Cassandra, Prophet

This poem assumes the reader is familiar with the myth of Cassandra and Apollo. If you are not, you can read it in Cassandra’s Wikipedia article.

Content note: This poem has themes of sex and power, and is intended for adults.


Cassandra in the past, my kindred soul,
Looking to the future
With a Sight that needs no eyes.
(A Sight that needs no eyes?
Who can believe a thing like that?)

I believe, Cassandra. I know.
I know because I too can See,
But none believe me when I tell what I can See.
What has cursed both your prophetic gift, and mine,
That we can’t share with others Truths we know?

Oh, I learned the story long ago,
The story told of you and of Apollo:

The god whom you betrayed (they say)
Who righteously (they say) punished you for breach of contract
Declining to fulfill the promise
Written in your flirting,
Teasing god Apollo, driving him insane with unquenched desire.
How could you?
He gave to you the gift of prophecy.
You knew full well
The kind of thanks he wanted in exchange
(they say).
And so, Apollo cursed your prophecies,
By spitting in your mouth,
That they would never be believed
By any man or woman
(they say).

Thus ever more,
Cocktease you’ve been branded,
For centuries so slandered
By men.

Yes, by the men who wrote the story
Of Apollo and Cassandra
And passed it down to me.

But I know — my Sight shows me — what really happened.
Let my words be heard, whether they are heeded or are not.

Apollo, god coming to you as a full-grown man —
To you, Cassandra, still a girl —
A girl for a boy to love,
Not for a man, nor for a god as man appearing,
A god whose immaturity
Denies to him the possibility
Of adult passion with an adult woman.

Like every man-boy,
A gift, he thinks;
A gift will certainly seduce her;
A gift, yet with an obligation:
An obligation that she thank him —
Thank him, the giver who’ll be satisfied with gratitude in just one form —
The satisfaction of his wayward cock.

What gift gave he?
Not man-gift, nor even boy-gift, but god-boy gift.
“What girl would not desire to know her future?
Don’t they all?” (he thinks).
And so, in his self-serving magnanimity
He bestows on her the cruelest gift —

The gift of prophecy.

And then, without delay
His fevered, sweating body presses against hers
To claim what (he believes) she must offer him in gratitude.
Presses he with hands, with lips, with raging cock
Demanding, needing that she melt
And offer up her body, her most private parts
To him.

And she says,
“No.”

Now angry, she says, “I did not agree to this.
Take back this power of prophecy,
A gift that comes with obligation is no gift,
But an attempt to barter,
And I barter not my intimacy.”

But alas, a gift god-given cannot be given back or taken back.
Such is the way of gods.

Apollo, panting, wanting, is at a loss,
Needing (he says) some form of release.
(Such is the way of boys.)
If not her secret part,
He begs and wheedles for consent to use
Her virginal, young, pure, sweet, wet
Mouth.

And she is weary of his pleading,
And weary of his pestering,
And weary of her fear, for he’s more powerful than she.
She wishes but to send him off.
And so, the sooner to be free of him,
She hesitates a moment,
But then slowly,
(Eyes closed),
Reluctantly,

She kisses it.

And then the godly juice bursts forth.
Her lips it soils, her tongue, her teeth, her throat.

The god says, with a sneer,
“Now all shall know that you suck cocks!”

“Unfair!” she cries. “You forced me to!”
“Oh no,” says he, “you begged to suck me off!”
“Not true!” she yells.

His final words defeat her:

“Whom will they believe:
A mighty god like me,
Or a shame-filled, simple girl, like you?

You know the answer, dear Cassandra.
And having lost your credibility with that,
None will e’er believe a word you ever say
Though you shall prophesy The Truth for all your days.

And when you, some day, as priestess in my temple,
Offer sacrifice to me,
You will this day remember,
When you sacrificed
Your capability
To tell The Truth and be believed.”

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Phases

Two weeks ago
in the darkness
of the new moon
I celebrated Ostara

On this day
in the light
of the full moon
I celebrate Easter

Two spiritual songs
proclaiming new life
after the transformation
we call death

Harmonizing together
with countless more
a chorus of life
throughout the earth.

Who do you call at 3 a.m.

