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Voice of Eve ISSUE 12 - MAY 15, 2019 COVER ART BY TANYA SHATSEVA


Contents Linda M. Crate 4 RC deWinter 10 Emma Laurent 16 Freddie Neal 22 Genelle Chaconas 30 Joan McNerney 38 Jocelyn Royalty 44 Karen Pierce Gonzalez 52 Kathleen Murphey 58 Kelsi Folsom 64 Andrea E. Lodge 70


Luisa Kay Reyes 76 Mary Silwance 80 Nancy Smiler Levinson 86 Paula Puolakka 94 Sukarma Rani Thareja 106 Uzomah Ugwu 112


LINDA M


M. CRATE


i’ll keep my solitude

LINDA M. CRATE

no one has want of wild birds they don’t need them, but that is who i am; every day i feel them trying to strip me of my magic— yet my wings dive and evade their fingers with such skill one would think i’ve had practice, well, i have; years of it because all my life they’ve been trying to tame the untamed girl; but my secret is they never will— i refuse to surrender who i am to anyone my power, my dreams, my beauty isn’t for them to snatch or smash; try as they may i will not be contained my freedom comes at a steep price i would rather my solitude, however, than their words— for they have laws and rules they have cogs and machines i have worlds, i have magic, i have dreams.


i am the fox

LINDA M. CRATE

they chase me with their hounds i am the fox that threatens their safety or so they’d say, any excuse to excuse them from their despicable behavior; all i want is a space that is my own i am wild, untamed beauty just wanting to live my own life with grace and dignity; i don’t bite unless i have to but they’d tell you that i am a monster it better fits their narrative— my heart beats so wildly in my chest i think it must be a bird scrabbling for its freedom so i let it fly so i can find new heights to escape from all their lowly tricks, and i wish i could say that i am always the brave and strong one; but there are days where i lick my wounds laying in this pain wondering if one day this will all be worth it dreaming anyway because i don’t know how to stop i don’t want to end before i’ve begun.


i rather be the chaos

LINDA M. CRATE

i always was expected to water myself down, swallow down my madness so it never shone through, sit prettily behind the cage on the pedestal; be seen but never heard— sat so quietly, swallowed down many moons of waves singing in my veins; all for the sake of making everyone happy forgot who i was and suffered for it— but now i remember my voice, i remember my magic, and i remember who i am meant to be; i will never surrender my divinity or power to anyone else ever again— i am not who they want me to be, but i am happy because i am becoming myself; they tell me to get out of the water but i dive deeper for i am oceans deeper than their minds can fathom and heights higher than their mountains i am everything they fear and hate because i refuse their notions of normalcy— what is normal for them is chaos for my heart, and i rather be the chaos than suffer from it.


About Linda M. Crate

Linda M. Crate’s poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).


RC deW


Winter


Quadragesima

RC DEWINTER

i used to love lions but i’m giving them up for lent this exotic addiction has left me scarred inside and out even the occasional love bites raise red weals on my unprotected flesh and the swift sure swipes of claws are worse than that leaving my heart ragged furrowed in jagged stripes a good long fast is in order perhaps to become a permanent forsaking so off with the lion-tamer garb the whip tossed out the window bring on the sackcloth and ashes i’ll be mortifying my flesh to match the state of my soul


Safety Valve

RC DEWINTER

dammit man! every time you get near me i lose my sense of propriety (what little i have) i know you’re clueless but you bring with you buckets of desire full to the brim your slightest move causes them to slop over onto my shoes well okay not my shoes but let’s leave it there shall we? can’t you tell when a woman wants you? must i draw a picture in colors that would set paper on fire? you’ll never hear this from my lips i write my passion in a safe place but write it i must it’s got to go somewhere or i’ll be nothing but a coalhard cinder burnt black in the flame that is you


Life in the Slow Lane

RC DEWINTER

No coffee stained the counter when I poured, I haven’t tripped or stumbled yet today. I gave myself some chocolate as reward, and then sat down, some solitaire to play. My luck ran high, I won game after game, then, bored, played the piano for awhile. With no missed notes, my music was no shame; I turned to ghostly audience to smile. A book was calling, so I sat to read, and managed, somehow, not to fall asleep – which is, these days, a rarity indeed. I’ll mark this as a memory to keep. My victories of late are very small, but better that than nothing won at all.


About RC deWinter

RC deWinter’s poetry is anthologized in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon (Brick Street Poetry, April 2019) in print in 2River View, Down in the Dirt, Genre Urban Arts, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, Pink Panther Magazine, The New York Times and in numerous online literary journals.


EMMA L


LAURENT


An Inestimable Jewel

EMMA LAURENT

Only in America Do we negotiate the terms of our citizenship If he is elected If she is elected I’m moving to Canada. Only in America Do we take no collective responsibility Except in complacent complicity We do not pick up the phone, we do not speak to our neighbors, we do not lend a hand The moment we are challenged, we are moving to Canada. Only in America Do Liberals preach Those Teenage Anarchists. The ones whose lives won’t be affected. The ones who can afford it. They won’t move to Canada. They’ll shop at Trader Joe’s. Only in America Do Conservatives preach Those White Crosses. The ones whose lives won’t be affected. The ones who can afford it. They won’t move to Canada. They’ll build picket fences. Only in America Does Roxanne contemplate how her body can settle rent Does Lex work her third shift and budget for chemo Does Sheena think “will my daddy be mad?” when the ambulance pulls up It will never cross their minds that Canada is an option.


