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Voice of Eve Issue Four (February 2019)

Amy Soricelli

Katharine Coggeshall

Anahit Arustamyan

Mary K O’Melveny

Ayse Teksen

RC deWinter

Barb Reynolds

Savannah Roberson

Dayna Lellis

Sharon Tracey

Dinah Smith

Stacey Rice

Jan Ball

Whitney Walters 1


Contents Issue Four (February 2019) ........................................................................................................................... 1 When Zoe Doesn’t Know Her Mom Is Dying................................................................................................. 5 Any Random Tuesday ................................................................................................................................... 6 Voir dire ........................................................................................................................................................ 7 About Amy Soricelli ..................................................................................................................................... 11 I Need Your Vehicle ..................................................................................................................................... 13 Give Me Your Hand! .................................................................................................................................... 14 Fantasies! .................................................................................................................................................... 15 About Anahit Arustamyan .......................................................................................................................... 16 Most Nights ................................................................................................................................................. 18 Moving Shadows ......................................................................................................................................... 21 Random Poem............................................................................................................................................. 23 About Ayse Teksen ...................................................................................................................................... 25 Because ....................................................................................................................................................... 27 The Bird ....................................................................................................................................................... 28 Two Rosaries and a Pair of Shoes ............................................................................................................... 29 About Barb Reynolds .................................................................................................................................. 30 Strong Women ............................................................................................................................................ 32 About Dayna Lellis....................................................................................................................................... 33 For Her Birthday .......................................................................................................................................... 35 Winter Leaf ................................................................................................................................................. 36 About Dinah Smith ...................................................................................................................................... 37 Augsburg Pedicure ...................................................................................................................................... 39 Disabled....................................................................................................................................................... 41 Stick Shift..................................................................................................................................................... 43 About Jan Ball.............................................................................................................................................. 45 The Split ...................................................................................................................................................... 47 Motherhood ................................................................................................................................................ 48 Unedited ..................................................................................................................................................... 49 About Katharine Coggeshall ........................................................................................................................ 50 Fission (Or, The Day I Discovered My Wife – June, 1988) .......................................................................... 52 Ice Skating on the Moon (On the Day After…) ............................................................................................ 54 2


The Umbra Around Us ................................................................................................................................ 56 About Mary K O’Melveny............................................................................................................................ 58 new boots ................................................................................................................................................... 60 The One That Got Away .............................................................................................................................. 62 surgical steel ............................................................................................................................................... 65 About RC deWinter ..................................................................................................................................... 66 Harvest ........................................................................................................................................................ 68 Yellow .......................................................................................................................................................... 69 A Leaving Song ............................................................................................................................................ 70 About Savannah Roberson.......................................................................................................................... 71 Self-Portrait ................................................................................................................................................. 73 Fishes .......................................................................................................................................................... 74 About Sharon Tracey................................................................................................................................... 75 Gabriel Beckett and His Tablet.................................................................................................................... 77 About Stacey Rice ....................................................................................................................................... 78 Dear Girl ...................................................................................................................................................... 80 For her ......................................................................................................................................................... 81 I am ............................................................................................................................................................. 83 About Whitney Walters .............................................................................................................................. 85

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POEMS FROM AMY SORICELLI

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When Zoe Doesn’t Know Her Mom Is Dying By Amy Soricelli

There is nothing new to dying. The faces of those who watch are the same, the eyes are the same, the mouth; it’s all the same. There is no surprise to the things we ask of one another - or the simple task of washing your hands, turning the sound on louder.. That still happens and all the birds still fly, you still collect your mail. Someone will bite their lip. You will ask how they can manage to, later, when it's over. You will wonder, to yourself, how the whole world just carries on their small talk, their coffee sipped, those wandering pennies in their bag. How can the regular things still happen when your soul is lost in this black space so wide, Wider than wide. When you've lost your soul. The children will wait for you at the foot of your bed and they will sing the silly tunes from yesterday’s carpet cartoon. But you will be okay with that, as you have taught them much, much more. You have taught them everything.

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Any Random Tuesday By Amy Soricelli

Children walk alone from long bricks of houses against the grainy streets and recycle bins. They look up sideways all the time, the chewing gum and pizza money, their long breath of this and that; they can’t put their finger on it. He rolled around in that tire-swing twisting it and she pushed it hard. Too hard I thought as I looked through the bus window. He could fly straight up you know? No one cares as they slide along the street, with their bags of bruised fruit and ill-fitting bras. I knew someone whose three kids walked home 6 blocks each day; 12 together roped arm in arm a daisy chain. They were good, though. Nothing ever happened.

