Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Personal Challenge, Magaly

Hola, dear Toads!!!

In case my overuse of exclamation marks doesn’t make it obvious enough, let me say that my heart is about to burst with Poe-induced euphoria. I blame it all on Susie and the deliciously wicked personal challenge she bestowed upon me. You see, our Susie invited me to explore her fascination for Victorian hair jewelry… She mentioned her love for Edgar Allan Poe’s work… The moment I read the words hair (creepy bling) and Poe, in the same message, my Muse shrieked: “Ligeia!”

It writhes! – it writhes! – with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.
~ from “The Conqueror Worm,” in “Ligeia,” by Edgar Allan Poe


Hair, Teeth, Poe
            by Magaly Guerrero

We met at a wake.
Mourning shrouded,
everyone in attendance looked…
unattractive;
everyone but her.

I approached her in a daze—
hands trembling,
eyes ensnared by the raven-black
of her naturally-curling tresses,
heart taken by her serene countenance.

Throat clearing gone unacknowledged
filled me with mortal pangs.
I leaned forward,
placing my face as close as propriety allowed.
“Your mane has taken my heart,” I said.

Her ear was frigid to my words.
Unrequired love spooks easily.
Fueled by rejection, I turned to flee.
Then I saw the tremor upon the lips…
a dry line of pearly white.

I hugged her,
kissed the cotton in her mouth;
and before three pallbearers
(who obviously knew nothing about love)
could pull me out of my beloved’s casket,
my teeth bit into her hair
and I swallowed without chewing.
Laughter grew out of my mouth.

Every tongue bellowed, “Mad man!”

I roared louder—mirth fed
by the feeling of her hair coiling rings inside me,
increasing my love forevermore. 

***


This is a bit of Hair Jewelry (and Poe hair) trivia:
- “rings and bracelets of hair increase love” ~ Vadstena stads tankebok
- The Poe Foundation owns a “lock of hair cut from Poe’s brow.”

* No hairballs were ingested during the creation of this poem. 

Poe Hair at Poe Museum

35 comments:

Karen said...

This is totally Poe-tic! (Sorry about that...bad pun). I love this poem! You've put me in the mood for some Poe!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Karen, Poe is quite infectious, isn't he?

Your pun made me giggle. ;-)

Sharon Rawson said...

Wickedly macabre! And, really? How long were Edgar's eyebrows that the could cut a lock from one of them?

Magaly Guerrero said...

Sharon, that's such a great question. LOL!

Gina said...

I am suppressing giggles of hysteria as I don't want my poorly child asking what I'm reading ....*shuddering with delight* :D XXX

Susan said...

Love! Living hair! And it does, live and breathe longer, maybe, than dust.

Susie Clevenger said...

Magaly, I love it! It is so Poe. You took hair jewelry to a place I never anticipated. Thanks so much for accepting my challenge!!

hedgewitch said...

Poe is an author dear to my heart, and I have always found hair jewelry, and other rather morbid fancies of the Victorians, like displaying dead birds in bell jars, etc, both creepy and fascinating. Your poem does it all justice, a perfect finale, and the last lines are truly horrible to contemplate. Love the way you did this challenge, Magaly, and thanks to Susie for dreaming it up.
BTW, as a sidenote, I believe they have run all kinds of analysis on that hair of Poe to try to determine how he died--one of the things they found was that he was not the bigtime alcoholic that he has been smeared as being--or that he had drastically reduced his alcohol intake in the last year of his life, as the lead residue found(a component of most alcohol back then due to storing and packaging)had declined dramatically.

Helen said...

Shiver me timbers! This is macabre in the best way possible. Now where did I put my 'witchy cool' Victorian hair bauble?

Mama Zen said...

Freaking perfect! Much love, Magaly.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Such an unexpected twist in the tale. You have opened a thrilling, macabre window on the excesses of love!

