We gold, girl By Scherezade Siobhan

We gold, girl

after barbara jane reyes

we, she-wolf sirensong, girl, we hyena herd, thick
-skinned, slattern-furred, we wicked-willed, girl

we carry blackboards of battlefields on our backs, girl
we blade-slipped-in boots, gangland, guerrilla attacks, girl

we  virgin voyages rattled boats razorwire welcome signs
our mud of mines, our diamonds to blood let, we 24 carat

we no metaphor’s core classed for a whitewashed world’s blackout
we own this. dark earth has sought us out, girl. we no debt to doubt

we no camphor, girl. we water, whole, holy hell, girl.
we iconoclast, outcasts; we, our own idol & temple, girl.

we gold-leaf goddesses. we word worship through wars
we bicycle-chained, shotgun-schooled, we machete-brooched

we boom, speed, shoot; we no empty rounds, we rip, we rise, we roar
we were hunted out of the sea so now we kiss like a storm-tossed shore

we learn to live. we got this. we own this space.
we own us. own the flesh, own the face.

we din before we are drowned, girl. we take ground,
we turn sky. we make some noise, girl.

we put down their mirrors. we see by sound,
we hear each in the other’s eyes, girl.

By Scherezade Siobhan

Biography:

Scherezade Siobhan is an Indo-Roma Spanish psychologist and writer. Her work has been published and/or is forthcoming in tnYPress, Black and Blue Writing, Bluestem, The Nervous Breakdown, Cordite Poetry Review, Words Dance, Electric Cereal, Winter Tangerine Review and others. Her first poetry collection “Bone Tongue” was released by Thought Catalog in 2015. She can be found at www.viperslang.tumblr.com/

One in Six (A Drag King Slam Poem) By Stacy McKeigue

One in Six (A Drag King Slam Poem)

“Hey, baby,” as you slide into my space
like it’s your goddamn place,
like it’s a party and you got an invite.
‘Cause I’m the only chick in site
in this empty convenience store.
I must look so damn fine
in my capris and post-biking shine,
looking for the eggs
while you try to get to mine.

Why don’t you point your erection
in another direction
‘cause it’s a line I just won’t bite,
or suck, or blow.
You see this isn’t a show.
I’m not up on display
with the soda pop and bubble gum.
I didn’t come here to get laid.

When I go to the bar,
I won’t get in your car.
I can do fine on my own.
I don’t need a ride home;
I came here to drink
and let loose and dance,
so please, keep it in your pants.
Stick it between your legs
if you have to
‘cause tonight I’m not sleeping with you.

And walking down the street?
Now, aren’t you sweet—
whistling at my ass
while I’m just trying to pass?
Have you never seen a girl before?
No, Ill get the door.

Because “one in six”
say the current statistics
about women and sexual attack.
Do I have to watch my back
everywhere I go?
Put on drag
just to make your member sag?
Always dress in suit and tie,
learn to act like a guy
so you’ll leave me alone?

I’m not an object you can bone.
It’s called consent, and you’ll need it.
If you don’t have it, then beat it.
Because I’m so sick, dude,
of your misogynistic attitude.
You’re a flesh-hungry vulture
in this fucking rape culture.

I’m not asking for it in a pencil skirt
or if I’m wearing a ratty old shirt.
I don’t want it if my hair’s a mess
or if I’m in a form-fitting dress.

And in case you still think I’m just a sex toy,
no, I don’t even want it dressed as a boy.

Stacy McKeigue

Biography:

Stacy McKeigue is a junior digital media major/creative writing minor at Valparaiso University. She enjoys taking walks through wooded areas and has a fondness for ferrets and lab rats. She believes that every experience is fodder for writing. Stacy thinks there’s something to be said about the contribution procrastination makes to the creative process…but that can wait. While she typically works in fixed forms, Stacy’s recently taken to experimenting with slam poetry. This piece was especially written for her first drag show, in which she performed as a king under the name Toby Scott. Stacy’s greatest ambitions are to make a lasting impact on readers, to be a well-known name in the literary world, and to spend a few years living in England someday. Her poetry and short stories have previously appeared in The Lighter, her university’s fine arts magazine. If you like what you’ve read, you can find more of her work in online versions of The Lighter or on her Tumblr blog, Have Quill, Will Write. Thanks for reading and supporting the arts and social justice!

