Featured Poem

"Your poem, Housewifery Of The Legendary Dizzy Lizzy, is a captivating and evocative journey through the life of a complex and resilient woman. The vivid imagery, historical context, and tragic twists create a powerful narrative that lingers in the reader’s mind. The themes of survival, betrayal, and the inexorable passage of time are skillfully woven together. Overall, it’s a haunting and memorable piece that leaves an indelible impression. Well done!" 


Housewifery Of The 
Legendary Dizzy Lizzy


The Streets of St. Clement Danes


She was no exotic Annie Cobbie,
drawing twenty-two shillings in gold coin
from rich and powerful men
who came to touch soft brown skin
in St. Clement Danes,
where Blackamoors and half-breeds
were peerless and fair.


Dizzy Lizzy had been orphaned
when her father killed her mother
and died in jail.
Tough and stout, the Irish gal
survived with her knife,
killing London alley rats for dinner.
Have no doubt,
she was a survivor
when a pimping couple found her
and bound her to their
house of ill-repute,
where dizzy, she made men,
earning her name
until the coming of the negresses,
when Dizzy Lizzy was put out.


Bound by Fate


She stood in the cold street
at the mouth of the old alley,
tattered with leaflets
promising a new life
in the new world
as a tobacco wife.

Promises Across the Sea

Her sisters of the night,
with whispered blessings,
wished her well as she set sail
for Jamestown, Virginia.
There, it was said,
the Virginia Company of London
held dominion over land and men,
prizing alabaster brides
to perpetuate their names and bloodlines.


The Legend Takes Root


Dizzy Lizzy became a legend,
a beacon for legions of paupers and whores,
carried from distant European shores.
They sensed the drift of her comeuppance,
how she tamed savages into puppets
with her cunning mind and pure white flesh.
For one hundred fifty pounds of smoking leaves,
Dizzy Lizzy traded herself for a dream,
to the oldest suitor she could find.
Crossing her heart, she hoped he would fade away.


Mona’s Wisdom


Too ornery to die, too old for the ride,
his turnips remained unbuttered by her soft words.
He worked her ever-so in the fields,
from can’t-see morning to can’t-see night.
Beside him toiled Mona,
a burnt-copper Miwok woman,
and her twelve children.

They taught Dizzy Lizzy to till the soil,
which plants to leave untouched,
what animals to avoid,
and how to gather Jimson weed seed.
All this for the man who had taken Mona
from her family’s embrace.


“Where are you from?”
Dizzy Lizzy wanted to know.
“Far away.”
Dizzy inquired,
leaning in with gleaming eyes.
“No, Miss Lizzy, me and my oldest two
got taken from California, sold, I suppose,
by their father. I sho’ do miss the ocean.”

They became fast friends,
working side by side,
plotting on the master
late into the night,
eating corn from the pot
Mona always kept boiling
outside her cottage,
at the edge of the cornfield,
too small for her growing family.
“My, your children sure can eat,”
Lizzy Dizzy said to her friend.

“They are growing so,
Praise the good Lord.
They will grow into strong men
and care for me until I meet my maker.”


The Poisoned Stew


One fateful night,
Dizzy Lizzy carried out her plan,
rid herself of the old man.
With a poisoned pot of Irish stew—
lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks—
steaming in a bowl,
garnished with Jimson weed,
she put her plan into action
and stretched the geezer out,
hoisting herself from the field
to reign supreme
as mistress of the mansion.


Slippery Shadows


Dizzy Lizzy thought it would be a breeze
to live her remaining years with ease.
But her road to bliss
became slippery
when the bank released
The Lawyer Man who insisted,
“Women cannot own property,
on this point, I must not be remiss,
marry quickly.”


Mona’s Departure


An aging Mona thought it best that
she and her sons move on,
Back to California, where she could
live in the sun and die by the ocean.
And said so to the woman who had been
a student and a friend.


