Voice of Eve
ISSUE EIGHT - JUNE 2019
Contents Amanda Tumminaro 4 Connie Woodring 10 Emel Karakozak 14 Erika Veurink 36 Jade Homa 42 Jessica Martini 48 Jessica Van de Kemp 54 Jules Gates 60 Jury S. Judge 66 Kaylyn Wingo 70 Marianne Lyon 76
Martha Clarkson 88 Robin Greene 96 Seneca Basoalto 104 Sienna Galvez 110 Tara Menon 116 t.m. thomson 122 windflower 128
The Painted Bird Flies
It’s stuck to the wallpaper, just as I am plastered to this room. They took away my rope, and the bird’s singing notes but in unison we’re sultry at the piano. I’ve been more troubled than imagination would allow, and I’m heading for electricity, by plow. The painted bird flutters her wings, and off she goes, void of flight risk.
Hogging Up the Last Great Slot Machine
This baby ain’t like Miss Marple – She’s seeking three cherries. It’s eating my money as if it were paper, but I am using its time as if I were its psychologist. I’m waiting for the neon jackpot. I’m building my sand castle purely on its teasing ways, while my wallet looks anorexic. Still, it’s my baby in Pampers, and crawling with my two cents.
I’ve been reduced to pure survival, but somehow that is enough. I trip over these rocks, on this challenging land of mountains. Though in the midst of the valley, I feel the chill of the snow tops, and I hug myself as if I were present. But this glorious view is both dangerous and beautiful. Fifteen years on the same edge, and the heights are still as deep.
About Amanda Tumminaro
Amanda Tumminaro lives in the U.S. She is a poet and short story writer and her work has been featured in Thrice Fiction, Jokes Review and Stickman Review, among others. Her first poetry chapbook, The Flying Onion, is available now by The Paragon Press.
Putting on My Face
A bump on the nose too big, too wide, too flat, but with a wipe of the cool white liquid a shadow will turn to
light and compliments.
Crow’s feet, laugh lines, tear stains, sun freckles, moles dot my face making a map of me for all to see. A pencil here, a brush there--make me a new picture! (A color-by-number expression) A space between my teeth, lips too thin, tartar stain. What is my mouth for? …as if words have eroded its very foundation. My lips blaze red for night, tawny peach for day. Make my words portraits. Cheeks too high, eyes too close, mouth too big. I can change so quickly
it seems a shame that others have critics in their mirrors.
I can harmonize. My face greets the gallery.
About Connie Woodring
Connie Woodring is a 73-year-old retired psychotherapist/educator/social activist who is getting back to her true love of writing after 45 years in her real job. She has a B.A.in English from Penn State University, getting great marks from John Barth and Paul West. She has a MSS from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She has 14 poems published, including one nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. She also has two excerpts from her yet-tobe published non-fiction book, What Power? Which People? Reflections on Power Abuse and Empowerment, and two chapters from her yet-to-be published novel, Visiting Hours, published.
ART BY EMEL
Woman is a being through which man feels connected to nature as woman is very similar to nature in birth-giving and life-blooming characteristics. That is why many languages use the term of ‘mother nature’ while referring to nature. Since she is the bridge between life and man, and the forgiving despite all. She is able to recreate herself and that is the source to her characteristics. Woman not only causes a miracle by giving birth, but also has the ability to reconstitute herself spiritually.And she fulfills this by putting herself into the center. And yet ‘Budding’, the exhibition by Emel Karakozak depicts these characteristics of woman using all the aesthetic and composition figures of photography. Though the word ‘budding’ reminds us of the ’body’ in English, it means ‘reproduction, regain of life, regeneration of a cell’. Just like the photography of Karakozak…
About Emel Karakozak
Emel Karakozak was born in Turkey in 1974. Her adventure in photography started in high school years and later matured when she participated in many group exhibitions, received awards in various national and international competitions and also was jury member in many photography competitions. Living in Adana, she was the first woman in Turkey who had the EFIAP/g title and who opened her first personal exhibition ‘Lotus’ in 2010 in Adana Sabancı Fine Art Gallery. She opened her second personal exhibition in Istanbul Artgalerim. She also worked in 2012 Art Bosphorus Contemporary Art Fair, 2011 Contemporary Istanbul Contemporary Art Fair, 2011 Art Bosphorus Contemporary Art Fair. Her works took place in Hacettepe Art Museum and BAKSI Art Museum and also in and Romantic Bad Rehburg Museum and in Steyerberger Rathaus Germany, Vittebsk/Belarus Center for Contemporary Art, Cultural Center of the Zdwina and Museum of Kreises. She worked at Artgalerim Nişantası Art Gallery as a photograhpy artist for 3 years and she contunies her carrieer as photography artist at Artgalerim Bebek Art Gallery and Lust Auf Kunst Art Gallery. She works as a federation delegate and federation in TFSF (Turkish Federation of Photographic Art). “Visuality is my predominant side… I have used photo language and I love this phrase. Maybe it does not contain letters, brushes and hammer blows but it has a scene and fiction in its own world… Neither nature nor people; has an integrity and continuity formed by a continuous chain. Everything is aimed to understand the whole. Life and death which described at the same time in my bipolar photography is an example of my hybrid expression.”
