If Feminism is for Ugly Girls
If feminism is for ugly girls,
Let me be ugly.
Let my face be covered in boils and sores.
Let my teeth rot into pieces.
If all you desire is
a pretty face,
A woman who sits silent and
Nods to coarse words,
Make me screaming and savage–
Make me the woman
Louder than a freight train.
If all a woman is,
is but an object,
Let me be the Medusa whose
Head of snakes will turn you to stone.
Let me be righteously terrible,
Let me be scar-faced,
For I will bear my trauma
Where it is plain to see.
Let me be untouchable, undesirable,
Let other women laugh
At my Crooked nose and
Tell me man,
With my hair of snakes
And rotted smile–
Do I petrify?
By Kaity Gee
Previously published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine
Kaity Gee is writer from Bay Area, California, currently studying at New York University. Only eighteen, she has already been making a splash in the creative writing world, winning twenty-three regional and two national Scholastic Writing Awards in addition to other regional and national awards in only the past two years. Kaity’s work has previously been published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Avalon Review, Sweet Literary Magazine, Five:2:One Magazine, and in American Library of Poetry’s anthology, Eloquence. Writing has been an integral part of her life: words have changed Kaity’s life, whether it be on the pages of a classic or her own sprawled onto the parallel veins of an open notebook. She hopes her words breathe life in you. She hopes her words leave you breathless.
Funeral in Summer
Back where the peach skin looked new,
inside the mouth of old teeth,
we buried the old bird’s bones.
We made her decorated.
We flew her back home to sleep.
Out where the sing of morning
has no voice to wake us with,
she rests in beds of missing,
her throat gone to empty sky.
We made her loud, un-thought of.
We flew her into the ground.
Buried in sugar, smooth skin,
wrapped around what we made her
into: wings and only wings.
She, shelter for the sorrow.
She, muse of wicked sunshine.
We take her to sleep, this time.
We run our sorrow into
un-hollow sparrow ground, this
time. We want for the stripped sound.
The old bird’s beak stays open.
We still try to fit inside.
By Emma Bleker
Emma Bleker is a 21 year old writer currently working for her English degree in Virginia. She has previously been published, or is forthcoming in Electric Cereal, Persephone’s Daughters, Skylark Review, Rising Phoenix Press, and Cahoodaloodaling, among others. She probably wants to be your friend.
What Were You Doing?
I remember watching Eyes on the Prize
with my mother in our living room and asking her
“Were you there, Mom? What were you doing?”
And Mom told me, “I was at home raising kids.
I was being a mom.”
It was 1968
the year my oldest brother was born
the year they killed Martin Luther King, Jr.
the year they killed Robert Kennedy.
Then it was 1970
the year my sister was born
the year they killed four students at Kent State.
the year they killed two more at Jackson State.
So by the time I was born
in 1974 it had been
a year since they killed 11-year-old Clifford Glover.
a year since they killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez.
the year my oldest was born was
the year they killed Trayvon Martin.
the year they killed Rekia Boyd.
the year my youngest was born was
the year after they killed Eric Garner and Tamir Rice
the year they killed Walter Scott and Freddie Gray
and in 2016
the year they kill Alton Sterling
the year they kill Philando Castille
I can no longer stay at home.
I march in the streets
because some day my children
will ask me what I was doing
and I don’t want to say, “I was at home raising kids.”
Some year when they ask
“Were you there, Mom?
What were you doing?”
I will tell them, “I was saying their names.
I was being your mom.”
By Noriko Nakada
Noriko Nakada writes, blogs, tweets, parents, and teaches middle school in Los Angeles where she grinds out creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. She has two book length memoirs available and has been published in Specter Magazine, Hippocampus Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.
frailty beneath wreckage
when the sun rises
they will come to take the car
they will pull it out onto the street
they will knock on the door
and tell me that the bill is past due
by the afternoon
the lights will be shut off
i will peel poems
from my skin
and mail them to the debtors
for i have nothing else
they are not interested in my begging
there are no more extensions
they say they tried
yet their negotiations
are not flexible
the collectors have finally caught me
their fingers encircle my throat
leaving me without breath
i could pray, but prayer
is only a currency
made of air
it cannot fulfill demands
it can only push back the inevitable
i have nothing
they can take
i am a shell
buried in the back yard
Weasel is a degenerate writer who received his Bachelor of Arts in Literature at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He currently uses it as scrap paper to fuel the publishing endeavors of Weasel Press and its erotic imprint Red Ferret Press.
A Lesson in Economics
“Having devoured him, she wiped her mouth,
shut her eyes and shammed blindness as before.”
— Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio
Bell ringers swallow
the feathers still stuck in their whiskers.
They hardly hesitate
to hide them anymore.
How many more headlines
of brass bells luring charity—
How many more charities
found funding private enterprise—
How many more voices
miming truth but truthfully hanging us
with the golden ropes lashed
from our pockets through our veins
would feed orphan mouths, fill their stomachs.
Eyes welling, defeated shoulders slumped.
Words heavy with meaning,
they extended empty palms like the children
they claimed to serve.
When filled, they turned
By Ian C. Williams
Ian C. Williams is an MFA student at Oklahoma State University. He has received the Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for his chapbook, House of Bones, and his poems have appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Altar Collective, The Appalachian Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his wife, Bailey, along with their dog, two cats, and chameleon.
I never quite belonged to me.
Through the thinness of myself
I could feel the shadows of others,
waiting to grow into full form.
I was other people in incipient stages.
my sister’s spite.
my mother’s martyr.
my father’s anger, gaining on them
Long before I looked into the mirror
and saw my mother’s almond eyes
I felt him stirring in my hot blood.
A grabbing of any throat that fit in my little grasp.
The echo of you in my small tyrannies.
Do I long to become my mother, as every decent girl should?
I felt you both inside me, long ago.
I always knew I’d need to choose.
An ovum waiting;
like you gave birth to me,
I would have to recreate you.
By Yusra Amjad