Voice of Eve ISSUE SIX -APRIL 2019
Contents Anna Cates 4 Ariana Turner 10 Brooke Jean 16 Christine Kelly 23 Hiraa Kazmi 28 J.D. Howse 32 Kelly Wilson 36 Laura Ingram 42 Margaret Koger 48 Mikenna Hurtuk 54 Nancy Devine 58
Shana Ross 64 Tatenda Murigo 70
Beware, my pretty ones, the green-eyed monster, Jealousy. As bards have sung, she mocks the meat she feasts upon— Though cuckolds live in bliss, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Athena breathed life into that adage, like Elohim, fashioning Adam from clay, like Anunnaki forming his golem, and thus, forged the Gorgon, twin to her inner demon, Jealousy. Mad women battle voices in their heads, but Medusa heard only hissing, silken tresses raging into snakes— No matter that she’d been raped— Like a snail, she slunk away, retreating into herself, abjuring human company, abiding in ruins on Sarpedon, forgetting forever the pleasant ring of friendly chatter, haunted by screams of men turned to stone, for, monstrous though she was, still they came, like waves breaking over rock, clinging to their chimera. Think on it, my pretties, and learn. Say it, my pretties, and mean it: “I care not for husbands, only brothers and sons.” *As told by Ovid, after Poseidon raped the beautiful maiden Medusa in Athena’s temple, the livid Athena turned Medusa’s lovely hair into snakes and made her visage so horrible to behold that men turned to stone at the mere sight of it.
The Naked Onion
she contemplated her style beginning to undress herself analyzing each layer she peeled herself like an onion finding like the guru who empties his mind the secret to herself a microcosmic universe for within her center there resided no core nucleus of onion-ness but the nothingness that remains when, like an onion, every layer is stripped away leaving only the naked poet naked as the crucified Christ who only then realizes she was those layers
Only the Wicked
Only the wicked ask for a sign Shrouded in fog by the secret brine Like two strange birds, we overwinter Cast stale bread into the water And sing a strain of Auld Lang Syne Fateful, when constellations align Facades of banquet bells and blushing wine Generations of sons and daughters Yet only the wicked ask for a sign Docks invade the gray borderline Charades and simulations enshrine Deceptive shimmer that splinters As a result of what we slaughter I am his sin, and he is mine Only the wicked ask for a sign
Hellen Keller in the Excising Seat
cold desert dim skies a hungry child chews the hide of some strange animal never yielding meat barred windows and palace walls golden shock collars electrify the cold desert dim skies the hungry child that chews the hide when hands are tied the harem prize the infidel concubine or bride and the Morality Police harness Helen Keller into the excising seat cold desert dim skies a hungry child chews the hide of some strange animal never yielding meat
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. Poet/author’s homepage: https://www.amazon.com/A.Cates/e/B006TGBCT2
streaks of white mark this bathroom floor, dingy waves that spread from tile to tile. so too does my body have such marks: jagged, pale ripples across otherwise undisrupted skin. they tell me that these are marks of womanhood, but they did not tell me what else it means to be a woman. stretch me wide; stretch me thin; these marks belong to the body that has been lived, loved, touched, and tampered with. my fingers can trace these marks back to their beginnings, but this body has been marked— and that is why I sit on the bathroom floor.
And Then There Was
remember when she breathed canyons formed from raging rivers; there was the drought of 1876; there were quills and then there were typewriters and then there were screens; there was a shudder and then a bang and then there just was remember when he breathed there was a war that lasted a hundred years; a whole city sank beneath the waves; hail dented that old 1997 Corolla; you unearthed a rusted tin by your childhood swing remember when she breathed more urgently you wished for a chinchilla and got a four-yearold dog instead; you memorized the periodic table to impress a girl; you made art upon a spare wall in your garage; I discovered the freckle upon your lip and declared it to be good luck remember when he breathed you reached for the crook of my arm on that old futon; you first cried in front of me on that cracked street corner; we joked about growing up and co-parenting a husky; we promised to show each other our poetry one day yes how could I forget
You will always be the one who ran away. Frozen, all I could do was watch your retreating silhouette and realize just how small you look from a distance.
About Ariana Turner
Ariana Turner is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago with her cat, Apollo, and in her free time, lifts weights and drinks an excessive amount of coffee.