On Early Fall
I’m thinking it’s a good idea to hide your phone at some point every daywindow or memorize a line from a poem, instead. Not only is this impossibly old fashioned but might spark accidental joy.
Practice kindness by smiling at the sleepy dogs that run into your legs on They are tired and trying their best, too.
Maybe now is the time to read the important novel that’s been staring at bookcase. There is likely at least one lovable, unconventional aunt to who drop it off at Housing Works and recommit to your strict Nora Ephron die
Imagine yourself buying flowers in a perfectly worn in striped sweater. T train switches from local to express without warning. Carry small scraps Prince or Leonard Cohen in your back pocket for the same effect.
It’s not too early to think about what you’re thankful for. Be serious abou about your daily vitamins. The air is crisp now. Park benches are calling.
-to stare out a foggy
n your morning walk.
you from your om you can relate. Or et.
Think of this when your of paper with lyrics from
ut gratitude, less serious Go drown in it.
About Erika Veurink
Erika Veurink is writing and living in Brooklyn by way of Iowa. www.erikaveurink.com
i. she calls herself a pomegranate, and it’s synonymous with grief. the taste she left in my mouth on some alternative timeline. in that world, I planted a seed, and she didn’t destroy the flower before it opened. she didn’t pluck out the roots before it even had a chance to grow. ii. in this universe, girls love other girls freely. in this universe, dogs are never hurt. in this universe, you got on the plane. under my tongue, there is grief. behind that, sadness. anger still burning on the coals. waiting. even when I’m not. now create a tidal wave with your tears. smother the fire instead of her. let your anxiety do something useful for once and squeeze your hands until embers become ashes. leave the tenderness in a garbage disposal, a paper shredder, the note section of your iPhone where it does no harm.
iii. I wonder if things would have played out differently if we had kissed in person. slow danced across a movie theater parking lot. pressed flowers against our sleeping bodies. I wonder what you would have tasted like if you weren’t so scared. if you gave me a chance. if you did anything at all. iv. so you want to yell about fruit? my fingers peeled back the very essence of you until only craters remained. and still there I was, mouth around your throat, bleeding our love story dry for the masses; fingers plucking something so ripe and shoving it in the dehydrator until it matched my underwear after you were done with me juice ran down my chin and nobody blinked. people lined up for miles; tickets sold out in five minutes. everyone loves a show. v. oh little Persephone girl, you call yourself a god of suffering, but only when her name is in the footnotes. fist to heart, let my throat close up she didn’t even put up a fight
one second, a girl existed and the next, nothing so I’ll hold onto the anger with fire poker fingers because you didn’t sweep the earth barren or destroy the universe in your wrath the second I was gone you didn’t kill the flowers or the trees when you lost me everyone kept breathing.
About Jade Homa
Jade is a passionate dog lover, pasta enthusiast, and sapphic poet. At age 19, she has already written over 50 poems and several short stories; her work primarily focuses on themes of softness, gender, mental illness, sexuality, and intersectional feminism. Jade’s work has been published in BlazeVOX, Anti-Heroin Chic, Seshat, Moonglasses Magazine, and The Internet Void. Her poetry will also be published in print for Sinister Wisdom 2019. Jade’s debut poetry book, growing pains, will be released in spring 2020.
What the Child Knows
Today I hear the nana tell the child I knew you many lives ago and if the child’s soul were not very old how could the child know what she knows? The child takes all of this in quite casually brushing weightless curls from her face while the nana cuts up fruit into tiny pieces red starbursts and yellow crescents savoring the variance in the child’s many manifestations over eons Impressive journey to make it to the café table next to mine We couldn’t plead with the infinite-firebursting universe not to become – is this what the child knows?
