Voice of Eve
ISSUE NINE - JULY 2019
Contents Angela Anagnost-Repke 4 Ann Christine Tabaka 10 Anna Cates 16 Arya F. Jenkins 22 Bethany Wacker 30 Elena Lelia Radulescu 34 Elizabeth Spencer Spragins 40 Fiona Chai 48 Francesca F. Terzano 56 Gabriela Penelope Carolus 62
Grace Oller 66 Hannah Grieco 72 Loukia Borrell 76 Maggie Burton 84 Marianne Brems 92 Michal Mahgerefteh 98 Olivia Shoemaker 102
The Norway Maple
Don’t call her exquisite When her leaves are the sun, Waving to the blue sky. Don’t gawk at her majestic crown When the grass scratches her trunk. You’ll only rake up her leaves And throw them away After they fall. And once the sky turns gray, Her branches will reach, naked, Poking holes through the thick air. She will breathe. No, you won’t stop, Or take a picture When icy winds whip her, Leave her shaken, And rattle her roots. You won’t look then. You will forget her, Wet trunk of tears. But don’t call her inspiring When she gifts you rejuvenation, Sap tiptoeing up her trunk, Veins giving nutrients Through her green leaves, And floating angel wings Falling on your porch. She does not need you. With her roots coiling beneath her,
Clawing, Stretching through the dirt, She will not move.
About Angela Anagnost-Repke
Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Angela is known for her dreadful technology skills and her mean Grecian chicken. She has been published in Good Morning America, ABC News, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, and more. Angela has personal and literary essays in Literary Mama, The HerStories Project, the anthology, “Red State Blues” by Belt Publishing, among others. She is currently at-work on the cross-generational memoir, Mothers Lie.
ANN CHRISTINE TABAKA
Water … Cool, refreshing, life sustaining. Absent, all breath perishes. The river that flows down to the sea is born in the mountains high. A marriage of snow-melt and rain, an ancient love story of myth. Trickling, sparkling, growing, pregnant with life, a union for all ages. Moisture laden clouds bestow their gift upon the earth. All that is living sing praise to waters from above. Enduring journey over rocks and pain, continuing to the sandy shores of time. Reflecting all that was before and all there is to be. Rain … a soothing, melodic patter, or a devastating downpour. Both blessing and bane. Yet we cannot live without it. Water … A reminder of where we came from, and where we are to end. Prismed droplets, a rainbow’s tribute upon the thirsty earth.
ANN CHRISTINE TABAKA
Alligator skin and button eyes. The devil himself would cry at seeing such a man. Twisted hand held out in despair, begging for a pittance. Gaping wound of hunger weeps out injustice spent for a dime. Cardboard castle and newspaper bed against a bitter cold blast of truth. Breath held tight in defiance to a storm of unrepented sins. Again, and yet again I say, but for the grace …. Time turning orange to brown, fingers aching blue. Discarded man, hunched figure, a pile of rags upon the sidewalk. Head bowed low, not in contrition. Empty shell with hollow stare. Words of ice melted by the fire of unforgiving masses. No one sees, no one cares. A procession of woe slowly spirals ever downward into a whirlpool of the damned. Tear stained vision of impassioned pain, forever cursed to walk this earth alone, calling street corner home. But for the grace …
About Ann Christine Tabaka
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.