“I’d let you go, but…”
Mona’s enslavement was revamped.
“There is the matter of your debt,
According to this ledger,
you have been living here
since you were just a young woman,
and now you have twelve sons,
Eating all that corn.”
“Hush now and behave,”
Dizzy Lizzy said dismissively,
“or I will have to sell your debt.
Those oldest boys of yours
would do well on the neighbor’s farm,
Don’t you think?”

Mona’s piercing shriek
sent birds flocking from the trees,
threatening to tell the tale
of poisoned Irish stew.
She cursed the mistress to die
in bondage and alone.

Dizzy Lizzy’s eyes went wild and cold;
she picked up a garden hoe,
separating Mona’s body from her soul
with a single blow.


Bodaway’s Blessing


Mona’s children ran off into the night,
leaving the fields in fright.
Recommended by The Lawyer Man,
Dizzy Lizzy hired a hand.
His uncle was a well-to-do man,
Bodaway was his name.
He was colored, bright enough to be white
in the right light.
She married him.
He gave her three golden daughters
with long manes of curly hair,
cows, chickens, and horses,
and many acres of land,
before finding his grave in his soup.


Fairo’s Demise


Fairo, The Lawyer Man’s wealthiest comrade,
owned whole blocks of property.
His name graced two streets.
Dizzy Lizzy’s husband, number three,
they had four swarthy boys together.
But Fairo asphyxiated after breakfast on a Sunday.


Black Sam’s Love


Dizzy Lizzy’s fourth husband,
Black Sam, the overseer,
was a dark and potent lover to her,
and a fine manager of men
who multiplied her fieldhands.
He brought his own five children with him
to complete her tribe of twelve.
Black Sam raised and loved them equally,
ferociously protecting his family
against the growing tides of bigotry.


For the first time in her life,
Dizzy Lizzy was in love.
Sadly, it would not last.
For The Lawyer Man was furious
that the woman had chosen for herself.


The Lawyer Man’s Web


Her cousins received a letter
from her very concerned conniving lawyer,
who summoned them from distant Dublin, 
to do his sinister bidding
They came, like vultures, 
to claim their portions 
of Dizzy Lizzy’s fortune.
Cold as the Irish Sea, 
their hearts unflinching,
they brewed a vicious plot
boiling Black Sam in Mona’s old corn pot
while his children watched.


Daughters of the Damned


The wretched drunkards
moved into the mansion,
chased her sons away,
made lovers of her daughters,
sold and squandered what they could,
until The Lawyer Man dismissed them


The story of the final hours
of the Legendary Dizzy Lizzy,
who came to the New World
and acquired great wealth and power
may change depending on who
among the harlots on her old stroll
is telling the tale to you.

But the Blackamoors, who honor
a burnt-copper Miwok woman,
with shrieks and moans on the full moon,
remember it this way…


The Lawyer Man was Dizzy Lizzy’s
husband number five,
who married her when Black Sam died,
while she was in shock and unaware.
He, who had summoned the cousins,
given them all a share, 
and sent them back to Ireland,
now weaved a silky web of
intricate threads and dastardly deceit.

Dizzy Lizzy’s sons, born free, 
he wrangled from far corners of the South
and turned them into chattel,
on their own father’s land


The Lawyer Man sent 
her cherished daughters to New Orleans
to sell their bodies between the bloody walls
of the infamous Delphine LaLaurie’s domain, 
Where horrors lurked behind elegant facades, 
And screams of lost souls 
echoed through the halls.


The Poisoned Quill


With his name etched on every deed,
The Lawyer Man held the canister of Jimson weed, 
Its poison, a deadly promise to feed his greed
He wielded power of attorney like a blade, 
And with a stroke of his treacherous quill, 
he sliced open his bride’s fate.


In the Asylum’s Embrace


For the unearthed skulls of dead husbands
Dizzy Lizzy was convicted,
dragged off to be confined to the charge
of an asylum for the criminally insane,
consigned to suffer, wail, and moan 
until her final breath on her last day
in a labyrinth of guilt and pain.
just as Mona has predicted
she died in bondage and all alone,
forsaken but not forgotten
by the women in St. Clement Danes



by Jessica Holter

for Truth is a Trap House

all rights reserved.

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