“Guinevere” and “The Fisher King”

Alexandra Graffeo

“Weather Watch Smoke and Beams” by Christopher Paul Brown

Guinevere


Ill-tempered knight,
Naming me destroyer
Burn my body, breathe deep
And inhale my ashes
Let me haunt your empty keep

What do I care?
Bought, not loved
Succumbed to passion
For an amorous rebirth
Among hedonistic blooms

And what did I ruin?
Pious whore
Slayer of the holy isle
Slicing away hope
With his watery sword

And I? A royal Eve
Apple juice dripping
Down a dainty chin
Laughing with the serpent
While the garden burns


The Fisher King


Majesty, failing
On a throne of bones.
Shining city atop
A decaying hill.
Forest full of skeletons
A wasteland of empty nests
Dry leaves crying out
Death knell of a dying wood

Save us, they beg
Their voices echo
Through the still air
Like a death rattle
Give us your breath
So we may breathe again

Kingdom, lying
Secrets hidden
In cobwebs and dust
The harp sings a melancholy song
The clanging of silverware
And gnashing teeth
Drown out the silent screams
Of a dying people

Save us, they beg
Their voices echo
Against crumbling stone walls
Like rumbling thunder
Give us your blood
So our hearts can beat again

A church, empty
Stained windows broken
Sharp shards slice
The lonely worshipers feet
Unheard prayers
Infertile virgin
Womb barren of saviors
For a dying faith

Save us, they beg
Their voices crash
Against shattered glass
Like sharp inhales of breath
Give us your body
So that we may walk again

Majesty, dying
A long, slow walk
Crowned head crumbles like old stone
Royal bones dry like a withering wood
Regal heart forsakes the empty church
For the high, holy cliffs
Blood, body, breath
Offered freely to renew the land

Thank you, we cry
our voices echo as one
Shrilly birdsong and hymns
Like symphonies of ruination
The body lies broken
The world is born again


Alexandra Graffeo is a poet and writer from Staten Island, New York. She holds a Master’s in Fantasy Literature from the University of Glasgow. Her work is inspired by her academic background, her love of travel, and her desire to find magic in everyday life. Alex’s poetry and short stories can be found currently and forthcoming in OyeDrum Magazine (where she works as the Managing Editor), The Raven’s Perch, Disquiet Arts, and Last Leaves Magazine.

Christopher Paul Brown is known for his exploration of the unconscious through improvisation and the cultivation of serendipity and synchronicity via alchemy. His photography career dates back to 1978 and he has been active in improvised experimental music and motion pictures since 1974. His first photography sale was to the collection of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana (now British Petroleum) and his video You Define Single File was nominated for the Golden Gate Award at the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival in 2004. Over the past three years his art was exhibited twice in Rome, Italy, in Belgrade, Serbia, and his series of ten photographs, titled Obscure Reveal, were exhibited at a Florida museum in 2017. His work is in a hardcover book just released by Manifest Gallery. His work has also appeared in numerous other books, US exhibitions, and US and British periodicals. He is also the recipient of numerous awards over the past six years. He earned a BA in Film from Columbia College Chicago in 1980. Brown was born in Dubuque, Iowa, USA and now resides in Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA. “As a child I always imagined myself creating art, music and stories as a hobby. I imagined my career would be as an exo-geologist, exploring the frontier of other planet geology. However, as a teenager in the 1970s I realized that the next frontier was not space but rather those dimensions alluded to by quantum mechanics, string theory and ancient mystics. It is this frontier that I explore with my art.” – Brown