Pandora’s Box (a triolet)
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. . . —Mary Oliver a child doesn’t understand the darkness laden with stars yet fears patching the cracks with absence or harshness a child doesn’t understand the darkness of black holes the enigma of emptiness distances conjured in light years a child doesn’t understand the darkness laden with stars yet fears
one lady home alone there is no fire in her memories, only ice—her hands are cold, so cold indifferent, the stellar night [flip over for the uncensored version of this poem]
Rag Doll (a villanelle)
Memories moor along the burden I feel Shrouded in the fog of that bay And autumn chill settles into the gull’s reel Where sky and sea congeal Portents speak in shades of gray Memories moor along the burden I feel A tiresome journey’s big reveal How souls shatter like jars of clay And autumn chill settles into the gull’s reel A rag doll isn’t made of steel I’m confounded by the fray Memories moor along the burden I feel Our human blight the woe and the weal Along the lonesome quay I stray And autumn chill settles into the gull’s reel Where blood tides shift into sickly teal And endless waves recoil and sway Memories moor along the burden I feel And autumn chill settles into the gull’s reel
About Anna Cates
Anna Cates is a graduate of Indiana State University (M.A. English and Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction/English) and National University (M.F.A. Creative Writing). Her first collections of poetry and fiction, The Meaning of Life and The Frog King, were published by Cyberwit Press, and her second poetry collection, The Darkroom, by Prolific Press. She lives in Ohio with her two beautiful kitties and teaches education and English online, including graduate courses in creative writing.
ARYA F. J
The New Place
ARYA F. JENKINS
Is raw with potential Were it not for Wallpaper peeling Dark paint swirls caked upon a bedroom wall One cracked window Another barely opening Wind slivers wrap around your ankles Emptiness creaks everywhere Signs of madness linger in the kitchen Where someone tried to build a small Fire on linoleum God only knows what the piles of Rolled salamander rugs hold Among their crumbs and Residues of long-abandoned hopes and hungers The chipped black-painted bathroom wall tiles Collapse at the touch The pipes in the gap behind the old bathtub Hum and caw No magical TV crew here to turn People’s lives around in an hour Just human hands brushing Cobwebs aside from the ceiling and walls Closets and shelves Scrubbing away window clouds Painting the ugliness out
Outside the room with broken crooked blinds You can hear branches agitating against the clapboard And beyond a stream not yet frozen calling When spring comes I will sing for you-So you close your eyes Fitting yourself kindly into nooks Filling in the blanks like a ghost Eager to be tucked into That promise.
End of a Song
ARYA F. JENKINS
Your heart’s a miser Stealing locks Unholy weather As if all the dramas in the world Were your doing As if love Was the seat of your effort Heat gathers in your extremities As you prepare to excise the Rusty kitchen knife Left in your cheek From long years Railing against her Your teeth could spell out The night you conceived her If you could hold them still Keep them from eating Her trail of lies Upholding her conceit You could sharpen them against What you already know These tethers between you This callous aborted glory You are the mistress of nothing The master howler Lynching pages across silence
Only a silent knife remains Marking memories.
ARYA F. JENKINS
Brown eyes like glass to the deep well of the river Where you are afraid to swim Knowing in spite of what you hear There is danger there Still you go in Drink to your heart’s content The content of other places And see yourself floating at night on that river Watching the moon through fingers of trees that Try to stop you but You go on transfixed with the mirror until You awaken on the sea Whose waves do not let you go Adrift No trees to protect you from the Relentless sun Still you think of her Even as you blend among the weeds.
About Arya F. Jenkins
Arya F. Jenkins’s poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and zines such as Agave Magazine, Blue Heron Review, Cider Press Review, Dying Dahlia Review, The Feminist Wire, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, IO Literary Journal, KYSO Flash, Otis Nebula, and The Ekphrastic Review. Her fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017 and 2018. Her poetry has also been nominated for the Pushcart. Her work has appeared in at least five anthologies. Her poetry chapbooks are: Jewel Fire (AllBook Books, 2011) and Silence Has A Name (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her short story collection Blue Songs in an Open Key was published by Fomite Press in November 2018.
Blood waters the thirsty ground, as brother rises up against brother wounds seeping, it covers the earth An endless cycle, no reason to stop it. Brother rises up against brother, blood is not wasted, it cries from the ground An endless cycle, no reason to stop it. Blood gives life. Life spills blood. Blood is not wasted, it cries from the ground as Cain cries out to Abel. Blood gives life. Life spills blood. And crimson pulses into a new generation. As Cain cries out to Abel humanity echoes with jealous rage, and crimson pulses into a new generation Seeding life once more.
