alter ego.

I.

In an old bed
my eyelids rest; the breath of Israeli
in my blood, I never thought
I’d have to cross this bridge

and I might see you
your alter ego, 
and he dies again;

the Prometheus death fit for humankind,
take it then
take it and see how we are born,
see how we’ll die.

I am a woman now,
last a child when I saw you in the casinos
as the moon fed into the phantasmagoria,
and the sun settles on my ancient father’s bones.

women in their stone
had quiet madness, like me,
I close my eyes.

II.

At midnight
	the smoking glistens
		sometimes, I die
I should have known better
I’ll see you again; New England should depress me;
	babies grown, remembering
Meerschaum in your mouth
	
	but I loathe the perfume on your skin,
	and your voice, most of all; a glorying in the first kill
	in which you are born; the winter. I should have known
	this would come, why be foolish,
	
I’ve known this man
	hanging his stones,
	kick them, kick them, and the moon skims my words
		but humankind is not (not man or woman),
	fit for the Prometheus death


you are.
	

© 2021 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.

Written for the dVerse prompt 4/27/21: Write a poem about bridges OR write a Puente.

4/29/21: Reposted for the dVerse OLN.

5/3/21: Reposted for PYM Go Dog Go.

5/6/21: Part two to Alter Ego written for the dVerse prompt: The writing challenge is to write a palinode. This can be in relation to a poem you have written before (please link or include prior poem), or as part of a poem.


  85 comments for “alter ego.

  1. April 27, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    I really enjoyed the last several lines when it becomes more of your story/experience.

    Liked by 4 people

    • April 27, 2021 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you so much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • May 6, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      I’m glad you chose this poem to offer a response. I really like the formatting in the palinode to clearly separate it from the initial voice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 6, 2021 at 7:41 pm

        Thank you so much!

        Like

  2. sanaarizvi
    April 27, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Really fantastic wordsmithing in this one, Lucy! You knocked my socks off with; “as the moon fed into the phantasmagoria.”💝💝

    Liked by 3 people

  3. April 27, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    I love your lush, creative language–the sense I have is of someone reliving memories/experiences over again. The dying of the soul, and perhaps its rebirth, a constant cycle.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. April 27, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    I think about the bridge of life and death when I read your poem. And also I like how a country can find its way, like an identify with:
    In an old bed
    my eyelids rest; the breath of Israeli

    The quiet madness of the woman is impressive.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. SteelWarrior/PoetOfSteel
    April 27, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    I love how it starts and ends with closed eyes! Amazing piece, Lucy 😊💕

    Liked by 3 people

  6. April 27, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    I want to know more about these people. Wonderful and intriguing Lucy ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. April 27, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    Love this.Thanks for sharing ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 27, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you for reading. ❤ ❤

      Like

  8. April 27, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    You have done a great job creating the angst of losing what once was as the bridge to cross comes closer!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. April 27, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    The first stanza and crossing the bridge, made me think of crossing the Red Sea, especially with the use of the words “Israeli and in my blood.” Not sure if it was meant as a biblical allusion, but it sparked it, anyways! haha! The idea of an alter ego plays well with the contrast in imagery one one sees throughout. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  10. April 28, 2021 at 1:49 am

    I love the idea of a bridge between phantasmagorical alter egos: mesmerising!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. April 28, 2021 at 2:44 am

    I have no words powerful enough to express my appreciation of this piece, Lucy.


    David

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 28, 2021 at 4:06 am

      Aww, thank you. ❤️❤️

      Like

  12. April 28, 2021 at 4:52 am

    A poignant poem, Lucy, deeply personal and yet so relatable. My favourite lines:
    ‘…the moon fed into the phantasmagoria,
    and the sun settles on my ancient father’s bones’
    and the phrase ‘women in their stone had quiet madness’.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. April 28, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    I wonder so much about the bridges we might cross to find another self. I love the thought of being a Prometheus… and the thought of having to suffer eternally for the betterment of humankind.

    But thinking again, maybe the Gods have brought us climate change as a revenge for the fire he gave us.

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 28, 2021 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you so much, and perhaps.

