Another Poem About Persephone

Today is the fifth anniversary of Goblin Fruit. If you don’t know what that is, well. It’s a poetry zine that has dominated the face of SFF poetry for about five years now, changed the landscape and brought much quality and many exciting poets to the fore.

Happy birthday!

You should go check out their fifth anniversary issue because it is awesome, and because there are giveaways and prizes–but also because I have committed a Thing over there.

A Silver Splendour, A Flame

This is a Persephone poem. It is a very long Persephone poem. It, in fact, will not complete for one year. The "acts" will come out on the solstices and equinoxes for the next year, as is appropriate for Our Girl. It is a sprawling thing, with much experimentation and madness. It is Persephone as a Vaudeville show. It is difficult and it is thorny and it is, I hope, beautiful. I hope you like it. I hope you’ll all read it, whatever you think about poetry, and Persephone, and girls scribbling verse. Give it a chance.

I didn’t write poems for two years because I didn’t want to write them unless I had something real to say. I inched back writing about cowboys and anime. And now this–go big and bold or go home, and I burned the bridges home a long time ago. I am nervous of this poem because it is so huge–since The Descent of Inanna I’ve not even tried something with this kind of ambition. Long poems get shunned by all the society folk. When   first started talking about it, and she was VERY dubious about a Persephone poem, I said, "If I do it right, it’ll be my Cantos."

I hope I did it right.

Here’s a peek–click through to read the rest.

Scene I.

Now I served tea to the Sibyl of Cumae: darjeeling with a rind and a splash
and a lump of sugar shaped like a girl sinking
down, down, down
into the dark tannic swirl
a cup just as deep as a year.
And she said: honey, you don’t want to tell this story
no more.
            It’s a worn out old shoe
            Lookit your deathworm toes all stickin’ out of the leather
            still waggling towards Elefsis–
            but what the world don’t need
            is another poem about Persephone.

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