About Bethany Wacker
Bethany Wacker is an aspiring poet, currently studying at Central Washington University. She loves to create and make things beautiful, particularly in her garden which she uses as a constant metaphor for life. She has cats, wears floppy garden hats, and has been told she has an 80-year-old soul. Bethany currently lives in Yakima, Washington.
ELENA LELIA RADULESCU
Let it be summer again on the road to the orchard, birds pinning ribbons of songs in the sweet cherry trees, tiger lilies in bloom turning fingers to gold at the touch of an anther. Let it be you waiting in the cool shade of the arbor, bees orbiting peaches and pears sprawled at the edge of the table, fancy lives from the book set aside, as I enter your garden. Let us be lost in that bliss, that luminous crevice in time when words have no wings, just the thought we both share: Death-is-a-dream, we-are-not-dreaming. Not yet, not yet.
ELENA LELIA RADULESCU
In the ladder of bones my childless body becomes a rung, the last one before landing in Nothingness.
ELENA LELIA RADULESCU
Early morning she would strip the beds down to their wooden bones, lift blankets, toss sheets, and brush dreams left idle on pillow lace. Then, like Good Mother Friday from an old fairytale she would stir and poke with a stick the linen boiling, bubbling in a pot in the yard. At noon, pinned on the line, the whites would swing, sway, raise wings, while I, a child of five or six, would hold my breath afraid that our world would sail into the mountains.
About Elena Lelia Radulescu
Elena Lelia Radulescu was born in Romania. She has a masters degree in philosophy from her native country, and degrees in education from Hunter College and Columbia University, NYC. She worked as a teacher of the blind and visually impaired in New York City public schools. Presently she is retired, and lives in Katy, Texas. She has been published with poetry, short stories and essays by Visions International, Square Lake Review, Karamu, Chelsea Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Cape Rock Review, Persimmons Review, Texas Poetry Calendar, Mutabilis Press Anthology, Twisted Endings, Forgotten Women Anthology, Calyx Journal, Magnolia Journal, Trajectory Journal, Gastronomica Journal and other publications. For the last two years she has been working on a middle grade novel in verse.
ELIZABETH SPENCER SPRAGINS
a spinning wheel rests on worn planks in my attic— widow spiders weave broken threads of memories into tapestries of time ~Willow Spring, North Carolina
ELIZABETH SPENCER SPRAGINS
dark hands strike a drum to the rhythm of despair when words spark no warmth I hold my breath with grace notes that smolder in the stillness ~Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, North Dakota
Epitaph (A Rhupunt) ELIZABETH SPENCER SPRAGINS
I climb alone, Unseen, unknown, Near graves of stone Beyond the gate. High on the hill My child lies still In twilight’s chill. Concealed, I wait For one man’s face And hurried pace To reach the place We share through fate. He held her heart But spurned his part At new life’s start. His road ran straight And brooked no bend; The plan he penned With foreseen end Did not equate With love for third. The sharp-edged word My daughter heard Cut through the slate Of sturdy roof. Snipped by reproof,
The warp and woof Of love unmate And edges fray. He comes to pray— Perhaps unsay Harangues of hate And sheath their knife. Death holds the wife He drove from life: He bears the weight Of blood and bone And must atone. Now unbeknown, I celebrate The son, the heir, Who is not there. Stone words declare He lies sedate, Unborn, with her. Mute lines aver No babe could stir, But errant date, A chiseled lie, Hides infant cry. I will defy Without debate And guard the child That he reviled, For I beguiled The court and state. The father leaves, No doubt believes That when he “grieves,”
Words compensate For fists that fight. I mourn the blight, The loss of light, And linger late.
 The lengthwise and transverse threads that are woven together to produce fabric.
About Elizabeth Spencer Spragins
Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet, writer, and editor who taught in community colleges for more than a decade. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in England, Scotland, Canada, Indonesia, India, Mauritius, and the United States. Recent work has appeared in the Lyric, Blueline, Halcyon Days, Page & Spine, and Peacock Journal. Publication updates are available on her website: www.authorsden.com/elizabethspragins.