Whore is a Word By Scherezade Siobhan

Whore is a Word

: ecce femme
on the subway 12:00 am
she sips slander
Socrates of suburbia, her
she hums hurt
a murmur of hemlock
mellowed to elixir
she, coughs up a weather
of wolf whistles,
chokes words: a tuft of dandelions
shipwrecked in syrian rose thistles
the four lettered crucifixes
rote of retched spleens
it seems, she is
a meat mannequin;
cuss words pinned
to joints instead of legs
her anatomy benumbed
to fading quasar dregs
womb veiled to an armoire
motherland buried stillborn
she sired art
from artillery,
jambs the fist
in pacifist
folds wrists in trysts with
the city’s cursed concrete
she sells self : this is not
a tongue twister;
sister, she is
a penny rolled in soot
nails cracked to vintage
mirrors; she wears her skin
the shade of crenelated
alabaster; she learned
that rum is the best way
to pray through disasters
she domestic Houdini
can make bust up lips
disappear behind potions
of pancake and martini
she ghostwrites her
own gospel of torture
so often caught
in revolving doors
when he slaps her collar
bone like violent bravos
who knows what light
blunts in the gazebo
between her eyebrows
she expired between allah
and amen; only the bruise
treasured as misshapen
refuge. she lungs tarred
by cigarettes & tattered
tears. she knows
age is surgery
so she amputates
with clinical rigor
holds the blade to
her heart like a practiced
grave digger
she goddess gone
to rot
she valium bride
all her exit vows
self-taught

By Scherezade Siobhan

Biography:

Scherezade Siobhan is an Indo-Roma Spanish psychologist and writer. Her work has been published and/or is forthcoming in tnYPress, Black and Blue Writing, Bluestem, The Nervous Breakdown, Cordite Poetry Review, Words Dance, Electric Cereal, Winter Tangerine Review and others. Her first poetry collection “Bone Tongue” was released by Thought Catalog in 2015. She can be found at www.viperslang.tumblr.com/

Collection Plate By jacob erin-cilberto

Collection Plate

take parasite avenue
drag the curb
your pocketbook will dwindle
your prominence will be docked
you’ll feel like in a bad movie
the extras better actors than the stars
but they have no teeth
so the camera shies away
send money for relief
for these indigents we trip over as we walk
the streets with our gold chains, rings
and things
step around the leper
talk about how sad his condition is when the moonlight
reveals his wounds
stay in the car
on parasite avenue
or it will drag you down
poor will be your new mantra
a nameless citizen sleeping under a bridge
anonymous occupant at the cold, roofless inn
but send money to help these people
as we step around a skin and bones child
the smell a disturbing ambiance
but we’ll bottle it
and refund your conscience
if you send money to help these people
where is that helicopter
take me away Calgon

need to soak this disgust off my body
and out of my mind
but please please please

send money to help these people
and thank God,
we’re not one of them.

By jacob erin-cilberto

Biography:

Biography:

jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, now resides in Carbondale, Illinois.  erin-cilberto has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970.  He currently teaches at John A. Logan and Shawnee Community colleges in Southern Illinois.

His work has appeared in numerous small magazines and journals including: Café Review, Skyline Magazine, Hudson View, Wind Journal, Pegasus, Parnassus and others. erin-cilberto also writes reviews of poetry books for Chiron Review, Skyline Review, Birchbrook Press and others.  He has reviewed books by B.Z Niditch, Michael Miller, Barry Wallenstein, Marcus Rome, musician Tom MacLear and others. Erin-cilberto’s latest book demolitions and reconstructions is forthcoming in late April /early May. His previous three books an Abstract Waltz, Used Lanterns and Intersection Bluesare available through Water Forest Press. His books are also available on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com as well as Goodreads. erin-cilberto has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2006-2007-2008 and again in 2010. He teaches poetry workshops for Heartland Writers Guild, Southern Illinois Writers Guild and Union County Writers Guild.

A Continuing Narrative By Emily Burns

A Continuing Narrative

i am not sure exactly where
i left off in my story
i get calls to interview sometimes
and they go well generally
i leave with a handshake and good intentions

i am directed to take
obligatory drug tests
and there really isn’t any way
that i could ever fuck that up

all of these things are more challenging
since i had to give up my car
but i have been given assurances
that wheels will be mine with a paycheck

trying not to sweat the small stuff
patience is a virtue, right?

my son is having headaches
again after he broke his neck back in the summer
and my oldest has determined that she will finish
her senior year in night school
she has no patience for waiting out the last few months
of the twelfth grade

and another kid moved in last week

and folks are always calling
wanting me to focus on this or that
that really isn’t important or necessary
and sometimes i wonder
really wonder
what i am doing sitting here

there is a little bird that comes in a hole in my house
almost as if he thinks
that if i will not come out to see him
he will come in to see me
and he flies around a while
and then i send him out the bathroom window
maybe he will fly away in the spring

maybe i will fly away too

By Emily Burns

Biography:

Emily Burns is a student of history, spending much of her spare time sewing her family’s wardrobe of 18th and 19th century clothes. She volunteers at several historic sites around her home in central Kentucky; teaching about women’s skills of the past. Emily has been reading poetry since the age of twelve and began exploring voice and writing about ten years ago.

