Odin, Vili, Ve

Freyr perches antler-strong in my heart
Hoary Odin’s throne atop my brain mound
Subtle Loki charming my lungs with air
and Thor the blood of river within bone.

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State of the Querying Union

So I woke up this morning to the best news of my life – a full request from one of the best literary agents in the industry, someone who I never in my wildest dreams would imagine being granted the pleasure of sending my materials too.  Yesterday was amazing too, as a wonderful new literary agent who worked as an acquiring editor for a major speculative publishing house also requested my manuscript.  Sitting pretty, my manuscript is now with six agents – three at the top of their game and three stellar ones that are up and coming.  To say I am over the moon is an understatement, and it is all thanks to the amazing feedback I got from two agents in particular who helped shape my Firebird retelling into the 80,000 word creation it is now – my finest work to date.  Through Beth Phelan’s #DVPit contests to #PitchMadness, #PitMad, #SFFPit and other online contests, I have learned so much and met so many writing friends.  In only the past two years – since 2015 to be precise at age 22 – I went from a naive writer that couldn’t write a query to save her life to one that has learned from the grace of mentors and lovely feedback from agents and friends how to craft a novel, sell it, and publish poetry and short stories in some of my favorite literary magazines, anthologies, and journals.  I have grown so much from senior year of college, when I finished my first novel at the ripe age of 22, to now at 24 still growing ever stronger as a writer and chasing threads of dreams across the page.  I have been rejected about a hundred times, with monster queries and stories that did not deserve to see the light of day.  Now I have two novels that are polished that I love and am working on my dream projects, a Zora Neale Hurston inspired novel about Marie Laveau’s heir in Snake’s Hollow, Louisiana, and a punk space opera about a David Bowie cover band in space, complete with stoner aliens.

Just two months ago I was laid off and working on revisions, at a loss to where my life is going.  Now I am getting straight As in graduate school, have my dream job saving lions, elephants, and rhinos with my writing, and a literary agent is just around the corner.  My dreams have, for the most part, come true – I have found a spiritual family in my Heathen kindred and am now a gythia-in-training and learning to control my spiritual powers and work with my beloved kindred members on environmental service projects and rituals that make me a better person, my best friends are all so successful, from having gotten into Cornell’s Ecology Doctorate Program to U Michigan’s Corporate Psychology Doctorate program, from Georgetown Law School to Columbia Law School, raises around the board, jobs in Penguin Random House, and many with stellar novels that will hit shelves someday soon to much fanfare.  I am blessed with a family that has supported me through the low points of bipolar disorder and struggles with psychosis, mania, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, depression, and suicide.

Life handed me a tarnished spoon when I was born in terms of mental health, but I was also blessed with a silver tongue and gods and spirits that have helped me through the highs and lows of my life.  Same goes for my friends and family, scattered across the US and the world, and without everyone’s support – including you, lovely readers, I would be half the woman I am today.

So here’s to future successes and failures, and whatever may come.  I’m excited for the ride.

Red Pill Angel

Wings of mercy, garlands of pain
the red pill angel strikes again
carrying wounded to heaven high
up to hospital beds in the sky.

Her wings are crimson, ruddy dew
heals the sickness haunting you
presses salve, staunch the wound
while she sings a healing tune.

Her hair is rosy, lips are true
when she kisses patients through
their tears of struggle, she will
save them from the poison pill.

Alice in Wonderland nurse is free
to heal hate twixt you and me
her song and galdr mend all bone
and make you strong as ancient stone.

The red pill angel has no name
her flight is true, her hair aflame
she visits sickly, ends all pain
the red pill angel saves again.

The Lost Fool

A stranglehold on my foot as I hang upside down
I am the king redeemed by deposition, lost fool
that wanders the strand and cliff-face, fey wild
my hair is sea salt tangles, a satchel of wands,
a bucket of stars, freshly pulled from damp earth
when you’re suspended in reverse, night lays below
and you walk the world backwards, heyoka, off towers
you fall always, and there is no net but the heavens
you have no home when you’re a jester on the road to
godhood, you make your bed with wolves in peopleskin
the coins and staves and cups and swords all my heart
I am the zero, the one you never depend on, and a
found fool is one that was never a fool to begin with
my truths are that my subversiveness is effortless and
you are all my actors in this Commedia del Arte, I the
Harlequin, perhaps you my Columbine, I take many masks
many forms, no one is quite like the joker, trickster,
troll, outlaw, rebel, outcast, renegade, call me what
you like, for I am the wayward wizard, zero sum mime
and I own nothing but my own honor, which is spineless
having no bones makes falling off cliffs easier, you
bend and bounce, and become the magician in sweet time.