Sonnet of the Dark Woman
I am that dark woman whose eyes are black and nothing like the sun. I am a deep and towering vacuum of night that lacks a moon; I am your soul reflecting sleep from off your skin. Tell me again how God is not a woman. I will tear your eyes right from your face and shove them through your jaw so you can see inside yourself. And I will say, “Is God a woman now?” You squirm because you know that you have hanged the light of motherhood and girls, that pure, infirm and dying sound- there’s nothing left but blight and I will drag you down ‘til everything is mold and God is left alone, singing.
I sleep naked. Satin lines of comforter, feather weight on my white legs pale, shaved, with a shimmering razor blade slice on my shin pale shin pale steel still embedded in my skin and my callused feet are hard and stink like the burning peppermint toothpaste I dolloped on the sink. Also pale, pale white and pink. I sleep beautiful with my skinny, bludgeoned cuticles pressing dimly at rough rectangle hips scandalized and pinkish tips fold left mounds sinking flat into my pale chest pale, pale my thick arms are aching frail my hair flickers salty stale over shoulders brandished and chagrined. I curl in, and sleeping drop my wit down to the blue. Nestled, nestled nestled like a kitten with the vines poking through. I sleep sexy, powder smear of makeup on my chin and the cringing upward curl of my nose where my buttoned face begins.
Love my jaw, the contoured craters there over pimples pop pop pop! like bebe guns eyebrows arched and menacing, firm like how my jowls run and mascara trace of tatted tear smirking, “All is-! All is here!” I cock my head, lend the diamond in my ear But after all this time, what else is there to hark? I can find nothing near, nothing new to mark I cannot see the colors in the pale, pale dark.
O, Tell His Highness We Ordain the Queen
Thou shalt not call the woman frail, Son Or speak of moral failings she sustains For she has bled through all that thou hast done And when your might is gone the girl remains. Thou shalt not say, “Here dies morality” When every lily she adorns is pure Though it was you who killed her, she dies free And writes an epitaph: “I’m never yours.” Thus while you speak at Yorick, she runs fast Down past the banks where roses grow at last.
About Fiona Chai
Fiona Chai has been writing since the age of eleven and currently pursues a Creative Writing BA from the University of Colorado Boulder. They recently published their debut novel, RAZE, through Amazon Kindle Select. Their work has also been featured in literary journals including “Voice of Eve,” “Random Sample,” and “Light and Dark”. Fiona typically focuses on LGBTQ themes and interpersonal relationships while making use of lyrical language. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at The Queer Protagonist.
FRANCESCA F. TERZANO
No piercing unless it’s in the ears Shave everything except the head Hairless is the best sensitive skin doesn’t matter But the hair can’t be too short Don’t look like a boy! Don’t only wear black No short shorts or low-cut shirts Doesn’t matter how hot it is. Too much make up The eyeliner looks like a raccoon No lipstick I don’t want That on me. I’m doing this for you, Don’t you want to be A better person? I love you.
FRANCESCA F. TERZANO
for you Under the full moon. It’s fine. I can’t sleep anyway. I miss you, as Selene looks Down at her lover’s beautiful Sleeping face. I want you to hold me, Just how Endymion Dreams of hugging the moon. The clock ticks. The next day comes. Where are you? Lately you’ve been gone. I am always Awake, waiting As the moon lingers For her human Lover to wake.
About Francesca F. Terzano
Francesca F. Terzano grew up in Southern California. She has her Bachelors and Masters in English, and she runs a small press, Literary Alchemy Press. She has also been published in various online literary magazines. She also loves cats.
To Each Their Own
GABRIELA PENELOPE CAROLUS
It is a queersome world we inhabit. An ever-changing, and yet constant revelation of the past and present. Time has not changed our desires, pain or pleasures. Nor has our identities become another but our own to share. Then, why do you seek clarification for others coming out as their own? Society has selected the shortest straw. While hours have gone by. We fail to see the arms at work with the changing of time. Some of us are more than lovers while others are just friends.