Only in America Are Congressmen afraid to walk alone in their own districts Are paved city roads suddenly made of mud when you cross the tracks Are freedoms of choice a burden of morals Oh Canada, where art thou? Only in America Can we reach for the stars only to be imprisoned by bars impersonating stripes Can we fight for our right just to OD at the party Can we make fresh princes in our homes but not in our hearts or on the street Give me maple syrup, or give me death! But only in America Can we throw off our oppressors through blind brute and just Can we believe in once in a generation leaders, who believe in us too Can we be a good neighbor today and forgive ourselves for being a shitty one yesterday. And only in America Can we stand up and shout FUCK YOU, because it is the most honest thing we have to say Can we watch fireworks burst in the sky from our trailers, from our tenements, from our backyards, from our beachfronts, from our high rises, from the moon and think, “Soon.” Can we decide “soon” is not soon enough. And only in America Can You bend the arc, little by little Can You feel pride for maintaining the struggle Can You say, I am an American.


About Emma Laurent

Emma Laurent is a Wyoming native. After working in Democratic politics a Chicago. You can follow her on Twitter at @enlaurent.


across the country for seven years, she is currently a writer residing in


FREDDI


IE NEAL


Don’t Make History

FREDDIE NEAL

You think I care, but I don’t Won’t change who I am to conform to your fucked up convex idea of normality. This isn’t 1940. I’ve been told good girls don’t make history. So I won’t - Be good, or make history. Violence inspires my blood like a virus I’m infected with some sort of anti-Pankhurstian Disease that’s aggressive, terminal Untreatable by any chemical combination Fatal fearless fierceness Swears and swings form my arsenal Aptly fitting your hierarchical assertion An unladylike woman isn’t a person Coarse, uncouth, farcical. It takes an army, millions strong Day by day, inch by inch To get the whitewashed, wick-dicked chauvinists To even flinch. And I’m only a woman Grossly unremarkable.


Tired Feet

FREDDIE NEAL

Cosmo says to be seductive, the female prerogative Get the man, natural selection It’s a cruel world out there But really my feet are tired from chasing false leads abort the pretext (Don’t you want to be adored?)


Life Lessons for my Little Sister

FREDDIE NEAL

In youth, the beauty of things is not decided by predetermined standards incorrupt mind that perceives it, the young glowy eyes that see it. But age scratches wrinkles into slumped skin, obscures the view, push push push hair, falls through the fontanelle, like poison: stretch, deform, intoxicate. unknown, unknowing. The venom clamours of a jealous woman poison more dog’s tooth. Whispers of doubt. Au fait; keep up – the new mandate of oth absolutely on beauty. The rouge lips of Curley’s wife deceptive, the glass a thousand ugly pieces cutting until the Yellow Wallpaper is speckled, eac bears scars. Thanks Thatcher. Age, like politics, divides, colours. 52%, or folklore: join Baba Yaga, join Rosa, join the league of women too powerfu witch. Fight, Boudicca. Watch life and love flicker. Be Joan of Arc. March. identifies as a patriarch. You want to be valued, in ways that You are not; You than valuable. Mourn youth. Mourn minds. Mourn creativity. Colour, confi ted like acrylic and churned and churned until it forms an ugly brown. Th to form those paintings papa stuck on the fridge door. Your painting. Beh a field of wheat is the catalyst to fucking up a country. Stick together the Wash the red paint off your hands. You’ve got a grey hair. Cellulite. Your put on weight. Whore. And afterward you went about numb as a slave in some totalitarian state. Pull the alien out with forceps, breech. Grow up in the fo Fawcett. Stand on your soapbox. Wash your hands. Deliver your speech.


but by the young e, the ugly beast, hes past wisps of baby . In the womb; e deadly than a mad hers, opinions narrate ceiling shattered into ch and every woman more? Dreamy ul to be nice. hag; . Fuck anyone who want to be more fidence, courage. Splathe all-colour that used have. Running through e broken glass. curtsey. period is late. You’ve e private, ootsteps of Millicent


About Freddie Neal

Freddie Neal is an aspiring young poet, currently studying for a Law degree tea by her side. Much of her poetry is inspired by feminism, politics and so previously been published in The Poet Within, a collection of teenage poetry Freddie is also a member of the National Association of Writers in Education. W by a fire, early mornings in the fresh air and a good spot of people-watchin


e in Belgium. Originally from England, she can be found writing with a cup of ociety and her experiences as a girl in a male dominated world. She has y and In Our Own Words, an anthology of poems by school-age children. When not studying or scribbling words into a notebook, she enjoys long nights ng.