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Voir dire A poem in 12 parts By Amy Soricelli

I could have used more time with the one in the first row. She wore the flowered blouse the first day and spent twenty-one minutes chopping angry words into sentences on her phone. She drank three cups of coffee before the first names were called. I kept looking for hers amid the Russian and Polish ones. I will take attendance today but tomorrow it's your responsibility. The man in the brown suit the first day wore jeans the next, and brought his lunch in a small NY Telephone Company insulated lunch bag. He read 5 newspapers and left them all on the seat each time with his apple core. If you live anywhere near 161st where the crime happened you need to excuse yourself. Jose, who sat next to me on day one, didn't fill out the E- section beforehand so I gave him my pen but I didn't rub hand sanitizer all over myself like everyone around me in that furious Bronx ritual. The sneakers on the telephone wire really show how many murders on that street, but yeah, it can mean drugs are sold around here too, I've heard that. 7


Dawn's name got called each time mine did; she fell asleep after underlining sentences in yellow from a worn-out paperback textbook. The Spanish lady with the shopping bags asked her why she came since she was a student. Dawn said she was pre-law so it was cool. If anyone in your family, or yourself, has been involved with law enforcement, or if you are a full-time student, you can be excused. The charger girl plugged her phone in nine times in two days and had small bags of nuts and seeds. Her phone wallpaper was Alfred E. Newman. She was cooler than the guy who sat next to her who coughed into his National Enquirer for sixteen minutes on the first day, even more on the second. I can tell you that this case is about an attempted murder but he is not guilty yet. Do any of these names sound familiar? You must excuse yourself if they do. The Indian woman kept looking at the table with the laughing women and moved her chair closer to listen better. She bought hot chocolate from the machine and sour patch kids that were stale. She gave me a 'thumbs down' as she tossed them. You get two hours for lunch and no, you do not get reimbursed, Please be back on time. No one knew what to think of the woman with all the tote bags. She asked a few of us when she gets 8


her check for this. When does this money actually come. She wrung her hands a lot and stared at the Orange girl. If your employer pays you, then we will not. If your employer does not pay you, we will. Please fill out your address correctly on the back. Do not separate the sections. Orange girl with glasses was a throw-back to every day-camp friend I had with fire hair and knee-length skirts. I figure she lives in Riverdale where you can imagine it's not the Bronx but when they call your name you belong here anyway. If I can't pronounce your name because it's foreign, help me out here, will ya? The man with the yellow shirt had 'follow eyes' that spent most of the first day wondering where I went. Behind the door/across the wide open cold air of strangers faces. His eyes always found mine. You don't need to say you were a victim of a crime, just kindly state that you had intimate involvement with law enforcement. Yes, thank you, like that. He must have been an accountant spent both days with his calculator punching in figures, and then making calls outside the room. He looked at his watch each time the next group was called as though he calculated the space in-between the space.

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If you waited until today to get excused then I am sorry but you will be here for the remainder as you have not followed directions and you are too late. The two middle-aged Hispanic men with the tee shirts and bags of Starbucks, fast-friended themselves into the corner and conspired in broken English non-stop. Magically called together and released - they traveled, four arms, down the ramp, around and around. It is a privilege and an honor to be asked to serve your country, and we thank you for your cooperation, and time. Stephanie postponed three years in a row; didn't have space for fitting this into the repeated noise of her life. What is a hardship; how long will it take for me to bare my soul out of here. My kids need me. I have no carfare for this nonsense. Thank you for your service. You have completed your duty, here is your proof and don't come back tomorrow. Remember, do not come back tomorrow. No Vuelvas Manana.

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About Amy Soricelli Amy Soricelli has been in the field of career education and staffing for over 30 years. A lifelong Bronx resident, she has been published in Grub Street, Camelsaloon, Versewrights, The Starving Artist, Picayune Press, Deadsnakes, Corvus review, Deadbeats, Cantos, Poetrybay, The Blue Hour Magazine, Empty Mirror, Turbulence magazine, Bloodsugar Poetry, Little Rose magazine, The Caper Journal, CrossBronx, Long Island Quarterly, Blind Vigil Review, Isacoustic, Poetry Pacific, Underfoot, Picaroon Poetry, Vita Brevis, as well as several anthologies. Nominated for Sundress Publications "the best of the net" award 6/13, and recipient of Grace A. Croff Memorial Award for Poetry, Herbert H. Lehman College, 1975.

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POEMS FROM ANAHIT ARUSTAMYAN

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I Need Your Vehicle By Anahit Arustamyan

Hey, stranger! These snowflakes aren't dying of cancer. Each of them is a melting dancer. I am one of them but I'm a teller. Hey, stranger! Have I found you to heal my fever? Who are you? Oh, I don't care. What are you? Are you a farmer or a sailor? I no longer have a shelter. You are from a remote land which is even better. Hey, stranger! I need your vehicle instead of your letter. These snowflakes aren't dying of cancer. There is something else in their fate's chapter. Something is nothing on this vacuum’s layer.

