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 Sep 2018
VI. I, Ophelia

­{The Drowning}

It was her--
Flower Child.
Weeping Woman.
Crazed Ophelia--
who taught me that the
drowning is in the letting go
and not in the doing.

Ophelia did not flee to the riverside
with the intention of
drowning herself, no--
it was merely a promise of bouquets--
daisies, violet, rosemary,  rue--
of wild, velveteen petals nestled softly
against tear-stained cheekbones;
pine needles--
beneath raw feet
(do you recall how The Little Mermaid
danced upon knives
in the name of true love?);
and the train of her nightgown
a focal point for dewy leaves
and frayed bird feathers.

For it was flying she thought of
as she climbed the scarred willow
and cradled herself atop its highest bough,
severed blossoms in hand,
legs dangling precariously over
blustering currents.

when the bough
b r o k e ,
the cradle did   f
                               ­   l
and down came
mad girl
cradle and all.

But you must understand--
the dismemberment of the
willow's flailing limbs
was not her doing;
when the rapids dragged her down
to the belly of the murky river bed,
she merely gave no struggle
as death lapped at her ribs--
she merely submitted,
allowed the snivelling maw of the river
to swallow her whole.

I think it suiting
that I ponder the demise of the
Flower Child
(wilted in her ruin);
Weeping Woman
(tears reunited
with the eye of
the water lily);
Crazed Ophelia
and all she has taught me
of drowning
as I let myself
fall asleep in the bathtub
at three o clock in the morning,
all the while a little drunk
and so very sad.
(You'd might have even thought
I wanted to drown myself. )
{Th­e Resurrection}

Doused in the pallid wash
of blue stage light,
and the clamour
of imaginary tides
growling in my ears,
I metamorphosize into
Hamlet's Ophelia
and all the other Ophelias
who came before me--

Women who were never
capable of quieting
the sea trembling
in their veins;
the barbaric deluge festering
within their souls;
the siren songs
musing to the cavernous twists
of their hearts,
piercing through artery
with stalagmite precision.

These women succumbed,  
not to the water,
but to the burden of their own

None of them survived.

Except for me,
of course.

And, I must admit,
it took my
writing this poem
to finally understand
why that is--
I have managed
to stay alive,
despite dreaming of that
same siren song
that lured my foremothers
to their destructions.

Ophelia could not weather  
the tempest seething over her.

But I different--
I am not alone.

Because I carry with me the spirits
of all the Ophelias
who came before me,
the fragments of their beings
melding together to create
a brilliant gossamer of hope.

And that is why,
we can breathe underwater.

Ophelia Bows,
her performance immortalized
through the remembrance
of a standing ovation.
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 Feb 2018
Lotus petals woven into her hair and

wrists bound with reeds,

she descends into the murky

warmth of the river bed,

where the minnows and tadpoles

nestle against her

***** affectionately–


at last you

have returned

to us.”
 Feb 2018
I. The Funeral

Take the rosemary

they have pressed between my toes

and use it to garnish

your next glass of wine.

As you drink

make a toast,

not to merriment,

but to lamentation–

to the remembrance

of thy maiden’s death.

Cheers! to the unity

of our most unwavering


Cheers to what

has been broken.

In a fit of maddening remorse–

for this time the madness shall be tangible–

tear away the silk

lining of this

****** funeral bed

like you did tear

away the curtain and what

hid behind it.

Tear it away!

Tear it away like you did

tear the rat,

like you did tear and discard

the honour that did lie

between thy maiden’s legs,

like the river’s rapids

did tear away thy maiden’s life.

And once you have

sheathed your sword–

I entreat you–

kneel and bow your head

in surrender to the lilies

that lie before my grave;

you will caress their stems

and kiss their petals

in the hopes that

your love–the love

you did deny me–

will breathe life back

into these water-logged lungs.

But just as it is certain

that the flowers,

in their cyclical phases

of nature,

must bloom,

it is also certain that the dead

must remain dead.

For there is nothing so definite

as the blooming

just as there is nothing so definite

as the dying.

–Post Madness

II. The Drowning

My gown billows around

me like the slick

ripple of a mermaid’s fin.

I can hear the Lady Siren’s Song

and all of its guarantees:

liberation of this life’s

betrayals and heartbreaks,

liberation procured

by the certainty of death.

I **** the nectar of her voice,

drinking in every crescendo–

every last staccato–

of what the water has

promised me.

I **** the nectar of her voice

as I had so foolishly

suckt at the honey of his

music vows,

the same way

his own babe would

have suckt the milk

from the swell of my breast–

my babe to be

that shall never be

drowned by my sodden womb,

my babe whose mother–

certain in what proved to be

the uncertainty

of her lord’s love–

conceived him

in a bed of sin,

a bed of dishonour.

So now, my sweet child,

I do not object

to the deluge that

threatens to drag us

beneath the current,

for perhaps

this is the only way

to put the dishonour

to rest.

So float with me,

my sweet nymph,

and let us both dissolve

into spirits of the river.

–The Pinnacle of Madness

III. The Heartbreak

I, A maid at your window,

mouth glittering in anticipation

for your sweet, valentined kiss.

To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most beautified Ophelia…

And so up you rose

to unlatch the chamber door–

to meet the nestle of

soft, petaled lips.

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doublet unbraced,

you undressed

and to this, My Lord, I

so willingly followed.

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Corset loosened and

gown discarded

with you, I did lie.

Doubt truth be a liar,

So certain I was of your love,

that sin no longer daunted me.

But never doubt I love.

And certainly I was proven wrong,

for in the escapade of our passion

we did touch so dishonourably.

–Pre-Madness (The Inciting Incident)

— The End —