Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paella and Pentagrams

Paella and Pentagrams

I'd had enough of your paella and pantomime
and bad wine
in a pretty box, enough of your
buttery tongue and salt pig's cheek,
your pinwheel eyes, your lame surprise.

You filled your moonsaucers far too full
with winks and soliloquies
dug from old grooves
so when light and dark danced,
they slopped over my shoes.

I knew I had almost no time left as I rattled off
the spell:

Fire dog, lap my face.
Fire warden, keep me safe.
Make the melting suit the burn.
Make the black book's pages turn
to the laugh at the end of the line.
Pour out the pentagram from my mind.

But I had forgotten you were what you were.

Now there's a bird in the ashes
who looks for a nest,
a thin woman holding
the one I love best.
There's another long day
without any rest,
another fire to burn up
the unconfessed.

~April 2013

Image: Illustration: The Knave of Hearts, by Maxfield Parrish, 1925
via All copyright belongs to the copyright holders.


  1. Whoa! You are on quite a roll this month. Wonderfully quirky and curvacious - odd word for a poem - but it changes direction in such terrific and lithe ways - the word comes to mind, moving really from almost a kind of youthful hippiedom to the witchlight to a kind of poignancy at the end - although the bird has a feel of a phoenix to me, so it's kind of positive too. A very interesting poem. It reminds me of the narrative of someone's romance with a narcissist, moving from being courted (in that narcissistic showy way), to waking up, to becoming irritated, then a bit vengeful to realizing --uh-oh - the narcissist doesn't much care-- Still I do. I'm impressed.

    I keep reading Lame Suprise as Lame (lamee) surprise - the sounds here are just great and individual lines and images. k.

    1. ooo--I love la-may surprise. That would be even kinkier. Thanks, k. It's great to have you back and able to type! And you've pegged the POV perfectly here.

  2. "Make the melting suit the burn."

    That says everything. This is wicked sharp, Hedge.

  3. I had to read this twice. The first time, just for the way you constructed it and for the striking individual phrasing; then a second time for the overall meaning.

    The one spoken to would seem to be glib and charming, but not sincere. I especially like the pinwheel eyes and lame surprise. His practiced lines aren't even delivered with care anymore, and slop over. perhaps the light and dark is within the speaker, though.

    The thing about spells is, their power lies in the faith of the believer. One can't dance if their partner is dragging their feet, or across the room somewhere with someone else. This is a painful poem, for all the rhyming spell-casting, and I feel badly for the speaker who may be unconfessed, but not to herself anymore, I don't think.

  4. ha. fascinating piece hedge...the whole first part is intriguing..the buttery tongue salt pig cheek...i got stuck on paella when i lived down south, just saying...your verse has pops...the light & dance dance slop over your shoes...ha. the failed spell is cool as rhythm to this too...

  5. ..that narcissistic lover who wined and dined his lady never gave a hoot; you have the vocabulary down with the magic - then, the little bird is safe. I love "fire warden,keep me safe" and the paella in the title.

  6. Joy Ann, you have nailed the selfish lover to a T here. I love the little breakaways, the spell and the lament of sorts. Overall the language is delicious.

    btw, I have been fighting with wordpress on how to get you on my blogroll, but I seem to have forgotten. I hope my brain returns soon.

    1. Maybe it will come back in May? ;_) Blogger can be infuriating, too, but Wordpress is beyond my simple computer skills. Thanks for reading, pamela.

  7. The rapid, confident flow of this verse is fantastic fun to read. I see myself as the caster of spells, I read that part aloud. The scene all-too familiar. To think being pandered over as such a crime. Indeed, I do. I could read a (confession) of this sort on a daily basis and be quite satisfied.

  8. You have the most original incantations I've read. This is pure Hedgewitch magic.

  9. As I've mentioned before, I love it when your playful side comes out. This is goosebumps and grins. (I ordered the print edition of your book--can't wait to hold a little piece of you in my hands!)

    1. Hey thanks, Timo. You'll be holding the best part of what's left, I assure you. ;_)

  10. Well.... There's no one worth confessing to anyway.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats