Letter from the Editor

letter from the editor

Dearest Dying Dahlia Readers and Writers —

DDR will be taking another break.

Why? Well, I think there are many reasons a literary journal/review needs to take a break from time to time.

One reason, the biggest reason, is time.  The work we do at DDR is a labor of love, as cliché as the phrase may be. And like you, we have jobs. Jobs that generate an income or jobs that do not generate an income but are just as important (Talking to all you moms out there!).

And then there is the time we are not at our job. The time for us, the time with our family, the time to just be. The time to let our brains be creative and consider new ideas and come back to DDR with a fresh perspective.  All of us, including you, need to allow ourselves to take breaks. To take in everything, rather than work, work, work and potentially push away any creative ideas the universe might be sending our way that we may be too busy to notice.

So for that reason, my friends, we are taking a break. To refresh and renew. There are some changes that will be made to DDR.  Some reflections that need to be had.  But mostly, DDR does not want to push out just any ole poetry or story or art. We want quality. We want work that moves us.  And we also want to promote our contributors, these women writers to the best of our abilities. And most of all, we want to provide you, the reader, with a review worth reading.

So in order to do that, we have to carve out time to labor for this love, this passion, this purpose. We won’t be silent. We will NOT stop reading your submissions. We love them and look forward to publishing some amazing work by you amazing women very, very soon.

Until then, stick around. Keep submitting. Send us a note. Perhaps a message in a bottle. But above all, keep reading everything and always keep writing.

Much Love,

Abbie Copeland
Editor

P.S.  We have a wonderful archive.  Make sure you go back and revisit those beloved poems, flash fiction and art.  All of them are worth a second (and third) read!

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Weeds – Tammy Daniel

poems
Weeds
 
She doesn’t know why she thinks
of it now—his unexpected phone call,
the hesitant static of goodbye.
 
As if it were yesterday,
she recalls that first night alone,
the way the bed grew weeds—
gallant soldiers, spear thistle,
black medick—
 
how, for days, she tossed…
turned…tossed…
lost beneath a milky canopy
of dandelion clouds, her whys
a trowel of tears sifting fog
low in a valley of dead-nettle.
 
Pervasive, she whispers,
as I watch her eyelids, thin
as time, drift against the wilt
of memory, but
 
suddenly, clear as a gleaned
field, she says, For a while,
didn’t think I’d last another day,
then talks of God and faith;
how His ways are often peculiar
as a compassionate enemy,
 
even that creeping vine,
a sign—three leaves.
Let it be.

 

Tammy Daniel was selected as one of the New Voices of 2015 by The Writers Place in Kansas City, Mo. Her work has appeared in I-70 Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Red River Review, The Ekphrastic ReviewTouch: The Journal of Healing, Rusty Truck, and Ink, Sweat and Tears.

2 Poems – Nikita Gill

poems

The Passion Grove

There is still dirt under my fingernails
from the burying of passions in groves
made of ashes. Scorched earth is meant
to grow better fruit trees after.
No one expected the weeds.

Gasoline Girls

Gasoline girls-
barehearted brazen
but bounded bones,
soft soiled sinews
disappoint death

Nikita Gill is a cat mama and a chocolate lover. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, Literary Orphans, Agave Magazine, Gravel Magazine and elsewhere.

It Stays with You – M. Stone

poems

It Stays with You

I.

My mouth houses too many tenants—
overcrowded incisors and molars
yielding no space for canines.

The pediatric dentist recommends
a second surgery. I inhale grape-scented
gas from a rubber mask, am transported
to a twilight state. Nitrous oxide leaves me
limp and mute, swallowing dread.

I know from the time before
I will still feel the needle stab
in the roof of my mouth,
the curve where my jaws connect.

Hours are minutes, seconds are hours.
I regain use of my limbs. My cheeks packed
with bloody gauze, I carry a triple offering
for the Tooth Fairy in a plastic vial.

II.

Today in the dentist chair, I grow clammy
and wan, trembling—struck by sudden flu.

He guides a syringe toward my mouth.
No gas to subdue me now. My hand strikes,
snake-fast, connects with his arm. He pauses,
says, “It stays with you, doesn’t it?”

I nod, reply between shallow breaths:
“Let’s try it without, this time.”

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes fiction and poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.

