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Featured Poem III • August 2014

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Deepwater

 

Valya Dudycz Lupescu

 

April 22, 2010

 

Oil gushes like a wound, carrying with it the death of more creatures than my Gulf has accepted for millennia, but this is massacre not sacrifice offered up to unnamed gods of chaos who live in primordial seas. As the oil consumes scales, wings, skins, and blood, it sinks like a horrible prayer. I rise to the surface and step with feet the color of moss onto beaches covered with corpses. Where my tears fall, spring up the tiniest flowers made from the bones of murdered fish. When the winds blow through their delicate petals, they chime with the sound of tiny hurricanes. I cradle dead dolphins and scream. Beneath black waters, white threads of light swirl as they ascend, growing brighter until they explode into pure fury formed into a flying beast of teeth, shell shards, and coral. The old god lands beside me. Our footsteps thunder like war drums as we hunt to drain the waters of those responsible and seal their shriveled souls into shells cast down to the bottom for fodder. I have slept with monsters older than ice; those who swim through rock and fire, creatures of mouth and ash. They will welcome my offering and maybe get a taste for the world above. Perhaps they will rise to swallow cities before returning to their volcanic dreams.

 

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Valya Dudycz Lupescu | Photo by Kyle CassidyValya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of The Silence of Trees and founding editor of Conclave: A Journal of Character. Her poetry and prose have been published in Sentence, Danse Macabre, Fickle Muses, Abyss & Apex, The Pedestal Magazine, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, and other places. Since earning her MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, goth cocktail waitress, and co-producer of an independent feature film. Her first comic book, Sticks & Bones, created with artist Madeline C. Matz, was successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter. They are now working on the next three issues, to be published by First Comics.

Fascinated with sacred places and the mythology of place, Valya has lived in two countries, four cities, five houses, one condo, and seven apartments. She has an insatiable wanderlust, is fueled by coffee, and loves to write into the early hours of the morning. You can read more on her website, www.vdlupescu.com, and follow her on Twitter @Valya.

About “Deepwater,” she says the poem “was inspired by the historical events of April 20-22, 2010, when an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit resulted in what many consider to be the largest accidental marine oil spill in the world, and the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. In my writing, I enjoy looking at the events of the real world through the lens of myth and in the language of poetry. The genii loci and spirits of the land and sea are of particular interest to me, and so I wondered what wrath such a spill might evoke from the deities of the Gulf.”

 

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