Dear Medusa,
I have no idea what to do with
all these split ends. It seems
everything I grow
ends up dead? What should I do?
signed, Anne Boleyn

Dear Medusa,
I have heard that I need to drink
more water for my skin,
but no matter how much I swallow
my reflection still shines back a corpse. Advice?
Thanks, sincerely, Ophelia

Dear Medusa,
What do they want from me?
Love, Marilyn Monroe

Dear Medusa,
Signed, Kesha

Dear women of vast wounds and shallow seas,
They will see girlhood in your
dimples and conclude you are ripe.
The first time Poseidon said my name,
he held it on his tongue
like a cough drop, hand on my pulse
as if he wanted me to know
something within him could only be healed
by the rise and fall of my breast.

The last time Athena sighed “Medusa”,
cursed me with snakes, a face etched
in screams of torture, she promised
no man would take on the labor of
finding the exact distance between
mortality and godhood
within me, see me
as something gaping
and rub me raw.
Athena swore this would spare me the sin
of Poseidon, that no tsunami could conquer
this much ugly.

Anne: the best parts of you are the
ones they cannot bleed, where you are
already serpent.

Ophelia: I know a lot about death but
a lot less about reflections. Turn the nunnery
of your collarbone inside out, find
all of you that is river, mix it oil, and call it Cleveland.

Marilyn: take the pins out of your
corset and find where they fit
in the tenderest parts of all of them.

Kesha: Make your cheekbones scythe,
grow yourself new wings, no feathers,
just acid. Only the living will call you a monster.

When they come for you,
discover you tore out
all the pretty and stitched
in horror, that the pregnancy of violence
has swollen where you were lilac blooming,
and they say they are Herculean for how they hate you,
title themselves heroes as they call you a slut.
Do not curve into bed frame or conquest,
no matter how badly you ache to be held.
And watch them become stone so easy.
At night, when all the vacant space
around you is screaming, run your hands over the soft landslide
of your body (since no one else can do it for you)
and marvel at how you are not stone. Not yet. Not ever.

By Dorothy McGinnis


Dorothy is a performer, a poet, and also very possibly 22 very little baby ducks disguised as a human. No one is certain. Dottie knew her path was clear when a substitute teacher in her 9th grade theatre class said one of her performances was so convincing he almost thought she was his ex wife. Dorothy has been published on Voicemail Poetry and Rejected Poetry Journal. Dorothy was a member of the 2016 Salt City Unified Team and the 2017 YouSpeak team. Her poem “English Classes”, about how Zelda Fitzgerald deserved SO MUCH BETTER can be seen on Write About Now’s youtube channel.

Exform daydreams By Ricardo Gonsalves

Exform daydreams

  • raisins @1.26¢ per pound
  • taxes due Nov.2nd
  • new credit card: Do Not Bend (over)
  • dentist appointment 2pm.
  • write Dear Joan letter to ex
  • Tuesday, visit mom at hospice
  • electric bill past due ($96)
  • call auto shop re: brakes
  • bury dog in back yard
  • student loans due yesterday $451
  • shoot neighbor—-bury near dog
  • Dow Jones 17,898.84 down-140.22
  • cash unemployment check
  • buy 2 used tires @ $46 ea.
  • bail dad out of holding
  • cut water use by 50%
  • sell blood on Thursday
  • 2 strikes 1 ball 2 outed in the 9th
  • jury duty April 1st
  • call ex and beg forgiveness
  • prepare for the rapture on Feb. 31st
  • razor blades @ $9.06 a pack

By Ricardo Gonsalves


Ricardo has been “writing” in forms as concrete poetry, experimental text and at times using barbed wire to contain written verse. The content of much of his work reflects a push-pull hybridity between the influence of Chicano Art, class struggle and the challenge of experimental expression. Nearly all his work is political and reflects the sharp edges of working class existence. He was Portuguese, born in New Bedford, Mass. in a hardcore working class community. Ricardo was also deeply involved in the Chicano Movement. Arrested for writing an article, with graphics, about how to make Molotov Cocktails. Arrested for rioting during the Chicano Moratorium. Arrested for sales and possession when he got out of the Marine Corp. Currently, he is an official something-or-Other at the Magoski Arts Colony in Fullerton, California.



after Julia Gaskill

& he expected it would be snowing
& the flakes fall inside & i don’t know

how to change this & he is all
the monsters hiding in my closet

that my momma stopped checking for
b/c she thinks i’m Too Old For That &

i don’t know how to change this
b/c my feet don’t fit grown-up shoes

but his shoes are pointed at the tips & my
daddy says i’m throwing a Tantrum &

i don’t think they’re angry enough
& i am raging in these infant clothes

b/c donald trump teases me about
my pokemon cards
our plastic tablecloth
grandpa’s bald head
all the prescriptions
brother’s drooling
the growth chart
& i know exactly how to change
this b/c i am growing all the time

& i will leave my cradle on the unwelcome
mat at the white house’s front step

& i will not share my toys with his children
& i will not read them my favourite books

& i will drive myself to daycare

& anger before empowerment
& wrath even when love
& my childhood is temper
& he still says, better you than me.

By Kate Foley


Kate Foley is a poet based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Her work has been featured in Voicemail Poems, The Legendary, Words Dance, and more. The Bird Hours, her debut collection, was published by Where Are You Press in May 2017. She is passionate about dogs, helping others, and healing.

