Brooding Maiden and the Beast – Basilike Pappa

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Ornaments, bars, neon 

and people: by their useless regrets they have colorful streets and a grazing fever

Feelings of peace and security then take over, adding them to crowds

smoking outside restaurants

bleating, masturbating –  

the orgasm like pastries sold during an execution

In the mornings sometimes I cry 

but when the night comes we fuck on slides

 –he strong, me greedy– 

in a playground 

as damned as his arms 

when he’s away

These misplaced cravings for the divine

can become as addictive as shoplifting

The clenched me, my secret burning,

urges his growling, his strength,

the feeding

We take eternity where we find it

If only I could feel the sun on his skin 

lap it up off his neck

but I can’t even fantasize

being stranded on an island with him

without imagining the whole shipwreck

so I bury my wish under the loose swings

And overthink

overanalyze

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The Face in the Water – Basilike Pappa

On Free Verse Revolution again, with a re-telling of Snow White.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

I am a lake.

I lay myself in the heart of this land where the snow falls soft, the rain sings gray, and the dark is trimmed with the song of the nightingale. I am smooth in serenity or ripple in mirth. The world around is mirrored in me – the traveling clouds, the austerity of the woods, the hills, and on one of them a castle of gleaming stone. I am water, that out of which everything is born. I have a million memories.

She was a queen – tall and sinuous, with black eyes, opal skin and a voice sweet like deceit. She touched me and smiled at the way droplets hung from her fingertips like liquid diamonds. She looked into me, saw her face, and said: ‘How beautiful I am! Surely this lake hasn’t seen a face

like mine. Nor should it ever see.’

I rippled in…

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Basilike Pappa, How Demons Get Their Wings

It feels great to be Dodging the Rain again

DODGING THE RAIN

HOW DEMONS GET THEIR WINGS

Here comes streetlight
and me again

a lover’s cheap charms
all over her diary

ambrosial language
for naked game

erogenous trust
her throat moans deeper

my sliver of smile
how can she know

true love cuts
red is a singer

in vocal cords
to stain her dress

death is a river
to wash her away

my knife is fed
I feel them grow

Basilike Pappa is a bookmonger and a wordcubine. Her work has appeared on Intrinsick, Timeless Tales, Rat’s Ass Review, Surreal Poetics, Bones – Journal for Contemporary Haiku, Sonic Boom, and Visual Verse. She is a member of Sudden Denouement – A Global Divergent Literary Collective. Most of the time she can be found reading near a window in Greece.

You can read more of Basilike’s work here, and on her blog Silent Hour.

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Mosquito Soup and What It Meant – Basilike Pappa

On Free Verse Revolution, with a strange kind of soup.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

There was a man who had mosquito soup for dinner

I should have told him what it meant

I laughed instead; scared him away

I want to tell him I’m not the same

but sometimes I run after windswept crumbs – 

the chase still alive under my skin

I want to finish that story where the rigor mortis of a major planet

dried the sea, left the fish flailing in the shallows;

I started it as we gin-fizzed against the yellow of the kitchen walls 

(egg-and-lemon sauce, the kind I detest) 

– I want to tell him what it meant, but it was in a dream, so it doesn’t matter

I was chemicals on top of everything else–

think of a smooth bandage over the present– 

and he held on to a bag of old clothes (when afraid, stand still) 

He was wearing them when his casual plan backfired underneath

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I Am the Woman – Basilike Pappa

Being the woman your mother warned you about, on Heretics, Lovers and Madmen. I have some sisters too you should watch out for.

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

I am the woman your mother warned you about:
She and the other matriarchs exchanged recipes. Babies in arms, children tugging at their sleeves. High pitched squealing. The perfect detergent for spring cleaning.
I zoomed out.
Someone asked me something, I said ‘what?’ Then they exchanged glances.
– Isn’t the day hot, and could you beat the eggs?
– Sure, why not?

I beat the eggs and I was thinking the last time I did spring cleaning must have been summer because it was hot. Then someone came and brought me pot. That’s how I missed a spot on the window glasses.

I am the woman your mother warned you about:
When she told me ‘when you get pregnant,’ I said ‘I’m not taking any chances.’

‘Son, she’s cold. Chit-chat was like we spoke foreign languages. I have a feeling she’ll never bake a pie. She only paid attention when…

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