Juliet Cook
Fortune Teller


Faceted glass glints from the ceiling. Chrysalides quiver
from lead crystal.  Cryptic revelations are her pets.
'The flowers weep and the Gothics feed,' she purrs.
Her lips like dark orange burns posed theatrically
around a burr.  A rusty embouchure.  Waxy debris
staining the choppers.  Her voice like cocoa pod husk,
carnival squash, grotesque curves of a dried gourd rattling, rattling...
Some days I am hollow.  Some days I am filled with bright pulp.
An uncarved pumpkin ridden to the top
of a roller coaster, held by swaying stem.  A cremaster.


The skin begins to peel off.  There is every danger.
It attaches itself to the silk pad by its last pair of false legs
and hangs head down.  Being a delicate bag of fluid,
it will crash to death.  To stay at one place fixed and safe,
Cremaster is twisted several times and screwed firmly.
It consists of a bulb with hundreds of hooks or barbs.
When this bulb is thrust into the silk pad,
the hooks get locked up with the silk threads.
Rapid convulsions occur along the size of a small button.
'Will you fasten or unfasten what dangles by a thread?'

a few notes on this poem:

- The Gothic is a type of moth, so named because its forewings are blackish with a network of fine white lines (supposedly reminiscent of some elements of gothic architecture). It is not strongly attracted to light, but it is strongly attracted to sugar and flowers, ranging from Wormwood to Forsythia to Nettle.

- The text in part two was culled from the Cremaster section on Cocoon. org and rearranged to suit my purposes - except for the last line.

- I had to resist the impulse to write that sometimes I am filled with confetti. Were it not for my restraint, errant confetti would infiltrate many poems.