Couch, body lizard-like, distorted, brown suede pillow, no, beige knit fuzz, yes, blue tear-stained pillows, jagged water marks, tear-tarnished quilt to hide, body suctioned, body vacuumed, body sticking, stuck, lizard-belly, backside arched, dismantled; when my inside; when my inner— when my cup, bowl, canyon, pit-abyss-hell-womb— screamed; I screamed.
on a day of summer dresses meanwhile hors d’oeuvres diaper games onesies no men my friend like sister has belly big amniotic little person she calls alien she calls knocked up husband is nice left him a sticky note on the nightstand with a pee test positive she wrote in pencil: you win
About Jessica Martini
Jessica Martini has written poetry inspired by the Arizona landscape, meditations on the body and nature, spiritual questions, and illness. Jessica holds an MFA in creative writing from Northern Arizona University.
N DE KEMP
JESSICA VAN DE KEMP
In London, a fortune teller locks eyes with me at the door. I stand at the threshold, seeing more than the oracle. What future does the horse have in quicksand? You are not the horse. You are movement. A preterm infant beating the odds. A white light collapses to the floor, blacks out. The lights in the hall flicker on and off, blinded into song.
A Spot in the Air
JESSICA VAN DE KEMP
Walking into open air colder than Medusa’s stare, the magician expects to turn to stone. When I was young, I would tell other children they could fly, if only they believed in themselves. There’s nothing to it. First, you see yourself as a spot in the air. Then, you step out to it. A child searching for its mother in a crowd, the magician looks for what is most beautiful.
Two Horses Falling Through Ice
JESSICA VAN DE KEMP
Up and under, like black moonlight, two horses falling through ice. They’re first-time mothers. It’s a fine day for horses. They accidentally kick each other. Crying women shoot at them. It’s hard to see. To the horse with its head still above water, Andromeda sings. Two bulbs accidentally kick into a wreath.
About Jessica Van de Kemp
Jessica Van de Kemp is an award-winning teacher, poet, and PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks Daughters in the Dead Land (Kelsay Books, 2017) and Spirit Light (The Steel Chisel, 2015). Connect with Jessica on Instagram @canadianpoet, Twitter @jess_vdk, and her website:canadianpoet.org
JULES GATES As I sat in my beat up, scuffed and dusty dull red retro Mustang Choking down a pill I’d just mercy begged the pharmacist for To preserve what order I can muster in this mental clutter, She shuffled along, but not in a disjointed jagged way Out of nowhere from one end of the storefront toward I don’t know where Shoulders a lifted, sharp upside down triangle Skin blacker than a starless night Whites of her eyes and voluptuous brown pupils Locking with mine She smiled. Bright white teeth And I thought, “Welcome back, love. Where have you been?” And she was gone.
JULES GATES I smeared on a green mask for stress relief That dried to a cracking putty I could use to spackle The rotten parts of my rain-drenched enclosed back porch. When I grabbed one of Tom’s 50 brittle blue wash cloths (bleached 200 times over) To scrape the muck off my aging face, I thought about what that meant And what I was trying to get rid of And what I was trying to hide. It’s layers I don’t want to reveal, Or the decrepit earth and history under each layer. And then, for some reason, I thought of a fellow young poet, A new friend, who is always so composed And keeps the giant gruelly monsters at bay And the only indication of a slight surface disturbance you see— A tiny bubbly ripple here and there That builds and rolls under and starts to churn and undulate like it’s boiling-Is the purple pulsing veins on her throat, Her piercing, distant eyes that mesmerize from wherever she’s hidden herself, And then she rips off the mask in a flash of searing burnt smoldering flesh And unfurls the tidal wave of her fire red rage.
About Jules Gates
Jules Gates, Associate Professor of English in the EML Department at ASU, has worked since 2002 on the ASU Writers Conference, conducted an interview with Terrence Hayes (2009), chaired the Conference for 2 years (Mary Karr 2010/Art Spiegelman 2011). Her poetry has been widely published in more than 20 journals in Texas and throughout the country, and has been anthologized twice in the past year.
JURY S. JUDGE
We do not know who your bones belonged to, We did not even find your entire skeleton, We do not know the ravens that picked away your decaying flesh in an unnamed ravine in an obscure canyon, Some of those birds may have flown far past many mile markers to the city park, With human carrion rotting in their stomachs, and been fed crackers by giggling children, We do not know the life you led, the teachers who saw your potential, the parents who loved you, because, as of now, your remains are unidentified. We will identify who did this to you.
