“9 lessons in witchcraft” – Poetry by Danielle Perry

Witch going to the Sabbath - Remedios Varo, 1957
Witch going to the Sabbath – Remedios Varo, 1957

Care for a quick peek at our Spring 2015 issue, FLAPPERHOUSE #5, which flies on March 20? Sit for a spell & learn “9 lessons in witchcraft” from Danielle Perry.

{ X }

for Jodi


if you do not already understand magic
i am not sure i can explain it to you.

ii. sisterhood

we were sisters, or so the story goes, which
made it very confusing when i realized
that my feelings were not exactly sisterly.

iii. witch, witch, burn the witch

i learned the lesson early:
no one ever chooses the witch in the end.

iv. set aside childish things

i never learned that one.
some things stick with you, even
when you don’t intend them to.

v. keep it hidden

even if you ask me i won’t tell you.
i’ll laugh it off, make a joke of it, because
i can’t bear to let you see how real it is.

vi. ‘if you think you’re a witch, why don’t you take steps to actively be one?’

what do you think those steps look like?
should i have an altar with a knife and cauldron?
should i chant spells and say ‘blessed be’?

i already know that i am a witch &
i have known it since i was young.
just because i don’t match up
to whatever your notion of witch is
does not mean it isn’t true.

(for more information, see lessons one and five.)

vii. the difference between magic & coincidence is belief

this gets too close to the secret &
a magician never reveals hers.

viii. men are easy to ensorcel

the reason you hear about all those witches
with men under their spells
(remember odysseus? remember merlin?)
is that witchcraft is one of the few ways
women have been allowed any kind of power.

the reason you do not hear as often about witches
with women under their spell
is because we know how to keep a god-damn secret.

ix. sisterhood, revisited

the older i get, the more able i am
to see the connective tissue of the world,
glistening like a spiderweb with morning dew.

this woman likes snakes; she is my sister.
she likes spiders; she is my sister.
this woman calls herself a witch;
she is my sister.

{ X }

danielle perryDANIELLE PERRY has not resorted to blood magic (yet). She graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and English Literature from Guilford College in North Carolina. She now lives in Portland, OR, but maintains her east coast sarcasm. Her work appears on The Toast, Voicemail Poems, Potluck Magazine, Luna Station Quarterly, and elsewhere. She also spends too much time on Twitter.

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