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Give Me Your Hand! By Anahit Arustamyan

My dear I exist somewhere. I am not alive and I am not dead. I still see a crown on a mountain's head. This crown is white like a slid age. I am not alive in an ancient cave. No, I am not dead on my time's wave. I am a queen in your fairy tale. I also agree to be my pen's slave. A stone is a roof on a deep grave. Something around is mad and strange. Something around is even sage. The sea is moving to kiss its shore's sand. My dear I exist, give me your hand!

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Fantasies! By Anahit Arustamyan

Fantasies! Jump over my realties to win! Do I mean a swan without a sin? I just mean my voice becoming thin. Fantasies! Embrace me to spin! Your rug is thicker than my pale skin. Fantasies! Look at the soil giving a green bean! You have given me a bottomless tin. Somebody is my kind dolphin. Nobody has healed my sick fin. Fantasies! Do help me to swim! Fantasies! Jump over my realities to win!

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About Anahit Arustamyan Anahit Arustamyan is an Armenian poetess. She writes romantic and philosophical poems rich in metaphors and allegorical expressions. Her creative works are full of emotions and deep thoughts. Her poems have appeared in different poetry magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of the following poetry books: The Queen Of Metaphors, My Intoxicated Ink, The Phantom's Dolphin, Words In Flight, and The Canvas Of My Soul, which are available on Amazon.

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POEMS FROM AYSE TEKSEN

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Most Nights By Ayse Teksen

Most nights I feel lonely even when I’m not feeling guilty over a pleasure forbidden to me. But it’s the hardest when words flow over me and pour onto me. I’m not young anymore, and yet I still can’t figure out how to control them or to direct them toward happy places, bright futures, and hopeful sentences. Would it be a sin now to confess that most of the time I hate writing poems onto sheets and blank white pieces of screens at home, at work, at bus stops, and subway stations? I’m afraid 18


I’m not afraid of admitting I cried— no, I wailed— at METU subway station this evening on my way home as if I had one. No home, no shelter, only lack of dignity floating about me and hovering loudly to get my attention because at times I try— I try to forget to forgive and to let things and small miracles happen and to live sensitively and sensibly. But no, it doesn’t happen; life does not happen. It awaits a miraculous call from above to visit me and take my hand. 19


The address is given and noted down wrong, and the message half delivered. One day I hope the message and the whispers will be heard better, and prayers answered, and then I will get to and die at my happy place, having met and lived a life.

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Moving Shadows By Ayse Teksen

Moving shadows over a mountaintop, deep in their glimmer against a sky full of dreams. This image keeps me cozy in this lonely night among days of plenty Septembers. I’m thirty now, having paved a road not taken by many. I count myself lucky, though, to have had this life alongside other lives that accompanied it through many deterred days and nights aflame. I feel grateful for all the loss that has been gained and for all the benefits lost. I’ve bought a destiny, packed a future, and started my walk 21


down an avenue long forgotten and not revered enough.

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Random Poem By Ayse Teksen

A dazzling ache I want to be. In your bones. So feel me. Feel it with me. Feel the rhythm and the music, Also the words. Feel how they make love and giggle sheepishly in my hair. My skin, too. Don’t be awed by how I turn you into runes though I know you were not born to be some letters but tunes, a mystical harmony to be found and hidden by your most precious hands. Knowing they will hold me is my peace now. 23


And I shall live forever for this reason only.

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About Ayse Teksen Ayşe Tekşen lives in Ankara, Turkey where she works as a research assistant at the Department of Foreign Language Education, Middle East Technical University. Her work has been included in Gravel, After the Pause, The Write Launch, Uut Poetry, The Fiction Pool, What Rough Beast, Scarlet Leaf Review, Seshat, Neologism Poetry Journal, Anapest, Red Weather, Ohio Edit, SWWIM Every Day, The Paragon Journal, Arcturus, Constellations, the Same, The Mystic Blue Review, Jaffat El Aqlam, Brickplight, Willow, Fearsome Critters, Susan, The Broke Bohemian, The Remembered Arts Journal, Terror House Magazine, and Dash. Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Straylight, Lavender Review, Shoe Music Press, and Havik: Las Positas College Anthology.

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POEMS FROM BARB REYNOLDS

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Because By Barb Reynolds

I don’t want to end up like I started: dependent, naked, eyes sealed shut. Because, they weren’t kidding—whether Electra or Oedipus, we do end up marrying one parent or the other. Because I don’t trust myself— I can barely resist the dark draw of your skin and your smell, when the air moves just right. Because wondering where you are while I sit alone isn’t how I pictured things. Because every day at work I tell women all the reasons they deserve to stand up for themselves and I won’t be a hypocrite. Because, as you were asking me to believe you after the first slip-up, you were crossing fingers, looking for chances. Because, as you were forgetting my worth, I was remembering.

