Danse Macabre by Junyoung Kim

Necessity breeds invention! Flashback Friday Featuring Devi Sen Laskar From Issue 294.2

I was in an online poetry boot camp and had a few hours to come up with that Tuesday poem. Everything I had written that day stunk like raw fish baking on a dry dock. I overheard my children discussing their favorite movies at the time. My oldest said “Little Mermaid” and my middle said “Sleeping Beauty” and my youngest said “Snow White.” When I asked my youngest why, she said the wicked stepmother had the best laugh. And a poem was born.

Devi Sen Laskar's poem first appeared in issue 294.2, March-April 2009.

"How to Cackle like a Wicked Stepmother"

First you’ll need the accessories, Suspiria by Junyoung Kim
dazzling with mischief and ill-
intent: poisoned apples, floor-length
mirrors that talk back in iambic
rhyme; sinuous black evening
gowns, eye-shadow the color
of a bruise, lips too crimson to be
kissed, a castle with a working
dungeon; stone stairs always in need
of mopping, henchmen, preferably
hunchbacked, a charcoal forest whose
trees disappear into the abyss
of moonless nights, a thunderstorm
thick with jagged rain; oh, and a man
with a charmed life standing before
you, confessing his abiding
love for your sister, or best friend
since the second grade. The rest
is easy, look into the glass, bite
through to the core, delicious,
forbidden down to the guttural,
and feel the crows’ wings fluttering
in your belly finally rise.

Devi S. Laskar

Devi S. Laskar was born and raised in Chapel Hill, N.C. She holds a B.A. in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an M.A. in South Asian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University.

Ms. Laskar is a photographer and writer -- and a former crime reporter in Florida, Georgia, Hawai’i, North Carolina and Illinois. Her poems have been published in The Atlanta Review, The Squaw Valley Review, Pratichi, The Tule Review and The North American Review, where her poems were finalists for the James Hearst Prize in 2011 and 2009.

Junyoung Kim


Junyoung Kim is an illustrator, cartoonist, and printmaker based in New York. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration.Her works are featurd in various magazines including the Visual Opinion, GrowerTalk, and Green Profit magazine.

"Danse Macabre"