About Gabriela Penelope Carolus
Gabriela Carolus is a social scientist and budding poet. She aims to write about terms and ideas that people take for granted as the ordinary and intimate. This year, Gabriela works as a Guest English Teacher in South Korea. She hopes that her readers will continue this journey with her to reveal the challenges of living and working across different continents as a millennial.
My Treasures Lie Within
Constantly wondering if the dirty-looking man standing close by in Non-Fiction at the MET downtown is truly interested in poetry or is interested in me Wondering what is so fascinating about my knee caps and the space above them while sweating down the street, feeling eyes gaze through male lenses covered in cheap plastic and thick glass a nose piece that is bent beyond repair A sigh of relief When I struggle to push the door open under the words that read My Treasures Lie Within
To Run Fingers Through Color
An author once asked if blue could be ingested if a finger could swirl the blue around and obtain some of the blueness itself The author moved on to talk about more blue things but the question of ingestion was always there, beneath it all a nude model that sits so still you wonder if they are breathing and therefor, real Once, two days ago, I stood next to a babbling brook and tried to mummify the sound of it keep it in my body forever The water was far from blue; clear and brown, the detritus of old leaves huddled together for warmth to save themselves from periwinkle frost. The top of a dog’s head was blue,
once to match his eclectic owner’s own blue hair He had no idea that his blonde-gone teal curls matched his Service Dog vest quite perfectly His name sake, Monet, would approve. To question blue is to wonder what blues mean to each other navy royal neon baby sky Pthalo light dark deep dusty Prussian
About Grace Oller
Grace Oller is a multi-disciplinary painter, sculptor, and curator from South Vienna, Ohio. She is a Junior Fine Arts major at Columbus College of Art & Design with a minor in Creative Writing. Her work explores themes of presence and absence within architecture while her writing is focused on the poetry of the every day. She is the recipient of the 2017 CCAD Creative Excellence Scholarship Award and placed in the 2017 CCAD Creative Writing Awards for her creative non-fiction.
This one was quiet for a long time. Inside she swung her hips and whispered I am allowed to feel these things. Then one morning she opened her eyes evicted that swing and flew her voice, expanding, around the kitchen the block the city releasing every red drip from her wet heart. A trail following her too loud.
About Hannah Grieco
Hannah Grieco is a writer and advocate in Arlington, VA. Her work has been published in Washington Post, Huffington Post, Motherwell, Hobart, Lunch Ticket, Barren Magazine, and more.
Back End of January
We were in the back end of January Colors muted, feeling bleak I put my hope in a ladder-backed woodpecker Its jolt of color, supple neck Its beak needles the suet like a sewing machine Its head nods at me with one eye My lustrous youth has departed Strength and stamina, frail. I reached back often to remember Being a young girl and using a Frisbee to drink metallic-tasting water out Cities I could never call home, Towering palms, oceans Everything is cherished, remembered fondly As I begin to exit my precious middle years I think of the gingko tree whose true shape is only seen In winter years, when it is brittle and bare
8:42 a.m., Stoplight
It’s the anniversary of your death and maybe I won’t think of you too often this year, but you came on strong, right at 8:42 a.m. while I was sitting at a stoplight, listening to Bruce Springsteen sing Brilliant Disguise.
of a hose.
“so when you look at me you better look hard and look twice is that me, baby or just a brilliant disguise” My lips curved down at odd, clownish angles and I blinked back my tears, yeah, the eighties. In the name of God, you said, I’m dead, let go of me. I start driving again, the sun’s out but I want the rain. Turning into my driveway, I cut the ignition and wait, willing you to form in the passenger’s seat. Oh girl. Stop crying, you say. I remember you telling me that the last time I took you for a drive, two days before you died. You could hardly sit up or speak, and you stared at the dashboard. “What’s that orange light?” you asked. “Engine light. It is always on,” I said. “Get that checked.” I get out of the car and walk up the walkway, my eyes burning in the sun. It’s too bright out here. I put the key in the back door and wait for you
to catch up, reaching back to lift you up the steps as if you were a sleepy child of mine.
