statue lmnstuff
Jim Morrison Tells Me I Have Greek Feet
by Lindsey Martin-Bowen

Jim claims inherited feet shapes
are based on their origins.
“With that index toe outgrowing
your hallux (big toe),” he says,
“yours are Greek.” Then he grins.

For decades, I ignored my feet,
except to clean—soak in Epsom salts—
until this year, when they bleed.
I rub a pumice stone over cracks,
wait for them to heal, and
meditate about feet:
Cornerstones to columns,
pedestals to pillars—
our feet hold up our worlds.

Greek feet—barefoot runners
leap across urns for eternity.
Greeks used few feet in poetry—
Sappho’s many lines lost.
And they wrote plays
in couplets, repeating the first line’s
number of feet in the next,
so back-row listeners knew
who spoke when feet repeated.

“You know that means you dominate
a marriage or household,” Jim adds,
grins again, wrinkles his nose.
“I don’t,” I boldly say.
“I am still waiting for that to be.”

PHOTO: Ancient marble statue with a young foot hanging into the void. Photo by Lnmstuff, used by permission.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Years ago, when I (my persona) screamed down asphalt through mauve Kansas fields and the Flint Hills, rock shaman Jim Morrison crawled out of my car stereo while a yellow hornet on the windshield danced like a Kachina in a sand painting. It was magic. Perhaps. I still don’t know. Yet poems resulting from this encounter resulted in Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s third poetry book, CROSSING KANSAS with Jim Morrison. In it, Jim comes with me to find La Loba*, in hopes she’d resurrect his bones. But the wolf woman refused, and we went to Paris and the Père Lachaise Cemetery. There, Jim’s dark monument, wrought with graffiti, commemorates him. I’d thought this story had ended when I left him there. But I was wrong. He won’t leave me alone. He pushes into poems and ignoring his burial, often joins figures from everywhere—ancient Greece and Eleusinian mysteries, wild and wooly creatures in my “frenzies” poems, and post-modern philosophers. Even today, he whispers to me when I stare at a waffled, red-lace sky filled with popcorn clouds looming above our foothills.

*Wolf woman. Bone woman. According to Southwest legends (from various tribes and Mexican cultures), La Loba works with angels to gather bones of humans and wolves, then resurrect them. 

PHOTO: Jim Morrison (Dec. 8, 1943-July 3, 1971) at age 25 in a promotional photo for The Doors (1969).

Lindsey (cropped) as Audrey 2 01-25-16

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pushcart and Pulitzer nominee Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s fourth poetry collection, Where Water Meets the Rock (39 West Press 2017), contains a poem named an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 85th Contest. Her third, CROSSING KANSAS with Jim Morrison, won Kansas Authors Club’s 2017 “Looks Like a Million” Contest, and was a finalist in the QuillsEdge Press 2015-2016 Contest. Her Inside Virgil’s Garage (Chatter House) was a runner-up in the 2015 Nelson Poetry Book Award. McClatchy Newspapers named her Standing on the Edge of the World  (Woodley Press) one of Ten Top Poetry Books of 2008. Her poems have appeared in New LettersI-70 ReviewThorny LocustFlint Hills ReviewSilver Birch Press, Amethyst ArsenicCoal City Review, Phantom Drift, Ekphrastic Review (Egyptian Challenge), The Same, Tittynope ZineBare Root Review, Rockhurst Review, Black Bear Review, 15 anthologies, and other lit zines. Three of her seven novels have been published. Poetry is her way of singing. She taught writing and literature at UMKC for 18 years, MCC-Longview, and teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and other criminal justice classes for Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, Oregon. Visit her on Facebook and on Amazon.