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The Bird By Barb Reynolds

My friend’s middle finger is stuck in a perpetual fuck you— one souvenir of the accident. The bright side: she’s always prepared if someone pisses her off. Motoring to a fashion show, a Hummer smashed through, flattening her roof like tin foil. She lay tangled in a welter of silk and metal, crepe and dashboard. I tell her, Most would be bitter, coming back with a sluggish leg, one unruly eye, and that eternal flip of the bird. She tells me, All of life’s gifts are flowers in my garden— as she smiles and gives me the finger.

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Two Rosaries and a Pair of Shoes By Barb Reynolds

The flight attendant passes out hot towels for our hands, and the bald guy in front of me wipes his entire head with it. Smiling, I glance down and, in the light from the plane window, notice a faint indentation on my finger where my wedding ring wrapped itself for ten years. Four years removed and I can still see it, in just the right light, on a plane to Boston, behind a bald man’s clean and shiny head. I listen to Rachmaninoff, Opus 23, on my headphones as we pass through nothing but white. The man next to me spits food on my scarf as he introduces himself, and we both act like it didn’t happen—I don’t ask him anything when dessert comes. A voice comes over the PA, asking if anyone claims a bag containing two rosaries and a pair of shoes. No one presses their button, and, assuming it’s someone from the previous flight, I wonder if the person who owns those things realizes they are making their way without them.

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About Barb Reynolds Barb Reynolds was an emergency response child abuse investigator for 22 years. Her chapbook Boxing Without Gloves was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. Her poems have appeared in various journals, most recently, CALYX, Poet Lore, POEM, Mudfish, WomenArts Quarterly Journal (Oct), and Roanoke Review (Dec). Barb is the curator of the Britt Marie Poetry Series in Albany, CA. She is currently working on a biography and documentary called Auntie Mark.

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POEM FROM DAYNA LELLIS

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Strong Women By Dayna Lellis

I know strong women who are loud. They speak their minds to the masses, knowing that their truths are more important than placating fragile egos. They lead the march into battle, facing injustice with relentless determination. I know strong women who are quiet. They value listening just as much as speaking. Their words may not reach the masses, but they reach a few deeply. They know that some battles can only be won with kindness. I’m proud to know strong women.

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About Dayna Lellis Dayna Lellis graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2013 and Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2014. She works as a middle school teacher in New York and writes in her spare time. Her poetry is forthcoming in Valley Voices: A Literary Review.

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POEMS FROM DINAH SMITH

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For Her Birthday By Dinah Smith

The people she's forgotten bring her flowers And birthday cards, with words she cannot read. What does she know of years and days and hours? The hothouse blooms her little room embower And people tell her, "You are old, indeed!" The people she's forgotten, who bring her flowers. Her garden's bleak with winter's icy showers, And memories of summertime recede. What does she know of years and days and hours? Too long, too long the days of fading powers, The weakening brain, the terrifying need. But people she's forgotten bring her flowers. She thinks there was a garden once, with flowers, And children, who had not yet learned to grieve. What does she know of years and days and hours? Stray glimmers pierce the dark that overpowers, Though memory's a strand of broken beads. But people she's forgotten bring her flowers. What does she know of years and days and hours?

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Winter Leaf By Dinah Smith

Unseen by you, I saw you yet again, Crossing the park. I knew at once your gait, your walk, The way your suit coat hung close to the curve of your back, Where, once, my arms had clung. I fixed upon your hair, Remembering how it smelt - astringent, clean And how it felt - the silver, waving strands, like soft silk, Threading through my hands. You stopped, as if to turn, Under a chestnut tree, Where conkers lay, all strewn along the ground, And picked one up and held it in your palm, Later to slip into the small, soft hand Of grandchild, dear to you. And then you walked away, Crushing the dead leaves where they lay. Oh, how I longed for you then, Knowing if I had only been as once I was, when I was young. I would have held you now. Just so, in the palm of my hand, Who now am just another winter leaf, Unnoticed, crushed beneath your careless feet!

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About Dinah Smith Dinah Smith writes from her own experience of a long life. She has shared some of her poems at Open Mic events at local pubs and at Warwick Literary Festival, where she was named Poet Laureate in 2011. Several of her poems have appeared in online publications.

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POEMS FROM JAN BALL

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Augsburg Pedicure By Jan Ball

