Religion at Three A.M., Night before My Sister’s Funeral – Danielle de Corcho

And I find it again:
The only thing that helps

Like the difference between drowning
In fresh
Or salt water.

Same result,
But one is easier to swallow
on the way Down

It stings less in the eyes
Of those around you
Being hit in the face

With your wild, desperate
Thrashing.  Searching
For One Last Truth

at the bottom
of an ancient
sea

Danielle de Corcho teaches English as a Second Language and writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her poems have appeared in HEArt Journal Online, Scintilla Magazine, and the Submittable Blog. She lives just outside of New Orleans with her family.  

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Dear beloved readers—

This letter originally was supposed to be about all the awesome work we have been publishing and all the great things to come for DDR. Like many of you, I have experienced a range of emotions recently.  Mostly heartbreak, anger, and confusion… But now, it’s time to speak.  

Dying Dahlia is so proud and honored to be able to share work by women.  Dying Dahlia along with many other publications believe that women’s voices need to be heard.  When I started DDR it was for that reason and that reason alone.  And we will continue to do so.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault here are some things we here at Dying Dahlia want you to know…

Do not be silent.
We hear you.
We believe you.
Speak your truth.
And know that we stand with you.
You are not alone.

I, too, am a survivor. I was sexually abused as a child. And like some survivors who are stepping forward now, the trauma I experienced happened over 20 years ago. Do I remember the clothes I was wearing? No. Do I remember the dates it happened on? No. But I remember. 

It happened.  It mattered.  You matter.  And I believe you. 

I don’t know what is going to happen in the coming days.  I know that I am inspired by the women who are using their voices to stand up for what is right.

We want to see and hear your voices.  On blogs, on social media, in our submissions, in other journals, wherever.  We support you and your efforts to stop this plague.  Because it is a plague.  It is not okay. It has never been okay. 

There are many people out there who believe as I do— survivors should be heard and supported. If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, reach out to them.  This is an incredibly painful and overwhelming time for many survivors right now. Listen to them. Come from a place of love.  That’s all that is needed.

But most importantly, to all the survivors out there— stay strong and speak your truth. To a friend, to a family member, to the world. Put it in a poem, in a story, in a song or just say it out loud.

And don’t stop. Don’t ever, ever stop. I know I won’t.

Much Love,

Abbie Copeland
Editor-in-Chief

 

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). You can visit their website rainn.org or call their free confidential hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673).

Women Writers We Love – Miss Macross

In this week’s interview, we are featuring the super awesome Miss Macross (AKA Sheena Carroll).  Her poem “False Cognates” was featured in June on DDR. Her book Miss Macross Vs. Batman was published recently by the CWP Collective Press. 

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What inspires you the most?

I find inspiration through connecting the alien to the deeply personal. Everyone finds their own ways to cope with trauma, mental health problems, and hard-to-process emotions. One of my coping mechanisms is to immerse myself in the strange and the unexplained (I’m especially influenced by unsolved mysteries). When I experience intense feelings (be it abuse flashbacks, grief, or crushing unrequited feelings), it best manifests in writing as a reflection of something bizarre with which I share no concrete connection. It reveals those feelings in a more novel way.

I also like looking for connections to the personal with nature and ritual; in particular, through tarot. I take a lot of inspiration from the imagery of the tarot (which more or less follow the tropes of the Hero’s Journey).

Who are your favorite women writers?

My favorite writers include Anna Akhmatova, Nnedi Okorafor, Banana Yoshimoto, Roxane Gay, Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Han Kang, and Kim Yideum.

I especially love and am influenced by women graphic novelists and manga-ka. Hagio Moto, Marjorie Liu, Rumiko Takahashi, and Riyoko Ikeda regularly inspire my poetry and writing with their engaging storytelling and beautiful art.

What does your writing process look like?

I write a little bit every day; I keep a daily poem journal on Google Docs so I can access it anywhere. I’d say maybe 10% of that writing goes into poems that I submit for publication. Most of the time it is incomprehensible rambles about my day, but sometimes there’s a gem of a line that I pull out and turn into something else.

I also write fiction, and am in the middle of developing a new routine of writing 3,000 words per week. That has been much more challenging and unpredictable.

What advice do you have for fellow women writers?

It’s normal to feel self-conscious about your work. Submit it to that lit mag you really like, anyway. As a creative writing workshop facilitator, I’ve worked with writers of many genders and the majority have shared similar levels of self-consciousness about their work. But I feel that women writers can be less likely to submit their work because of those feelings. I’ve certainly dealt with that block – it took me almost ten years to start submitting my poems and stories to magazines.

What are you currently working on?

Because I like to torture myself, I’m working on three separate projects. One is another short poetry collection, which I’m almost finished editing. I also have a short story collection. I’ve already submitted it to some presses that I love, but have recently considered expanding it from a chapbook to a full-length collection. The biggest goal I have the remainder of 2018 is completing the initial draft of my first novella, which combines my loves of sci-fi and unsolved mysteries.

Be sure to check out her book Miss Macross Vs. Batman! and follow her on Twitter @MissMacross.