This Shit is Ripe – Elisabeth Horan

poems

This Shit is Ripe

Ready to play tag with poems in the night?
Open up I’ve got something nice

Some part of me lay dormant
it might have been my smile
it took a while to find it’s teeth, lost in the back of that van
where we met over seafood and smack and weed
you laid me down on a dirty sheet

I hid that away for so many days wasn’t gonna let it play out –
No neediness.

Just propped on a shelf, fine wine or a puppet.
I’m Bonnie you’re Clyde – made out like a bandit.

Cixous, what she do – only got me confused.
But damn, she was right on a hot summer night –
there’s steam coming out my ears
No pants can hold me –
I’ma bad fire.
I’ma​ cauldron.

Go ahead, take a sip – what I be brewing is good for your bones –
what I be needing, I left alone.
Watch out for me, Medusa’s back, I guess she gets the last laugh.

Ain’t no knockoff, Baby. This shit is ripe.
And I’m just started yelling.

Elisabeth Horan is a stay at home mom in Vermont, caring for her two young boys, feeding the animals and writing her heart out. Her poetry has appeared in The Feminist Wire, The Fox Poetry Box and Walking is Still Honest Press. She was recently featured at Anti-Heroin Chic and Swimming With Elephants. Meet her at http://ejfhoran.weebly.com/ and @ehoranpoet on twitter

2 Poems – Deborah Chava Singer

poems

Grotesque

well, isn’t this grotesque
me crying
and your mouth all wet

 

Woman, Fractured

a woman, broken
fractures fused
if not stronger
more complicated
than before

Deborah Chava Singer is a product of San Diego, California, the Mesa College Theatre Company, Queer Players, and other “stuff.”  She currently resides in Washington state.  Recently her writing has appeared in The Human Touch, MUSE, Jonathan, Cirque, Chaffin, Heart & Mind Zine, Snapdragon, and Twisted Vine. Her website is www.latenightawake.com.

A Love Poem from London – Margot DeSalvo

poems

A Love Poem from London

I ask about your work,
the house, the flowers
and I miss your feet.

Margot DeSalvo has been teaching college composition in NYC for over a decade. Drawn to poetry from the very beginning, Margot’s poetry aims to illustrate the artifacts of intimacy, the complexities of depression, the nuances of introspection, and highlight the beauty in the mundane. Margot’s poetry has been published in the academic journal TETYCWriting Raw, and she is currently the poetry editor and co-editor of Flatbush Review.

Hive Sisters – Devon Balwit

poems

Hive Sisters

So many of us, clamoring,
          mitosis gone scarily awry,

all eager to excel, careening
          toward podia, wrestling for

trophies, the swing of our medals
          raising blue bruises

between our breasts.  Trained
          to reach high, we are

forever reaching, hands straining
          upwards like saplings

from our desks, their hectic rustle
          annoying our teachers.

Even in sleep, our arms scrabble
          the headboard. But amongst us,

we do not compete. Like hive sisters,
          one’s success is that of all,

our grins genuine, each glistening
          with royal jelly.  We know

others find us insufferable, wishing
          to smack us down,

but we are too many.  We dance
          the joy of our success

to one another, each stomp and circle
          pointing to the next.

Our procession to and fro ribbons
          our DNA like a gift.

(after Cristina Troufa’s Trophy)

Devon Balwit is a teacher/poet from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks: how the blessed travel (Maverick Duck Press) & Forms Most Marvelous (forthcoming with dancing girl press). Her work has found many homes, some of which are: The Inflectionist Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Red Earth Review, Timberline Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

*Note: The poem was inspired by Cristina Troufa’s Trophy.  You can see Cristina’s art here.

God as Woman – Shelby Lynn Lanaro

poems

God as Woman

Trust in God – she will provide.
– Emmeline Pankhurst

In kindergarten, I pictured
God for the first time
and He was a woman.

Not because I’m a woman,
and not because
I’m a feminist. Growing up

in church, we prayed
the “Our Father,”
and I still do.

But being raised by a single
mother, who brought me
to church every week,

who taught me
The Commandments
in Sunday School,

and, when I was older,
led my youth group
and confirmation classes,

of course I picture God
as a woman.

Shelby Lynn Lanaro is a graduate student in the MFA program at Southern Connecticut State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature in 2014. Currently, Shelby is completing her thesis, which is a manuscript of her poems that focuses on various types of relationships. As a narrative poet, Shelby’s work is heavily based on life’s events and strong personalities.