I Wondered What Would Become of My Boy
His younger sister signed the graduation card and she was philosophical, writing in clear print that she would miss him and the house would be lonely, come August, but that is the way life is. Nothing ever stays the same and no one stays put. I wish I knew that, too, but May caught me by surprise. He turned eighteen, soccer season ended, prom was over and the school year catapulted to a finish. He was a high school graduate and was going to leave for college and shock me, the way you are shocked when time is bent and twisted, crushing you like a folding, metal chair that collapses while you are still sitting in it. I lingered over his graduation gown, ironing the thin fabric, carefully positioning the shiny, satin honor stoles and cords, all for our leading man. After it ended, after summer’s heat waned and I was left feeling less than amazing and exhausted, I would pause by my closet, where I quietly hung his regalia, so I could secretly brush my fingertips over it all and pretend he was still living here and that I knew everything that would become of my boy.
About Loukia Borrell
Loukia Borrell was born to Greek-Cypriot immigrants in Toledo, Ohio, and was raised in Virginia Beach. She graduated from Elon University and, for 20 years, worked as a reporter and correspondent for various newspapers and magazines in Virginia and Florida. She is the author of Raping Aphrodite, a historical fiction novel set during the 1974 invasion and division of Cyprus, and two other books. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Deltona Howl, Blue Heron Review, West Texas Literary Review, bioStories.com, and The Washington Post. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their three children.
I watch you, beheading
capelin at the kitchen sink. Dead long before you gathered them last summer, they were simply tricked by high tide, by fog, by the promise of rolling back out to spawn in peace, never having known you. I hear them, singing, rehearsing, lamenting, performing an ode to the freedom of oceans somehow still resonating, settling in my ears for me to live with. The tendons on the backs of your thumbs startle me as you pop off their heads. I am struck by the quick parallel lines that appear only to recede once again under thin skin of hands. Did you catch my darting eyes? I panic. Imagine you, pulling up the base of my skeletal self, fingers tugging at it like a piece of knitting needled so tight it would never fit anyway. Tension is high and stakes are low but if you smile at me I will lose it—if I shut my eyes
I see myself joining the nautical chorus, all of us warbling together as my head plops on top of the never-closing mouths of voiceless vertebrates in the kitc
Emptying the Vacuum
The fullness of the bag surprised me, contents spilling out like a day on the beach, time wasted. I did it. I disturbed rows of dust bunnies lying on character-print beach towels, eating chips left out from last night’s party, gone soggy from damp sand. I scattered clods of incidental tobacco, gifts once given to carpet while secret lovers passed notes under picnic tables. I toppled towers of ash, grieving for their shapes, their falls from grace, from great heights silent, as they change back to carbon in the hair and thread forests of the vacuum cleaner bag— How could I have emptied the vacuum, knowing what I know?
Cleaning out the Freezer
In and out like a lion I hunt by morning moon in freezer light like what was seen through fog on frozen floes. You know sealers hunted in the Narrows. I scoop out forgotten chicken thighs in shame pick blueberries off frost look for wild strawberries lost in margarine tubs. My hands, Spring breaking ice apart like bread in cold soup the long and hungry month of March is here. It’s all the same today, really, the price of cigarettes being what they are. Like those who came before me I relish frugality, delight in the necessity of self-preservation, I freeze box-mix pancakes for later, half-eaten by picky mouths, their syrup-soaked backs wetted so thoroughly they would never thaw. My pancakes died deep in the freezer, stuck in ice for months before anyone noticed next to the thyme I grew
resentful about the lonely work of motherhood.
About Maggie Burton
Maggie Burton lives in St. John’s with her two children. She is a musician, city councillor, and poet. She is the recipient of a Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award for poetry and a Riddle Fence poetry prize. Her poems have been most recently published or are forthcoming in Riddle Fence, Grain, Plenitude, and at Newfoundland Quarterly Online.
