VOL 1: LGBTQ PRIDE POEMS
POETRY COLLECTION VOL 1: LGBTQ POEMS JULY 2019
04 Editor's Note 05 Amy Stapleton 07 Adela Sevilla Castaneda
10 Rae Theodore 12 Alicia Crumpler
1 16 Jaylee Hamidi 19 Hazel Kight Witham 26 Erica Bradshaw 38 Hokis 42 Karina Lutz 45 Meet the poets
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I am so excited to introduce you our very first of many FWWR poetry collections! Every month, we will publish a new poetry ebook featuring the brave voices of roaring womxn around a specific theme.
I'm PROUD to share that the first theme is LGBTQ Pride Poems. This is in honor of Pride Month, but also is in honor of every day that those in the LGBTQ are roaring their truth and experience. We stand with you and support you! When I read these poems, I was in awe of the beautiful words of these womxn. I felt like I was given a glimpse into their most personal experience and longing. It made me smile and cry and clap my hands at their vulnerable sharing. I hope their writing impacts you as much as it did me. We had such an outpour of incredible submissions that we have decided to create two volumes dedicated to LGBTQ poems! Stay tuned for next months incredible collection. Thank you for writing, reading, and roaring with us,
Xo, Megan Febuary Editor-in-Chief
WAKING AGAIN Written by: Amy Stapleton
Sometimes I need to feel the density of my loverĘźs body against mine, solid, a gentle but pressing weight that keeps me close to the earth, from falling deeper into the canyons of my mind. I want her to fill all of me, to touch that place void of joy, to waken it alive. She makes a path, tracing the curves of my body, exploring with tenderness, embracing the wild. I wake again.
TIGHT SPACES Written by: Adela Sevilla Castaneda
This closet This closet feels so warm Ma The jacket with tiny pink flowers no longer feels new and these brown boots are only reminding me of how much I want my toes to feel the cool cement after a hot morning These creaking walls scare me Ma I can hear the children crying with laughter outside and crave to know what thatâ€™s like I want to sow all these clothes together Ma, and create an escape route This closet feels so warm Ma I want out Let me relish in all these colors and bathe in each one of their howling melodies
I want to wave just like they do and find out that their air fits so perfectly around me But now I sit here in the corner of this closet, breathing air that never really was mine to begin with I hear it at night how it screams at these four walls closing in to be let out I cradle them telling them that we’ll soon see daylight and will dance ‘till dawn and no one will ever push us back I’m starting to dream in blue and pink hues and I know it frightens you Ma I know that soon these colors will start to bleed into the green and reds and there will be no bargaining with them then This closet feels so warm Ma I want out Ma says she wants the good part of me
The one that does not create noise at my cousins quinceañera When my suit and her dress hug it out on the dance floor Ma wants the good part of me The one that tells my Tia about my work but hushes when she’ll say in a bright tone, "Where’s your boyfriend?" Because when Ma isn’t looking I’ll tell her that, that boy is my friend but not around when the late night hits Because the only one that could soothe me is the girl with the boyish cut and kindest hands Those that wrap around me and hold me tight when the night creeps in Ma says she wants the good part of me But I tell her, I cannot be broken up into pieces Because I’ve found someone who has seen all of me and still has time to love each one equally And right there is where I’ll lean in and whisper to Ma, "I’m all good."
I SWALLOW CREATURES
I swallow creatures whole Horn, fin, feather, bone It’s all the same to me I chew them up Spit them out Turn them into something new I’m a king maker A queen maker An in-between maker My mother always said It’s not polite to spit But I never listened to her anyway
Written by Rae Theodore
I WANT TO PLAY BASEBALL Written by: Alicia Crumpler
What do you want to do when you grow up, he asked. I want to play baseball, I replied. You can’t, baseball’s for boys, You, are a girl, put on a dress. No. I want to play baseball. You can be a secretary, a teacher or a nurse, he said. I don’t want to be a secretary or a teacher or a nurse, I want to play baseball. You can’t, baseball’s for boys, You, are a girl, put on a dress. No. I don’t want to put on a dress, I want to wear pants and climb trees, Swing from vines and jump in the mud, And, I want to play baseball. You can’t, baseball’s for boys, You, are a girl, put on a dress, Act like a girl, stop being different, try to fit in, he said. No. This is my life, and I fit into it perfectly. I won’t put on a dress, I’m going to play baseball, And, I’m going to hit a home run.