GENELLE C


CHACONAS


Living

GENELLE CHACONAS

Smoke rises from a ghost cigar, broken beer bottles, sticky dollar bills, sc shrapnel on the floor, your high heels click across moist shadowed floors, thighs, the exit sign flickers, he appears, at the edge of the stage, where a no face, but a fine suit, you whisper, it’s a living, baby.


cattered playing cards like , you dance, fishnets licking your all men before him have, he has


Lost and Found

GENELLE CHACONAS

A jar of hair dye, scissors, tweezers, locks strewn on the ladies bathroom stiletto heels, pricey, a full length black evening gown, silver zipped back stole, an alligator purse, fake ID with a strange woman’s name, forty thre bathroom stall. A note reading ‘you can have it, sister’ is left inside.


floor, back seam stockings, k, satin, sleek, fitted, full mink ee cents, all hung inside of the


About Genelle Chaconas

Genelle Chaconas is nonbinary gendered, queer, an abuse survivor, has mo in 2009, an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University in 2015, and been published lots but don’t namedrop. Their chapbooks include Fallout, S They serve as head editor for HockSpitSlurp Literary Magazine. They enjoy piers.


ood disorders, and feels proud. They earned a BA in Creative Writing from CSUS 50k of debt. They never learned to ‘photograph’ but take photos. They’ve Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m press, 2011) and Yet Wave (the Lune, 2017). y scifi and gangster flix, drone/noise/industrial music, and long walks off short


JOAN MC


CNERNEY


Guess What?

JOAN MCNERNEY

After this New England winter, I want to take off my clothes...so bad. But could it be cold here even in summer? Imagine naked under the sun. Swimming through one million lakes. Or lying on grass...so warm warm warm. Maybe count every leaf on every tree. I’ve always wanted to do that. And stars too! Would you come with me? Lots of puritans would disapprove. Yes they would. Sometimes their eyes are like granite. We could climb those hills. They’d just say we’re crazy, running out with no clothes and leave us alone. Then what would we do?


Imagine

JOAN MCNERNEY

Imagine to be a bird slicing air with wings. Up up over that horizon soaring through clouds away from solemn earth. Shining, shimmering far above this sphere into clear blue light. Cutting through sky gliding over oceans eyes open all seeing. Awake all day all night brushing rushing against the four winds. Imagine to be a bird.


Skyward

JOAN MCNERNEY

Another hot day at the playground filled with shrieks from kids tumbling down slides. Shouting boys hop on and off the whirling carousel as girls sing songs to double dutch jump rope. Waiting for my chance on the swing. Finally one is free as I clutch the metallic link chains. I pump myself up pushing past trees, feeling cool breezes brush over me. All the noise is far below as I rush towards blue skies. My feet are walking on clouds now.


About Joan McNerney

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.


JOCELYN


ROYALTY


Normal Man and Oblong Woman

JOCELYN ROYALTY

Liudvika, my equation is as follows: I arrive like breaking chalk at 4AM, like serga, like mockingbird and flea, and the nurses stand on the ba

Motina, I should thank you. You handled with care myself an In high school I wear foam corset and splint my knees, stumble through e It is teetery thing, do you not think, to be alive?

You would have liked the children, Liudvika. I speak to none of them any They are like crescent moon. A week ago, in Prague, my Cleo calle and how the doctors were already dipping spoonfuls of medicine into the I keep living, motina. Cannot help it. I am ready to stop, now, I think. Whenever it is convenient for you.


subtracted by platelet and cell, alcony on their break, and break.

nd my imports. every pathway in Palmisano Park.

ymore, because they elude me. ed me and told me of her swelling, nautilus in her belly.


Southern Migration

JOCELYN ROYALTY

Confession: I keep wanting to be like women who use boot trays by the door, or else circular women chismosas women who roly poly themselv -like accents in photos. 2015: the first year I mixed perfectly in the darkroom two parts developer, one part water, one part natatorium spelled phonetically. Girls in swim trunks dreamlike, just to be in the Quinnipiac University sauna wondering if you’re going to the game tonight. Instead, myself Southwestern, through the pinhole forgetting what photo is mine in the shallow dish.

Driving the SR 97 every day pay respects to my grandmother and I am allergic to everything, mostly pollen, thinking about choked to death in palo verde trees. About the kind of woman I wish I was: the last thing I could have been to make Nancy stick around. Woman in cactus bloom, higo chumbo breath circular woman or at least close online I would do anything.

In summer I’ll stop grieving and then I’ll be all alone at the carnival and too self conscious to eat my cotton candy. Mid century kitchen, LED lights, I am my mother and Nancy’s mother and sometimes I imagine she calls the landline drunk and asks for cookie and I am languid, Santa Rosa girl: everything I could have been to make myself stick around before the power outage.


ves into ghost

e dice tournament champion

es with Ovaltine


About Jocelyn Royalty

Jocelyn Royalty is a high school senior at New Haven Academy and the Edu been interested in the written arts since elementary school, and is dedicate Maine at Farmington this coming fall. Jocelyn currently lives in New Haven ing, local activism, and her work at the local literacy center as a tutor.


ucational Center for the Arts, where she specializes in creative writing. She has ed to the workshop environment. She plans to study writing at University of n, Connecticut, with her parents. She is passionate about community garden-


KAREN PIERC


CE GONZALEZ


Prarie Preserves

KAREN PIERCE GONZALEZ

In the cellar’s cool darkness Where roots have grown eyes, I can see shelves of women distilled into silence. Preserved in jars I pry open, Their prairie wisdom -birthing, baking, building Spreads like jam Over thick slices of bread.


