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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Excavation at Clitor

This easy one is Apollo’s sunflower,
the most recent in the story’s retelling                
by men. By then, her longing is rejected,
and all she can do is worship the sun.
Remember the woman who lay with Poseidon
to mother ten kings who on Callliste later
passed judgments after catching the bulls?
Farther back, you find Kleite,
a Corinthian princess
whom Artemis made strong.
Earlier, Kleite is Queen of Amazons,
personification of the clitoris,
just as Priapus is penis.
‘Kleitoris’ means goddess-like.
The city of Clitor was sacred
to Artemis at the headwaters --
headwaters! --
of the Styx, that river between.
Here, her priestesses found ecstasy
which suggests that the sacred center
was instead of the navel the clitoris.

© L.S. Bassen

Upstairs, Downstairs

L.S. Bassen won the 2009 APP Drama Prize & a Mary Roberts Rinehart Fellowship; 2011; She is a Book Reviewer for brooklyner.org, the rumpus.net, and press1, and has been a finalist for Flannery O’Connor Award. 


  1. That's a great piece of archeology. Who would think to dig in the lexicon, and arrive at such a climax?

  2. BIG grin on my face here! Thanks!