Posted in [poetry]

I’m tired, Mom [poem]

I’m tired Mom
so tired of trying to convince people to do what’s right
I’m tired of men using
women’s bodies for their amusement
and the surprise they always show
when they finally get called out
like sexual harassment isn’t a problem
until you say its name 3 times in the mirror
I’m tired of trying to have civil conversations about gun control
when all they’ll say is
touch my guns and you’re dead
as if living in an apocalyptic fantasy LARP is normal
I’m tired of my rights getting chipped away
in the name of their God
as if the Bible says to punish the women
and the non-whites
and the gays
and the poor
Jesus must be so proud
at this point I’m out of steam Mom
my soul drained of any urge to continue the good fight
how good can it be when it’s always losing?
instead
I’m going to hand them the reigns
and watch the world burn
I may die
but at least my last words can be
I told you so

Posted in [poetry]

on the bad days [poem]

I pretend my way through every interaction
working my smile through muscle memory alone
each laugh feels like an echo
of the poorly recorded laugh track
from an old school sitcom
I struggle with small talk
as if I’ve forgotten the English language
leaving me to ask people to repeat themselves
almost every time they speak
I jerk myself out of thought spirals
the moment they start
but it still feels like I’m swirling down the drain
maybe the sewers are where I belong

Posted in [poetry]

a dragon’s hoard [poem]

when people break your trust you have a choice
become hard or become cautious
hard means you’re safe in your castle
an untouched treasure in the depths of the dungeon
cautious means you’re vigilant
eyes tracking every flicker and flinch around you
the closer they get
the tighter you’re wound
trust is a commodity worth hoarding
so when I say I trust you Love
I’m telling you that your presence makes me unwind
a subconscious reaction
to the safety you’ve come to represent

Posted in [poetry]

Hestia [poem]

the thrones came with our victory
after the wild titans fell to Zeus’ lightning
and proud Athena’s shield
I didn’t play much of a role in the war
my duty is to the Eternal Flame
without which none of us could exist
mortal and god equally reliant on its sacred fire
it was Dionysus who finally noticed
how I avoided my seat among my siblings
how I left to tend the nearest hearth as an excuse
how I never wanted power in the first place
only purpose
he took my place amongst them
no selfless act but a kindness just the same
Dionysus gained validation amongst his kin
I gained freedom from their constant web of games
even after all these centuries
after temples grew silent and sacrifices grew scarce
somehow the Eternal Flame still burns
I guess my efforts haven’t been in vain
perhaps that is why
even the gods themselves pay homage to me
first and last in all proceedings
for I have kept the fire
when all else has faded to ash
and memory

Posted in [fiction reviews]

[Fiction Review] “Lore” by Alexandra Bracken

Full Title: Lore
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published: January 2021 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Contemporary Fantasy
Edition Details: 576 pages, hardcover
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Rating: {5/5 stars}

This review is spoiler free. No details will be shared from the storyline itself that aren’t available or inferred from the book jacket and online descriptions.

First Glance

I’m a sucker for anything involving a revised version of mythology, particularly Greek mythology. So when I saw this book on NetGalley while browsing for advanced copies to request, I couldn’t resist. The idea that some of the gods were being punished with a hunt in mortal bodies sounded gritty and exciting!

Positive Bits

The slow feed of information on the Agon and the people within it was done well. There weren’t a bunch of info dumps to slug through while reading; instead, the details were woven into the story and explained as needed within the context of the story. It helped that one of the main characters isn’t part of the Agon’s world, so we gain lots of explanations via his questions to the other characters.

I enjoyed Athena’s role in the story. As the goddess of strategy and reason, her choices made sense the way you’d expect a deity to consider choices (as opposed to a mortal person). The other gods were interesting in their own ways, but she held a unique place in Lore’s adventure.

An overall theme of being raised within a culture and wanting to leave it played well into the plot, from start to finish. It echoed a familiar thread seen in people who leave certain churches or political factions for their own well-being, and thus it really hit home how lost Lore felt and how hard the entire experience was for her.

Less Enjoyable Bits

Maybe it was just me, but I was left confused several times in the beginning. While the book is written in third person following Lore’s point of view the entire time, there are moments when the scene slips out of focus. I think part of that had to do with reading too fast in sections that included explanations of this Agon event and the world-within-our-world in which it occurs.

Some plot points disappointed me, largely due to the letdowns between culture and choices made by various side characters. If you live in a culture were honor and glory are key to everything, I don’t understand how betrayal of your people fits into that picture. Ever. So sometimes I was left scratching my head and wondering how choices made sense.

I had envisioned a different ending (or two, or three). There’s nothing wrong with the ending that we got, but I personally hoped for more. And without spoiling anything, I had hoped that the person with Poseidon’s power would be more involved in the story. They were mentioned enough to seem important, but then they came and went from the actual plot with little fanfare.

Tidbits Worth Repeating

Fear is a foreign land I shall never visit and a language that will never cross my tongue. [ebook – 33%]

Monsters lived in the shadows. To hunt them, you couldn’t be afraid to follow. And the only way to destroy them was to have the sharper teeth and the darker heart. [ebook – 58%]

I was born knowing how to do three things – how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you. [ebook – 83%]

Is it worth the coin?

Yes – This book is an action-packed reimaging of the Greek gods, and I think it’s worth a read. I can’t help but wonder if the author will release any similar myth-based stories in the future, because I’d grab them too!