I shove my public transit pass deep into my pocket and shuffle shuffle shuffle Past lingering eyes and devious glances and remind myself I’m safe. Walk faster walk swiftly No one bothers a Woman in a rush. Gotta go gotta make it count the steps to one hundred then count again and again almost there It’s her own fault She should’ve been more aware Take one earbud out Keep one key in hand ready to jab into flesh. Pepper spray in pocket Finger on emergency button I’m running out of fingers. Don’t travel alone at night Walk in groups Predators like easy targets Make eye contact with each passerby – (help police identify)
Watch for suspicious activities Avoid dimly lit areas Anyone can be a victim Even
I slide the lock and wonder ‘do Men ever feel this way?”
running – running clumsy strides
catch my breath open my eyes only blackness all around. you’re there, again – but this time i see you
i hate you
you reach out –
no clouds or rose-colored goggles further into the
my own way.
you looked at my enormous stack of books piled up against the wall like it was my body and your pretentious mind needed to know it, look at the pile, scrutinize it, criticize and applaud it, pointing at this one as ‘good’ and this one as ‘bad’ giving your opinions like bread crumbs to geese, pointlessly and toxically. it was your job to know me or convince me you know me enough to get me to bare my body and soul and then never mention a book again. when i bring up Animal Farm and how you said you hated it, you grimace and deny, “when did i say that?” just as you remember, and you laugh. “i just said that to make you mad!” i guess sexual tension needs its fuel and your mocking of me was your Viagra.
About Brooke Jean
Brooke Jean (Pisciotto) is an undergraduate English major at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Her favorite genres of literature currently are dystopian novels, memoirs, and flash fiction. She hopes to earn her MA in English after her BA and become a professor of English, hoping to concentrate on European writers. Brooke enjoys blogging, reading, writing poetry and short stories, watching horror films, making lists, and painting in her free time.
I will weave these memories Of sea grass and grey clapboard Cerulean dreams Spilling forth Like the sand across this windowsill The wind howling and beating At the roof, the walls The door groaning And the power lines dancing against blue sky The wind rumbled like thunder as it made its way West to East This saltbox Holding fast The ticking clock in the kitchen Marking the moment
Feelings Delicate and tremulous Unnamed But not unknown Felt as a tentative Breath A cautious taste The flavor spreading Accepted Embraced A hunger rising Until it is bold And uncaring And is no longer outside you It is you
About Christine Kelly
Christine Kelly is a poet and writer living in Illinois. Her poems have been published in The Wood Knots, A Poetry Collection and The Best of Poetry Project 2014, both released by Fray’d Tag Publishing. The sea is theme that can be found running through her writing and photographs, both which she blogs about on WordPress under the name SirenSong1208 and regularly Tweets at @SirenSong1208. Currently she is quietly composing her first chapbook.
We walk in shadow casting furtive glances at the clipped wings clutched tightly in sweating hands half-hidden from prying eyes_ Too bright and excited in dark. Vultures circle and salivate… greedily ogling the unsteady steps waiting to descend and pounce. we are but an outline covered by night safely away from red rimmed gazes yet not so safe these wings we hold are powerless we walk in shadow but not for long_
About Hiraa Kazmi
Hiraa did her Masters in English Literature at the Department of English, University of the Punjab. She also holds a Masters degree in Education and International Development from UCL Institute of Education, UK. Hiraa wrote her first poem for University of the Punjab’s English Department magazine Words and never stopped. Literature is her long term friend and she seeks refuge, advice, insight, and delight in books. She is a lecturer in University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan where she teaches courses in literature. Her poems have been published or accepted for publication in Eastlit Magazine, 805 Lit, Quailbell Magazine, Darkrun Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Terror House Magazine, Mystic Illuminations, and others.
We Are Beautiful
Your face is beautiful, don’t you see? Beautiful and sparkling like the glistening sea. Whether round, slender, long, or thin, Your face is perfect from forehead to chin. Your hair is beautiful, don’t you see? Beautiful and bold like an untamed tree. Whether curly, wavy, braided or straight, Your hair is a uniquely awesome trait. Your skin is beautiful, don’t you see? Beautiful and brown like a luscious valley. Whether ebony, cinnamon, toffee, or sun-kissed, Your skin is amazing and flawless. Your body is beautiful, don’t you see? Beautiful and curvaceous like a mountain’s peak. Whether you’re slender, shapely, tall or short. Your body is a wonderful work of art. We We We We
are are are are
beautiful, don’t you see? beautiful and vivacious Queens. fearless and fierce daughters of Eve. God’s greatest gift to humanity.
