2 March 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 1

Medusa Ghazal

You see what I mean? This is exactly how a rumor spreads,

like a dollop of rancid cream cheese over spoiled lox.

One careless morning without the curling iron and

suddenly my hair's a mess of snakes, not just dreadful locks.

And what hope does an average girl have when the gossip's

already turned her into a cold-blooded pariah, a bitch deluxe?

A spurned lover here, a few premenstrual days there and I'm

gorgonizing men in their tracks like some monster from the lochs.

Now do you see why I live alone in this gray-green house?

On my finger, still no ring. On my doors, still no locks.

About the author:

James R. Whitley's work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared or is forthcoming in several publications, including Barrelhouse, Can We Have Our Ball Back?, elimae, Gargoyle, the Mississippi Review, the Oklahoma Review, Pebble Lake Review, Poetry Southeast, strange fruit, and Texas Poetry Journal. His first book, Immersion, won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. His second collection, This Is the Red Door, won the Ironweed Press Poetry Prize and will be published in 2007. He is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: Pietà and The Golden Web.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 1, where "Medusa Ghazal" ran on March 2, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, ghazal, editors' select.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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