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Fickle Muses an online journal of myth and legend

by Joseph Biondi

Links for Joseph Biondi

Two poems from “Venus Examines Her Breast” by Maureen Seaton

Venus Examines Her Breast

She’s pissed at all the minor milk ducts
flaring in her one remaining breast. Oh
shit, she says, and sets her chin
as ages flip in mock somnambulism, too
lean of mind to expect much from a goddess.
Oh stadiums of light, oh babble.
Aspiration takes seconds, the lump
a syringe of cloudy lemon soup. Look,
says the Doc, Now aren’t we a happy camper?
Venus packs her tools for Rome where
everything is so expensive yet familiar.
She poses and sculpts in turn, naked
as a snake-shaped scar, chipping slowly
at 17th century stone. Nothing
gets better than this, she thinks: Nipple,
lymph glands, bowling arm flexed
to capacity. I can shift out of first!
Making love, she reminds herself to stay
anchored in the mirrored now. You’re
gorgeous, she says, flushing, leaning in.



Here is the buzz, the lament, the horror of overturned hazmats
            and all the trickling fear
and yet July 4th comes to Albuquerque the same way it comes
            to Chicago, and the women

cook pigs and hens and everywhere, the smell of slaughter.

As if they might slip off Acoma and be caught by a Franciscan
            priest which would make
them lucky citizens and him a hero.

Sarah thought as they approached the table’s edge munching fry
            bread and pumpkin cookies:

There is the bone goddess and the corn goddess and the goddess
            who dwells on the mesa.

She tried to find the volcanoes but kept not finding them as they
            would mirage
then disappear as she got close.

The earth flumes and speeds, moves in a glut of non-ego, non-
            movied beauty.

Rinconada, Boca Negra, the glass dump at the base of the volcanoes
where bats kept missing them in the near-dark.

Elmer said anger is a waste of time, it only made him hoarse in 1970,
when he was brave and young.

He said that if America hadn’t used Navajo in WWII we’d all be
            speaking Japanese right
now and added it was a good thing we dropped the bombs.

She wondered if he might be testing her,
or if his anger had turned to fossil and mummy and petroglyph. 

Her body sweat in unusual places, cant and vinegar, that poison

Wherever she walked: lava.

Read "Fickle Myths," three linked stories by Maureen Seaton and Neil de la Flor

See Maureen Seaton’s art, poetry and an interview at http://www.scene360.com/STORYboard_interview_seaton.html
"Venus Examines Her Breast" is available from Carnegie Mellon University Press at http://www.cmu.edu/universitypress