YOU HATE ME Written by: Alicia Crumpler
You hate me because I am different than you, You hate me because I worship a different god than you, You hate me because my skin is a different color than yours, You hate me because I love differently than you, You hate me because my body is different than yours, You hate me because I was born in a different country than you, Do you hate me out of Fear? Ignorance? Religion? We are both human beings, By hating me, you hurt yourself.
THEN THEY CAMEREVISITED Written by: Alicia Crumpler
First they took away the rights and protections from the transgenders, But I said nothing because I wasn’t transgender; Then they took away the rights and protections for a woman’s right to choose, But I said nothing because that didn’t concern me; Then they took away the rights and protections from the educators, But I said nothing because I wasn’t an educator; Then they took away the rights and protections from the educated, But I said nothing because I wasn’t educated; Then they took away the rights and protections from seniors and the disabled, But I said nothing because I wasn’t a senior or disabled; What will we do when they came for our rights and protections? Will there be anyone left to speak for us?
*Inspired by the poem, Then They Came. By Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
WE ARE THE MANY Written by: Jaylee Hamidi
I breathe. You breathe. We breathe just like them. We love just like them. Them. But they do not see what is similar. They see what is different. Them versus Us. Why? It is not a lack of education, It is a surplus of ignorance, Privilege. Their fear eats them alive. We love. They hate, We love. Our love keeps us alive. A fire for us, A light for us. But there’s power in love. There’s power in numbers, And love amplifies the sounds, Of stones, Of hope, Of cheers, Of cries, Of joy, Of music, Of kisses, Of hands in the air don’t despair, Of being free, Of spirits more than one.
WE ARE THE MANY
P 1P 17
For those before us. For those after us. Spectrums of expression, Colorful, Wild, Too unique for stereotypes, Hand in hand with our best Judys, They cannot stop us. At different sections of the world, Of different intersections, We may be the marginalized, But we are the many. Like the oceans, We rise. Just as the trees, We grow. We give oxygen, To the many lungs, So that the people, May be given voices, To scream out We are proud! We are proud! We are proud.
Quonset Hut of Love Written by: Hazel Kight Witham
Quonset Hut of Love was what my Mamas called each other in the early years Quonset huts: prefabricated temporary military structures, 170 thousand or so built in World War II turned song of sweetness between them~ those two women who turned to women before women loving women turned chic~ Quonset huts: corrugated galvanized half-dome unassuming from the Quonset outset, requiring no skilled labor to assemble shippable anywhere: later the surplus found new homes in countless places semi-circular rust resistant flexible interior spaces something that could pop up and protect as needed, wherever I never knew where they got this term of endearment from never asked in the depths of childhoodâ€™s thrum
Quonset Hut of Love
what made these two women~ one Brooklyn -born, one Texas-torn ~ sing songs of corrugated galvanized half-domes portable, prefabricated temporary homes meant to offer peace in war zones meant for easy assemble in any strife-torn land one might need shelter in My Mamas~my maps~my refuge~my home all bare-boned basic rust resistant, flexible, spacious all peace and love and war-zone ready
Pride Before The Fall Written by: Hazel Kight Witham
It was a gray June morning, but West Hollywood was bursting with rainbows everywhere we looked. Beautiful muscled men aboard flowered parade floats short shorts and work boots chaps and flannel muscle shirts shirtless or sleeveless, unbuttoned to bare their bright beating hearts to the wide open air. Men who were two-spirits both male and female yet something beyond either sequins and gold lamé and long flowing wigs muscled legs and narrow hips high heels and fishnets, shining like stars on earth. Women saddled atop motorcycles, hair in bandannas, leather vests and leather pants motorcycle boots I fell in love with some stacked two to a bike arms around waists calling themselves by names they’d embraced, that others might use as slurs.