Emily holds a B.A. in English from the University of Kentucky and has published several books. Dalliance, poetry with images in words that describe the hills, the countryside, the flora and fauna and the heart of a Kentucky poet, which was published by Old Seventy Creek Press in 2010. She edited and published John Sternemann’s posthumous anthology Banging a Drum: words from sacred spaces in 2014.

Historic publications include, The Children’s Civil War Alphabet Book, an abcedarian book that includes photos and stories from her living history adventures with her own kids. Emily also published Our Receipts: a Civil War cookbook, which includes various recipes from the mid-19th century, including a variety of main dishes and dessert as used in Civil War reenactments. Tea and Manners, a compilation of articles describing fashion, etiquette and recipes for a 19th century tea. And finally, What a Lady Should Know about Health and Medicine in the mid-19th Century, which is a compilation of articles from period sources including recipes for common cures from the pre-Civil War era.

Unburied By Caitlyn Siehl

Unburied

Back again. Bones above ground.
Wind chime fingers in my hair.
A quiet knife-tongue on my shoulder.

An ancient ruin. Your teeth the
twenty eight steps to the
broken temple.
Fuck you. Fuck me. Eat my
palm. Eat my offering.
Climb down. Climb back.

I don’t want to make sense to
anything, I just want to be the
stone you grind into powder.

Love, my violent myth, my
terrifying air.

Turn my water to wine. Eat
my heart out. Feed it to the sun.

Back again. Back again.
Unburied. Unburied and
pale. Dirt under my fingernails
because I like saving you.

Love, my angry body weeping.
Your sleeping mouth tattooed
on my sternum.
Love, my vicious secret.
Love, my hungry dream.

By Caitlyn Siehl

Biography:

Caitlyn Siehl is a poet from New Jersey. Currently finishing her senior year of college, she is going on to receive her Master’s degree in Communication at Rutgers University. She has published one book of poetry entitled What We Buried and has co-edited two poetry collections entitled Literary Sexts Volume 1 and Literary Sexts Volume II, all through Words Dance Publishing. She enjoys spicy Jalapeno chips and being surrounded by dogs at all times.

Tending the Garden of A Suicide Victim By Marie Anzelone

Tending the Garden of A Suicide Victim

That which is wild and unruly

   has overgrown its more civilized companions.

Goldenrod in lackluster brushy plumes

    and sour yellow sorrel, tasting of lemons.

         Some sad twining vine.

I did not know you.

   But I can tell you planted with care,

 and what you attempted to cultivate here

was not comprehended

     by those who loved you;

          and in the pervasive neglect

it seems your vision was lost.

My hands caress the stems of your Rudbeckia,

   trying to realign their lanky, desultory forms

          where their delicate beauty

was engulfed by choking vines, and I wonder

  if better tending would have kept you

 in this world a little longer.

I sadly ponder what vision made you leave,

   and ask if the slow encroachment of weeds

       could have been pruned for you in time.

   or if anyone even noticed your need to be tended.

And I hope you can see me here

       attempting to give love to your efforts,

trying to make your mark on this world

     just a little tiny bit more substantial.

May this garden grow in health for many more years,

             and may your children understand, in time,

that sometimes gardens in other worlds

             need new caretakers, too.

 

Marie Anzelone

Biography:

Marie Anzalone currently splits her time between residences in New England and upstate NY in the United States and Guatemala in Central America. Originally from Appalachian Pennsylvania, she spent her early years studying ecology and nature first-hand in the woods around her home. She is an artist, scientist, writer, economics master’s degree candidate, avid outdoorswoman and start-up director of an international development non-profit organization. She has been published in human rights journals, scientific journals, and poetry anthologies. She writes fiction and non-fiction in both English and Spanish. She attempts in her writing to bridge the gap between real world influence and the individual’s inner journey to find spirit and meaning. Anzalone released two collections of poetry in 2014. Her debut collection is called A Pilgrimage in Epistles:: Poems as Letters and Observations. Her sophomore offering is titled Peregrinating North-South Compass Points: Poems in English and Spanish.