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Persephone and Oedipus

Tired of arguing over who wears the sadder fate,
Persephone and Oedipus decide to get drunk.

Oedipus knows this little Irish pub down the street,
a basement place with rusty swords on the wall.

He buys the first round, sips his Johnny Walker Black
and hopes she doesn’t catch his wince. But

Persephone is too busy wondering if her filmy gown
is the wrong attire for this place, her nipples

swaying like figs at the end of the bartender’s stare.
I’m tired of being a metaphor, Oedipus grumbles,

clenching his bruised knuckles around his shotglass.
Persephone nods, spine arched like a scimitar.

He stares at her then asks, Want to do some blow?
She says yes, but only if they go to the ladies’ room.

It’s cleaner in there, she says. Oedipus frowns.
I thought you said you’ve never been here before!

Persephone readjusts her gown. I haven’t, she said,
but everywhere you go, it’s the same damn story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Meyerhofer’s second book, Blue Collar Eulogies, was published by Steel Toe Books. His first, Leaving Iowa, won the Liam Rector First Book Award. He has also won the Marjorie J. Wilson Best Poem Contest, the James Wright Poetry Award, the Laureate Prize, the Annie Finch Prize for Poetry, and five chapbook prizes. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, North American Review, Arts & Letters, River Styx, Quick Fiction and other journals, and can be read online at www.troublewithhammers.com.

Photo Source: Brownstoner

About Michael Meyerhofer

Michael Meyerhofer’s third book, Damnatio Memoriae, won the Brick Road Poetry Book Contest. His previous books are Blue Collar Eulogies (Steel Toe Books) and Leaving Iowa (winner of the Liam Rector First Book Award). He has also won the James Wright Poetry Award, the Laureate Prize, the Annie Finch Prize for Poetry, the Marjorie J. Wilson Best Poem Contest, and five chapbook prizes. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, North American Review, Arts & Letters, River Styx, Quick Fiction and other journals, and can be read online at his website.

2 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. David Hickey
    January 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Fabulous! Well done!

  2. djelloul marbrook
    January 30, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    I adore this poem. It swims against so many popular currents, sticks in the mind, and raises all kinds of intriguing questions in its magical wake.