Pride Before The Fall
The power of that river streaming by, the cheering, whooping, whirling wildness of celebrating something that was supposed to be hushed and secret quiet and closeted. The power of that river streaming by, the cheering, whooping, whirling wildness of celebrating something that was supposed to be hushed and secret quiet and closeted. It was 1985, and I was ten, toeing the boundary-line between childhood and adolescence. It was 15 years after the Stonewall Uprising, the revolt against police mistreatment and society’s bigotry, though ten-year-old me knew nothing about that time. All I knew was this was the closest I’d ever been to celebrity, so many stars that never saw the light of a screen.
Pride Before The Fall
And those of us cheering, whooping, whirling and wild on the sidelines, smiles in our eyes sunlight in our hearts so bright,
that the lies in our mouths were swept out and up and away, for one glorious day.
The Talk Written by: Hazel Kight Witham
My mom and I sat on the side of her bed. My feet didn’t reach the floor. I remember thinking it was so simple, the way she said it: “Sometimes a man and a woman fall in love, and sometimes a man and a man fall in love, and sometimes a woman and a woman.” She didn’t use the word lesbian
For some reason, I don’t know why, I remember thinking of old-fashioned nurses, maybe from the 50’s, in white A-line dresses and those caps that were white starched crowns. That was my image of a woman falling in love with a woman. My mom had fallen in love with a woman. Sharon. Sharon.
It didn’t stay simple long.
I Know Who I Am Written by: Erica Bradshaw
S'posedÂ To Written by: Erica Bradshaw
Twin Flame Written by: Erica Bradshaw
When We Don't Get Along Written by: Erica Bradshaw
When We Don't Get Along
When We Don't Get Along
Rage/ Anger/ Hate Written by: Erica Bradshaw
Rage/ Anger/ Hate
Dominatrix Rattler *first published in Cloud Women's Quarterly Journal Written by: Hokis
I listen from the mountaintop Where ancestors teach; covert, slithering whispers, “This, my winged-daughter, is an exceptional way to fly.” I catch my Earthly prey’s vibration With my seem-to-them shuddering Dominatrix tail. I whip them and skin them From toes to sky. Pausing at the foothills of Their jugular Pulsing with rancid nourishment to The crown of their peak. The subtle, painless slit Made under the jaw. Stiletto holds it steady. Razor red nails reach inside. Carving space, Between dermis and meat. Gristle meets soulhands, Snapped with a sudden twist. No vessel is too sized, For the unhinged jaw of this mind.
Good, Then Extra Written by: Hokis
Good, Then Extra
Grace A ter Sex Written by: Karina Lutz
The only sign that lovers had been there was a clean set of sheets and two towels in the dryer. Two mugs in the dish drainer could have been her and her husband’s from their last visit. Anything new in the air did not have a scent separable from the scent of this place: gulls’ middens, tides’ expositions, and wind-sprayed salt spritz. The wastebaskets were empty. Yet she knew, just below awareness, for her friends’ prayer loitered in the place: “Glorious goddess: creator of these spirited bodies and their lovemaking— creator of forces as gentle and powerful as snowflakes and earthquakes— thank you. “And thank you for the rubber tree, who lets us love many this way.”
Place Names Come To Mean Written by: Karina Lutz
Place names come to mean events. New Orleans, Pompeii, Atlantis, Alexandriaâ€” come to mean elements. Water, fire. Stone as fire. New Orleans used to mean Mardi Gras or a style of music. Bay of Pigs was a place people lived and still live. Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Hiroshima. Nuremberg. Chernobyl. Fukushima. Water as fire. Birmingham. Ferguson. Gettysburg. Charlottesville. Columbine. Oklahoma City. Orlando.