 

Who do you call at 3 a.m. when the tears won’t stop

When you hear the sweet song of the razor blade in the bathroom drawer

When you’re hurting inside but don’t know why or how long it’ll last

In the empty apartment alone by yourself with no one else there

 

Who do you call at 3 a.m. to tell you the words

That’ll give you a little bit of hope to balance the pain

A reason to sleep, and more important, one to wake up

When it really sounds better to close your eyes that final time

 

Who do you call at 3 a.m. to hold your hand

And kiss your tears, to hug you tight and never let go

When all of your lovers are far in the past and even your family

Can not understand why you’re crying or where you’re lost

 

What do you do at 3 a.m. when there’s no one to call

Is all that’s left to stay awake and look outside

And wait for the sun to brighten the sky and start the day

Then go to work and try again to stay alive

To you

i fell for you
adore your
heart
mind
body and
soul

well not body
i’ve never seen your body
you don’t post photos of it
but then nor do i
really does anyone

so
heart
mind
face and
soul

of course all seen
through the filter
of that blessed curse
cursed blessing
that is facebook

you’re not the first
array of flick’ring pixels
I have fallen for
here

but you’re the one
i can’t kick

facebook “friends”
we always want to put
that “friends” in quotes
then how much more ridiculous
facebook “lovers” or
as here
facebook “beloved”
yet it’s true

this feels like being trapped
in a minnelied
not surprising
facebook works quite well
to confine love
to the minnesang conventions

returning then
to where i started
i sing your praises
heart mind face soul

a heart of courage
and caring
and passion for
the soul work
that is who you are

a mind that leaves me feeling
ignorant and clumsy
by comparison
yet that mind finds pleasure
in our interplay of words
i’m grateful for
noblesse oblige

your face so lovely
so beautiful
so perfect
not by any other’s standard
any other standard
than that it radiates
perfectly
who you are
i would gaze upon your face forever
to bask in who you are

your soul the flames
deep inside
the forge where beauty is created
from raw ore of words
and raw sweat of your mind’s effort
and raw blood of your heart
and raw tears on your face
alloyed and hammered and tempered
to create that beauty
your gift to the world

i dream of being at your side
of touching once your hand
but the oil on my fingertips
would surely tarnish
the brilliant gleam
that i so cherish

so i shall take my leave
delighting in the ache
of the lump in my throat

may you be well
object of my limerence
and radiate forever
your perfect shining self

A sonnet: “Attempt”

Attempt

No safety blade; the razor must be straight.
It cuts the best, the fastest: so, most sure.
They say. A kitchen knife cannot be made
to take enough an edge. They say. And more —

The sequence of events important too:
The weaker hand cuts first the stronger one,
That second might the stronger one cut through –
though cut itself – the weaker one. Thus done.

And after that is just to wait while pain,
unbearable at first, diminishes
as it flows out along with crimson stain
until, with all that is, it finishes.

It’s just a gesture, not attempt. They say.
Unless it happens to complete today.

An Old Prayer in New Words

Divine Spirit who fills the universe,
Sacred are all your names.
Your Way will be consummated on Earth,
As it already is in your heart,
When we all love one another
As you love all of us.
Please provide for our everyday needs;
Call us to no more than we can do,
And help us to do no less than you call us to.
This we ask, knowing that the beauty of your power
Will surely lead us to your Way.
Amen.

Inside Out

I’m inside out
That explains everything

I’ve known for years
All my nerve endings
Are on the outside
Not in the inside
Where they belong
I feel so much
Too much sometimes
I know so much
Too much sometimes

All my strong, protective layers
I sent them down inside
A long time ago
To guard my heart
But suddenly now
I know
They’re not doing it any more
They’ve gone even deeper
I have no idea where they are
Damn. I’ve lost track of my strong, protective layers
Now what?

Andofcourse Everybody knows
My parts are inside out
Born that way
I could get them fixed
I could get fixed
But they’d still be inside out

My brain is inside-out too
I don’t think like other People
Sometimes I don’t see it
Whatever ‘it’ may be
Til someone gently
Takes me by the hand
And explains
Sometimes, though, I get there
Muchmuchmuchmuch faster
Than the Others
I know the shortcuts
Well, I take the shortcuts
To follow the shortcut
The back way, the secret passage
You can’t know, can’t do
Can’t even really go
You just
Be there
At the other end
Like the tortoise
Watching the hares arrive

Inside-out heart, though
That’s really complicated
Turn your brain
Inside out
To understand it
Pumping my body
My inside-out body
Through my blood
I am in my blood
I am of my blood
Oh yes, I have a heart
But I can’t depend on it
My heart depends on me