04 – The Emperor

Both the Empress and the Emperor
hold scepters,
so I can avoid
the obvious phallic jokes.

But what marks the Emperor
as father, as male?
The Empress is pregnant,
after all,
apparently at her most
female, fertile,
but men are fertile too.

Dualities are interesting,
although I have no patience
for the gender binary in tarot.

Give me a father figure
who isn’t a man.
Give me a man
who isn’t ruling
with austerity, sterility.
Give me an emperor
worthy of his empress.


04 – The Empress

How lovely it is
when you can shape
the world by creating
it in your image.

Life is pain,
birth is hard,
but it doesn’t
matter sometimes
in the exultant joy
of seeing
the fruit of
your labor
(literal or figurative).

Be open,
like a flower
or a cervix
or a camera lens
just at the point
before it closes.

Sometimes giving
feels more sustaining
than taking.

02 – The High Priestess

You know
so much more
than you think.

Sometimes it’s best
that you forget.
Sometimes it’s all
too much and not enough.

But it’s easy enough
to access, when you need it.
It’s all within.

It’s the tug you feel
towards one stone
out of the whole pile,
the feeling that
courses through you
when you catch a glimpse
of the moon.

It’s the buzz
of a tarot reading
thrown down with
confidence and clarity,
or the ritual
you’ve made up
out of next to nothing
but that feels
ineffably right.

But why would you
trust yourself?
What do you
actually know?

For starters,
you know yourself.
Sometimes that’s all
anyone really knows.

So why not
listen to yourself,
honor yourself,
and see where that leads?

01 РThe Magician 

The artists, the poets,
the builders of the world
have a thing or two
in common
with the Magician.

So does everyone
with a skill to peddle
and a story to tell.

But there’s another
side to this
consummate creator:
you gotta
fake it till you make it.

Oh, you know
that you have the tools
and you’ve practiced
your act to perfection
but when the curtain rises,
are you ready?

Will you ever be?

So you rely
on the work
and the time
and the tools
and if you flub
a line or miss a cue,
go forward
like you always
meant to do that.
Even if nobody’s watching.

Maybe especially
if nobody’s watching.

0 – The Fool

I suppose you have to be
a little naive to
throw yourself out there
over and over again.

It’s like getting
you forget the pain
until the needles
hit your skin,
and in the itchy,
peeling aftermath
you wonder
why you bother.

But inspiration hits,
or a damn good reason,
or maybe just boredom.

And back out you go.

You don’t need
to know everything
that will happen.

If you did,
you’d never set foot
outside of your
comfort zone.

But if you
have a desire
and a little planning
and a push
out the door
that’s enough.