Not the piranha pedicure of London where little fish nibble our tough callouses or the luxurious soakings in hot, gardenia-scented water in an American salon, instead in a cobbled alley in Augsburg, away from cafÊs in Fuggersplatz, a sign says NAILS so I follow it to an open door where a young Vietnamese woman in very short shorts and a black and white baseball cap with writing I don’t understand even though it is supposedly English, leads me up a staircase to an empty area except for two gray chairs and says sit, then brings a wooden bucket of tepid water and sits on the other chair while she slides the bucket in front of me and indicates that I should submerge my feet in it. As she arranges my softened soles on a cushion between her legs, we hesitantly try to talk. Because I have 39


no German except bitte or danke and because I say, enunciating words slowly, that I taught English to Vietnamese refugees in Australia, gesturing boat, she retrieves words that I know from her pronunciation are from her childhood, so we are able to communicate a little. She snips the overgrown cuticles, clips the toe in my socks and massages my feet and ankles so tenderly that in a beer garden where we go for dinner, the flies think that I’m a bakery. A buxom manicurist with Cleopatra eyes, comes up the stairs and tells me that she learned English from girls she worked with then goes to the WC, I presume, and a good-looking Vietnamese man in cargo pants converses in their tonal language with repartee that brings out harsh sounds and sly, sidewise looks from my pedicurist. I pay the thirty Euros with tip as my pedicurist struggles to say, I want ideas, you, gesturing at her head. Instead, I say goodbye but give her an American hug before I walk away. 40


Disabled By Jan Ball

Wheel-chaired in the French market, in front of a Cezanne display of red peppers, raspberries in little containers that we might pack for a child’s lunch in Chicago and fragrant Cavillon melons that could be atomized as perfume, most people step aside considerately as my husband steers me past the stalls like he is proud to push the sled at Wattage, his exercise club, but some women stare at me or worse, seem to sneer, as if I didn’t eat my peas so ended up in a wheel-chair with lumber stenosis, but hopefully, I’m being paranoid and their frowns are due to some bruised fruit they see or the harsh sun that sneaks its fingers through the stand canopy, nothing to do with me. Once, somewhere, I stared as a taxi driver opened the back door for a woman who cautiously stepped out. He took some soiled tissues to a garbage can. I sneered at them. 41


I don’t know why.

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Stick Shift By Jan Ball

When Jack slices his hand with the jagged breadknife oozing blood on the bamboo bread board terrifying both of them like a dead aunt walking in the back door, Kara responds as fast as she would return a volleyball spike grabbing a clean dish towel to press the sides of the gash together as she learned to do in high school first aid. When the bleeding doesn’t stop, they snatch their jackets from the metal mudroom hooks to go to Greenwich Hospital’s emergency room, just two miles along Putnam Road. Kara must drive, of course, since Jack is elevating his wound like displaying a trophy, so she wedges her very protruding nine-month pregnant abdomen tight against the steering wheel of Jack’s black Toyota truck. She presses the clutch firmly with her left foot as her mother once showed her to do, then engages the gears and clutch, first reversing from their driveway onto the dark road, then lurches as she shifts to first, hits the gas pedal and accelerates through second, to third. As she drives, she glances over at Jack’s 43


hand. It is still weeping beet red stains on the dish towel. At last Kara is relieved to see the ER entrance and the Valet Parking sign. When she maneuvers into neutral, Jack sprints out of the passenger side into the hospital as the valet approaches her on the driver side. He looks at the truck and says, “I don’t drive manual. You’ll have to park it yourself.”

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About Jan Ball 267 of Jan Ball’s poems appear in journals such as: ABZ, Atlanta Review, Calyx, Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Nimrod, and Verse Wisconsin, in Great Britain, Canada, India, Ireland and the U.S. Jan’s two chapbooks: accompanying spouse (2011) and Chapter of Faults (2014) were published with Finishing Line Press. Jan’s first full-length poetry book, I Wanted to Dance with My Father was published by Finishing Line Press in September 2017. When not working out, gardening at their farm or traveling, Jan and her husband like to cook for friends.

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POEMS FROM KATHARINE COGGESHALL

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The Split By Katharine Coggeshall

I had a fight with myself this morning, perhaps because the yucca bushes are blooming or perhaps because I’m phasing with the moon— both angelic ways of saying I have allergies and I’m PMSing. Either way, I was ready to pick a fight, and my reflection was unfortunate enough to make an appearance. It was quite the blowout, with insults raining and normally bottled emotions spilling all over the floor, creating hazards wherever I walked. I certainly won and lost, the verdict changes depending on which split of my personality you believe. They’re both crazy, if you ask me, though no one ever does. We’ve yet to make up, and I’ve offered no less than a yucca bouquet. This may be our final split.

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Motherhood By Katharine Coggeshall

I begin five hundred times before stepping with confidence in one direction. With pre-worn soles and aching feet, I stride, knowing this placement at one is shorthand for one thousand. Stepping like a metronome can only soothe me for a mile before I weaken to the need for crescendo and ascent. Barefoot over cacti, reaching for the crags, my muscles fully coil to anticipate the leap. Not once is there a question to climb without a mission; not once is there a moment to tend to bleeding feet. And so I cross the mountains because my mind tells me I must, while my injured body weeps a language I no longer speak.

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Unedited By Katharine Coggeshall

If you take the edits, take the critiques, to better bloom in season and embrace the wind that robs you of your seed, there will be a moment after decades of shaping, of pruning, when you reflect on vanished roots, nod to the wildflowers, and wither.

