The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
My Pain, Your Pain, Our Pain
Image by Christine Stoddard
*Editor's Note: It's difficult to wonder whether times are becoming more turbulent or if we are becoming more aware of injustices. Perhaps it is a mixture of both. In collaboration with Luna Luna Magazine, the following collection of poems and accompanied image is a tribute to collective pain and healing rooted in gender inequality. Each poem is an expression of the personal, even global, injustice that is faced each day from the devaluation of the feminine. With each word, we hope to encourage readers and writers to wield the pen in honor of truth and equality for all.
By Jeanne Joe Perrone
I drank so much cheap brandy last night that my lip is twitching with a kiss I can’t give you who can I give it to if you won’t take it I’ll give it to the milkman the next caller the highest bidder the first man who whistles.
You’ve made a whore out of me refusing my love, passing me over like the spirit of Death passed over the Israelites, like the darkness passes over the streetlights (I love the time of day when the streetlamps are lit and it is still light out) rendering useless giving no release no purpose cock-blocked saved and smart and not knowing what you want.
What shall I do with this unclaimed love I have, welling up, stored, staling, that I thought was for you?
I can’t keep it in much longer, it’s already clamoring clawing like a caged wild thing out of my chest any second now it will burst open the doors of my flesh ribcage cracking blood splattering weight lifting and fly freefall into the void with the scream that births new worlds and land like the maniacal anvil in Looney Tunes – God knows where – I, the spent chrysalis shed, burst, mangled with tears of blood, free at last, split open, a rustling carcass in the wind, gutted.
You Ask Why I Dream of Cradles
By Nicole Rollender
Because the mother-machine of my body didn’t keep
my children safe, sleep never sliced into me many nights,
because these babies slid into their cradles too soon.
My hands held their wrinkled silk skin like my grandmother’s
boiled cabbage wings, my hands also trying to write how it was:
my body failed. My body ground them under its heels.
Say the placenta was half rotted. Say it gave way and the waters
flowed. Say the smell in the room was a sweet white gardenia
floating out. In my hands, their breathing stopped and started.
In my hands, my grandmother’s hands also slowly became cold.
Outside the windows, grief, whatever name we give it, longing, long
heart song, knifed, shimmered, a light I saw everything through.
I mouthed the names of flowers as my hands touched skin:
acanthus, forget-me-not, phlox, sheep’s bit. Because I wanted
to be held or carried along in a river so I could dream,
I prayed to any saint who could grant the impossible:
for my arms to become a cradle, for my bones, a house,
for the placenta, a milk that my breasts could not give,
for my voice, a song made of water on water,
the sound it makes after it pools and runs over
stones, the tiniest of thundering. To be a resurrection
fern that survives through droughts by appearing dead.
By Deniz Ataman
Mama, how do you make the pain go?
Do I wear my veil
and tuck my tears
in for sweet dreams?
Mama, do I cover my skin?
Will the thick, black cloak
hug my scars
the way you hug me?
Mama, do I sit behind latticed windows?
Are those lacy shadows
of your lullabies?
And, Mama, will my scars shine?
Shine like the sun through my window,
where wind parades past the bars
and twirls my eyelashes into a curtsy?
Wait, Mama, what about my eyes?
Will they crystalize when tears flow?
Like gems in a dark cave?
Will they still shine?
By Ghia Vitale
Only trust the silver lining,
That makes sure every cloud is crowned,
For all that is sharp and shining,
Cannot be trusted on the ground.
Once upon my porcelain face,
I felt the sudden tightening,
Of the steel vine’s thorny embrace,
That struck me with phantom-lightning.
What thrives in full shades of carnage?
What’s my perennial secret?
A tightlaced rib cage, held hostage,
In a razor wire-corset.
And now, I live in total fear,
And dread surviving my next breath,
Yet sigh as I hold one hope dear:
The asylum of certain death.
Cheers to heavenly translucence,
That wanders like a restless vine,
Just like the captive audience,
For the blood that colors your wine.
By Jessica Reidy
When the demon is slain and blood spits to the soil birthing new demons, one for each drop, then I’ll light candles. When the veil falls over my mother’s eyes and she becomes so many unreachable women, one for each silk thread, then I’ll try not to search for her. We are Roma, Gypsies, so when she is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and refuses the hospital, we throw a healing ceremony. I don’t tell her it’s an exorcism. Why frighten her? When it’s over, I won’t remember her screaming, “You were raped because you’re a whore.” I won’t remember that her white father pimped her through kindergarten. I’ll only remember that she gave me dimes for each pinecone I collected, that she held me even in madness, that the pine boughs shivered their glass-like blood when touched, and that each mother-self sprang up from the sword.
Jus Primae Noctis
By Christine Stoddard
You call this bed your splendor; I call it my cemetery.
This pillow is my tombstone. This sheet, death's veil.
Your prick has made a ghost of me, yet glaistig I am not.
If I could sing, I might lure you and drink your blood
but voice have I none. No, Monseigneur, none.
As soon as my husband slipped the ring on my finger,
you whisked me away to your dark, mossy castle.
The fog filled my lungs and I fainted on your steed.
Open any book and you'll know how the story goes,
'The funeral follows the wedding.'
When the servant slumbering in the trundle bed
bolts up at your bellowing, we shall have a witness
to the death of my honor.
I had hoped the priest would deflower me instead.
He is soft and white like a maggot, hardly fearful.
But you are big, as big as a hairy highland coo,
so fearful and yet still so soft, still so white.
I had hoped you would've been wearing chainmail--
perhaps my silence would seem less pitiful.
Perhaps my husband could forgive me then.
Do not call me 'bonny' as I writhe beneath you.
Bone the sorrowful lass and be done, bassa.
Be done, be done, be done, be done, be done.
#Unreal #Poetry #Collaboration #LunaLunaMagazine #Pain #Grief #Trauma #Collage #Gender #Feminism #Humanism #Abuse #Justice #Equality
Visit our shop and subscribe. Sponsor us. Submit and become a contributor. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.