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Kaaren Kitchell’s online journal:

www.parisplay.com

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Photo credit for Kaaren Kitchell: © 2013 Richard Beban

Photo credit for Richard Beban: © 2013 Richard Beban

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Contributor Notes






Grenade


Kaaren Kitchell

Poem by Kaaren Kitchell



Richard Beban

Photographs by Richard Beban







         "Things that are distressing to see"
              –The Pillow Book
 by Sei Shōnagon


 

The look on his mouth

wreathed in berries

a smiling sleepy cat

body turned in his chair

leaning into his teenage daughter

curly-haired, lapping it up

 

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shutting out the mother

bitter look around her mouth

father/husband’s two faces–

lust for the daughter

shuttered for her mother–

a terrible thing to see.

 

As if the mother gave birth

to her own younger self

('Rarus,‘an abortive child,’ or ‘a womb,’

the womb of the Corn-mother

from which the corn sprang)

or the secret feminine soul of her mate,

 

and he loves only her young, fresh flesh

or perhaps only himself in her, his own inner girl,

and abandons the soul of his wife.

I try to engage her in talk, the taste of the cider,

she smiles but cannot rise

out of hell.

 

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Kore in the poppy fields

picking the scarlet soporifics,

his chariot drawn by black horses

roaring down the chasm that opens

daughter snatched from mother, de meter,

down into his dark kingdom.

 

She grieves

and the earth is barren;

apples do not grow,

cider does not flow.

Pomegranate, grenade:

the food of the dead.

 

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Lord of the Underworld

knows only his own desire,

and they are both–

Kore who cries out

Demeter who rages–

his victims.

 

The father unfolds his length, leaves

the restaurant, daughter close, strolling

side by side along the rue Vieille du Temple.

Drained, hollow, the mother

can barely rise from her seat

and follows far behind.

 

I want to cry out to him.

I want to embrace her.

Who will send a message to Hades?

Who will offer the mother blessing?

Who will deliver the daughter from hell

and make the earth fruitful again?

 

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