About Jury S. Judge
“I am an internationally published artist, writer, poet, and political cartoonist. My Astronomy Comedy cartoons are also published in Lowell Observatory’s quarterly publication, The Lowell Observer. I have been interviewed on the television news program, NAZ Today for my work as a political cartoonist. My artwork has been widely featured in literary magazines such as, Dodging The Rain, The Tishman Review, Claudius Speaks, and The Manhattanville Review. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2014.”
1 One 2 hundred 3 words 4 each 5 day. 6 That’s 7 all 8 we’re 9 allowed 10 to 11 speak 12 in 13 the 14 future. 15 Just 16 by 17 issuing 18 this 19 warning 20 I 21 would 22 use 23 up 24 one 25 fourth 26 of 27 my 28 allotment. 29 Consider 30 the 31 number 32 we
33 use 34 by 35 the 36 hour 37 to 38 express 39 love, 40 give 41 thanks, 42 encourage 43 children, 44 comfort 45 animals, 46 acknowledge 47 the 48 fear 49 and 50 frustration. 51 ? 52 ? 53 ? 54 ? 55 ? 56 ? 57 ? 58 ? 59 ? 60 ? 61 Which 62 words 63 would 64 you 65 choose? 66 ? 67 ? 68 ? 69 ? 70 ? 71 Which 72 words 73 would
74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100
you lose? ? ? ? ? ? ? Let us agree then. For the sake of the love, children, animals, women’s very lives we will always speak.
Vox by Christina Dalcher, Berkley, 2018
About Kaylyn Wingo
Kaylyn Wingo is a retired paralegal living in Michigan, where she is a member of the Waterford Township Public Library’s Poetry Writers’ Workshop. She has had poems published or forthcoming in Poetry Leaves and Spectral Lines: Poems about Scientists.
She comes on strong and warm and totally unexpected. Just like a chinook during one a’ them long hard spine cracking winters when even the stones groan. Winters vigorously whips Montanan’s but sometimes a surprise— balmy Chinook appears. My young mind remembers insistent buttery breeze sidewalk-rivers puddle splashes. My spirit quivered. Been a while. You bury things deep in a spell like that and time takes time to thaw feelin’s froze deep as all that. Leaden mood hangs cooped inside kitchen for months can’t call up soft whiff of lilacs crunch of pink-kissed crab-apples forget about magic chinooks temperate chinooks to ease endless shivers Quick.
Like a wink. A brief flurry of dancin’ hand grabbin’ romancin’ that settles your heart into spring. And then’s gone. Snow boots appear Perspiring wind—but a remembrance I venture out into winter silence snow greets, a-tingles my nearly-frozen face *Italic selections from Just Like a Chinook © 2005, DW Groethe
A Letter to Shoe
Botswana guide introduced you with a wink. I loved your name. Rememb morning, Shoe? Can see full lips break over your white teeth. Hear langua flapping inside smiling mouth. Left eyelid scorched blue-grey closed on y face. I wanted to put my head inside your mouth to catch every precious s Shoe clicks old story on terrace, dark face aglow savannah spills out
Last night we watched “The Gods Must be Crazy”. The main character loo began to believe in Bushman. That your people lived with Nothing like th But your abundant Nothing, Shoe. An African pink-yellow dawn feisty wi swing from acacias like intricate baskets. Rhythms and incomprehensible grasses. The river draws a great arch through your home. You drink rainw leaves. Evening air releases acrid scents trapped by hot days. Your sunset fauna in shades of rose and red. Faint song of lone bird flutes from distant acacia does she have a mate?
I giggle now, remember as you pick your teeth with frightful thorn from your haunches, arms stretched over knobby knees, churning a stick into a smoke from rubbed dried grass. The beginnings of fire. Everything you touch is a sacred miracle even the silence
I retrace our adventure yarn that early African morning. Mountains race l from open plain. A light rain licks me muddy wet. Remember when the su smell of sage rushes into our faces? We listen to stinging song of grassho
ber that fire-bright age-clicks, your tongue your dark-chocolate sound, every feeling.
oks so much like you I hat which surrounds me. ith animals. Nests e sounds pulse in golden water caught in curl of ts are night-blooming
Umbrella bush, sit on another, smell rises of
like a tidal wave away un appears, the acrid oppers. You hum as if
you are related.
