“Creature Feature: Caligynachtmare: Dread the Beauty” – Poetry by Shannon Moore Shepherd

The Angel of the home or the Triumph of Surrealism - Max Ernst, 1937
The Angel of the home or the Triumph of Surrealism – Max Ernst, 1937

Shannon Moore Shepherd‘s fiendishly fantastic poem “Creature Feature: Caligynachtmare: Dread the Beauty” is the opening spell of our Fall 2015 issue. If it adequately stokes your demonically ravenous hunger for more surreal, shadowy, sensual, & satirical lit, you could pre-order a digital copy of FLAPPERHOUSE #7 now so that it flies into your emailbox before the Autumnal Equinox. And if you’re in the NYC area, you also could come watch Shannon perform, along with some other uber-flappy writers we love, at FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #4 on September 23.

{ X }

and not to fold your laundry.
A bat lights on one shoulder,
a starling on the other. I am
fortified by what meets
in the middle of dark
and light. Little star, shining,
goodbye Earth and all its
years (How are we not all covered
in dust? How do you keep your
toe pointed, little star?)
But I am coming with no
history and all of it balled up and popped into
my mouth and sliding down my throat, so do not
ask how I keep myself warm.
Saturn’s belt of crushed rock around
its belly I can ride like
a thunder cat. I am a silver-skinned wonder
setting down your tea to watch you shiver.
I am Isis’ darkest vein, but as if through an
orchid, I am sick with beauty.
And if you are unkind, I merely catch your
copperhead by the throat and see–
it too becomes my pet.
(I have three little mice for it now–
Don’t close your eyes!)
I am the moon-sick nachtmahr
creature you have always wanted
to fear, so fear me and let
me feed.
She sleeps on the forest floor and crushes
coal to diamond with her dreams. She screams
to be changed. She awakes charged in the least
elegant light. But her fury is gone
and her hips full of wonder.
What am I?
I am coming from far away and the
beasts that you know will be
better friends when I come in.
I am the unknown, ghost with no
house. How impossibly free.
How do you sleep knowing you
can’t be in every corner
at the same time?
I am Titan’s favorite
face shining at Saturn,
keeping the boys spinning
in their own little world
so afraid. I am coming
with holes in my hands
and my side,
coming for your first born,
coming from very
very far away.
And not to fold your
fucking laundry.
Think of a mark,
quickly, and bloody
your doors.
And don’t come out until
I pass.
Piss yourself for all I care,
I am Lilith’s slithering
need, so fear me.
And let me feed. 

{ X }

20150723_174708SHANNON  MOORE  SHEPHERD  lives, writes, and plays music in NYC. She is a master eavesdropper, a sloppy but intuitive tarot reader, and a fearless insect photographer. She studied Creative Writing at Bradley University and is currently working on a Gothic homage to her hometown of Peoria, Illinois.

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