About J.D. Howse
J.D. Howse has a law degree and received her Bachelor’s in Public Policy, but her passion for writing has prevailed through the years. J.D. only recently discovered her love of poetry but continues to practice the craft everyday. She is currently living in Southern California with her husband and their young daughter.
He looked at me. Just Like Heaven Played over murmured conversation. I shuffled through my purse to find my keys. Show me, show me, show me How you do that trick Singing along, bobbing my head to the Beat of the music. Found keys jangled on the shellacked table, the Color of melted caramel, next to the watermark where my Pint of beer once stood, A neatly contained mess. I felt his eyes on me as I mumbled lyrics Won’t you ever know That I’m in love with you Raising my head, my eyes met his, More melted caramel, darker with a bitter edge offset with sweetness. Melted my armor, My skin cut and burnt in places. A direct gaze, soft and warm. A slow smile. “What?” I asked. No sound. Mouthing the word across distance. Exposed and open and naked in a moment, surrounded by chatting patrons and The Cure, the beat of my quickened pulse. You, soft and only You, lost and lonely “Nothing,” he mouthed. Holding me in my seat with His gaze. Heavy-limbed and warm,
I sat. I didn’t know anyone could look at me like that. I didn’t know anyone would look at me like that. An instant. An eternity. Just Like Heaven
The Cure. Just Like Heaven. Elektra. 1987.
About Kelly Wilson
Kelly Wilson is a speaker, comedian, and award-winning author who entertains and inspires with stories of humor, healing, and hope. She is the author of Don’t Punch People in the Junk, Kelly Wilson’s The Art of Seduction: Nine Easy Ways to Get Sex From Your Mate, and Caskets From Costco. Kelly is the cofounder of PTSD Parent, offering education and support about this condition through an entertaining and poignant podcast. Kelly is also cofounder of Mental Health at the Mic, where she teaches those whose lives have been affected by mental illness how to write and perform stand up comedy. Kelly writes for a living and continues to raise two junk-punching kids, a dog, two cats, and two guinea pigs in Portland, Oregon. Find out more about Kelly Wilson at www.wilsonwrites. com.
After You Killed Yourself
A flat-fronted school bus skids into a snow bank Singe file third-graders pinging out everywhere like a snapped string of seed pearls. Only your last name made the news. No high school head shot. My unmade bed is the mortician’s tilted table half-sleep the scalpel to my sternum dreams yanking my heart out, hand over hand. I wake with the sweaty sheet pulled up to my eyes. Mornings stay slick, embalmed by splashes of instant coffee I use your shampoo in the shower remember reading that hair keeps growing for a week or two after. I step out of the spray snip my ponytail just below the chin. I cannot see my face in the mirror fog—only the shrugging of shoulders— the dark damp of my hair clogging the drain. I drive, city slum scratching its back against my car windows sky static as the jazz station. I park farther away from the Walgreens than I need to still at the front window’s Tylenol tower. Touching my fingertips to my unmoved mouth in the glass, I startle at my own chapped lips skinny legs and split ends coffee stain on my coat pocket.
I want to hug myself so incipient— pressing a chaste kiss to the distillery of a window reflection, mauves muted I go in to buy my toothbrush. I remember you.
About Laura Ingram
Laura Ingram is a tiny girl with big glasses and bigger ideas. Her first collection, a book of poetry, was released with Desert Willow Press in May 2018. Her poetry and prose have been published in fifty-four literary magazines, among them Gravel, Blue Marble, and Juked Literary Journal. A sophomore student, Laura studies creative writing. She loves Harry Potter and Harry Styles.
After the Altar
’til death rings around third fingers twin silos evoking harvests golden kernels of days / dull to tons of stifling grain to drown my feverish dissent to outweigh his pretense of loving my bloody flowers menses tainting moon cycles until I cannot explain— Nightshade and thistle. Lies worming blind fistulas into our hearts. Fingers still wearing these rings of misbegotten promise graveyard relics tap tapping anniversary tallies of This—I thee wedded.
