Title: To Daughter a Devil Author: Megan Mary Moore Publisher: Unsolicited Press Released: January 3, 2023 Pages: 98 ISBN: 978-1956692518 Stars: 5.0
To Daughter a Devil by American poet Megan Mary Moore is one of the fiercest, most visceral books of poetry I have ever read written by a woman. Inspired by classic horror movies like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby and the archetypal horror of being a female, from the Devil within to every devil we face, she has created a cohesive narrative of dark poetic perfection all women should read. I learned what a bezoar is. I had no idea. Moore writes poems about things that scare her, and they will scare you too.
She reveals the secret fears of all mothers of daughters, reminisces about seeing JonBenet Ramsay’s photo at a supermarket tabloid stand, what it is to be a bad seed, and how using a tampon must feel to the prepubescent. Moore also asks thought-provoking questions and covers everything about being a female child, from just knowing she was born bad to one burned as a witch and to the Enfield poltergeist, with such intelligence, insight, and courage that it has blown me away.
Her fascination with death, morbidity and natural and supernatural afflictions women face is just the kind of phantasmagoric poetry that captivates my imagination. I wish I could write something half as clever. “If Gregor Samsa Was a Girl” was simply brilliant. By the time I read “Our Love is a Two-Headed Calf, “If Swan Lake Had a Happy Ending,” “Madame Tussaud Makes a Death Mask of Marie Antoinette in Madeleine Cemetery,” “Eulogy for the Doe on the Side of State Road 128,” and “Snow White Receives a DM from Dopey,” I had goosebumps and was sighing aloud over how damn good Moore’s work is. I cannot wait to read more of her work.
It shows that Megan Mary Moore holds an MFA in poetry from Miami University. Her work has been published in numerous poetry outlets, magazines, and reviews. To Daughter a Devil was published by Unsolicited Press out of Portland, Oregon—a press I will watch.
I see my twin flame’s image in the dark side of a gold and gilded mirror, as he holds it to my face so I can see my covert beauty and foremost strengths, as well as my ugliest prejudices.
I see myself in his shadow, curious, compelled to seek the verity of his existence, to know my perception is echt. Aware that my romanticized projection may be unwelcome, I am wary of this infatuation.
I dwell in the light on the other side of the mirror but fascination for his knowledge, philosophy and strange, unusual life choices keep me lingering, just at arm’s length.
Intensely drawn to this man, I hardly know, my intuition tells me we are not soul mates, but I can’t help but wonder what he’s here to teach me, and I sense that an existential earthquake is imminent.
I am in awe of his courage to live an authentic, alternative lifestyle, indulging in every deviant whim of which he can conceive, but I’m repelled by his politics and self-absorption.
Yang to my yin, he’s reflected parts of me I’ve never known. Yet I could swear I’ve met him before, in the pages of a horror novel—an inkling that a fictional character manifested makes me distracted and uneasy.
What transformation is he the catalyst for in my life? I sense an alchemical reaction and am unsure about how much I want to change, but he will show me what I most desire, as well as what I most fear.
I am neither brave nor foolish enough to follow him further than that garden gate of exquisite, ornamental iron because I can see the bloodstains that linger there, and I’m afraid that blood is mine.
Read this poem and more by Christine Bode in her latest collection, Eden Redefined.