slither in – Ada Pelonia

you tell me your dreams about snakes.
there’s the lingering question of what 
was happening    it’s been constant, you 
tell me, and i nod because i’m afraid of
snakes and i don’t have much to say 
but you bug me by telling it’s probably
the phallic symbol as siri told you so 
and i only laugh 

but in my head maybe
it’s because you slithered your way into
our home without you knowing i knew.
i want to tell you that i dream about
snakes, too, and that they eat me whole
alive and well until their fangs pierce 
right through my heart breaking every
string of vein constricting in my body
and i might add that the snake has the
same voice as you do when he answered
your call late at night to slip out of the
sheets i thought he only warmed for us 
two    that perhaps the snake is both of
us in context i’m not entirely sure

 

 

Ada Pelonia is a writer from the Philippines. Her work has appeared in Germ Magazine, Royal Rose Magazine, 101 Words, and elsewhere. Besides reading fictional books and reading anything that comes to her mind, she enjoys drinking tea during rainy days. She’s also on Twitter @_adawrites.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

She Was My Sister – Khaloud Al-Muttalibi

It may take a weird coincidence to make you feel relaxed
It may take the special touch of fine frost to turn
your head into a bulletin board.
We gathered, around the TV to watch the latest news. I thought
I had spotted some of your mates but could not say
It may take ice and fingers of flakes
to write about how you had danced your night away
to the bombing sound of rock and roll
In a mortuary, a young woman lay. She was
my sister, they say

 

Khaloud Al-Muttalibi is a poet and translator. She resides in the United Kingdom. She is the author of six poetry collections. She has also translated and edited two separate anthologies. Her poetry has been published in numerous magazines and journals, including After the Pause, The Glasgow Review of Books, Anapest, Harbinger Asylum, Ink Sweat & Tears and Poetry24.

 

Women Writers We Love: Erin Wilson

Did you read Sex With You is a Strange Violin? Then meet the woman behind the poem— Erin Wilson! We wanted to find out what makes her tick, what inspires her, who she reads and more. Read our latest interview with the talented Erin Wilson.

What inspires me most?

Nature, art, language, the body, strange correlations. Language. Did I say language?

Who are your favorite women writers?

This has been an interesting question to consider. I have a deep attraction to male poets with what could be deemed a feminine spirit (a willingness to express themselves vulnerably) like Rilke, Kenneth Rexroth, Jack Gilbert or César Vallejo in his Human Poems. It took me a moment to recognize the female poets I admire, but once I recalled the first name, the rest came through in a rush, Sharon Olds, Margaret Atwood, Pat Lowther, Alix Cléo Roubaud, Wisława Szymborska and Marina Tsvetaeva, to name a few. And while Sarah Moon is primarily a photographer, her narrations of film are agitated poetic sessions which leave one breathless. (Which calls to mind the writer Clarice Lispector. See how this goes? Once the list begins, there is little stopping. And isn’t Francesca Woodman a poet with her camera?) What is interesting to me about these female writers is that they are writers with extreme courage. And so I begin to recognize just now that it is this synthesis that is most attractive and powerful for me, a merging of vulnerability with steadfastness.

What does your writing process look like?

Every morning I wake to read. And I read in order to become awake. Really, there could be no writing without reading. I write every day or I am not myself; a sadness descends upon me. Reading and writing, this is home for me. And so I carry books with me everywhere I go. And if not books, paper and pen. And also, birdseed. (But that is for the birds.)

What advice do you have for fellow women writers?

Advice. I can’t imagine I have advice to give. Write!

What are you currently working on?

I write whatever it is that occurs to me to write in the moment. I don’t organize to write in terms of projects. However, I have a number of projects I am working on simultaneously. Perhaps some hard work, in conjunction with an editor who appreciates what it is that I would like to accomplish, might see the publication of a book of poems regarding the indomitable nature of woman, a second volume in praise of the natural world, and a third concerning the glint, gleam, glom and glimmering of being. Once again, a synthesis.

 

Check out Erin’s latest published pieces on her website here!

 

Prelude to My Epitaph – Sharon Ava Ezekiel

He’s breathing so I can’t.

I hate him for being.

He takes a pretty girl, I try not to watch.

He excels and I cannot move.

Aging on my couch.  My heart is skipping beats again.

Nothing bad ever happens to the perfect ones, like him.

Why not just once?  Everything is so damn uneven.

I am still being punished.

My heart is a dirt basement; sometimes I feel nothing.

And here he is again, to make my day even worse.

Sharon Ava Ezekiel is a registered nurse, attorney and native Ohioan. She has performed with a dance ensemble and loves all four-legged creatures.  Her work, “The Storm Cellar”, was published in Flash Fiction Magazine.  

 

2 Poems – Amanda Laughtland

Help Wanted

I need a job and an apartment, but to get a job
I need an address and a phone number
and a driver’s license and a social security card.
I walk back to my “office” at the pay phone.

A middle-aged woman with a three-year-old granddaughter
tells me it’s always hard at the beginning
but you adjust and you apply for as many as possible
since a help-wanted ad may not mean

any help is wanted just now.

 

Swing Shift

The guy with the crucifixion t-shirt
(SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO)
complains that his baked potato is too hard
and his iced tea too icy
and leaves no tip at all. I try to

treat each shift as an emergency:
you’ve got starving people,
so feed them! Forget that you
will have to do this tomorrow. Forget
that you will have to be

alert enough to drive home tonight.

Amanda Laughtland lives in the suburbs of Seattle. She is the author of Postcards to Box 464 (Bootstrap Press) and a handful of chapbooks. Most recently, her work has been published in E·ratio and One Sentence Poems.