Allison Thorpe

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Circe Tries Online Dating

Powerful, independent woman
rugged outdoorsy man
who loves the sea

Likes island living
and long walks on the beach
(you might say I'm a daughter of the sun)

Hobbies include growing herbs,
brewing potions,
weaving, and singing

Must love animals

Emily Dickinson at the Mall

She just wanted a white dress long and flowing
but it was summer and all they had were winter clothes.
Besides, the salesgirl told her, pink is the new white,
and not just any pink but morning flutter or prodigal antiquity
or, our most popular, parasol shimmer grace.
So many colors, why be plain?

If you feel bold, there's August burn, curious wine, sunset spangle.
She held up a short pencil skirt. This comes in clover prank,
boggy acre, drunken bee, cherubic noon, crested thunder.
Thrusting a crop top in front of Emily, she continued,
Try this in troubadour riddle, mushroom bubble, timid countenance.
Or you can get these darling culottes in divine spectre,
blissful tempest, adamant dew, seraph simplicity.

Emily suddenly knew why she wore white,
knew why she stayed at home,
knew why colors were best left to nature.


*colors were created from individual words in the poetry of Emily Dickinson 


For Lubna Hussein, Sudan
Sentenced to 40 lashes for wearing pants

"And if they find me guilty, I am ready to receive not only 40 lashes, I am ready for 40,000 lashes. If all women must be flogged for what they wear, I am ready to be flogged 40,000 times." Lubna Hussein

Light strolls
the veiled chain of maples

broadcasting its message
through bowed sunflowers

glint tasseled corn stalks
until it laps my idle hands.

I have been washing blue jeans,
smoothing and folding

the faded denim,
fussing my fingers

over the weave
and sway of fabric,

jolted to raging standstill
thinking of their judgment.

Does this same light march
the walls of your defiance?

Your refusal
to pay fines for your crime?

Your job resignation
to push the unmoral law?

You went so far as to print
invitations to your flogging,

your 40 lashes for a fashion statement
we take for granted.

I  never sent invitations for anything
but a birthday party once,

a bee sting
nowhere near the bite of the whip.

Every time I pull on those jeans,
I will wish you courage,

a closet of unshackled choosing.


A widely published author, Allison Thorpe lives in Lexington, KY.  Her new chapbook entitled Dorothy's Glasses is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.