Women of Forbidden Fruit By Amogha Sridhar

Women of Forbidden Fruit

To Eve, Persephone and other women of forbidden fruit,

There is a girl who writes a Wikipedia article on a woman in science
every time she gets harassed for being a woman in STEM.
There are now over 5000 female scientists listed on Wikipedia.

Female authors are less likely to be featured on The New York Times book review.
They are less likely to win awards. JK Rowling was told to use a male pen name
like Louisa May Alcott, Marry Ann Evans and the Brontës before her.

My mother had a brain surgery and my father has tried to
convince her that she’s going mad ever since.
Male culture has depended on keeping women in the dark.

Eve, you should see how many works of art
the question of good and evil has inspired.
You would not miss the innocence.

Speaking of innocence, male culture has also depended on
infantalising women but that’s a poem for another day.
Eve, you are not a cautionary tale. Curiosity is not a cautionary tale.

It’s ridiculously unfair that we associate fruit with success and fertility
and the woman who bit into it with monstrosity.
Eve. Eve. Ever.

Persephone, I like the story where you choose to eat the pomegranate seeds
because you love Hades. Queen of the underworld who wanted
to find her way back home, in to Plutonic arms.

Women who ask the tough questions and value hard truths,
women who bite into forbidden fruit, juice dripping past their lips,
You are why heaven and hell exist.

By Amogha Sridhar

Biography:

Amogha Sridhar is a writer from India. She wrote for the Times of India as a student correspondent and her poetry has appeared in the This magazine and the Thistle magazine. She is currently an art editor at The Missing Slate.

Little Legs By Kristin Garth

Little Legs

A life I’ve lived upon your knee, array
of legs since I was three. You turned it bad
when I was five. Forever Father’s Day
in me alive. Two little legs still sad
that climb on top of strangest laps and spread
sublime. A little love inside a grown-
up head is promised ponies in hundreds
of beds. All knights, so like you, first I’ve known
with blades that seek the youngest bones. My tears
collected, fetishized. Woman, in me,
you have euthanized. I wear my fears
in braids, your tartan target tragedy.
The first and worst leads little love to bed.
My little legs still follow where they’re led.

By Kristin Garth

Biography:

Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola. Her sonnets and other poetry have been featured in Occulum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Fourth & Sycamore, Digging Through the Fat, Murmur Journal, Neologism Poetry and many other publications. Her chapbook Pink Plastic House: Three Stories of Sonnets will be published by Maverick Duck Press in 2018.

Bait By Lorna Martin

Bait

From the moment my heart skipped a beat,
we were doomed.

When your smile caught the space light,
The turn of your head, when I followed your laugh
with my mouth, we were doomed.
Every line that you traced in my palm was an end,
Every murmured exchange a self-sabotage.
For each lift of my spirits and each daybreak I
will pay misery in direct proportion. We continue,
for what can we do? This yearning persists, allowed or not,
worth it or not.

Now I am here, our love racked for tragedy,
my heart scripted hollow.
That jackrabbit anxiety, or another name, hope,
which they must keep alive if the snatching is to hurt.
Have we come far enough for them? Is this enough?

Our last kiss was everything inevitable.
I step away and close my eyes; you
and then darkness. I wait for it.

By Lorna Martin

Biography:

I am a recent Creative Writing graduate living in North London. My poems have been published in A Quiet Courage, Roulade Magazine, Foxglove Journal, and Crush Anthology (Brunel University Press). I was shortlisted for the Mslexia poetry prize in 2014 and created the Lights in the Sky poetry event for Artwave Festival in 2015.

Psalm of bandages By Dean Rhetoric

Psalm of bandages

I associate you with Sunday; domesticated and
thematic through stained glass.

I imagine you being clutched by weeping men,
slamming against you for answers.

We needed a distraction and God was
as good as any. When we hid

under chapel stairs, forehead on forehead.
When your skin was itchy

and too tight for your swelling chest. So close
to your emerald green eyes

that I hoped they’d cut me if you blinked.
You were God’s mint filter,

I was her ashtray. My humble bloodied knee
staining your Sunday best,

as you slit your index finger over Corinthians
and mixed us as one.

This was not the first time we’d been so
carelessly alive.

We had pressed leaves, tied together at the stem,
sat formless in pews

between the lustrous punch ups of rain and the
melody it made on the windows

just to destroy something wonderful. There was no
salvation come morning,

only the light, naked in our shaking hands, sick
at the thought of reflecting us.