Ripe with Promise (Fortunee)

KAREN PIERCE GONZALEZ

In this old Inverness house with beveled windows that prism time, I am again at my grandmother’s for the summer. As always, she is no longer here. But her apron, damp from the wash of morning dishes, hangs near the stove, and her freshly-cut flowers swirl in a bowl of etched glass on the table. Still with dew, their delicate fragrance opens into petals of comfort that close to embrace me. Liquid, her voice shimmers on the lake of afternoon light that ribbons itself into lace. It embroiders her name on my sleeve: Fortunee. A name I hear when I look at the baskets of fruit on the porch. Unpreserved, they will change when this summer no longer sleeps on the steps like a lazy cat. But for now, they are ripe with promise.


The Coming of Spring

KAREN PIERCE GONZALEZ

The coming of spring Is early this year, Chasing the sharp rise and fall Of your quick descent into earth. Tap, tap, tap upon my shoulders, Rain reaches down. Muddies the ground I kiss Where you lay. No matter how tightly I pull my lips together, And breathe in, I cannot draw you back up.


About Karen Pierce Gonzalez

Karen Pierce Gonzalez’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Postcard Poems and Prose, Big Blend Magazine, Lagom Journal, Visual Verse, Tiny Thimble Magazine, and other publications.


KATHLEEN


N MURPHEY


The One-Eyed Snake

KATHLEEN MURPHEY

What if the snake in the Garden wasn’t the Serpent? The manifestation of Lucifer, the Prince of Light, the Left Hand of God, fallen into the Darkness? What if Woman and Man existed in the Garden in perfect harmony? As God made them, in God’s own image, perfect and divine, a balanced pair, kind and fair? No one remembers, Genesis One. They only recall Adam and Eve. But go back to Genesis One. What if, the first Crime wasn’t Fratricide? What if, the first Crime was Rape? God told Woman and Man to be fruitful and multiply and that they were good. What if they did and what if they were? What if they knew each other intimately, in every way possible? not shyly—but with no shame or hesitancy? Her pleasure adding to his. Tenderness and intimacy. Caresses and kisses. Love and trust.


Passion and companionship. But where is the Betrayal? What if Man turned from Woman? What if he cared more for himself? What if the snake in the Garden wasn’t the Serpent? But the One-Eyed Snake? Man, turned into his own Demon, without other help, Man turned bestial instead of divine? A Man of force and violence instead of love and kindness?


About Kathleen Murphey

Kathleen Murphey is an associate professor of English at Community Colle and poetry and fiction published through Writing in a Woman’s Voice. Reade www.kathleenmurphey.com.


ege of Philadelphia. She has had poetry published through The Voices Project ers can learn more about her work through her website,


KELSI F


FOLSOM


Breath

KELSI FOLSOM

Mingling, our journeys; The ones we have taken and the ones yet to be took... The resonance of varied spirits colors our walk, asking and telling, nodding and dreaming, weaving so grandly their unifying threads... stories; the ones we can tell and the ones we cannot. Revelation collides with mystery and (sometimes) words Become flesh.


Daughter of Eve

KELSI FOLSOM

I am the fragment of a rib, cracked, reborn, laid forth to be bare, split wide to hold wanting and sorrow. From fractured embraces, I emerged, yawning, a marinated embodiment of horror and need. but look as the light comes, I will be: frosted ruminations of practice and peace. I am chewing the seder of aggravations, splashing in the spit of its ripest fruits. Amidst clipping the sprigs of rosemary shoulders, I dust fragrant fears off many calloused feet. Behold this womb of laughter and dreams seated at the table for eternity.


Berries and Ponies

KELSI FOLSOM

The shadow of her youth wiped her brow as she bent over strawberries elbowing their way out of hot soil and garbage bags. Colored hair and french tips couldn’t hide the years she’s cultivated beauty from the wild earth, and smiled at her lot. Look in her eyes and see her hung around the neck of a pony, bareback and free, cares flying in the wind. The orchard her playground, the world still so small, curls bouncing like the berries in her basket wouldn’t fall. She’s a mother, three times over now, still tilling earth’s potential, never knowing when the seeds she’s sowing might be her last.


About Kelsi Folsom

Kelsi Folsom is a writer and classically trained singer from San Antonio. She is the author of poetry chapbook Words the Dirt Meant to Share (Desert Willow Press, 2018), and is a regular contributor to Red Tent Living Magazine. Her work is published or is forthcoming in The Caribbean Writer, West Texas Literary Review, Women Who Live on Rocks, Voices de la Luna, Motherly, and elsewhere. Having lived most recently in the Dutch Caribbean, Kelsi has an affinity for rum punch, creole art, and soca music. She enjoys traveling with her husband and three kids, scouring estate sales, and performing live. Follow her writing and activities on Instagram @kelsifolsom.


