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Myth

The Red Thread by Stephanie Parent

My Ariadne can see the future.

(My Ariadne. This is my version of the story.)

She spins her red thread, and it twists into shapes before her eyes, hearts and nooses. It tells her that Theseus turns out to be an asshole.

Seven young men and seven maidens arrive on the island, and Theseus outshines them all. His eyes are the sky blue of someone who believes he cannot fail, who believes he has no darkness within him. Those eyes make Ariadne dream of flight.

Theseus wonders how such a creature as the minotaur, half-beast, half-man, could be allowed to exist. Ariadne doesn’t tell him the last of the halves: the monster is her half-brother. In the evening she dreams of blue eyes, but her hands twist and turn the red thread. At midnight she dreams of mazes like arteries and veins, running red and blue.

Ariadne gives Theseus a coiled ball of thread the size of a heart. She tells him the thread will guide him out of the labyrinth.

Continue reading “The Red Thread by Stephanie Parent”

Labyrinth Song by Lucy Whitehead

Labyrinth Song

Not everyone enters
their maze on a mission.
Some of us wake one day
curled inside a darkness
that stretches in all directions
for countless miles         caught
in a lacework cage reaching
beyond years.

…………………Ever winding
we wander half blind
through rotting corridors
searching for signs of life
stumbling over pits that beckon
beneath wearied feet
in the yawning velvet dark

wrestling
with dead ends that glint
with knives and chains
slamming shut doors
that open silently
into nothingness

…………………chasing golden
voices not our own over
floors that sharpen suddenly
into spikes         through
mirrored courtyards where
we glimpse our aging faces
catch sad minotaurs
behind our eyes.

We become adept
at surviving         stripped
of all but our existence
at times      weaving
the gleaming edges of pain
into armour and amulets
fortifying our bones Continue reading “Labyrinth Song by Lucy Whitehead”

The Wolves Ripen: A Gothic Halloween Interview with Poet Kate Dlugosz

During my tenure as BHP’s Guest Editor in March 2018, I was lucky enough to publish many gifted writers. One of these was Kate Dlugosz, whose mythic poetry stayed with me long after my editorship was over. Earlier this month I invited her back onto Burning House Press for a gothic Halloween special. She agreed. Take note, this interview is merely masquerading as an interview. What follows is a gorgeous helping of dark prose poetry for those of us who have October in our bones.  Enjoy!  —Amee Nassrene Broumand

In your poem “Springtime,” you write: “If nothing else, I know owls come from flowers.” Tell us some more origin stories. Where do bats come from?

Bats come from song, as the shape of music from the cords formed of autumn constellations played by the wind upon the harp of the waning crescent moon. It is from the stars and the moon that the bat took flight from the night sky, the space between the stars where they learned to see by shape. And released by moonlight, through the darkened canopies of wine-red treetops they fly as hordes of poppy seeds, scattering over the moon as grey clouds, and the world below them becomes strange and wild and unknown in the dark. The bats echolocate the moths and the beetles in the night, and in the blindness of their own vision seeing with clarity the worlds of ghosts and spirits that pass over our own. You feel the first chill of autumn is the hiss of the bat as it grazes your neck. At times the bats hang down from the banisters of old barns, the wooden planks slicing the moon to shreds like a white moth between their fangs. And sometimes they sleep hanging from the limbs of oak trees by their claws before taking flight into purple dusk in search of blood, the moths and monsters prowling under moonlight. Bats suck the red from apples and rosehips and would consume the sun if they could sink their teeth into flame. Should you stare into the vast night sky on a clear autumn night, you are stargazing through the blackness of their wings. Continue reading “The Wolves Ripen: A Gothic Halloween Interview with Poet Kate Dlugosz”

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