Push and Pull
Like a pebble caught inside a wave tumbling a thousand times before resting on sand then a thousand more as water drawing back again folds it, worn just a little smoother, into its bosom. I crouch on the floor of the apartment my mother left behind with this push and pull coursing in my veins. No chair left for me to retreat from the tumbling, only piles of letters, souvenirs, photos recording childhood birthdays, my science fair medal, our immigration day. What to keep, what to let go. Every consideration caught in the stretch between the two as I push these memories from one pile to another and often without purpose back again. I too wear a little smoother.
Sliver of Change
Parents deliver malleable children into the hands of teachers who lead them through long hallways papered with pictures of the presidents, flags from around the world, and personal experiences recorded in the Tree Ring Project, and lined with rows of backpacks decorated with kittens, Spiderman, jack-o-lanterns, princesses that hold pencils, bananas, unfinished worksheets, forgotten permission slips. When the bell sounds, they catapult onto the playground liberated voices penetrating the open air as their small bodies leap and jerk, twist and run, and mature just a sliver inside twenty minutes before conforming in rows by classroom number, their furious energy soon confined between four walls to messy splendors constructed with butcher paper, paste, and paint.
As paint dries, they return supplies learn multiplication tables, read stories about wild things each molding them a tiny fraction before returning them respectfully to waiting parents.
About Marianne Brems
Marianne Brems is a long time writer of textbooks, but also loves to write whimsical poems. She has an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her poems have appeared in Mused, Soft Cartel, The Pangolin Review, Right Hand Pointing, Armarolla, and Foliate Oak. She lives in Northern California.
Elizbeth, the Poet
Elizabeth spoke with an off clicking lisp, flamboyant red curls like a cloud of frizz flowed over her shoulders. She wore red flannel shirts, even in July’s heat, backpack patched with duct-tape over her right shoulder. No one escaped her wit. Her favorite time of day, she said, was the hour before dawn, as darkness dissolves onto the brilliant gold of sunrise. * After months of absences from poetry events all noticed her scalp; spiked with gray hair hidden by a floral kerchief, eyebrows tattooed in light brown to match her pale complexion. Today I feel like a pin cushion, she says with a wan smile, it took four times to hit the vein, I stare at the air and say a few prayers while the medication slowly drips into my arm. * Elizabeth reads un-well verses, like a bird with lifeless limbs raises above life’s aches until her delicate voice dwindles into silence.
About Michal Mahgerefteh
Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning poet and artist from Virginia. She is author of four poetry chapbooks, the managing editor of Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award and Poetica Publishing. Michal is currently exploring the metaphysical poem with a group of writers.
If I was ther
I could try to pa But it’s And I’ve given You, alway I’m one fo But you’r Last words I made them u Taped-on p Stuck with
Last words ar Mine were ha It might seem you’d But you just looked right throu When I thought there was Trust me, I said them a And yet, it see It was hard for m Wrapping my arms aroun I was the only The only witnes Did you deserve better than my inp My stance would h You so lost you couldn’t even ma
Were you colder in life And yet, set in you was an Separated from each other - us The end you would hav Nothing went as calculated How your eyes pooled
atch it up (genuinely) beyond fixing n up (understandably) ys one step ahead oot in the grave, re already dead s I gave to you â€” up of bits and things: pretty packaging; ribbons and glue
re pretty important alf-assed (Of course) pick apart my assortment ugh their shell, through clouded glass a clear trend to our relationship as fake-ly as you would have emed so easy to slip me to restrain myself nd you, like your closest friend one there, wasnâ€™t I? ss to your moving end put? The quality was in my hands (really) have been bias; was bias. ake your usual petty demands (pathetic)
e than at the brink of death? n obnoxious fire borne (burns me) - just as you isolated me from the rest ve formed; my end (waiting) d, but my own unfitting material d over in a glaze of dullness