ANDREA E


E. LODGE


Screaming at Tiffany’s

ANDREA E. LODGE

I opened my mouth, (Like I ever shut it) And now, a kiss on the cheek, Can’t sleep without you, How was YOUR day? Like motorcycle rides For a few quarters, Free only for me. Here’s my leg. Here’s my boot. Know what I’m doing, Little boy? Oh, you’re big, And you surely know. There’re things You’ll find out about later You’re trying to see now. And things you’ll see then, That will break you down. Can’t remember what My legs said to you that day, But they still say it. Somewhere, Under UV lights, most likely. Pretend it was never there. Our bodies learned To speak to each other, While we were stumbling


Over words across our lips. Telling you all I knew about me But I’ll keep what’s newly discovered, Tucked away. You’d rather not hear horror. You try to close your ears to sorrow. You see red, but never will. Made me a promise, in a way. (Don’t they always?) But you’re still here. Maybe I am amazing. I believe it from you. Our mouths don’t Make as much noise Anymore, But the volumes between us Are still too high For others to handle Earth shattering. Windows break Houses shake. We make Love.


About Andrea E. Lodge

Andrea Lodge lives in Philadelphia with her boyfriend and two disabled cat she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree. She also received her teaching certific years before becoming disabled herself. She is now a full-time writer and ers of poetry and prose.


ts. She studied English/Secondary Education at Holy Family University where cate. Andrea taught middle and high school Writing and Literature for six is the administrator of a Facebook writing group focusing on critique for writ-


LUISA KA


AY REYES


Freed Women

LUISA KAY REYES

They spend their earliest years Slighted by their mother’s tears Who gleefully favor their sons with cheers. Transitioning from a girl to an adult They are slighted by their father’s manly cult Who feel they must in their sons exult. Seeking some true approbation They fancy fashion will lead to salvation In their quest to meet a guy with compassion. Only too late they discover At best, they’re a nice fancy cover While their man takes on a new lover. Their children are kind for a time Until they get close to their prime And the elusive corporate ladder they climb. Rare is the woman indeed Who hasn’t a need for love to plead Having been granted enough to be freed.


About Luisa Kaye Reyes

Luisa Kay Reyes has had pieces featured in The Raven Chronicles, The Windmill, The Foliate Oak, The Eastern Iowa Review, and other literary magazines. Her essay, “Thank You”, is the winner of the April 2017 memoir contest of “The Dead Mule School Of Southern Literature”. And her Christmas poem was a first place winner in the 16th Annual Stark County District Library Poetry Contest. Additionally, her essay “My Border Crossing” received a Pushcart Prize nomination from the Port Yonder Press. And two of her essays have been nominated for the “Best of the Net” anthology. With one of her essays recently being featured on “The Dirty Spoon” radio hour.


MARY SIL


LWANCE


Reclamation Project: Interior Light

MARY SILWANCE

how do you reclaim yourself after all that denial? muscle memory fine-tuned to obligation the fast twitch of compliance seeking fires to light the terrain schedules and lists to satisfy an equation solving for an X that will not cannot locate you one day midnod you realize agreement spilling from your lips your yes has been a betrayal


Eve’s Catechism

MARY SILWANCE

her hallowed reward a flavor less wafer bestowed the blood of a fabled man more real than her own flow noosed in a rosary each gasp of pleasure (in penitent measure) constricts a bead more priestly ministering coaxes her clitoris into a crucifix nailed to a tree her left hand inches within apple’s reach


Nest

MARY SILWANCE

mother now that we are the same age I long to release you from the solitary confinement I’ve sentenced us I do not know how to set down the whip of unmet need that lashes us both my unhappiness built from stray bits of injury sturdy twigs of resentment holds nothing


About Mary Silwance

Originally from Egypt, Mary Silwance lives in Kansas City. An environmental activist and speaker, award winning poet, mother and gardener, she serves as poetry co-editor for Kansas City Voices and is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group. Her work appears in Konza Journal, Descansos, Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity, Sequestrum, Well Versed, Rock Springs Review, and on her blog, http://tonicwild.blogspot.com/. Mary is cofounder of https://www.facebook.com/OneLessPipeline/, focused on environmental justice. You can find Mary outside in all weather and at marysilwance.net.


NANCY SMILE


ER LEVINSON


What Do We Do with Their Clothes

NANCY SMILER LEVINSON

When her husband suffered a stroke and lived those long years as invalid at home swathed in pajamas and plaid robes (velour stretch sweats worn on medical outings) she kept his entire wardrobe. While he lay limp, wan pale as the cotton sheets, she preserved every garment hanging orderly in their bedroom closet ready to make the man. No golden threads, no pu his every day suits and jackets and pants dark leather belts dangling like stripped snake skins shirts ironed with plastic stays affixed in the colla a pastel painting of ties threaded on a wall rack. After he died (draped in blue hospital gown) she couldn’t part with one item, refused to discuss it to hear a word about going through his things. In short time she fell and a wrist, a femur, and a hip. Her son arranged for a move into an assisted facility. In another move a single swoop he donated all his father’s clo to the V.A. without telling her, sparing her a black cloak of finality which would have hung heavier than the pain of her broken body and soul.


