Posts in Poetry
"Magdalene-The Seven Devils"
Amanda Holstien Broken Glass

"Magdalene—The Seven Devils"
by Marie Howe

“Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven devils had been cast out”
Luke 8:2

The first was that I was very busy.

The second—I was different from you: whatever happened to you could
not happen to me, not like that.

The third—I worried.

The fourth—envy, disguised as compassion.

The fifth was that I refused to consider the quality of life of the aphid,
The aphid disgusted me.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
The mosquito too—its face.    And the ant—its bifurcated body.

Ok   the first was that I was so busy. 

The second that I might make the wrong choice,
because I had decided to take that plane that day,
that flight, before noon, so as to arrive early
and, I shouldn’t have wanted that.
The third was that if I walked past the certain place on the street
the house would blow up.   

The fourth was that I was made of guts and blood with a thin layer
of skin lightly thrown over the whole thing.

The fifth was that the dead seemed more alive to me than the living

The sixth—if I touched my right arm I had to touch my left arm, and if I
touchedthe left arm a little harder than I’d first touched the right then I had
to retouch the left and then touch the right again so it would be even.  

The seventh—I knew I was breathing the expelled breath of everything that
was alive, and I couldn’t stand it.
I wanted a sieve, a mask, a, I hate this word—cheesecloth—
to breath through that would trap it—whatever was inside everyone else that
entered me when I breathed in.

No.  That was the first one.

The second was that I was so busy.  I had no time.   How had this happened?
How had our lives gotten like this?

The third was that I couldn’t eat food if I really saw it—distinct, separate
from me in a bowl or on a plate. 

Ok. The first was that. I could never get to the end of the list.
The second was that the laundry was never finally done.

The third was that no one knew me, although they thought they did.
And that if people thought of me as little as I thought of them then what was
love?  

The fourth was I didn’t belong to anyone. I wouldn’t allow myself to belong
to anyone.

The fifth was that I knew none of us could ever know what we didn’t know.

The sixth was that I projected onto others what I myself was feeling.

The seventh was the way my mother looked   when she was dying, 
the sound she made—her mouth wrenched to the right and cupped open
so as to take in as much air… the gurgling sound, so loud
we had to speak louder to hear each other over it.

And that I couldn’t stop hearing it—years later—grocery shopping, crossing the street—

No, not the sound—it was   her body’s hunger
finally evident—what our mother had hidden all her life.

For months I dreamt of knucklebones and roots,   
the slabs of sidewalk pushed up like crooked teeth by what grew underneath.

The underneath.  That was the first devil.   It was always with me
And that I didn’t think you—if I told you—would understand any of this—

Dead King

"Dead King"
by: Amanda Kay Holstien, Sr.

You are my Dead King
where even in my dreams
you reign
but with a shaky scepter-
Your skin, grey and soft,
sinking.
I could've sworn you were dead,
yet there you are
teetering amongst us,
a little drunk, it seems-
the truth, not so far off in dreams.
I go to hug you
and your body melts.
What was once a great ruler, now
draped in dark and dust.
Daddy, King
you too have fallen
amongst the many men you thought you were invincible. 
Now, I am no longer
easily convincible
that you were a god.
I believed in you though
up till now-
where here you are before me
behind a smokey screen, in my dreams-
where even now you fall
flat, hard, a heavy pillar,
now shattered into large chunks and ashy pieces-
piece, piece, rest in peace
my once alive and now Dead King.

A Song For Light and Dark
Amanda Kay Holstien, Sr. Poetry

"A Song for Light and Dark"
by: Amanda Kay Holstien, Sr.

If the gate slams before me,
you can find me
rolling in the dust
or bathing in the mud.

The carcass hands on the wall,
bleeding before us all,
but your hero's been gone too long,
so you start singing a somber song.

Fall in and out of love,
you fit me like OJ's glove.
Where once we were inseparable,
now we're incompatible.

But I'm trying to keep it light,
I'm trying to keep it light,
trying to find the light,
keep fighting,
though I'm scared
and breathing
that heavy air.

Acid and Adderall
fills the void
after all.
My body's a temple
for you-
just put it in your mouth,
consume, consume, consume.

But the song's not over yet;
I've got a whole pack of cigarettes.
With a backpack
and no regrets,
I must be on my way.

I once heard a river
weeping for her mother
and her long lost brother
in the metaphorical war.

I've got prison letters
from a man I once called home.

Pairing a white gown
with some high heels
and a red frown.
A honeymoon in Disney World,
the older man
and his blue girl.

But the leaves started turning green,
the night that you left me.

If the gate slams before me,
you can find me
blooming
in the dust,
I flourish
in the mud.

I'm but a blossom,
blooming in the dead of night.

Enlightenment, or: Contradiction, Unsettled
Amanda Kay Holstien, Sr._Enlightenment

"Enlightenment, or: Contradiction, Unsettled"
by Amanda Kay Holstien, Sr.

Cheyenne, kombucha
& natural cigarettes;
acid & yoga:
am I enlightened yet?
Meditate when I'm angry
& smoke when I'm sad;
it's hard 2 b a woman
w/so many guys named Chad.

I found a razor in an ashtray
on the Upper East Side;
all my friends are snorting snow,
and I'm trying
to keep
my stride.

Still though,
I know
not necessarily
does every
truth
have a rhyme
or rhythm
or calming effect.

Life is form, unhinged:
I am a flower blossoming
after being
plucked.
Both flourishing
& degrading:
fasting,
but not to be thin.
Or maybe thinness second,
Enlightenment first;
thinness, a happy accident.

One foot in my body,
a twitch in my third eye,
let's roll another doobie,
& pray we get real high,
like the first time.

Still I try
to find
my intuition,
only
to find
life, a contradiction,
unsettled.