A Rough Sea
Complaint and Desire come into the bar together. The hostess leads them to cushioned wicker chairs. The rattan groans as the two swivel their seats for a better view of the sea. “It’s really rough out there today,” Complaint avows. She opens a small notebook with a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo on the cover and begins to write. Desire leans back and stretches out his legs as he gazes at the young waitress approaching their table. After consulting the wine list, the two companions order a magnum of Grief to share.
Let’s Go Skating Shall We
June marriage with roses / ascending neurosis / bears hibernate current swirl / river pushes / blood flow rising mouth of stream hiss / ice cutter skates / pulse wavery spitcrackling thin ice / creak / speed brings hum rising / meeeeee!!!!! (as in melody) hum of open veins / a crackling pitch / you wish high and swing sweeter / loves me? / mayyyybe eyes wide / ice panes fracture / glossy iris mirrors rage knees buckle / skates twist / ankle turns / clutch and shove dare all the pretty ones / lunges / that sinking feeling alveoli fill as floral in a crystal pitcher / pour sheets of stammer / squeals of stutter / bronchi gasp screaming bitch / he’s done it now cleft / face folded in sheets of shatter / iris a glossy mirror (meeeee) shards pierce / cold unreason / breathe? / bleed? quiet close / hush of bucolic snowfall / unbroken vistas sparkle a blanket of white / her body safely buried until spring
About Margaret Koger
Margaret Koger is an educator with a writing habit. She lives and teaches in Boise, Idaho. Her poems appear in numerous publications, recently in Juke Joint, Little Rose, Amsterdam Quarterly, Red Rock Review, Collective Unrest, and Headway. In The Heartland Review, 2018,“Ripe Figs,” placed as a 2018 finalist in the Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize competition.
Fury either leaks or bursts. There’s no alternative. It seeps through fingers, seeps through tongues, seeps through feet into shoes that turn and succumb to hasty confrontations. It riddles my spine, weakens my posture, strength eluding strength, coiling my fingers. I tap and clench and breathe, and there’s no release. There’s no return from anger when it pervades me, registers in the form of face and facelessness. I strip myself of masks until I no longer recognize what’s beneath them. I curl up in balls, rooting through self-constructed darkness for light, light that only emerges when I do, light in LED form, semipermanent, withering. I am an oblivious decay, a blossom-driven kind of wilting.
About Mikenna Hurtuk
Mikenna Hurtuk is a senior at Tolland High School in Connecticut. She hopes to study psychology and creative writing at a liberal arts college next year.
Meet me at Woman Lake, near Man and Child Lake. (We’ve been there long across roads behind where bodies have been named foliage shivering as we pass) I will put the tip of my tongue on the tip of your nose and we’ll become fish again, sleek sunnies human-being the undertows, our limbs and fins flux-silver, sweated to their connections by the scent of a torch, some slow solder started even before any water arrived. Yes, I will put the tip of my on the tip of your…
That July: oh the many long afternoons that never budged until I looked away, fat as a baker’s hands, as irritating as an eyelash trying to drown in an eye. Who tacked me to that waxy ball of nothing? My hair fodder of whip stitch? Then sun accommodated clouds and then me; dinner rubbed on its distant plate The green hoses hid in the grass. Hollyhocks pushed out from their stalks like shirted women hoping to jump to death Also, coincidentally, new light bulbs got screwed into lamps, but not my choice.
This is a poem of protest to a world that doesn’t seem to hear me as if I am screaming into a tornado or whispering under the militaristic drone of a jack hammer battering the pavement. Perhaps I could raise my hand but I would look as though I were ready to strike and if I lie down in the street, people would think I hope to die. I used to want the moon in my pocket like some stone I’d found just for myself. Now, I just want to want this world again.
About Nancy Devine
Nancy Devine lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she taught high school English for over 25 years. Her poetry, short fiction and essays have appeared in online and print journals. She is the author of a chapbook of poems, The Dreamed, published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.
Still-life with a Five-Year Old on a Winter’s Night SHANA ROSS
To be read with love equal parts tender and unexamined. The scene bleeds weariness, which might alternately be exhaustion of body or of emotional fabric, but is only one of the two at any given moment in time. As it unfurls you realize you remember the light as warm, though you know the light in that room has never been particularly beautiful. Get a tissue. Blow. Blowblowblow. That’s it. Go throw it away. Go Throw it away. Go throw it No, in the trash. The trash can, please. Thank you. Oh, you’re not done. Get another Tissue please.