I hugged her,
kissed the cotton in her mouth... Chilling!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You totally brought it to this challenge, and delivered big-time. The unexpected bite is very Poe-ish! I was relieved to know no hairballs were ingested during the creation of this poem. LOL.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I can't believe you don't want to share this jewel with your boy. You're a terrible mother. ;-)

Magaly Guerrero said...

Maybe the old saying should state "from dust to hair"... And after a while, dust!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Thank YOU for the challenge. It was just the kind of fun I needed!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I read some of the articles about the testing of the hair. I founded both fascinating and horrifying! Can you picture the Poe's doctor (and friend!) cutting a hunk of hair from the man's head and then lecturing about it. Sooo deliciously creepy!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Have you checked in your guilded coffin? Hehehe!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Right back at you!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I must admit that I kind of freaked myself out with the bit about the cotton

Magaly Guerrero said...

I wanted to make sure that no one worried to much about hairballs. Those things can make the best of us hack and gag with apprehension.

Rhissanna said...

Oh, creepily, erotically wonderful! I love the Victorian fascination with hair, both of the living and the dead. If Pinterest was around then, there'd be whole boards dedicated to hair sculptures, with tutorials and exotic displays.

Matching this obsession to Poe is just genius!

Other Mary said...

That is totally Poe worthy Magaly!!! C-c-c-reepy twist too! And I love your disclaimer at the end. I've been away from the garden for awhile and this was a delight to come back to! Thanks.

grapeling said...

well-spun, Magaly ~

Jim said...

I liked your post, Magaly. I like Poe also, probably the "Raven" and the "Pit and the Pendulum" the best. Maybe that is because they are the ones I remembered best. Think I read them all in high school, I got bored easily and the library was a place of escape for me.

Sorry I don't have a poem for you I came here this morning when you had eight (8) comments so there was time but somehow it wasn't spent on Poe. I might still later, just for you.
..

georgeplaceblog said...

I read that Mary Shelley had an album of some of her friends hair showcased. One was Lord Byron.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/462815299177451088/

This has been fascinating.

Jim said...

Loved reading about the cotton and the hair. ;)
..

cosmos cami said...

Oh so good! It feels Poe to the core.

Grace said...

Terrific response Magaly ~ My hair was rising at the end, smiles ~

Magaly Guerrero said...

In the very deep words of my 90-year-old downstairs neighbor, "Hot damn!" My Firefox App for iPhone shows each response with threaded comments... so I didn't add each person's name in each response. All my answers sound like a very animated conversion with myself, lol! Oh well, I'm sure Poe would approve. ;-)

@Rhissanna, I suspected you'd love this one. It made me think of your Claudia. She seems like the type would line her coffin with human hair. *shivers*

@Other Mary, sooo glad you came back to something that made you grin... and that reminded you just how conscious each Toad is when it comes to throat comfort and the gobbling of non-edibles. ;-D

@Jim, "The Raven" is one of my favorites, too. And now that you mention it, I muse reread "The Pit and the Pendulum." ;-)

Little Gothic Horrors said...

Ooooooh... Magnificently macabre, Madame Magaly!

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Hedge, thanks for your exhaustive research. I had heard about lead poisoning of this kind. Poor Edgar. He was not able to enjoy his talents.

I was inspired to write a poem, so there's no linky, but anyway,
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2014/09/09/crowning-glory/

Peace, y'all! Amy

Marian said...

yikes, this is a bit much to imagine before the first cup of coffee! :) love it, grotesque but one cannot avert the eyes.

Kay L. Davies said...

What a wonderful take on the personal prompt from Susie. I enjoyed it even as it gave me the creeps!
Unlike Marian, I had several cups of coffee before reading it, a recipe I recommend to future readers.
K

Hannah said...

Creepy and cool!! Well done on this response, Magaly and great challenge, Susie!! Thank you, both!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Coffee has the power of awesome, doesn't it, Kay? I second your notion. ;-)