shit goes wrong


I have mostly been writing my thesis nonstop for the last two weeks. A draft is due tomorrow. I should be working on it now (and will soon), but I’m stopping by here to share a link to two of my poems in this month’s THRUSH poetry journal.

They are poems from my first full-length manuscript which is currently making the rounds.

At first glance, they might appear to be poems about love gone wrong—Persephone and Hades, you know the story. But when I wrote them they were attempts to reckon with the reality of serious, chronic illness. Illness that was never going away.

More broadly, I was attempting to reckon with the problem of suffering. Suffering, which—as long as there are sentient beings in existence—is never going away.

Shit goes wrong.

Sometimes something dark kidnaps you and takes you underground through a rend in the earth. You’re down there, you’re hungry, you miss your mother.

But after a while it becomes your life. YOUR life. And so, while you wouldn’t choose it, you can’t exactly wish it away either.

Here are the poems, and make sure to read the rest of the issue, too. Thanks for reading.


(Note: The first poem is also an ekphrasis of the painting above, View of the Campagna, 1832 by Friedrich Wasmann; oil on paper mounted on cardboard, Hamburger Kunsthalle. You can find a larger image of it here).

12 thoughts on “shit goes wrong

  1. Molly, Congratulations on your recent publications, and creating a finished manuscript! So good to see your poetic progress. (And thanks for providing context to these poems. Very helpful, and it makes me appreciate you and your work even more).

  2. Dear Molly, Your message and your poems remind me of a book I just read by Gillian Keenan – it’s a memoir of sexual self-discovery via literary criticism, and vice versa, called “Sex With Shakespeare.” I really liked her story-telling voice, her relationships with the plays, her close-readings, and her ability to write about really intimate stuff in a way that didn’t seem cliched or exhibitionistic or narcissistic. Recommended!

    Love, Heather >

  3. PS I loved your Persephone poems. I never think much about what it’s like for her in the fall and winter.

    There’s a beautiful duet in Act IV of Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” where Persephone appeals to her husband on Orpheus’ behalf – she reminds Pluto of how their love grew and how much he now loves her, and asks him to have pity on Orpheus who has just lost HIS bride. I recommend it…


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