R survived a war
You must have something to say, then, I said (to her) to the world She did not shrug, she did not agree She did not look at me when she spoke. I lived through corpses She said, tell them War is living through corpses These are insufficient words and you Cannot imagine.
The empress met the gaze of the tailors She knew, and they knew, and They knew she knew How this was going to go down. But appealing to the men around her, powers that be Took opinion polls and worked up a quick focus group. Through this alchemy - titillation and power moves Insecurity and conservativism and ambition and The rest of the mess - these people who should have been Serving rightful power where it unfurls like labia Instead held fast to a rigid and familiar system Winking in and out of dimensionality, Magic Eye of power Both illusion and unmysterious, algorithm more than art. Anyway, her advisors insisted On sticking with these tailors So she assessed the situation and muttered under her breath: Fuck it, this is the future We’ve been mocking and awaiting and I Can choose to run with it, so Let’s call this agency That way I can sleep at night Or else have nothing left of this moment but regrets. We’re up to our elbows in the guts of old boundaries. Do we think this is emergency surgery or an autopsy? Have you never turned to a liar and knowingly agreed To buy what they are selling for your own reasons? I owe you no explanation.
She asked for a horse and hair extensions But they said no, too cliché, and she laughed. What’s funnier than beating the dead horse? The bar has fallen for the lowest common denominator. Take nothing for granted, especially if it involves Venom or aggressive ignorance. She walked out the door
and the populace split evenly – Her genius proclaimed, her purity. The sensational anticonsumerist conviction and reclamation Of every synonym for whore, Which the other side spat out Twice each per think piece, her egotistical and dangerous sexuality Eclipsed only by her disregard of family and other Values. The tailors played both sides As long as they could, her advisors sold other bills of goods and gossip. Only one was honest when he did not apologize, Blaming a painful adolescence and Wasn’t it her choice, after all? So. This was As close to consent as he could imagine. The real story here is what has become of the kid The predestined innocent voice to wake us so we drown In our polite delusions. Language matters – The fact to be shouted is the empress is not wearing clothes But let’s assume everyone hears she’s naked.
About Shana Ross
Shana Ross is a poet and playwright with a BA and MBA from Yale University. She bought her first computer working the graveyard shift in a windchime factory, and now pays her bills as a consultant and leadership expert. Her writing career has been dormant for 18 years for reasons both practical and best discussed in therapy. This year, her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Anapest Journal, Anatolios Magazine, Ghost City Review, Indolent Press’ What Rough Beast project, SHANTIH Journal, and Writers Resist.
My tongue is An ancestral prophecy Of divinity, It twists into shapes And colors beyond my vocabulary: I speak in reminiscence, in truth And of memory, They call it my gift, I call it our poetry. The tombs, The graves of the Old, the brave I claim as mine, Their legacies shine Through my teeth, My lungs rise, My words breathe Life into their memories, I am a surrounded soliloquy.
Summer felt like Bodies sprawled On frozen tiles And stapled paper fans Blowing while The air would still To watch us burn And like on a grill We’d roll and turn To the cooler side of life We’d sigh the “ahhs” To the forgiving side of strife We’d collect the char And mix a little water To form a smooth paste Of the dried up Bones we are of waste.
Whenever I hear the word fat My soul always whispers my name As if it’s part of my holy stretching Of skin As if it’s not within this covering As if it’s not folded in between Lightning marks and thunder thighs As if the moon Finds more reason To shine at night: As if the ceiling fan is broken On a summer evening like this, Making you sweat; I’m a sweet kind of thick.
About Tatenda Murigo
Tatenda Murigo is a young Zimbabwean art activist who expresses her concerns and issues regarding the society and the larger African community through poetry. She is an emerging artist in Africa, using her work to inspire and empower her fellow youth generation to a level of consciousness and action.
Thank you for reading this issue of Voice of Eve. We hope you enjoyed the voices of these talented poets. As always a big “Thank You” to the contributing artists who made this edition possible; we love reading and sharing your work. Also, many thanks to Sarah Rodriguez (editing) and Geraldine Aquino (marketing) for their volunteer work to keep Voice of Eve functioning: you ladies are truly amazing! We would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on the magazine. You are always welcome to contact us at email@example.com. Have a happy, fruitful, and fulfilling new year. Sincerely, Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve
Sixth issue of Voice of Eve