Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ember's Midwife

Ember's Midwife

Who is this bitch
but ember's midwife?
Mother of smoke over ash
though she may dress in pearl fog,
moonlight, bribe rain on smooth stones
to oversee the buttoning
of her crucibled corset,
it only covers the clockwork, 
belts in the fire that heats

her Stygian reduction
of breathing ringed growth
to a handful of charry lumps.
Who but this bitch puts
black stumps in green grass skirts,
firedanced from large
to small, wet to dead,
from something like this
to nothing like that.

With her maenad eyes
and her syrup of poppies trickling
down my throat 
as I burn in labor for
each puling day, she works
and twists, an impatient midwife
who plunges in quick bloody fingers,
pulling, turning the breechborn,
yanking the leg of the void.

~April 2017

Images: Flaming Giraffe, © Salvador Dali
Chici y Perro, © Juan Carlos Castagnino
Fair Use


  1. Yet I was taken in by her. When did I wake up to wonder

  2. This bitch is smokin'! Dam of Goya's Saturn perhaps, indevouring, like a collapsing black hole having a bad hair fire night. Kali or Maya dancin' with Mr. D. Who gives birth to the void, gives voice to the coillod of ash in the sky? This hag. Heavens, what a diving thrill ride to hell. Serves us right.

  3. Wow, 'yanking the leg of the void' – marvellous imagery throughout, and especially that culmination.

  4. I don't know anyone who could come up with so caustic and fine an opening question! The unfolding drama of an imperative forward movement sweeps the reader along.. until we realize this bitch is Time.

  5. Whoever she is she has my fullest attention. Bacchanalian bringer of doom perhaps she is but in all the powerful mythos evoked here these lines moved me the most....
    'from something like this to nothing like that'
    Devastatingly raw.

  6. This is intense writing. You do conjure up the most unsettling feelings with your surreal imagery.

  7. I don't know if you watched Doctor Who (the new one), but if you did... understand that I read your poem in Donna Noble's voice. I think she would ask the question and use your words and shake her fist at the bitch in question--the one we can't beat to death or live without.

    There is rage and unavailability in this poem. And they feel just right.

  8. My goodness this is good! The imagery here is soo powerful and intense!

  9. The exquisite wording of such a deadly woman makes me think of symbiosis between a Medea and chimera. It's a privilege to inspire such poetry.

  10. I can't add any more to what has already been said except I am always in awe of your writing. "ember's midwife" Wow

  11. holy shit. i know that's only poetic to sailors, but then i do live near the ocean.

    who, indeed? ~


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