An earlier version of this poem was published by Effervescent Lit Mag.

By Dean Rhetoric

Biography:

Dean Rhetoric is a Hereford born working class poet and former foundryman currently lost somewhere in East London. He is a former BBC writer’s room finalist with poetry in Seafoam, Picaroon, Anti – Heroin Chic, Ghostland, Occulum and various others. He can be found attempting human interaction/wheezing uncontrollably here and here.

 

american tanka By Elizabeth Moura

american tanka

America again
praying for_______
condolences to_______
_____wounded
_______dead

By Elizabeth Moura

Biography:

Elizabeth Moura lives in a converted factory in a small city and works with elders in a small town. She has had poetry, flash fiction or photographs published in several publications including The Heron’s Nest, Chrysanthemum, Atlas Poetica, Ardea, Presence, Shamrock, Flash, Paragraph Planet and Flash Fiction Magazine.

Candlelight / 촛불 By Soo Young Yun

Candlelight / 촛불

Korean Poetry & English Translation

촛불

어찌할까
책들은
아름답고 구조화 된 단어를 내뱉는
환상일 뿐이라면

나라는
금으로 된 수저를 물고 태어난
자들을 위한 기회의
땅이라면
강단 뒤에는
꼭두각시가 웃음을 짓고
대본에서 대사를 암송하듯
독실한 열정으로 실을 다룬다

참 진부한 이야기
아는 것은 오직 그들을 향해 고개 숙이는
머리들
이들 위에 발을 조심스레 얹은다
마치
디딤돌처럼

그러다
불타는 별들은 거리에서 춤을 추기 시작한다
회색 길가는 사라지며
더이상 볼 수 없게 되고
땅은 빛나는 잔물결로 변하며
따뜻한 누르스름한 빛을 낸다

그러면서도
어찌할까
세상에는 꼭두각시들이 수도 없이 많고
어찌할까
다른 수치들이 또
드러나
사람들이 누그러뜨린 주머니 속 깊이
담겨둔 촛불에
불을 붙인다면
언제까지
별들은 춤을 춰야 하는 걸까

Candlelight

What to do
when textbooks are nothing but an illusion
spouting beautiful, structured words of how
things should be

When
a nation is a land of opportunity
for those born clutching polished, golden
spoons
And behind the podium
smiles a marionette
Reciting words from a script
The strings handled with religious fervor

A clichéd story
For all their life, only knowing
the crowns of heads that bow to them, placing
their dainty feet on these bent heads, like
stepping stones

But then
Fiery stars begin dancing in the streets, the
gray cement disappearing,
invisible
The ground shifts in shimmering ripples, glowing
in a warm, medallion light

And yet
What to do
when life is full of marionettes
What to do
When another mishap
is revealed, igniting the
candlelight people store deep inside their
melted pockets
How much longer
must the stars keep on dancing

Previously published in Aerie International – Spring 2017

By Soo Young Yun

Biography:

Soo Young Yun is a writer from Seoul, South Korea and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Origami Poems Project, Ann Arbor District Library, Writing for Peace, and Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aerie International, Burningword Literary Journal, DUENDE, Emerald Coast Review, Hawai’i Review, Red Weather, The Vignette Review, among other journals and anthologies.

The Gay Agenda By kmp

The Gay Agenda

the first time i saw two women holding
hands in the street it was like a revelation,
like a revolution, like an army in the streets
couldn’t touch me
but i still had to go home
to my prop 8 house in my prop 8 state where
i’m told everything is too liberal but have sense
& memory & good enough eyes to know better

it has taken some time but my skin has become
tough and i have grown into Queer-As-In-Fuck-You,
but i didn’t ask for this; all i want is a small house
with a garden & someone to help me tend it,
all i want is to walk down the street holding
hands with the person i love without it meaning
anything to anyone but us

but see existence is an act of defiance, self love
an act of revolution, and i may be living for the
future but i’m still living in the now, and i love
my half shaved head & my too sharp grin & when
i can go a week without being called miss or honey
or girl and so i will live like my body is a chicken bone:
you may swallow me whole but i will catch in your
throat and you will choke on me.

 By kmp

Biography:

kmp is a southern californian poet and aspiring lit major working two jobs to put herself through college. she wants to know everything, feel everything, be everything; she won’t settle for less. kmp has previously published poetry in Rising Phoenix Review, The Wall, L’Éphémère Review, and Werkloos Mag, as well as in her chapbooks “UNBOUND” and “Ask Me a Question//I’ll Write You a Poem.”