Beautiful, yes, but also arrogant and vain,
boasting that she and her daughter Andromeda
were more beautiful than the Nereids nymph-daughters.
Tonight, the Lady of the Chair reigns
not over Ethiopia but the North Star.
Poseidon’s punishment to Cassiopea for saying she and Andromeda were more beautiful than the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus was for her to be put in a constellation sitting in the heavens tied to a chair. (from Hyginus, Poeticon Astronomicon. “U.S. Naval Observatory Library”)
That earthy, pleasant scent we all know
but can’t quite describe from rain falling
on dry ground. A word from Greek
“petra” for stone but “ichor” for what
flows in the veins of the gods.
534 B.C.E., Thespis portrays a character onstage.
This Greek poet puts on a mask
and becomes Dionysus speaking. My mask today
makes me look calm, but I’m acting.
I’m Lyssa and the mask is melting.
Aphrodite, Venus, love, beauty, dove, swan, roses.
Born of sea foam from Uranus’s genitals
castrated and thrown into the ocean. Beauty
married to a beast, a sweaty god of blacksmiths.
But many lovers, both immortal and mortal.
A rabbit that lives on the Moon
according to mythology from Asian to Aztec.
Its mortar and pestle might hold medicine,
elixirs of life or rice cake ingredients.
Tonight it holds fragrant flowers for tea.