Fall 2010, Volume 9

Poetry by Mary Julia Klimenko

She Was Eating Whatever Holy Women Eat

for breakfast when the man with curly, blond hair
and wings came through her window or door, the Bible
doesn’t say exactly. Not being schizophrenic, but holy,
Mary wasn’t particularly alarmed. Schizophrenics are
familiar with Satan. Holy women find themselves
conversing with angels about babies and other things
like auras and programming personal crystals. Mary
found herself being informed of her joy at conceiving without
having had sex. The angel told her he was making
an arrangement with a carpenter named Joseph to be the father
of Jesus and the husband of Mary. The angel told her
about Jesus really being the son of God and that God was
sending him to die on the cross for the sins
of the entire world, a ritual not unlike going to the smokehouse
with the other natives for a weekend of chanting and punishment
as part of becoming a real man. Mary was glad to hear about
Joseph because none of the guys liked her—and she wanted
a husband to take care of her and rescue her from her
mother and father who were always carrying on about
the old testament, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his
poor pillar of salt wife, locusts eating everything in sight,
and bushes spontaneously bursting into flame right after
the bad brother kills the good brother. Mary was sick
of all the drama around her house, so the winged guy’s
message was welcomed. She couldn’t wait to tell her
cousin Elizabeth who had been having to have sex every day
because her husband wanted a son and he was
going to screw poor Elizabeth to death until she gave him one.


BIO: Mary Julia Klimenko has been writing poetry and short stories for 36 years. She earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. After graduation, she taught creative writing for two years at SFSU before returning to school to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Psychology. She is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Hypnotherapist in private practice in California. She spends three days a week writing at her ranch and retreat in the Sierra Foothills and three days a week working in her psychotherapy practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Her poems have appeared in ACM, Gargoyle, Cimarron Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Rio Grande Review, Cadillac Cicatrix, Wisconsin Review, Kalliope, Willow Review, Confluence, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Poem, Quiddity Literary Journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal Of The Arts, The South Carolina Review, The South Dakota Review, Spire, Sulphur River, New Letters, and other literary journals.

She has worked with internationally known sculptor, Manuel Neri, since 1972 as his primary model and collaborator on limited edition, fine art books consisting of her poetry and his paintings. She Said, I Tell You It Doesn’t Hurt Me, Territory, and Crossings were on exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco. These three limited edition books are in museums and major collections throughout the United States from Stanford University to the New York Museum of Modern Art.