Anna Cates


As a child, I sat in the old Victorian farmhouse parlor. Ancestors I never knew hung from the walls in hulking frames. Each puritanical frown testified to how smiling was not okay because it might lead to dancing. Hands were cold and the birds on the rook cards black.

frosty leaves
wild with the wind . . .
fading stars


Details tell stories, curate time, how latitude and longitude eased from formlessness into new world order—the promise, the land, perhaps some purple-skied parallel reality where retrospection haunts what steps off the beaten path—the animal within—but with chocolate and daisies who's afraid of Virginia Wolf? Fictions rework logos, create time-warps to wastelands or paradisal plains—voice or void—mountains converge into new mythologies before red eyes, before the hypnotized . . . exegesis on Genesis.

a philosopher
sighs in a stick-built house
winter wind


Marduk slew the monster Tiamat, Shamash rose like the sun between mountains, grasping his rod of justice. Ishtar made love and war, beside the Tree of Life, beyond the marsh reed village, where rose the first ziggurat—Butchers, bakers, tradesmen, herdsmen, field hands, artisans, guards, storekeepers, slaves, eunuchs, prostitutes, scribes, priests and priestesses gifted to the gods: barley, dates, onions, fish, fruit, fowl, milk, honey, ghee. Divination discerned divine will—Read for omens: lungs and livers, horrific births, speech, gait, moles, animal or bird movements. Horoscopes. Astrology. Oily patterns on water told all, comprised omen text, exorcist’s or doctor’s prognosis, law and order, truth and justice . . .

poured out for the dead
incense acrid and sweet

Anna Cates lives in a small town in Southwest Ohio and teaches college and graduate English and education online. Visit her on her Amazon Author’s Homepage or social media:

previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home