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Bewildering Stories

Clarise Samuels, Fairy Tales for the Bourgeoisie


Fairy Tales for the Bourgeoisie
Author: Clarise Samuels
Pudding House Publications, 2007
ISBN: 1-58998-481-1

Did You Happen to Notice that I’m a Goddess?

I am walking along these woodland paths
they are wet and gray, you must be careful to avoid the mud
Erato and Calliope are walking at my side
and they are chatting with Polyhymnia and Thalia
but we are missing Clio and Eurania
heaven knows where the others have gone
a beautiful stranger who is coming along the road
apparently having just arrived
but he does not want us to make a fuss over him
still he handed me a bunch of pomegranate seeds
and he actually thought that I would accept them
and become like Persephone, his goddess of the underworld
as if I have nothing better to do
than be forever oppressed and begging for the attention
of a god who holds me in contempt
I toss the seeds into the woods
and naturally, he becomes enraged
I am exasperated by his capricious moods
even if he is a god

after all, did you happen to notice that I’m a goddess?
I remain serene in the face
of his conflicting loyalties
may I have some wine? I would really like some wine
he has muscles and long flowing hair
and I am eying him over with lustful interest —
if he is going to keep me in Hades
even part of the year
it better be worth my while.

The Absurdity of the Universe

if you don’t mind this digression,
at the risk of making a fool of myself
and inviting the absurdity of the universe
to turn me into a laughingstock
I must warn you that five minutes ago
I fell madly in love with you
and now desire to sweep you into my arms
thereby gaining the opportunity
to perform perverse acts
perhaps just to devour you
or at the very least to feast
on the leftovers spared by the other women
who wanted to rip you to pieces.

afterwards however I don’t think
we should take it all too seriously
it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors
tricks with cards and silver coins,
actually it’s worse than pulling a rabbit out of a hat
any two-bit magician
has more integrity than we do
while we swear undying love
he admits that it’s just an illusion
he saw the dice through the transparent cover
and never dreamt
of denying it.

The Violinist

moon hug
star kiss
how did I land in Persia?
the violinist pulls the bow slowly
across the heartstrings
as the hysterical women beg him to stop
they long for him
dream of him
he is walking among the Roman ruins

perhaps he wants to dance

I fear that he will lure me away
and take me to his harem
isn’t that what you want?
he looks up and asks in surprise

I’m frightened that he would speak to me
he is always so silent
he says that he is very shy
but it is clear that he has nothing to say
unless you are his willing victim
and then he will talk for hours
of strange lands and bizarre conquests
he plays Bach
in several languages
it is impossible to comprehend
the lovelorn women have no idea

he is just an apparition
he is what you make of him
he will vanish
and that is good
but the other women cannot stand it
they are in despair

they think I know him better than the rest
they think I have a secret
I only know what they will not face
his love is like his music-nothing
like his violin-nothing
like his vision-nothing

the other women cannot stand it
they think that he is mine.

Copyright © 2014 by Clarise Samuels

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