Holaday Mason


Photo: A. Karno






Addendum To Blood Moon Eclipse Over the Pacific

After Peter Hujar/Candy Darling


She’s going to drop half

unmasked, before she’s fully revealed,

one hand holding faithfully, the red fruit

of the worlds’ shadow, while still

clutching white sheets & gripping

the back of the chair used for formal

portraits—blood painting her eyelids,

the black, the white aesthetic relentless.


If you change postures she changes appearance.

From down on the sidewalk or in middle

street the earth seems so very ripe. Yet

from the weight of the mascara night—

there remains one single rose on the felt

pilled flannel blanket, the sole

punctuation needed for elegy… and you know

we weep, we all do while way up in each

airplane someone is wondering about us,

way down here on the ground.


What from the city can be truly seen

of the night sky—its rambunctious

nothingness, the frame holding stars

phantom light shearing each of our faces?

It does no good to kill anyone, or to pose.

Man or woman— man with his

lifelines, woman with her hinge

to the underworld—the mouth to the sea.

She will fall into it anyhow, we will—

half disguised, half discovered, flaunting

our little shocks of brilliance against

the wet lips of death—what it is to shine

just so, to love this contrast, tethered

& smoky with vain expressions,

but somehow free, freely listening

to the big rock opera, that strange

pure roaring amplification

of our hungers.




The Day After the Day After the Day of the Dead


The clocks jumped

back at two am,

leapt over the stone wall

into the hours

before Coyote laughed,

before Coyote copulated

again with the wild

dog named Merti

who’d chewed the critters

out of the bark to survive

the last years & slept

among crows through

the grand pauses of snow—

as she had in all of the winters’

before, each of their invisible horizons

so white, the sky, the mountain

the trees all seemed disembodied

prayers floating back from different eras,

seeds blown through the ever widening

circling lathe of a lightness,

a darkness that closed, then opened

across the land like an eternal

conversation between twinning beloveds,

the same way old trees & stones catch


& cradle every last laced ray of autumn

& the click of oak leaves applauding

so purely, it might nearly be missed,

before settling into a silence so

expanding, it’s exactly

like the quiet patient laughter

of the vanishing Coyote

who zigzags so fast he’s ahead of night,

& one never can quite catch his given name.




A Dead Woman is Rising.


The reverb of her thighs clasps air—


there’s an essence of mauve.


What did I say to the youngsters

I passed in the street while they leaned against each other?


Think of the soil— no, think of the vaginal holy.


My fists are gravity, purple —


what we come from & far before.


Stone & flesh, not like her, not that white, white

spun silk hair


& now, my own nether mound,


shaved bare as a child’s.


Everyone tells their own versions of lies

about love, it deepens our humors,


but I tell you,


oh, at night, my hearing is so, so accurate.













Holaday Mason— author of The Red Bowl: A Fable in Poems, (Red Hen Press 2016), The “She” Series: A Venice Correspondence (with Sarah Maclay, What Books Press, 016), Towards the Forest, 2007, Dissolve, 2011 (New River Press) & two chapbooks. “The Weaver’s Body” was finalist, honorable mention for 014 Dorset Prize & her chapbook, “Transparency” was finalist for the Snowbound 2015.   With three Pushcarts nominations, widely published in journals including Poetry International, Spillway, Pool, American Poetry, co- editor of Echo 68, poetry editor of www.Mentalshoes.com., she is also a fine art & intimate portrait photographer   showing the beauty of aging.









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