"Guinevere" and "The Fisher King"
Ill-tempered knight, Naming me destroyer Burn my body, breathe deep And inhale my ashes Let me haunt your empty keep
What do I care? Bought, not loved Succumbed to passion For an amorous rebirth Among hedonistic blooms
And what did I ruin? Pious whore Slayer of the holy isle Slicing away hope With his watery sword
And I? A royal Eve Apple juice dripping Down a dainty chin Laughing with the serpent While the garden burns
The Fisher King
Majesty, failing On a throne of bones. Shining city atop A decaying hill. Forest full of skeletons A wasteland of empty nests Dry leaves crying out Death knell of a dying wood
Save us, they beg Their voices echo Through the still air Like a death rattle Give us your breath So we may breathe again
Kingdom, lying Secrets hidden In cobwebs and dust The harp sings a melancholy song The clanging of silverware And gnashing teeth Drown out the silent screams Of a dying people
Save us, they beg Their voices echo Against crumbling stone walls Like rumbling thunder Give us your blood So our hearts can beat again
A church, empty Stained windows broken Sharp shards slice The lonely worshipers feet Unheard prayers Infertile virgin Womb barren of saviors For a dying faith
Save us, they beg Their voices crash Against shattered glass Like sharp inhales of breath Give us your body So that we may walk again
Majesty, dying A long, slow walk Crowned head crumbles like old stone Royal bones dry like a withering wood Regal heart forsakes the empty church For the high, holy cliffs Blood, body, breath Offered freely to renew the land
Thank you, we cry our voices echo as one Shrilly birdsong and hymns Like symphonies of ruination The body lies broken The world is born again
Alexandra Graffeo is a poet and writer from Staten Island, New York. She holds a Master’s in Fantasy Literature from the University of Glasgow. Her work is inspired by her academic background, her love of travel, and her desire to find magic in everyday life. Alex’s poetry and short stories can be found currently and forthcoming in OyeDrum Magazine (where she works as the Managing Editor), The Raven’s Perch, Disquiet Arts, and Last Leaves Magazine.
Christopher Paul Brown is known for his exploration of the unconscious through improvisation and the cultivation of serendipity and synchronicity via alchemy. His photography career dates back to 1978 and he has been active in improvised experimental music and motion pictures since 1974. His first photography sale was to the collection of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana (now British Petroleum) and his video You Define Single File was nominated for the Golden Gate Award at the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival in 2004. Over the past three years his art was exhibited twice in Rome, Italy, in Belgrade, Serbia, and his series of ten photographs, titled Obscure Reveal, were exhibited at a Florida museum in 2017. His work is in a hardcover book just released by Manifest Gallery. His work has also appeared in numerous other books, US exhibitions, and US and British periodicals. He is also the recipient of numerous awards over the past six years. He earned a BA in Film from Columbia College Chicago in 1980. Brown was born in Dubuque, Iowa, USA and now resides in Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA. “As a child I always imagined myself creating art, music and stories as a hobby. I imagined my career would be as an exo-geologist, exploring the frontier of other planet geology. However, as a teenager in the 1970s I realized that the next frontier was not space but rather those dimensions alluded to by quantum mechanics, string theory and ancient mystics. It is this frontier that I explore with my art.” - Brown