Bearded Kaliópe

by Geoffrey Landis and Mary Turzillo

Bearded Kaliópe, memory's progeny
graveyard of thought with pale tombstones of words
frail epitaphs, frosted-over cenotaphs,
weary with rumor, all discarded in the wake
of epiphany surging forth like bats in the twilight
like pallid ghost-birds
or moths, gravid with new understanding

Androgynous muse, mother of Orpheus, father-killer,
healer of fretted ambition, son of logic's dawn,
the winds of words wrapped in the music of melancholy,
listen to us, lady-sir of epitaphs,
bend to our plea, angel of soft cursings,
as the river of madness meets the springs of the Lethe
open our mouths, lend us words to silence the foolish,
give us names to betray our entreaters.  Let the
pale bats of epiphany free to fly through the night's
fog, and the tombstones of memory fall;
fling ignominy on those who oppose us, your devotees.
Why, after all we have uttered, o angel of
beautiful lies, o muse and lover and father of
all our words, why do you desert us
when we have most need of defiled demigods
of the ancient gibbering chaos?  Let fly your most vile,
your beloved entrapments of ghost reason.

Let us just once, before we taste of your spring
of Lethe, feel the torrent of words pour uncensored
like pallid ghost birds, upward, and upward, and upward
into the darkness.

Geoffrey Landis is a science fiction writer and a part-time scientist. His poetry collection, Iron Angels came out in 2009, the same year that he won his second Rhysling award for best speculative poem. He's also won the Hugo and Nebula awards. This is his first appearance in Goblin Fruit.

His favorite fruit remains the pomegranate, because you can feed it to your lover seed by seed. If you can get her to eat just six seeds, it will be winter for half the year! How cool is that?

Mary Turzillo's poetry collection, Your Cat & Other Space Aliens, was a Pushcart nominee. Her story "The Sugar" appears in Vera Nazarian's Sky Whales and Other Wonders, and her 2008 Nebula nominee, "Pride," will appear in Ellen Datlow's Tails of Wonder and Mystery. Her Nebula winner, "Mars Is no Place for Children," is recreational reading on the International Space Station.

Her favorite fruit remains the pomegranate, and she belongs to the faction which swallows the seed as well as the juicy part.

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