Tag: poetry

Arab Spring in Berlin – Rebecca Ruth Gould

Arab Spring in Berlin

I turned down the offer of a dowry
& we hitched a ride to the airport 

at twilight from Damascus to Berlin, 
to start a new life. 

Syria started burning soon after we arrived.
First, the revolution in Egypt had to be televised.

We made love on the balcony overlooking Tiergarten
as CNN live streamed the revolution.

I was full, dreaming of the castles we would build.
Every light in the skyline was a votive candle

& then I was overtaken with fear of pregnancy, 
worrying that my hasty longing

had brought new life into the world.
Crimson trickles broke the terror—

I bled the everyday blood we (women) shed—
the reassurance that life continues 

even when death prevails—
while the shahids were martyred on Tahrir Square.

When I waved goodbye to you in the U-Bahn,
the station’s cement blending with the night,

I felt like those revolutionary fools 
who cast fear aside 

because they believed that it was right, 
opening my arms to the world.

 

Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of Cityscapes (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), and Writers and Rebels (Yale University Press, 2016). She is the translator of High Tide of the Eyes (The Operating System, 2019), After Tomorrow the Days Disappear (Northwestern University Press, 2016), and Prose of the Mountains (CEU Press, 2015). 

 

Two Poems – Holly Day

What There Is to Lose

I pretend to be content with our conversations
because I still like having sex with him
and I am afraid that, even after all these years
that if I don’t keep him talking
don’t act interested in what he’s saying
he might decide to leave. Even after sleeping beside him 
for more than a decade
I’m afraid that if I don’t hang on every word he says
nod approvingly at all the right moments
in his ramblings about cars and work 

and the driving conditions to and from work
that he’ll decide I’m also not very interesting
wonder why he’s sitting next to me at all.

Some days, I’m afraid to even let him go outside
in case he runs into the woman he’s supposed to be with
the one who finds all these musings on 
back spasms and diarrhea attacks, 
his problems with his mother
his problems with my mother
all the ways you can use Chinese pepper salt to enhance your cooking
completely fascinating and absorbing and yes
I know she is somewhere out there

waiting in the mismatched groves of birch and pine outside our home 
hungering for what I will never let her have.

April

You wake me up to tell me 
that the snow has come back
that the garden outside is completely 
obscured in white. You say it much too loud 
for this sort of news
for this early in the morning, almost joyful.

Half-asleep, the resentful part of me believes 
perhaps you are responsible for the snow.

I drag myself out of bed and call the dog
who comes, joyful at the prospect of a morning walk.
I put on her leash and we step outside
into a world buried in white snow
the tips of new tulips, the green sprays of crocus
already shriveling and darkening in the cold.

Holly Day’s newest poetry collections are In This Place She Is Her Own, A Wall to Protect Your Eyes, Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds, Where We Went Wrong, and  Into the Cracks.

 

Candy Bowl Compassion – Hemalatha Venkataraman

My therapist told me I need to be more kind
to myself-
to take care of myself first,
asked me to pick up a laser-cut wooden heart
from what used to be a comfort candy bowl.
Imagine ‘compassion’ written on it, she said.
                                                                   I did;
ran my fingers along the burnt albeit smooth
curves of its brown body,
sat it on the insides of my palm-
                                     looked up
told her
to let me know if she needs help making more of these hearts.
You don’t have to order them from China, I said.
I have access to laser-cutters
over at the Department of Art.

Hemalatha Venkataraman is a poet and artist from Madras, India. Her poetry nests in the tangible to make sense of the intangible, with a focus on personal growth and immigration. Her latest publication can be found in the book of curated poems, I’ll Be Here When You Get There.

You can also find her on Instagram at @Hemuvenkat.

Letter from the Editor

Dearest DDR followers, readers, writers, and lovely creatures all around,

So it’s that time again. Time to take a break so we can get our sh*t together. 

And though we won’t be publishing anything new on the site till the end of the summer we will still be reading submissions for fall so please, keep sending us all your goodies! Ladies send us your flash, poetry, art, photography… Send it all.  

Also, on a super happy note, we are going to start accepting creative nonfiction! More on that shortly but to give you an idea the guidelines will be the same as flash fiction.  Send us up to 3 creative nonfiction stories, each story no more than 1000 words.

We aren’t disappearing. We will be around reading all your fine submissions.  And as always, previous contributors, let us know if you have anything going on. A book reading, a forthcoming chapbook, etc. We would love to share the news!

Happy writing & reading friends!

Abbie Copeland
Editor-in-Chief

3 Poems – Anastasia K. Gates

 

*
Feed me the stars—
if I am born of stardust, 
what I crave is the taste 
of my own making.
*


 

 

 

 

*
“Peaches and cream 
warm as toast
soft as silk”
in this love, she woke me 
before i’d guess the color 
of her bra
*


 

 

 

 

*
Dear self: like a copper spoon pulled 
from fire, you melt then scoop me up
*


 

 

 

Anastasia K. Gates is an emerging poet, memoirist, and artist from Pennsylvania. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu and Zambia and is a current student at Columbia University. Her work unearths the voice of global womanhood that wanders the natural landscape. She takes solace in the quietude of the forest, the fire of the sun, and the infinite universe within.

Follow her on Instagram @anastasiakgates.