The Hierophant as Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Image credit: Unknown c/o The Hopper

Publishing poems is such an odd business. So much time & energy & correspondence, so many waiting games. And then, once the poem is finally accepted for publication, it can take months or even years to appear in that lit journal or book. So, it was atypical, but not wholly surprising that my poems appeared in three different journals this week, despite all having been accepted months ago. Naturally, I also had a slew of rejections along with the publications, which is how it all goes.

Nevertheless, I’m proud of this poem that I wrote during one of our weekly women’s writing & tarot workshops on Zoom that I started facilitating during the early stages of COVID. It’s been a balm to learn tarot during this destabilizing time, and even more grounding to use tarot as a daily practice; as a thermometer to gauge expectations, and to feel the weather shift.

This poem, “The Hierophant as Brown Marmorated Stink-Bug” chronicles a true story about toxic workplaces & the teachings of a stinkbug under capitalism.

Published by


Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at

2 thoughts on “The Hierophant as Brown Marmorated Stink Bug”

  1. The first thing I think about this poem- before even reading it- is how apt a correspondence are the Heirophant and the stink bug! Who knew until you revealed it to be so!
    Second, how armored we sometimes feel we have to be. I’m sorry.
    Thanks for the poem!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s