ning,

urple silks e ars n a thin t refused fractured d living othes h surely


Family Portrait

NANCY SMILER LEVINSON

No angels flutter above me at her hospital bedside no hymn or lyricism hums in my mind only the stark sight of my mother and her soft white hair billowed on a muslin pillowcase the sounds of her arrhythmic breathing A thousand miles away at home my husband paces begging our son where am I where is his wife what am I doing when am I coming home— while Matt staying at our house to spell me tries calming his dad in his anxious Alzheimer’s state my husband calls me and pleads my whereabouts asks what am I up to anyway babe in his misbegotten voice I hear a current of fear my brain convulses, my heart constricts, I gasp for air now too. Where must I be how must I be Holding my mother’s face I see she understands I must go she the blessed life the angelic one here sublime soul in her flight she knows my younger sister holds her hand my brother is on the way to her side. Above the clouds I am draped in darkness my arms aching to embrace my husband comfort him and I’ll await the knell for my flight back this is how it is to be a daughter sister mother wife.


Time and Time Again

NANCY SMILER LEVINSON

Oh, Time, when did you become so warped? How long since I knew your days seeming endless hours I could fill with scads of work and pleasures yet still possess moments to spare Now in my twilight years my need for you tugs gravely how do you hurtle a discus flung portending your clock to stop You are called a trickster A healer A teller A fixer You are of the essence never to be wasted You are equated with money Stand the test Often you are simply up I want to hold your hour glass horizontal but you won’t abide persistent on standing upright sifting grains of sand at increasing speed to form a useless little anthill Ah, Time, throughout millennia you have given noble brains


weighty mysteries to ponder what gives you rise do we see you pass hear you move do we exist within you or vice versa I acclaim Einstein for discovering that you and space are interwoven into a vast fabric—relatively speaking Yet you will forever remain an immense enigma Meanwhile as you march on might you bend hind-wise stretch your curve a degree or two may I but ask this of you oh, precious, fleeting time


About Nancy Smiler Levinson

Nancy is author of Moments Of Dawn: A Poetic Memoir of Love & Family, Affliction & Affirmation (Conflux Press), as well as stories, poems, and essays that have appeared in Confrontation, Poetica, Jewish Literary Journal, Survivor’s Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Third Wednesday, The Copperfield Review, many anthologies, and elsewhere. In past chapters of her life she published thirty books for young readers, including history, biographies, and historical fiction. She lives in Los Angeles.

Moments of Dawn: A Poetic Memoir of Love & Family; Affliction & Affirmation by Nancy Smiler Levinson www.Confluxpress.com also available via Amazon for Kindle, iPad, computer


PAULA PU


UOLAKKA


Phoenix

PAULA PUOLAKKA

“The agitator of murder and terrorism,” the big boy who had stalked me for five years declared as he read that I was the supporter of the thoughts Wittgenstein and Kaczynski. He hadn’t even graduated from college, nevertheless read the books of th only drank and gambled his life away, and yet, saw himself above those w intelligence and backbone. In his world, I was gladly the lunatic since the barriers and the restriction weren’t for me, the female version of Bob Dylan’s “Jokerman,” or maybe the image of one of the honey babies blowing idiot wind, but in the end, my character was my problem, not his or anyone else’s.

My work has been my shelter and year after year, it has become an even s against those who tried to murder my heart and my soul and thought, tha I must be vulnerable and easily destroyed if they throw a matchstick on t but they didn’t understand that I am fire and I enjoy burning my own ide then, just to start fresh and plant the new seeds.

“She’s crazy,” the mindless old cows with daddy issues and other trauma public when I turned out to be the Phoenix and I openly declared my love guys with guts to whom the old girls had the open hatred and scorn towa for some idle reason X or Y. “She has to be stopped.” Why? You all accused me of having mental health problems when you were the tried to hustle with my family, tried to destroy everything good in my life like obsessive cannibals or hyenas, and acted like 12 at the ripe age of 68 or so. Good God.


and my family affairs s of

he men of action, with the higher

ns of his small town

sharper weapon at as a young woman the grass of my mind eas every now and

as were screaming in e for the good old ards

ones who


But I’m not alone. The poor ladies shivering in the shadows of this society have time and time grabbed my sleeve, in secrecy, and whispered in my ear that they agree. They too have been beaten, battered, and oppressed by the same old witches adolescent sons, and the elderly lonely men who have no tolerance of irrelevant emotional an nonsense have approached me and addressed me as “Ms.” instead of using t nicknames the truly insane have called me with.

Many times, it seems, the ones seeking mental counseling are the ones with empathy who have grown tired and doubtful of their own sanity because of run the system and who should be the ones seeking help but of course, they their selfish and delusional actions, in their deeds of emotional and mental violence and blackmail, and the Law… Oh, the Law… Nowadays it’s not the law of Nature and God b of the greedy and the envious and the good have to fight to set things right.

