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Fickle Muses an online journal of myth and legend

by Joseph Biondi

Links for Joseph Biondi

Two poems by David Wright

The Three Graces Unite

Downstream, Aphrodite waits.
Her distracted Graces frolic
and linger on their way from gathering
hyssop and stones.  A set of three ducks
bob  in the current, a swan and her mate
make a noise that hardly sounds noble.
And the women stand waist deep, numb,
letting the goddess cool her temper, relieve
herself in the water if she must. They warm
each other with arms draped over backs,
around breasts, curved as swan necks.
They rinse their hair and imagine
standing this way forever, alabaster,
and never asked to radiate joy
in any form, other than their own.


After Myth

When the sharp desire for stories abrades my throat,
I tell about Greeks disguised as beggars,
enamored of witches. I summon Tsimshian
and Nez Percé women who marry bears
and must be rubbed with fir branches
and veratrum to be freed.  A Korean boy
ate only pumpkins and broke wind so badly
his village exiled him.  He saved an abbey
and killed a white tiger with his great, rolling farts.

Some stories mean so much. Some bodies belong
on other tongues. A Fisher King, a changeling,
a sacred oak felled by a holy man: what good tales
the rest of the world tells. I have this one story
about my sister nearly dying when she was four.
She ate popsicles and ice cream. Her kidneys healed.
Oh, and my father served in the navy though
he was not brave  and not a coward. A grandfather, 
my mother’s side, once beat a world champion bowler.

Try and build a religion from this: I knew two boys
who opened doors with mere words. They began
with women’s bathrooms, then robbed banks. 
Their basements were stuffed with cash.  One boy
was killed leaving First National.  No matter
how rich we became, I still miss him like a brother.

“After Myth” was first published by Collage at Millikin University

See David Wright’s books, poetry, news and upcoming events at http://www.dwpoet.com
“A Field of Voices: hymns for worship,” co-authored by Wright and James E. Clemens, is available at: http://www.tableroundpress.com