Wizened like a prophet you are, Shoe. I feel you were taking me back to first consciousness, your earliest recollection, trying to teach me something that comprehend. I will remember your wrinkled bark face worn away by weathe with a baby smile like an opened piano. I love your name, Shoe. I will repeat conjuring joy. On some blessed days in those awakened moments I will sing your name
t bright bone of will take years to er and patience, yet t it like a mantra
“Love your neighbor as yourself.“
I follow meander of Sunday sermon— quenching drops of eloquent phrases others waterfall out in a tumble fill my ears with rush of ways, reasons to love our neighbor. His smile that crooked crinkled smile like phrase marking over line of notes insists, bids me open my heart, my pockets, innocent hands. Questions unfurl inside incense clouded church— will my neighbor love me back, extend a caring arm, share his wallet, lift me up when I slip on icy Main Street? He seems to hear my queries proclaims the commandment even louder. Points to metal poor box waiting for clink of coin, rolled paper dollar. His stare fixates on me, puts a bridle on my queries Love your neighbor rings torrents loud then Father’s sudden whisper discards as yourself What would it feel like Father to as yourself? Don’t know how it happened but I began to caress my bandaged thumb hear feet skip-a-skip to Dairy Queen for ice-cream cone after Mass, feel shoulders proud after winning Friday spelling bee. I suddenly become so luxuriant-light.
Think I might lift from wooden pew float away like petals of a daisy. I look up at him searchingly. Father, what if I as yourself first and that self-loving smelts me from ore to shining copper? And then when I know my as yourself I will want to shine it, and others may be curious, choose to smelt themselves as well? Father, it could be a glittering party As yourself-ers loving our neighbors.
About Marianne Lyon
Marianne has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews including Ravens Perch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters, and Indiana Voice Journal. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in California.
You have a cantaloupe clinging to your spine doctors have determined. If it was only fruit, they could peel it out, spoon the wet seeds down the disposal, drain you of this misery. These days are like the terror of a tornado you’ve been told is coming. Your wife sleeps on a couch in your room, twenty minutes at a time. Your mother, in the doorway, fingers an unlit cigarette. A sister floats, near corners. You wilt into your pillow like the last day of daffodils. The voices of nurse-comforts march in a swirl around your ears. You are dropping with the speed of a Down elevator. Your family is cracking open your grave in their minds. It can’t be helped.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Throw down your best rock puddlestone, darrybone I’ll cover it with deckled-edge vellum blades of your shears sharpened on a whetstone will slash my curling parchment my own chunk of quartz will crush the metal leaves of your acuminate tool we’ll stack the rocks on coastal flats bury scissors in forgiving sand cast white shreds of paper to wind
How to Become Addicted to Valium
Have a father who died in April shouting your name before his head hit the curb and whose estate still breathes legal life pressed by Medicare and recent wives In the same week have your alcoholic mother diagnosed with pancreatic cancer months too late and you’re all that ever mattered only child Have a sympathetic doctor who treats old people mostly and can’t stand to see the stress riding across the forehead of the young patient he likes to give physicals to handing out the jackpot of double-digit refills Learn quickly that sleep comes easier and stays longer when the pill is taken with vodka (before brushing the teeth of course) that a pill with beer at lunch can make afternoon spreadsheets glorious and symbolic While you’re experimenting
with tequila, gin, and Maker’s Mark as viable companions your husband could be sleeping with, say, the deli manager fucking dangerously close to the meat slicer your kids may have dropped out of high school anything is possible naked at the sink at one, three, and five
About Martha Clarkson
Martha Clarkson is a writer, poet, photographer who plays tennis, bowls, and likes VW Beetles. Find her at this place: www. marthaclarkson.com
—A Passover Poem for my granddaughter Lilly
