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I just finished (ok, is a poem every really finished?) a poem about Medusa.  This poem started out several months ago with a question, “What was Medusa like before her head was covered with snakes?  How did it get that way?”  I was fascinated by the idea that she created her hair that eventually turned into snakes.  I imagined her hair as dreadlocks, oil-coated, glossy, twisting curls.

I did a little research and found that many myths allude to her rape by Poseidon; some references have her offending Athena by her relationship with Poseidon.  Now the poem was taking on a very sexual theme.  The seduction made no sense to me.  It had to have been a rape that brought out the monster in Medusa.

Fortunately — very fortunately — I’ve never been raped.  I’ve had a few close calls, though.  I’ve also read many works about rapes — all very poweful.  Now that the poem seemed to have it’s own story to tell, it was all about the rape precipitating her change.  I know I didn’t deliberately set out to write about a rape, but that’s what happened.  I don’t know if it’ll measure up.

By the way, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.  Maybe we’d have greater awareness, if reptile-hair was always a result.


I’m watching out my office window where my neighbor is doing some very early spring cleanup:  picking up branches, raking winter leaves… he’s dressed in his hunting gear, though.  I don’t know if it’s any particular season, though; maybe he just wanted to be camouflaged in his front yard.  I’ve been lazy at writing lately, but I’ve been energetic at remodeling.  The ugly wallpaper in the basement is gone and I’ve scraped half of the backing paper away.  A little more money saved and I’ll have new hardwood floors.

I’ve been working on a poem about Medusa but mostly struggling.  I read a book of Robert Bly’s prose poems, “Morning Glory,” which made me think of re-working the poem into a prose format.  I’ve never written in that style before, but maybe it’ll break the log-jam I’ve been in with it.  I just hate it when I can’t get to the feeling I want with a poem.  I just keep dancing near it…

I guess if it was easy everyone would do it.