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About Katharine Coggeshall Katharine Benelli Coggeshall lives in the mountains of New Mexico. Although her background is in science, Katharine has always been drawn to writing. She is now a technical writereditor for a national laboratory. Katharine has been published by Blue Mountain Arts, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Constant Content, Prolific Press, Inklings Publishing, Focus on the Family, Rue Scribe, and authors a column in the Los Alamos Daily Post Newspaper.

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POEMS FROM MARY K O’MELVENY

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Fission (Or, The Day I Discovered My Wife – June, 1988) By Mary K O’Melveny Radioactive fission, where the center of a heavy element spontaneously emits a charged particle as it breaks down into a smaller nucleus, does not occur often, and happens only with the heavier elements. Fission is different from the process of fusion, when two nuclei join together rather than split apart. - Live Science.

Was it fission or fusion? Whatever it was, I felt its spontaneity. Charged particles blew into the vestibule where we had been standing. The hairs on my arms rose up as if an electrical storm was brewing right over the carpeted halls and pastel prints decorating the walls. We had been working late on legal documents, studying citations as if they were Talmudic texts, trying to hone the nucleus of our arguments. Suddenly, I was speechless, as if all the air had vanished from the room so sound would not carry. Looking back, I am not sure what words could have traversed those light years that had traveled between us 52


in that fiery moment of raw energy, reactions feeding fires, letting loose, spilling out, re-emerging larger than before. All I can recall now is that life as I had known it was over. My new self was about to expand, burst forth like a nuclear firestorm.

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Ice Skating on the Moon (On the Day After‌) By Mary K O’Melveny

I dreamt we went ice skating on the darkest side of the moon where no one could find us where waterfilled comets fell and no one heard a sound we were hidden so deep in penumbras deep space probes missed our sparkle the magic arc of our brazen triple axels dark poles hid us solar windstorms dropped frost crystals we leapt to catch them before they could show up on radio waves we were determined to stay submerged to swirl to leap to places where 54


no could find us where we would be audacious free of judgments pure as crystals

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The Umbra Around Us By Mary K O’Melveny

These days, the eclipse is on our minds. I don’t mean the one involving the sun. I’m worried about kindness dimming down, eroding faster than wind-swept sand dunes. The other day, my wife and I were driving home, a rainbow sticker peeking out from our bumper, when two young white men began shrieking invectives, fingers piercing the air like pitchforks. Rage shrouded their eyes. Tattoos covered their arms, skulls and swastikas swarmed. Maybe they were heading down to Charlottesville. Maybe diminishment has always defined them. Now, though, they have swollen up, intent on blotting out everything that is not them. Suddenly, shadows hover everywhere. Penumbras and umbras arrive unannounced as we are sitting peaceably 56


on our front stoops or holding signs of protest. Still, the world darkens, while we stare heavenward trying to ignore shadows, hoping blindness will not follow.

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About Mary K O’Melveny Mary K O'Melveny is a recently retired labor rights lawyer living in Washington DC and Woodstock NY. Her poetry has been published in various print and on-line journals and blog sites such as Writing in a Woman's Voice and The New Verse News. Mary's poetry chapbook, A Woman of a Certain Age, was published by Finishing Line Press in September 2018.

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POEMS FROM RC DEWINTER

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new boots by RC deWinter

just spent some bucks for boots they're light and comfy tie above the ankles perfect for tromping out into the underbelly of an unknown land i've been wearing them every day for awhile better to break them in now than to find out too late in the middle of nowhere there's a spot that rubs wrong and there's nothing for it but to bandage blisters at night so far so good they seem a perfect fit i got some new boots for the inner woman too they're also light and comfy but they don't tie at all pretty skimmers another perfect fit slide 'em on and you're good to go equally suited for everyday 60


tripping the light fantastic or navigating new territory sturdy enough for whatever terrain needs exploring comfortable enough not to rub i've needed those new me-boots desperately it's been too long stumbling through life rough and clumsy in the old ones too heavy for everyday laces knotted and fraying soles worn down to the soul scraping it with every step against the ground not sure why i kept wearing them just lazy i guess or maybe afraid of change but now i got me some new boots for outside and in and neither pair is more or less real than the other and yes i'm really good to go

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The One That Got Away By RC deWinter