Women with blue-black numbers on their naked forearms buy groceries at our neighborhood A & P, until I ask my mother what the numbers mean, and she averts her eyes to watch the black conveyer belt carry a pound of butter, a bag of oatmeal cookies, a carton of milk, a tin of coffee along the slow path to the bag-boy’s hand. And I think of the Holocaust, the little I know about it, black hole into which relatives fell, about which no one speaks. Here, there are only Jews— with and without yarmulkes or numbers, prayer shawls, hope. Here, the gravelly voices of strangers rise above me in Yiddish, the language of cobblestones and complaints, the hawkers of Eastern Europe or the Low East Side, wooden handcarts pushed by poverty and regret. My mother sli three dollars toward the cashier’s open palm; the woman’s lifeline, I noti crosses twice. So many Jews here, untold stories, babushkas worn even now in summer heat, troubles carried along with their paper sacks and their shtetl walk, shuffling troubles, stooped shoulders, and apologetic warning eyes, as if all burdens become internal. And all this I inherit and come to understand. I breathe the dry dirt of the road my grandfathe traveled out of Kishinev, which I visit years later while teaching in Roman another story—and even his childhood travels with me—and I will live to hear great-grandmother Fishman’s voice call to me from the old Jewis cemetery where she rests, if anyone can call it rest. She died after the 190 pogrom, after Cossacks raided Jewish homes on Christmas Eve, and in dea she fell across and smothered her youngest child, an infant, who is buried with her. When I visit there on an overcast, humid July day, the headston bent and crowded, in mourning it seems, a boxcar of empty space eternal filled with the dead. I fall to my knees and kiss a flat stone inscribed in H a language I can’t read, a stranger’s grave, and a stand-in for all my fam But does it matter, with so much death, suffering, whose grave I kiss, wh I mourn? A small maple tree in front of my childhood home dies the year planting, but nobody digs it up. A reminder, my mother insists, of all who
wer ips ice,
sh 04 ath, d nes lly Hebrew, milyâ€™s loss. hose life after o die
too soon. In my neighborhood public school, there’s no Christmas, no Easter only Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, and I fast on guilt and denial, the food that feed me still, beyond the latkes and split pea soup, the knishes made with salt brine and patience, the dough pounded and rolled thin, the potatoe onions, and kasha boiled until the steam is breathed into blood. Yes, it’s the sadness I love, the taste of it in Passover wine, the dip of my little finger enacting the Egyptian plagues, the flat matzos of near annihilation. Oh, how childhood becomes who we grow into, sorrow of what’s gone and never gon
r w ne.
About Robin Greene
Robin Greene is an English professor at Methodist university and the director of her university writing center. Greene’s second novel, The Shelf Life of Fire, is forthcoming from Light Messages this summer. She’s published about a hundred pieces of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction over the years, and her nonfiction collection of birthing narratives, Real Birth, Women Share Their Stories, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. Also, Greene is a yoga teacher and offers an annual women’s writing, meditation, and yoga retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico. Find out more about Robin Greene at robingreene-writer.com.
Black Brooklyn, you’re melting neon studded wristbands a dimming blacklight fortitude hunting on an instinct of naked neighbors smashing both bodies against wood chipped windows through rain, above a dumpster filled with rotten fruit and bottles of your $4 wine with all the droplets suctioned out by your greed She called you a bad, bad baby still you stayed, even after you watched yourself leave your own body lying dizzy and unnoticed on the cold tile floor in front of the bathroom sink in a puddle of sick that smelled like hemp oil and old macaroni & cheese you didn’t know it then, but someday you would divert this disaster one continent at a time and every thought of that place would annotate nostalgia to make you think it was never as bad as it could have been because the city spoiled you rotten and rouge, despite almost dying on the floor to the sounds of your straight neighbors f*cking while the person you loved watched t.v.
Drop rhythm on cement & canvas I was lucky never ran from the cops, even w/ reason I melted, my makeup the same colors as graffiti tag & stolen bicycles, drag queen camouflage from blowout to boot Some of these friends follow me around to burrows they’ve never been to with bars that probably shouldn’t exist but who doesn’t love a C grade window & glitter in the cocktails? who doesn’t prefer being lonely with strangers over sucking bottles dry at home? There’s only about six people who find me interesting I don’t know any of them, Most of the time I’m too tired read text messages or expiration dates on the cans in my kitchen cabinet, My fingers make art through sobriety and hangovers, my fingers smear ink and shove the words to where the story should be, black & red, loosen me, I’m gold – creating aesthetic and proportions in the shape of a handmade body image, The bassline drops through the headphones I was lucky to feel something, even once, striking me heavy in the heart.
Your mouth has remained among the honey jar, a concoction of marijuana and body, a pungent blossom that induces nausea Hatred has grown like a stout full of snot from the back of a pub, and a guillotine of candied liqueur, My seeds fall endlessly across the earth, freshly buried in blue mouth berries under graves of coconut palms that grow without light Blinded by how I recall hairs on your scapula, unattainable, I swallowed you and everything in the distance the smell of happy hour, turbulent love the angst of sloppy kisses, I ate every monster off the map.