Doll Blood Spattering By Juliet Cook

Doll Blood Spattering

Doll cadavers growing mildew for hair,
mildew spewing out their mouths and whose
voice are they talking in now?

They were talking in their own tiny tongues until
those tiny tongues were ripped out
and replaced with more modern doll mouths.

The modern dolls with no genuine voices of their own.
The modern dolls in a popularity contest, fighting against
every other doll. They don’t really care who they hurt.

They don’t really care what they’re fighting for,
as long as they win the contest and can claim
the latest prize. Another set of fake doll eyes.

Another big glowing dick to swallow
and replace the last one they lied to.
Or a fragile tiny dick to bite off and chew

into contorted pieces and spit the debris
all around in a violently fast group attack.
Anyone who disagrees with these modern dolls

or who doesn’t choose to take sides
deserves to be hacked into bloody smithereens
and tossed down the garbage disposal.

This modern doll group is better than everyone else.
Even if their doll brains are evil, mean-spirited, laced
with fake frosting and more dirty than rats.

Even if their doll group agenda is to secretly slink
their long doll tails behind the back of their fancy frilled skirts,
load those tails with venom, then use them to lash out,

to slash out the hearts of individual dolls who don’t fit in
to their scene. If one of these modern dolls offers you
a smile and uses the word love in your face, it is fake.

Love love love love love love love has been programmed
into their pretty rotten doll teeth and used to screw
with reality and make real love obsolete.

By Juliet Cook


Juliet Cook’s poetry has appeared in a small multitude of magazines, including Arsenic Lobster, DIAGRAM, Diode, FLAPPERHOUSE, Hermeneutic Chaos, Menacing Hedge and Reality Beach. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, recently including RED DEMOLITION (Shirt Pocket Press, 2014), a collaboration with Robert Cole called MUTANT NEURON CODEX SWARM (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015), and a collaboration with j/j hastain called Dive Back Down (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). Cook’s first full-length individual poetry book, “Horrific Confection”, was published by BlazeVOX and her second full-length individual poetry book, ‘Malformed Confetti’ is forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press. Her most recent full-length poetry book, ‘A Red Witch, Every Which Way’, is a collaboration with j/j hastain published by Hysterical Books in 2016. Find out more at

Obituary for Permanence By Jennifer Boyd

Obituary for Permanence

For Cecilia

The glass house stands alone
in the last cool moment. The girl breathes life
into stillness, daredevils of ash brushing the walls
without a promise of permanence.
She inhales.
As she opens her lips, she remembers the ancient:
her mother, more awake than ever,
eyes wide and fixed for eternity.
Her face felt smooth like summer squash.

The one they said didn’t have a relationship with God –
the chain smoker, who inched closer to past tense
with each faint exhalation,
the resigned, who had nothing to hold onto
but dissipating puffs, head skimming the surface –
she released her sins as the water clouded like dust.

Her mother, a stranger,
engulfed in rawness and bitter wanting.

She no longer feels the urge to weep, to curse,
to erode like the one whose body lay in the bathtub.
She surrenders to the lingering silence
that seeks to hush the clamor inside.
She gulps air like a salmon.
Puffs become ashes.
When the ember’s tip fades to darkness,
she’ll finally have something to hold onto.

By Jennifer Boyd


Jennifer Boyd is a high school student from Boston, Massachusetts. She is a blog contributor at both the Huffington Post and Voices of Youth, UNICEF’s global online platform. Jennifer’s poetry has been published recently in New Plains Review, Glass Kite Anthology, the Critical Pass Review, and Tower Journal. Her work has additionally been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Hollins University, Smith College, and Princeton University. When not writing, she enjoys playing the piano, singing, and learning new languages.

The Bowhunter By Elijah Noble El

The Bowhunter

It takes her to the river,
the deer off in the woods.
Always so gentle, always so
full of bright. Feet crunch
in the leaves, she follows it down.
She sees herself in its eyes.
There’s fading in those eyes.
A wound somewhere, and she knows
she cannot save it. She knows
she cannot ease the way.

Hands spread too much too far.
Favorite girl, favorite beer.
Father’s drunk.
He calls his little girl over.
Always so timid, always so
full of fear, she sees the bottle.
She sees herself in the reflection.
There’s a wounded deer in that reflection.
A wound made from something
untouched, so much undenied.

Girl reads in the space
between night and morning,
of Artemis and mythology and warrior and blood.
She closes her eyes and hounds run the field.
Closes her eyes where things protect her.
She runs to the field, lays in the cool grass.
Looking up, always looking up,
she sees the comets and the wishing stars.
Reaching out, she sees herself in the universe.
There’s strength somewhere in that universe.

By Elijah Noble El


Elijah Noble El is the twenty-two year old author of The Age of Recovery (2015). His numerous honors include a nomination for Best Writing at the Top Indie Film Awards for the short film Dog-Faced Honey. His work has been featured in Literary Orphans, Words Dance Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, Straylight Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, Kerosene Magazine’s CONTRA, Illumination, Exist Magazine, Soul Anatomy, The Odyssey, L’Éphémère Review, Erstwhile Magazine, and elsewhere. El is the co-founder of Girls Don’t Cry, the film division of the literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters, a magazine founded by Meggie Royer dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.