Limp limbs and Without the slig You should have torn ap It didn’t match your pieces It didn’t feel like it was really you - it I thought the flat vibes
I just want these to be the last w Even though it doesn’t work like tha I’m still going to take them Forgettable then Stagnant ongoings, slight r Shape to something else I don’t recog That’s shaken ou And I don’t want to visi But maybe writing this w
those lips’ fullness ghtest pull or sneer part my play by your peers s - at least how they use to lay was chilling - and it wasn’t ever the way s were drifting (spherical)
words you hear from me - instead at - I can’t just change their definition back and redefine my intuition - now I can reinvent reconcile over an oozing resent e - change like you started gnize this ghost ut the vindictive host it that featureless creature will be cheaper than therapy
The lock Bulk thick and coiled roun Craters and cracks trace it’ A brutish brutality, a p
Advised to avoid ga Smashed in and limp hobble, it splin Passive-Aggressive giant that trods the co Clad in bronze, toothed mechanisms, steam, a si
Pant pockets punctured with scissors, honed a Rust on screaming gadgetry, roof shack Clutter of hammers and handles strewn on allotte Patchy raiment stitched by tarnished wire, and m
Cruel of maw, the russet jaw, the Quavering at the slightest swing Trusted to conform the m Quaking spine as approaches
k-jawed goon nd steel, face stagnant and fallow â€™s skin, somber shadowed moon puddled personality; shallow
awking or murmers least nters fingers faster than a pronged thimble obble; crude work and hardly a smith of a beast ingle goggle with attached facets strapping and nimble
apparatus, clunky refuse and its own fractured nails kles chained on, but abortive against the pour ed racks and sills; brimming buckets, scuttles and pails misplaced buttons, clasps and catches; parodic grandeur
e blemished cheek, and abhorrent habit g of his cumbersome, irksome hatchet most dented, deformed gadget the gaudy, metal-clad GearPatchet
Confin OLIVIA SH
Past plastered to the b The splatter of ink with guidan Slowly setting the prickly needle to bump as play Alternate past introduced to a blas quick An advanced screen past the means
Held by the stark, you Even further, looking harder into Earsets, headsets, implants, g Giving flight new life, fast
Poverty-striken, n Couldn’t afford a house Loans come slow Alternate You’ve taken what you have a Good comes for nothing an Levels upon levels o Extravagance so oft Never knowing the consequenc
One can’t just pi And write Simple, complex, w
When speaking does one cas So why So far as to make an unknow Write w Ob
back of our fast-paced heads nce of an old-fashioned quill to paper o the disc engrained with small notches to ys the phonograph st of before-it’s-time merchandise, that kly spreads s of them, steam its power, images from vapor ung, lace-hemmed aristocrat destiny until we’re certain time is dead gadgetry, newfound metallic flavor ter than light - advanced aircraft
nail-bitten, dirty clothes e - now lives under cardboard and debt comes rapidly e reality unfolds and made yourself a substantial lord nd you set yourself aside absently overtaken, wealthily rose ten you’re rendered bored ce of your diamond-studded fantasy
ick their preferred font what they want writing rapidly or slow…
sually match the suffixes of words? ever undergo wn subject convoluted and redefined what you know bviously
About Olivia Shoemaker
Olivia Shoemaker is a junior at Cheyenne’s East High School looking to try and, not speak on behalf of anyone, just add her own input into the variety of pieces already composed to further expand the broadening community - made possible to grow by databases like this. Poetry has been a passion of hers ever since elementary school and she is glad for an opportunity to share. (It is hard to find time to write with the homework allotted by IB, but this passion of hers doesn’t seem to be dying out any time soon and this is start of many submissions to come should any more interesting projects arrive.)
Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this month’s collection of poetry from these talented poets. I also want to give a special “Thank You” to Sarah Rodriguez for her art direction on this issue; she hand-picked the images, and the response so far has been very positive. 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 contact@voiceofeve. net. Thank you again, and blessings to you from our staff. Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve Staff Sarah Rodriguez, Editor
Ninth issue of Voice of Eve magazine. Women's poetry.