by Susan McCaslin
Persephone Texts Home
Swept into Hades’ Hummer, she feels her hairdo take a tumble.
Voodoo conjures up an ice palace of perpetual frost
where uncle Helios, sun god, never dips.
Swing low, vile chariot!
Hades’ sideburns gray before her eyes.
Tapping her Blackberry
she hears no signals penetrating cyberspace.
The ground sinks and swells,
tar sands slide under his wheels.
No time for lilies and sweet boys.
Too fast, too fierce, the down-turning hours,
where tossed like a sheaf of torn grain
she ramps up screams for her mother.
Locked in a black box she falls exhausted.
Starved for colour and light, she dreams that first night
of changing her name from Black One to Magenta.
Demeter Complains of the Siphoning Off of Her Essence
Chariots grid-locked everywhere:
cars as they call them now,
rows and rows on freeways,
teeth gnashing, horns bellowing.
Rather than opening my garners
to the poor, they divert my corn crop
to the production of “alternative fuels,”
ethanol to drive their trucks and SUV’s.
Manuela can’t sell tortillas anymore
because the price of corn has doubled.
The world they call “developing”
devolves, while they scarf my essence like a drug.
Corn production feeds mills,
not the hungry.
I found this on the world web:
“Filling the 25 gallon tank of a truck
with pure ethanol takes over
450 pounds of corn, enough calories
to feed a person for a year.”
And the nitrogen fertilizers
poured on those cornfields
create nitrates in the Mississippi
that run down to the “dead zone”
of the Gulf of Mexico
killing thousands of marine species.
Why is it no one seems to be saying,
stop, whoa, woe!
On Approaching the Nefertiti in the Neues Museum, Berlin
No postcard rivals the delicacy
of her brows arcing past Sirius
linen lines pressed under eyes
elegance thrown on world’s throne
Museum guard signs: no cameras allowed
I fumble to thrust mine in a bag
see it tumble to the marble floor
lens cockeyed in its case
(hundreds of crafted shots irretrievable?)
All those dark stabs at seeing
hot memory holds what it holds:
chiselled face from deep time
quietly gazing out