You know those movies where two people meet and instantly bond – heart mind soul and sometimes but not always flesh – like temporary magnets the kind that can't resist each other when in close proximity? I’m not talking red hot lust here. No. This goes beyond itchy pants. This is THE ONE. There's cosmic glue… Oh shit, I’m mixing metaphors with the magnets, but the magnets are important because there's a point I forgot to make back there, and that is: Temporary magnets only bond in the presence of the electromagnetic field energizing them. Move them away from that and BANG! They're demagnetized. People, on the other hand are hardwired for memory: 62


shortterm, longterm, sensory, explicit, implicit, declarative, procedural, semantic, episodic. Hell, there's even muscle memory. And THAT is the point. When that happens in these movies – the instant bonding, I mean, because it's Hollywood, when those people are separated – and they ALWAYS are, temporarily or permanently – they never forget. No matter what else happens, that experience is an invisible mnemonic – an emotional tattoo. Yeah, I know a lot of you say love isn't unique, fashioned to fit only one, but I’m here to validate Hollywood. For some people there is only THE ONE: the love of one's life, the (disgusting term) soulmate. Hell, even Conan Doyle knew this when he assigned Sherlock’s dried-up misanthropic heart to Irene Adler. How many have lost THE ONE to death or some other unavoidable, 63


irrevocable separation and lived alone thereafter unable to reassign that love to an inferior substitute? And what about the ones who found each other, stayed together and when one finally gives up the ghost the other dies within weeks or months because life has lost its meaning in the absence of THE ONE? They're uncountable. I bet you even know people like this. For some of us there really is only THE ONE. Yes, everyday life goes on for most, but it's only a half-life; the real living takes place within the boundaries of that emotional tattoo, within the mnemonic of THE ONE who by whatever means – death or disaster or just rotten bad luck – got away.

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surgical steel by RC deWinter

after our dizzy fling was over i kept up with your shenanigans in secret i bit my tongue bloody to keep from snapping out some snark about your endless string of conquests even if i had given voice to the venom it wouldn't have so much as scratched the surface of your inch-thick hide nothing i said in love ever did nothing i'd say in anger ever could i marvel at the swath you cut mowing willing sacrifices down like daisies under a sharp blade you always were cold and clinical there's no accounting for taste

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About RC deWinter RC deWinter is a writer/digital artist whose poetry has been anthologized in New York City Haiku (NY Times 2017) and Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002). Her poetry has appeared in print in 2River View, Pink Panther Magazine, Another Sun, Plum Ruby Review, Garden Tripod well as in many online publications. Down in the Dirt will feature two of her poems in its forthcoming Jan/Feb 2019 issue. Her art has been published, too, and also used as set dÊcor on ABC-TV’s Desperate Housewives.

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POEMS FROM SAVANNAH ROBERSON

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Harvest By Savannah Roberson

I plant seeds and I weave between the ghosts of the field—those fatigued, war-torn echoes in the clouds who press ice into the buds of the rhododendrons and dress the moon in black. I pull weeds and this is my harvest; this reaping of my past selves one by one, those cold leaves long decaying among the dust and the dirt and the discarded roses from discarded lovers. I lift the roots from the earth and I sew strings of their sweet dark strength into my foggy lungs, their seeds held tight between my teeth for the fields my hands are yet to meet. I water the sprouts and pour it slow and steady— those sweetly ripe bundles wrapped in old death. I let them heal and let myself feel what used to be and what left long ago. I plant seeds, and as for the ghosts of the field— those shadowed whispers high in the willows or hanging low from the eaves—my harvest spreads fast and sweet and they fall silent at my feet.

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Yellow By Savannah Roberson

When we were young, we ran through gold fields on strong legs like foxes wild with the morning sun. We washed our hair of time and worry and we bathed in warm promises of tomorrow. We grew tall as the pines, our arms strong as we reached for the sun as if it were a small gold coin to be cupped in our outstretched hands. The days flowed like sand through our fingers—we were pendulums in perpetual sway. When we were young, we ran through gold fields, laughing like lightning, clutching the sun in our hands like a million yellow buttercups.

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A Leaving Song By Savannah Roberson

I. Things didn’t go as planned. Pieces of us stuck somewhere high up in the ice on the elms and in the gray grass that crunched and sighed that whole winter. I remember a hum in the early morning like cotton in my ears, a numbness in my fingers and on my tongue, like winter was moving in and here to stay. II. At night, I hear an owl outside my window who lives alone and drinks the night like hope, or courage, or something sweeter I have not yet tasted. He clutches the dark close and grows silent in the light, and this makes me want to ask him what he knows of love.

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About Savannah Roberson Savannah is a sophomore English major and Appalachian Studies minor at Radford University where she enjoys playing music, reading, spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, Jake, and exploring as much of her beloved mountains as she can. She hopes to continue pursuing her writing, music, and adventuring.