My work is the covenant and my pen spreads fire. It releases the masses of my mind, heart, and soul, the beats that one by one by one try to bombard open the walls of the wicke preventing the fire of God – justice, love, and freedom – from bursting into its lawful glory, into a full flame and showing everyone t the all-seeing bird of prey.


again

s and their

nd mental the nasty

h some wit and the sick rats that y see no harm in

but it’s the law .

ed that are

the wingspan of


The Thoughts of a Gardner

PAULA PUOLAKKA

Every woman is a rose. Every man is a box tree. Have we forgotten how to deal with each other?

Every man is a shrubbery of God. He takes time, calculates and designs and when He’s ready, He snips off a What shape of an animal am I in the garden of God? Surely not a unicorn Maybe I’m just a box, not an animal at all. A Buxus box in God’s world an

Why did He give me this shape? It has not benefited me in any way. All the more glorious bushes have tak have been the one standing on the far corner of the garden and people ha or hidden trash between my thick branches.

Every woman is a rose of God but having a weird sense of humor He has m Rosa rugosa. They shine in bright pink but are simple in every other aspect. The bushes tend to kill everything around them, slowly but steadily. This type of rose is greedy and wants to take over the world. The lord of t in his garden. This year I asked permission to dig up the ground and burn He loves them. I’m not at all surprised. He loves his girls too.

My favorite rose is ‘Great Maiden’s Blush.’ It’s one of the best Rosa x alba The fragrance of it, even the memory from this summer, makes the hairs The soft coloring and the graceful foliage are enough to make the painter the flower’s existence and remind the people of the future of its beauty.

Where are the women of this type? If God has given us such a flower, then where are the women fitting the d

Maybe I should not complain. Who am I to judge? I’m pretty sure that no woman is thinking: “God, your garden is full of th box trees from the shape of Apollon to the shape of a wild stallion but wh to see is a Buxus box.”


a branch or two. or a swan. nd plan.

ken all the attention. I ave either pissed on me

made many of them

the mansion has a few n the lot, but he refused.

a cultivars. s in my nostrils shiver. rs go wild and celebrate

description?

hese majestic and bold hat I really would prefer


The Tiger, the Bobcat, and the Queen

PAULA PUOLAKKA

If the beast of a Queen would strike twice she would still miss since the Bobcat is on the side of the Tiger and her shield is the word of God.

The omen of the era is the wrath of the fire that bursts from the mouth o Obedience is not in fashion but idleness, and for the lack of respect you shall be punished, says the Tiger. Love me, Oh Lord, for I love you, says the Bobcat as she sees the blood on the Queen’s winter coat. The snake queen is holding flowers in her right hand and in her hair, there’s a nest for the birds but in her left hand, she holds a knife and she slays the unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs to make her child stronger and her smile is the smile of a scorpion since she will stab everything pure and good crossing her path. Hail the pretender and may decapitation be your destiny, says the Bobcat as she sees the Queen offering her breast and milk for the foreign fauna that is there to rape and eat the children of her own country. Love me, Oh Lord since I love you says the Bobcat, and when hearing this the Tiger of the West arrives to eat the head of the Queen and the wicked animals scream and jump into the mouth of Mother Earth and the Tiger licks the Bobcat’s fur clean to show gratitude.


of Mother Earth.


About Paula Puolakka

Paula Puolakka (1982) is a writer, Beat poet, and MA (History of Science an competition held by The Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation and her short es ciation under the 2019 parliamentary elections in Finland. In March 2019, P USA.) In 2017 and 2018, she landed first and second in the short story comp 2019, four of her poems were chosen to be the “poem of a day” by Poetry P


nd Ideas.) In April 2019, she was given an honorable mention in the essay ssay was one of the winning stories in the contest held by Single Parents AssoPuolakka was awarded the second prize in Dreamers & MLK poetry contest (NC, petitions held by Re:fiction (Israel) and Literative (USA.) In April and early May Potion (South Africa.)


SUKARMA RA


ANI THAREJA


Pollutant Moksh - Diabetic Breath

SUKARMA RANI THAREJA

In metropolitan city - Hush hush, Big queue of traveller/vehicles, Going across road and lanes, With high sky kissing tech towers offices,--bush bush, Which generates us - fine particles or water droplets, Pollutants, In the air with equal to or less, Width of 2.5 microns (PM2.5)*, in rush rush, We are these pollutants - we, regret in pain, Because of us pollution reaches at highest peak in city tuck tuck.

We set in process of global warming in the atmosphere of city, We are the ones who are barriers in - fresh breeze in metropolitan city, People breath in containing polluted air lousy , Containing us to survive and make living happily, Through each cell of human body , This air polluted is carried briskly, We (Pollutants) harm and rust people lungs and heart badly, We reduce insulin production, and trigger pancreas inflammation sadly, We destroy the glucose which human body made fondly, We prevent the body from converting blood glucose into energy, We give diabetic breath to each resident of metropolitan city, In present and coming generation at national and global level drastically.

We (pollutants) as community strongly recommend , It is high time for each nation to implement clean air policies honestly, As we wish to take moksha from our existence - difficult indifferent, We no longer wish to be part of polluted air-corrupted , We wish to save each citizen from dangerous risk of silent disease diabeti


.

ic.


