The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
A Poem Redux
by Marge Simon
Composing his last poem, the Poet walks the beach at the end of the world. His lover lags behind, a bag over her shoulder. The ocean is a dirty brown. Waves moves sluggishly, heavy with death. He pauses, waits for his lover to catch up. She takes her time, picking up the prettiest shells which she places in the bag. She is bent nearly double with the burden, but it is her choice to follow him.
Just at sunset, the Poet and his lover come upon a cage. Hunkering down, the poet inscribes his words in the sand beside the cage. His lover covers them with the contents of her bag.
The Poet takes her hand. “We’ve done all we can. My poem, your shells, are the business of the sea. They are no longer yours or mine. Perhaps they never were. This is all there is to be said. Come, let us sleep inside this cage tonight and ponder universal enigmas.” His lover does as bidden, for she’s quite exhausted from their travels.
When sunrise comes, they awaken inside the cage, which is now locked. His lover begins screaming as the tide begins to rise. “Save us!” she implores, “open the cage!” But the Poet loves the profundity of it all. A big smile on his face, he drowns without protest.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Marge Simon:
The title of this collection sets you up for the surprise of lyrical stories of victimizations with unexpected endings for the villains. Be ready to have your heart opened and cheer for perceived victims, human (made and unmade) and other life forms, victorious in the hands of these two award-winning poets. —Linda D. Addison, award-winning author, HWA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and SFPA Grand Master.
Across histories and cultures and from Auschwitz to Babylon this book leaves you questioning who are the victims, and regardless of your conclusion you’re likely to get throat-punched. This is horror where everyone has a knife, and is ready to deliver this message: “Remember, you are always guilty. —Herb Kauderer, author of Fragments from the Book of the After-Dead.
Simon and Turzillo have only gone and startled me again. What a collection! Brutal. Beautiful. This quiver of poems strikes with the unflinching truth of persecution and oppression as seen through the lens of feminism. Prepare to come away bruised and yet strangely bolstered by Victims, a symphony of sadness orchestrated by two masters of dark poetry. —Lee Murray, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-winner.
This is one of the braver dark poetry collections I’ve seen in a while. Horror poets generally employ victims in their work, but the focus is generally on the Evil. Turning the camera the other way is unusual, unsettling, emotionally risky, and surprisingly effective. From their stark opening take on Pygmalion, to the ending poem about the wasted life of Stateira of Persia, this powerful collection teases apart an impressive number of the threads of victimhood. Some are the usual cases, but quite a few are surprises, or reversals, or cases with unexpected layers. There is nothing repetitive about this collection. —Timons Esaias, winner of the Asimov’s Readers’ Award and the Winter Anthology Contest