic, either as a genre or “mode of writing,” suits women writers’ purpose: not only can it give voice to the (hitherto unmentionable) female condition of marginalization in androcentric society, but it can do so indirectly, given the Gothic world’s precarious balance of “the real” and “the fantastic” (van Leeuwen 37).

“As early as the 1790s,” states Ellen Moers, “Ann Radcliffe firmly set the Gothic in one of the ways it would go ever after: a novel in which the central figure is a young woman who is simultaneously persecuted victim and courageous heroine” (91). For many feminist critics, who claim that the victim aspect is more pronounced in Gothic than its counterpart, the affinity between gender and genre is problematic: while the terror and rage that women experience within patriarchal social arrangements (especially marriage) may find expression, Gothic resolutions all too often entail an affirmation of the status quo, pointing to the notorious ambivalence of Gothic fiction. According to Tania Modleski, for instance, “Gothics, like Harlequins, perform the function of giving expression to women’s hostility towards men while simultaneously allowing them to repudiate it” (66). Kate Ellis maintains that the Gothic novel creates, “in a segment of culture directed toward women, a resistance to an ideology that imprisons them even as it posits a sphere of safety for them” (x). Michelle Massé argues that “the husband who was originally defined by his opposition to the unjust father figure slowly merges with that figure. The heroine again finds herself mute, paralyzed, enclosed” (20). In short, the maiden of the Radcliffean mould may act bravely, but she cannot surmount the sphere of woman’s socially enforced helplessness. Continue reading


It really does all boil down to this

Resuscitated courtly love

I’m the luminescent center of creation

Fixate all your longing upon me,

The unattainable ideal

Aloof and ethereal

Above and beyond you

And committed to another

Don’t flirt with your co-workers

Don’t cultivate a social life that would dare to cast me to the periphery

Of your waking consciousness

Don’t masturbate on glossy pages

Or in front of glowing phosphorescent boxes Continue reading

Animus et Anima

“I balance my masculine and feminine sides.”–Louise Hay, Daily Affirmation for Nov. 7, 2014 

Animus et Anima

I can get wasted

but I’m not a sloppy drunk

whirling vortices command

that I expend linear-logic thinking

tenacious tendrils

that can’t be shaken off

Irrespective of that rectal contraction

that last thread of shit

dangles so perniciously

buttocks not the bowl


You’re that spider that lurks inside

the crevice

You’re that particle of food

trapped between my vagina dentata

undigested mealworms

I see past glazed truths

How did I get here?
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