Freyr Woos Gerd

I came to you with open palms, a gift
of my sword to your gardens, we met in
Barri Woods, I stripped golden in sun
you silver with shining arms, dear Gerd –
mistress of my heart and my kennings
when I first saw you from Odin’s throne
I knew what it was to die, more than
being cut as the first shaft of barley
come harvest, my rain and bounty are
nothing compared to your Etin grace,
my ship and boar and humble antler just
trappings to adorn our bower of trees,
we were wed then on dewy grass, we took
pleasure in summer sun, echoing fjords,
does and bucks danced in Vanaheim and
the Ljosalfar sang dead elven songs
as we knew each other, became one, you
are my orlog, my wyrd, my life and fate,
and our children are all of men, love
what we reap, my Jotun maiden, seer of
frith and faith, peace and good seasons
you till from my body in the soil, and
together, we blossom into Yggdrasil.

Cenobite Dinner Party

The bend of a neck decorated in bruises-
soft-given by lips parted like red waters
tangle of limbs, razor claw, cloying rose,
the musk of danger laced in whitest wine.

Unearthly delights, unimaginable pleasure
we pour out our blood measure for measure
dripping spit and fluids into the censer
all are writhing flames on beds of treasure.

Do not ask who we are, for you already know
black as kitten fur, blinding as fallen snow
dazzle and gleam, all demons, we glow, grow
so bright you are trapped in hell’s undertow.

But is this Hell or Heaven, providence or sin?
Salvation on tongues like velvet, soft whispers
our religion is sensation, we probe every angle
of darkest secret, hidden places, your master.

The Bell Trees and Memories

There is a stillness in the Bell Trees in Machonon
a warrior pauses to rest by the Lake of Memory,
all of his follies and victories peer back in the
glimmering glass waters, neon halo, supernova wings
and blood on hands that does not wash away, ever,
he looks at the stains on his palms, scars on limbs
and upon a heart that burns with devotion despite
all the times his prayers went unanswered, all the
brothers of ashen pinions that let him down, silence
at the lip of the liquid mirror, just pensive silver
immortals fear their reflection because infinity
drives them mad, and endless tangents create insanity
all the what-ifs, regrets, and reveries are too much
the warrior weakens, draws back from the lake, wanders
past silver fruits that chime with his sins, he can’t
linger too long, for to see your truths in clarity is
a revelation that can only last a moment, he marches on.

Jophiel

The girl came to him in a basket in the reeds
immortal made flesh, how Michael wept when
he sent her floating to an unmarked grave, the
woman fell into silence and rebirth, her wings
now tattoos on her back, only halo wheat hair,
her sole providence cornflower eyes, like glass,
they looked up at the king of Hell with tears,
the babe cried out as talons encircled her,
what was once angel, adamant, now blood, bone,
the Devil wept by the River Styx because he
knew that his daughter was caught in coils of
reincarnation, all thanks to his rebellion,
and the legions of women that fell from stars
were now human, but this one in particular was
his own creation with his heavenly twin, and
when she was full-formed, radiant, she gave up
her life to his sword, breast a cardinal red
as a blade not meant for her but heaven’s prince
shot through the night like an arrow, piercing
a golden heart they had created together once
when things were simpler, and their daughter
was new, and bitter wine did not flow between
brothers, so in Hell she was raised, and in Hell
she became strong, angel made child, rocked in
a cradle on Pandemonium’s throne, the wildlands
of the underworld her bosom friend, their king
her moon, and far above, where demons don’t tread,
the prince of heaven heard her voice singing a
lullaby he once lilted to his angel, and he wept
because once someone gives their life for you,
eons separate you, and she died for both of them
the bond between brothers made flesh, made blood,
a pact unto Michael and Samael, only they know
what secret promise, what purpose, she fulfills.