by Senia Hardwick

boasts of youth
a prelude
to contest

sweetly sweetly
his melody honey
voicing lament and ecstasy
previously dormant

a crescendo to hubris
to a chorus of skin

each stripped and discarded
till the rumbling coda
a river’s wail

IMAGE: “Marsyas Enchanting the Hares” by Elihu Vedder (1899).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is from a series/chapbook I am currently working on entitled Ephemera. Each poem is a moment of fleeting beauty paired with ideas and suffering and death. The idea of beautiful suffering is by no means a novel topic, but I have chosen to make it novel by utilizing post-modern ideas about art and poetic structure as well as writing solely on male subjects. The deaths of women have long been portrayed in fetishistic and intentionally tantalizing ways, and this work exists as an intentional rejection of this as an artistic ideal. I drew from Ovid’s Metamorphosis as the stories within it are sensuous and vivid, as well as simply being a nod to the massive and extensive influence of Grecian poetry on Western Europe’s cultural development.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Senia Hardwick is a self-described neo-romantic writer of poetry and short fiction. Senia’s works range in tone and topic, but are mainly concerned with nature, self-exploration, and the world of emotional extremes. She has previously been published in Collective Fallout, Hoax, Tattoosday, TOO MUCH: An Anthology of Excess, Cville Winters, Oddball Mgazine, and is a regular contributor at Riot Grrrl Magazine. Links to her work and book review column can be found at