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POEMS FROM SHARON TRACEY

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Self-Portrait By Sharon Tracey —Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1790); oil on canvas; 100 x 79 cm

After all those years painting patron Marie Antoinette and her royal court, all those diamond pebbles and blue veins throbbing under sweating temples before the Queen’s beheading—here the artist’s mindset turns to I, a mirrored gaze, some gauzed muslin wrapped around her head of curls, not to obscure her plan—but to find herself—inside the contours of the body, subject and object becoming one. How do we ever know when the work is done? Palette and brushes clutched in her left hand, she makes what seems a final mark with her right, to finish herself—absorbed like water taken by a sponge. Link : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lebrun,_Self-portrait.jpg

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Amelia Peláez 1896-1968 (b. Yaguajay, Cuba)

Fishes By Sharon Tracey —Amelia Peláez (1943); oil on canvas; 115 x 89 cm

When she passed the pescado & circled back for the four of them what was floating through her mind— why did she decide to paint them like stained glass— fire red, yarrow yellow, hornet green— splayed overlapping on the serving plate startled eyes filling holes & all that black crowded with criollo, wrought iron the table clothed, the balustrade baroque— where did she learn to cut patterns for a cubist cloth ornamental as an ornament of love, instrumental as an instrument of need, so lavishly adorned— Somewhere in Havana there is a house inside every house lives a woman inside the woman a bird in its beak a voice Link: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78714

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About Sharon Tracey Sharon Tracey is a writer, editor, and author of the poetry collection What I Remember Most Is Everything (ALL CAPS PUBLISHING, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Common Ground Review, Canary, Silkworm, Ekphrasis, and elsewhere. She holds a Master's degree from the University of California Berkeley and lives in western Massachusetts. www.sharontracey.com

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POEM FROM STACEY RICE

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Gabriel Beckett and His Tablet after Shel Silverstein’s Jimmy Jet and His TV Set By Stacey Rice

I’ll tell you the story of Gabriel Beckett – please know that what I say is true. He loved to watch his tablet even more than you do! He started swiping before 6 a.m., and continued into the night, until his eyes got crossed and his neck got cramped. From Minecraft to YouTube to Doodle Jump to Super Hero Bike Mega Ramp. He stared till his eyes popped out, and his hands became part of the iPad case. His cheeks started to glow, and music came from his face. His mouth emitted blue light. His head became the screen. One nostril became a round, white button the other, the camera of the machine. And he grew a cord that looked like a tail, so we charged up my little babe. And now instead of a tablet we tap on little Gabe.

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About Stacey Rice Stacey Rice is a teacher by trade, a former journalist, and most importantly a mom. When she’s not substituting in an elementary classroom, she’s busy scrubbing jelly off the kitchen counter and folding unending loads of laundry. She can often be found fighting with her kids about their iPad use - she is convinced her son will turn into one! She loves her family, her faith, and FaceTime!

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POEMS FROM WHITNEY WALTERS

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Dear Girl By Whitney Walters

I see you sitting beneath the trees in the campus library piecing together the philosophy of words you describe yourself with. I know you will figure out the rhythms as you sit in the window nook listening to heels punctuating the hallway and watching the stairs round with age. I’ve heard the way you speak observed the way your movements translate ideas and form thoughts in the space between. And yet I wonder. When was the last time you aligned your spine along the ice and melded with the watery ceiling beneath you?

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For her By Whitney Walters

Pressing down, I look up at myself in the rearview mirror and compel myself forward, never looking back to the end of someone waiting for life to begin. For surely, inner torment cannot remain within the chaos of a being so focused on everything in the picture, but herself. Because everyone has seen stop signs, but have you ever seen red signs? I wouldn’t change the legends engraved on my body. Like all others, my hands wear the trials of moments and point out the truth, laying in the road ahead of me as I accelerate to deep water, where I may finally wash myself of others’ requests and hear the beautiful shut up as I shower 81


in my storm of elements shaping the figure of letters in the air.

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I am By Whitney Walters

I am the woman in a classy dress stepping down out of the driver’s seat of the black Chevrolet Silverado she recently waxed the one who revels in loaded baked potato soup and as much bread as she can eat, who never watched her figure aside from making sure she eats enough calories to get through tomorrow’s two swimming practices and weight lifting session I’m the pony-tailed female seen backing the trailer down the boat landing, a black lab riding shot-gun, yesterday and swing dancing to jazz today the sweaty girl covered in dirt after planting seeds, weeding the garden, and staining the dock all morning before taking a well-earned dip in the lake and sitting down to read and write the afternoon away 83


I’m the daughter who buys Stanley, DeWalt, and Craftsman knows the difference between a Philips and a flathead tore a bathroom down to the studs to remodel it with her partner and empowers college students to write well as well as the lady licensed and capable of shooting a gun to hunt and persistent about collecting Anchor Hocking Lido Milano antiques I’m the bride-to-be watching every play in a sundrenched baseball hat and jersey because she’s holding her bachelorette party at the baseball stadium before she dresses to the nines in white Or it could be said I ripped the box apart

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About Whitney Walters Whitney (Walters) Jacobson is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and an assistant editor of Split Rock Review. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and reviews have been published or are forthcoming in Assay, DASH, Up North Lit, Wanderlust-Journal, and The Thunderbird Review, among other publications.

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Profile for Voice of Eve Magazine

Voice of Eve Issue Four  

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