About Sukarma Rani Thareja

Dr Sukarma Rani Thareja is an Associate Professor (retired) of chemistry fr did Ph.D Chemistry from IIT-K, India. She has teaching and research expe al conferences and journals. In order to inculcate personal and creative inte a chapter in their own words and their own ways. On her part, to make stu visual learners she composes small poems, educational collages to introduc students have an opportunity to combine chemistry/subject information w humble effort to make co-curricular/academic activities popular among vis Web site-sukarma thareja https://sites.google.com/site/drsukarmaranithareja/home Her academic venture as a poet and an artist has been featured in Science of Life and Nature: A Photo Poetry Collection: Sukarma Thareja: 9781521260067: Amazon.com: Books Amazon US link : https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521260060 Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1521260060


rom Christ Church College, CSJM Kanpur university, Kanpur, UP, India. She erience of several years. Her work has been published in national/internationerests in students, she engages them in summarizing lectures after finishing udents enjoy attending classes (academic or co-curricular) and inspiring her ce/recapitulate her lessons and general topics useful for students. This way with their personal reactions. The poem/educational collage listed below is her sual learners/masses which otherwise could be monologue.


UZOMAH


H UGWU


Graduating Downwards

UZOMAH UGWU

Unsettled with no cap or just a paper gown Graduating to a different seclusion all they know the sides are busting loose that brought me in because of what was bottled up Came out in the cycle Trapped in some delusion only leads to one conclusion I can either go easy or see how hard they come Pouring in through the front door worse than if there was a fire But for sure some have been hurt and they were hurt before Wait, pause at that thought concept, afraid with medical waivers Waiting to be processed when I have already been pre judged In the court room of no peers just my empty tears not again so many years Of this procedure I was in the middle of running away from

Down on all fours searching for my spirit animal to uncast this spell where hell seems better th time of year then right here in the moment of this current battle now Where my fantasies shed buckets of water from my eye in the wakes of reality I am punished for what I can not help but feel


his

es


Her Revolution

UZOMAH UGWU

She asked what she knew would define and challenge both of their existe And pry into their convictions that lay bare amongst the crows and angels that contained the air of the night

how do you solve the equation of a radical man? She demanded with care, and care not to break him or let his feet flee aga She had finally found him and the answer where it must be, either alone Or in a puzzle still in these times wrecked by political monopolies and eco

The look within his eyes were stuttering a truth unclear and focused, he h Pierced tongue once laced with a hero’s voice, she begged him for a respo That he was unable to give for he had no will and compelled her to just le For a revolution was never intended to begin the way people think but the point was the revolution was to be lived and full he said he told her to run and go fast and when she ran to catch up to her dreams that went up stream and find the remains of once uncertain days, run he said

just as the leaves grew tired of the branches they were attached to an answer fell on her and new thoughts grew along with a laughter she th so, she asked again to him, “how do you solve the equation of a radical m He grew stubborn over each vowel in the question for she did not take his Nor acknowledge he was not in fact the one She started to leave then turned around to him and said You give him a revolution I thought you knew what I was offering you


ences

ain in his eyes onomic land mines

had a onse et it all end

hought she knew man?� s advice


The Entrance

UZOMAH UGWU

They said I came in rough but I was neat All in my gown with out any glory With no bra and what seemed like used Underwear where I soiled like I had too much gin My arm stung still and the band aid that covered The wound from the shot that they never really say What it is, but it knocks you out All I could recall was the police coming to my mother’s house And putting on plastic gloves like I was so toxic and I might Mentally rub off on them and make them sick Even put a cover where I would sit in the cop car On the arrival to the er, I stayed cuffed even to the bed Like I was born to run when the other thing running were my thoughts Like how and why did I let them do this to me, not again Treating me like a savage like they do all of us with these conditions Just speaking for the mental ones I found a part of my tongue nicked From where I bit it making it hard to talk But I was done talking so it did not matter much For no one wanted to provide answers to my questions anyways Even if they had one They wanted to observe me like a freak and they did Constantly putting new holes for blood tests and cops in and out The curtain should have dropped they moved open and closed so much I was their freak in my gown in what felt like used underwear That I soiled in with no bra Just their judgments written all over


About Uzomah Ugwu

Uzomah has a way of capturing a scene and the feelings that allow you to follow and flow within the realms of her poetics as you read each line filled with metaphors. Her placement of ideas and images leaves you dangling all the way throughout the poem, line by line with trauma, pain, joy, or a mixture of both that reveals some type of solitude. She surprises you in the end with something she does not even mean to say at all, that we all might be feeling, and had not felt until reading one of her poems.


Thank You

Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this collection of poetry from these talented poets and the cover art and image here from Tanya Shatseva. You can find more issues of Voice of Eve on our website www.voiceofeve.net or on Issuu. We would also love to hear from you, the reader, at our email address contact@voiceofeve.net. Thank you again, and blessings to you from our staff. Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve Staff Sarah Rodriguez, Editor

Profile for Voice of Eve Magazine

Voice of Eve Issue 12  

12th issue of Voice of Eve. Women's poetry and art.

Voice of Eve Issue 12  

12th issue of Voice of Eve. Women's poetry and art.

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