      Like

    • May 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

      Returning and reading again, I see a world where there might not be any bridge to cross… we are stuck with the ego we have.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 9, 2021 at 11:01 am

        Thank you for your thoughts and feedback. ❤️

        Like

  14. April 28, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    “the Prometheus death fit for humankind,” …a death of fire, but perhaps a fire of of brilliance and rebirth. I always love the mysteries I encounter in your work Lucy!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. April 28, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    The line about “Prometheus death” is a great and vivid!!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Masa
    April 28, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Respectfully applauding your continued work. Fantastic. Lunar imagery and dreamy phantasms will always win me over, but fiery deaths of alter-egos and past selves? You have me ensnared.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. April 28, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    In our mind we cross and recross those bridges. There is a strong connection here that won’t let go. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  18. scotthastiepoet
    April 29, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Interesting and intriguing as ever, Lucy. I like the way you are always reaching and some stellar lines here, scattered throughout…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. April 29, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    You have a style all your own ….. and fascinating to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 29, 2021 at 9:03 pm

      Thank you so much, Helen. ❤ ❤

      Like

  20. April 30, 2021 at 4:47 am

    The eye that sees this bridges the stanzas with the reflection of occluded moonlight — not much purchase for the reader but we slide along enrapt. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 30, 2021 at 5:05 am

      Thank you Brendan for the thoughts and feedback. ❤️

      Like

  21. May 1, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Beautiful ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  22. May 2, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Beautiful. I feel both the reluctance and the acceptance of transitioning to another place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2021 at 11:17 am

      Thank you so much and that was exactly what I was aiming for! 💖

      Like

  23. May 2, 2021 at 11:45 am

    This is one beautiful, reflective piece. It seems to be about a certain woman’s final moments, of contemplation, before the eternal rest of death. However, even not so literal as that, it could also be about the notion of “moving on” past a specific history. Not even as though the woman is laying herself to rest, in death, though just placing a memory to its much needed peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  24. May 3, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Great

    Liked by 1 person

  25. May 4, 2021 at 11:09 am

    The great works of lucy strikes again🖤🖤🖤

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Masa
    May 6, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    I feels odd to comment on this poem again, but since you put in the work for the second stanza, I’ll at least avoid repeating myself: the transition from your usual ethereal, dreamy, heady style into something more physical, more personal is a powerful transcendence – I crashed hard from the world of fitful fantasy to the dirty floors of a well-worn home and the passionate pain of an injured heart.

    Delicious material. Truly delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. May 6, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Stellar response. Such a dramatic turn around in the end with:

    but humankind is not (not man or woman),
    fit for the Prometheus death

    you are.
    

    Liked by 1 person

  28. May 6, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    A great contrast poem Lucy. Seems the Ghosts from the cemetery never quit haunting us. The second is full of strength and a sense of being ready to move on from an unpleasant past!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. May 7, 2021 at 2:38 am

    It was a joy to return to your bridge poem, Lucy, and to read your palinode response, especially ‘At midnight the smoking glistens’ and the ‘Meerschaum in your mouth’ (which reminded me of my great-grandfather and his pipe), and the phrase ‘the moon skims my words’.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. May 7, 2021 at 7:16 am

    A great answer to your first poem, and you really cinched it with those final lines. I don’t know what the subject has done to deserve such hatred, but it must have been something pretty bad…

    Liked by 1 person

  31. May 7, 2021 at 8:46 am

    I still haven’t found a proper skeleton for working in through this verbal cages, but the difficulty suggests they are laid with desperate care, else ghosts and demons escape. Prometheus has always meant a guilty figure, theft and killer, audacity for forging weapons and beating the gods with their own fire. A creator-figure but a dangerous one, and in this age more like Saturn, devouring his children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 7, 2021 at 10:52 am

      Thank you, Brendan, for the thoughts and feedback.

      Like

  32. May 7, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Lucy,
    As always, you carry me along in the swift tide of your imagery and I am transported to a dreamscape of memory and feeling and semi-savage sensations. Prometheus seems the focal point, the tragic hero with a noble cause, doomed, and you turn the allusion on its head, handing him his entrails for dessert. You’re a dark poetess indeed. 🌹
    ∼🕊Dora

    Liked by 1 person

  33. May 7, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Your palinode is both powerful and evocative.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. sanaarizvi
    May 8, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    My goodness! 💝💝 This is breathtakingly poignant, Lucy. I especially like; “but I loathe the perfume on your skin, and your voice, most of all; a glorying in the first kill in which you are born; the winter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  35. May 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Your writing is always amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. June 6, 2021 at 7:26 am

    Worthy words, well writ. G:)

    Liked by 1 person

  37. June 6, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    Phenomenal command of written language!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. June 7, 2021 at 8:12 am

    Awesome poem about the present and afterlife, Lucy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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