Here There Be Monsters

Image: Medusa by Amoret

“Don’t be so simple. People adore monsters. They fill their songs and stories with them. They define themselves in relation to them. You know what a monster is, young shade? Power. Power and choice. Monsters make choices. Monsters shape the world. Monsters force us to become stronger, smarter, better. They sift the weak from the strong and provide a forge for the steeling of souls. Even as we curse monsters, we admire them. Seek to become them, in some ways.” Her eyes became distant. “There are far, far worse things to be than a monster.” ~ Jim Butcher, Ghost Story

Here There Be Monsters is my current exploration of the concept of the monster within, the part of oneself that is powerful, wild and dangerous.

 

Melusine, on the occasion of being intruded upon while bathing

it was never my intention to play a bathing Bluebeard, and there is no sealskin for stealing. yet the revelation – always amusing. what could reasonably be expected, in the arms of fairy tale? is the forest not dark and twining? is the water not weighted with treachery? does the female exist that isn’t warning, isn’t mystery, isn’t monster? our bargain was to love – not to look.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

On leaving her lover

You once wondered how I stay afloat,
never questioning my iron feet, my riptide throat.
(I told you I’d swim us back to shore,
and I told you the depths were kind,
but I sing a siren wish-song, so of course, my love, I lied)
Here’s my little secret: in my ribcage lives an anchor
and it’s sinking toward survival, it’s been sinking all the while.
(I told you I’d swim us back to shore,
and I told you the depths were kind,
but I sing a siren wish-song, so of course, my love, I lied)
Girls like me don’t float, babe, and when waves foam black and high
the fathoms fit a bitter squeeze, a bruising lullaby.
(I told you I’d swim us back to shore,
and I told you the depths were kind,
but I sing a siren wish-song, so of course, my love, I lied)

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Parley

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  ~African proverb

“I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself.” ~Michel de Montaigne

Have you noticed I always drag toward dark?
I don’t dance a delicate compromise, won’t meet you halfway,
won’t partake in pleasantries and won’t shake hand to tentacle.
But if you’re smart, you’ll go without fuss, for
when I’m clawing at your anchor, when I’m roiling ‘round the undercarriage?
You’ll need my eye to scan the inky black, my tongue to sing forgotten languages.
Let’s go together; you’re not set on survival.
Crossing is only part of the story.
The captain always goes down with the ship.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

A Selkie Declines the Dance

“You’ll be the rhythm and I’ll be the beat
You’ll be the rhythm and I’ll be the beat
Then I’ll be the rhythm and you’ll be the beat
And love, the shoreline, where you and I meet”
~Lykke Li, Melodies & Desires

I learned well from my sisters still blazing
these waters with eyes burning from salt
for those stone-colored bone princes,
forever blinking and awake
in their grey-green beds;
and those too, whose flames
having dimmed to small candles
standing still silent on ledges, eyes locked with the waves.
Desire will dare you to skulk and steal and bury my soul
skin bare, preferring my feet shaking the rocks, lungs
out of their depths in the shallows.
Temptation will tell me to drag, and to drown.
Waves are not content with kissing the breakwater
when the shoreline is calling, a surrender of edges.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Fucking Up the Ritual

The gods demanded sacrifice
– only the best would do –
I should’ve jumped right in to save you
’cause it’s me they wanted, not the fool
who jumps right in, in surety;
but I’m way too good a swimmer
– would’ve fought currents ’til my end –
sometimes sacrifice is standing here
and breathing, owning weight of rock on sand.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Miracle

Monster is just the word you use
when you imagine yourself singular
searching out the silver bullets
wandering graveyards, interrogating ghosts;
monster is just the word you use
when you still feel you’re imaginary
and you’re checking every closet
dragging yourself under every bed.
Monster is just the word you use
when you fear your own appetites
out there wandering the forest
begging mercy of lesser beasts.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Feathered Serpent
by Amoret BriarRose

it’s certain we would have
tormented each another
plucked out all the fine plumage
but I was due for a molting, babe
I was due for a molting
and if your skin slithered over me
and my jaw hinged hungry wide
to accommodate the both of us
I might have been sated
but probably not, dear
most likely not
so you keep preening those wings
I’ll trail this skin behind me
cannot cast you off so easy
now I’m watching for feathers, babe
all those fine fallen feathers

© 2013 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Unsolicited Advice

As you crack my crystal crown
on your way to pulsing power
remember, little Princess:
Queens must be evil
iron shoes fit every foot
and there will always be another
fairer, even than you.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Grendel’s Sister

They say they can remember
when the monster still had her teeth
and I always laugh, hard
so hard the claw marks of my cobbled spine tingle
with scars to hold me erect
“Shoulders back, knockers up!”
scars that remind me, never trust,
keep the bitterness close
“All men are assholes, my dear, but here’s how you can catch one…”
memories of being poured into her mold:
her hands never faltered, never shook
as instinct never blinks.
Is it love if it’s all you’ve ever known?
I remember floating in the deepest pools
safe in our echoing cave,
those halcyon days
when I heard her voice more clearly
than my own beating heart.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

 

Practice Makes Perfect
by Amoret BriarRose

I’m willing to bet you
dollars to doughnuts:
Odysseus had a mother like mine.
When I left her, siren song singing
on the shores of a bone island heart
breaking
my ears stuffed with wax
and tied to the mast of my own crooked spine
I didn’t yet realize she would always, always be singing
in the beats of the waves
and the waters of my blood.

© 2014 Amoret BriarRose. All rights reserved.

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