About Seneca Basoalto
Seneca Basoalto is a student of Psychology and Philosophy with two decades of intimate involvement in published creative writing. Having a background in the backstage music/movie scene – she’s adapted her unusual experiences to fuel her insightful writings. Seneca’s Iberian lineage can be seen influencing the attitude and magnetism of her diverse range of work. Some of her works include poetry collections published through Terror House Magazine, Glasgow Review of Books, Words Dance, Breadcrumbs Magazine, North of Oxford, Pamplemousse, Barrow Street, and The Moth. Other projects consist of philosophical essays featured through SNHU, a collection of poems included in a Love Anthology released by Z Publishing, and Therapeutic Writing Program Coordinator for women in substance abuse recovery. Currently she is a submission reader for Frontier Poetry.
I am convinced that the Forbidden Fruit must have been a ripe, juicy p consider giving up Paradise? Just imagine: the bright, red-orange flesh resting vibrant color of the fruit stand out to the eye. She could probably smell its swee imagine Eve taking hold of the peach, feeling its perfect roundness and soft fuz Good and Evil would be like, and whether she would regret her choice. But the m touched her tongue and quickly enveloped her senses. In that moment, she was
peach. What else could have tempted Eve so profoundly that she would neatly attached to the stem, surrounded by green leaves that made the etness as she approached the tree. After a momentâ€™s hesitation, I zz. She probably had a fleeting thought of wondering what the world of moment she sunk her teeth into the peach, the sweet, tangy juices s glad. She was experiencing her first taste of pure Joy.
I’m in so deep that I can’t get out. Never forgetting you, though I wish I could. I’m Falling so hard my surroundings are blurred. And hoping, pointlessly, that you’d feel the same. I keep Thinking about you endlessly. I’m Untouched by reality, in my own dream-world. But soon I’m Admitting that I’m foolish to hope. Always Torturing myself with imagined scenarios, I Instinctively avoid telling you the truth, though it’s Obvious from my behavior that I’m enamored by you. No wonder they call it a “crush”; my soul feels the weight of unrequited love.
About Sienna Galvez
Sienna Galvez is an 18-year-old living in Provo, Utah and attending Utah Valley University. She is currently an English major seeking to expand her Creative Writing abilities. She enjoys sharing the things she cares about with others, whether that be through singing, writing, or simply being a friend.
Those purple daisies you gave me after you visited Ammi’s grave bloom week after week. It’s a miracle, a blessing, whichever way you consider it. They look vibrant and beautiful in the vase. Your mother would have told me so herself, if she could have seen them. She treated me like her fourth daughter, though the blood in my veins was different from hers and I wouldn’t have met her, if we hadn’t lived in identical Colonial homes in the same maple-leafed neighborhood. Her pious nature defined her. I picture her -- a scarf modestly covers her head. She recites The Quran with upturned palms. Behind glasses, her eyes brim with reverence. I took care not to disturb her when her head was bent in concentration and her lips were moving. She prayed for me so I could have what was missing in my life. Inshallah, she’d say, when we’d chat, aware that everything depended on Allah’s grace. Friends of different faiths flowed in and out of your home, cherishing her hospitality replicated by you and the rest of your family. She observed what others missed, though her eyesight was fading. Her advice laced our lives and her immense affection anchored Abbu, your father. Every time I see the daisies, I recall your mother. They have her resilience, her will to cling to life and to impart beauty and inspiration to her circle of relatives and friends.
The flowers refuse to wilt, like my memory of her. Their stems weep dye into the vase’s water to mourn the mother of four women.