Place Names Come To Mean
To many, Orlando used to mean a week a year of cartooned humans in sweaty costumes. But to me it meant—Oh Orlando! androgyne of my heart, oh tour de force through language’s lips, shape shifter through history’s pageant, you “China robe of ambiguous gender among [my] books,” you were potentiality incarnate, and incarnate for centuries. Now death. (Where on my body shall I engrave the stone: “the tsunami reached here do not build below this point”?) Stonewall meant a place to stop. To stop the hiding hatred commanded, and the hatred hiding demanded. Orlando, once I read you as Sappho’s daughter and now you mean hatred’s slaughter. Let’s take back from that gruesome night the freedom you once meant, dear Orlando.
Meet The Poets RAE THEODORE Rae Theodore is the author of My Mother Says Drums Are for Boys: True Stories for Gender Rebels and Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender. Her stories and poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, Sister Wisdom and Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender. You can read about her adventures in gender nonconformity on her blog, The Flannel Files. Rae is immediate past president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association and lives in Royersford, Pennsylvania, with her wife, kids and cats.
JAYLEE HAMIDI Jaylee is a multifaceted actress and writer from Vancouver, Canada with a degree in Sociology. A queer woman, born to immigrants with differing cultural backgrounds, Jaylee is committed to fighting for diversity and inclusion. When she’s not performing or roaring, she enjoys yoga, hiking, and painting.
HAZEL KIGHT WITHAM Hazel Kight Witham is a mother, writer, teacher, activist, and artist whose work can be found in Bellevue Literary Review, Rising Phoenix Review, Angels Flight, Zoetic Press’s NonBinary Review, Lunch Ticket, Lady/Liberty/Lit, Integrated Schools, and United Teacher. She holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles. As a proud public school teacher, she loves listening to young people and dreaming with them to critically and creatively consider their place in the world they wish to live. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, where she often longs to find a way to invent time. www.hazelkightwitham.com
ERICA BRADSHAW Erica Bradshaw is an accomplished actor, writer, director, teacher, activist, mom, and so much more! As an actor she has more than 50, film, television, and commercial credits to her name. Her stage credits include, but aren’t limited to; Hartford Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, City Theater, Milwaukee Rep and Signature Theater NYC (where she originated the role of Adele in Mr. Peter’s Connections, one of Arthur Miller’s final play. As a writer, Erica wrote and performed her solo show, White America Hero in locations across New York and New Jersey. Bits of My Soul, her first book of poetry, can be found at Amazon.com
HOKIS Hokis channels zir trauma-inoculated mistrust in humanity and love for puzzles into unfolding poems. Ze has worked as community organizer, high school teacher, and mindfulness coach. Ze is currently on sabbatical, exploring creative ventures. Zir recent work is found in Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Paragon Press' Snollygoster: A Conversation About Politics, and Caustic Frolic.
KARINA LUTZ Karina Lutz worked as a sustainable energy advocate for three decades. Earlier, she received an MSJ from Medill School of Journalism, and worked as an editor, reporter, and magazine publisher. She's currently collaborating to launch a permaculture community, Listening Tree Cooperative.
ADELA SEVILLA CASTANEDA Adela Sevilla Castaneda, is a twenty three years old poet. Her writing focuses on the experience of a queer immigrant daughters journey and then that of an introverted awkward Latina millennial. Social Media Links : Instagram: adel_sevilla Email: email@example.com
ALICIA CRUMPLER Alicia Crumpler is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the College of Sequoias in California. When not teaching, she can be found reading, playing the flute, or trying to make words stick to paper. She lives in Central California with her wife and two fury kids.
AMY STAPLETON Amy Stapleton is an ordained minister, therapist, warrior mama who gives a damn about the planet, and all things part of it. She lives near Washington, DC and aspires to be a roller derby queen.
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