We never imagined your petals would fall off in one gust and that you’d be swept off the earth before you realized it. Some would love to close their eyes forever the way you did, in an instant, without pain or knowledge. You’ll never grow old and we’ll remember you as moon-faced and fair with a scattering of moles enhancing your beauty. You were Sita-like* with curves. Your sheath of black hair fell to your hips. You dressed like a fashionista in Western and Eastern clothes. As a bride you dazzled in gold, but your bent head displayed fitting coyness. You enchanted your husband with your spiritual radiance and mesmerized me with your poetry and storytelling and mimicry. No one yawned while your eyes sparkled and your lips moved in narration. Your compassion and perseverance remain twin beacons for us. You wanted to run an orphanage, but you didn’t know the sands in your hourglass would run out so prematurely. Your father carried out charitable deeds in your name after you suddenly departed. He alleviated the misery of his recipients, but was powerless to remove his own pain. Perhaps you help us even now like you did in the past. We sense it from time to time, never sure but suspecting. *Sita – a Hindu goddess
About Tara Menon
Tara Menon is a freelance writer based in Lexington Massachusetts. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Kenyon Review, Green Mountains Review, Color Magazine, Fjords Review, Na’amat Woman, Calyx, India Currents, Parabola, India New England, and Hinduism Today. The following journals and anthologies have published her poetry: Calliope, Lalitamba, Azizah Magazine, Aaduna, Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves, the view from here, and 10x3 plus poetry. Her fiction has been published in Catamaran, The APA Journal, Many Mountains Moving, India Currents, The South Carolina Review, Living in America and Mother of the Groom.
Skin of profound umber hair like an obsidian cloud visited by sharp golden stars before it recasts itself in peacock and sky and tangerine and magenta lips frothy and sweet a blueberry ICEE you want to sip cherry eyeglasses and headphones to match covered in a bubble helmet a bomber jacket of all colors— a true patriot of humanity looking toward troposphere stratosphere ethosphere where all come together to honor one another. (A dying sound—scratching of old hands on a coffin of one’s own making lips that used to spit on others moaning last slurs unheard over the music of a bustling mingling now tumbling into tomorrow). ~inspired by GDBee’s piece “Space Letterman”
Gate to Moon
Yes, rush against the stars. The gauze that swirls around your body—moss and twilight and carnation stippled with onyx— lets in light so that your spear-like figure can be seen with its wild sinews of arms and legs and torso like a swan’s neck. As your hair streams behind you dappled by a rose-gold moon the jade of your eyes flickers above lips the color of a wound. You hold up a bowl made of lagoon roses and myrtle and something flailing to life in its center. Yes, take the bowl over the blue-gray fields over fences like matchsticks through the gleaming green door of evening and into space composed of a thousand azure beetles—huffing and clicking— so that they vibrate the creature in the bowl to life. Yes, watch this life leap over
the gate to moon disappear into its brilliance. ~inspired by Kay Rasmus Neilsen’s painting “In Powder and Crinoline”
In a field of people I am a cutout—shaped like others on the outside. But inside my outline I am a field of shadow-laden irises sharp reeds against a raven-imprinted sky a meadow tinged with the tiger lily of sunset. My curls are the maze followed by an adder— among them he knocks loose pieces of firmament teal and indigo shards gulped down by the buzzard of age until my edges are blurred. But remember— my twilight is still jagged enough to cut. ~inspired by the art of Andrey Remnev
About t.m. thomson
Three of t.m. thomson’s poems have been nominated for Pushcart Awards. She has co-authored a chapbook of ekphrastic poetry, Frame and Mount the Sky (2017); her chapbook Strum and Lull placed in Golden Walkman’s chapbook competition (2017) and is due out soon; and her chapbook The Profusion will be published in 2019.
A bowl butter and cinnamon flour and sugar her hands over mine mixing slicing the butter into coarse morsels I can still taste These same hands that reached for mine years later when ingredients were a foreign language and memories were only mine to keep the wind whisking at their edges carrying their scent across decades My mother’s kitchen
I want to turn the days inside out remove the lint that got in the way of their perfection. I want to make sure I pay attention to how they feel against my skin their smoothness their roughness. I want to empty the pockets and fill them up again my fingers searching the edge of memories. I want to examine their creases their fraying for signs of what’s to come. I want to wear them over and over until I am ready to take them off.
windflower, her wife and two border collies live on the Mendocino Coast. She co-founded the Feminist Arts Program at the University of Massachusetts Women’s Center where she published and edited, Chomo Uri, a women’s multi-arts magazine and produced the first National Women’s Poetry Festival in 1976. She remembers placing the first poem she wrote, at the age of nine, in a flowered tan narrow-necked porcelain perfume bottle on her white French provincial dressing table. windflower is also a photographer celebrating the poetry in nature.
Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this month’s collection of poetry from these talented poets as well as the photography of award-winning artist Emel Karakozak. You can find more issues of Voice of Eve on our website www.voiceofeve.net. We would also love to hear from you, the reader, at our email address email@example.com. Thank you again, and blessings to you from our staff. Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve Staff Sarah Rodriguez, Editor
Eighth issue of Voice of Eve literary magazine