Saturday, November 17, 2018


The Professor’s Daughter

She drew carefully in the margins
of her notes — elaborate vines,
leaves, flowers. She was quiet,
childlike, sad for all things young
and innocent. Her father made a big
deal about us, explained the literary
genres that our movies belonged to,
kissed our hands like a continental
gentleman. I didn’t understand
my friend’s disgust. He was so
sweet! He drinks champagne all day
was all she’d say. Once she was
in the hospital for three days,
swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills,
but it didn’t work. When I felt down,
a shower or a walk were all I needed.
If she had told me the truth
about what her father did to her,
I would not have understood.
My own father drank scotch
and hooted like an owl; nothing
to hold against a man.

- Tamara Madison

Friday, November 16, 2018


Speak, he said.

And then he interrupted
time and time again,

asserting his power,
his superiority,
his arrogant grasp of facts.

When a woman hears, speak,
she knows it’s never for long.

- Rachel Toalson

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Family Tradition

you were beaten until
your glasses and teeth broke
you were ignored and over
worked, touched by your step-father
you were deaf till five
you were raped by every step-father
for years you were taught
god was salvation

you were told you were the messiah
you were told you were the devil
you were told your opinion didn't matter
to shut up and get out
that you were a worthless little shit
that you had no brains no future no guts no sense
and in the meantime
your father drank himself
into oblivion and violence
your mother was blind

The parents who made you
try to kill you as surely
it's the family tradition
the father who kicked you
the mother who called you disgusting
who blamed you for their lives
and so beat you, taunted you
allowed you to be damaged

and we?
artists because we have to be
else we'd be out there as missionaries
for the system we inherited
fathers beating, mothers letting
stepfathers raping, mothers being jealous
mothers' killing words, fathers being gone
mothers and fathers be damned

I'll be your father, you be mine
we'll fuck and make a mother to beat them all
she will stride big and strong in blue jeans
and a baseball t-shirt that says "Athena"
stout legged and gorgeous breasts
she has milk enough for all of us
and honey to follow
her braids are long as Rapunzel's
salvation and we swing through
the mountains of her capacity to love
as though we were the wind
and her arms were the air

she is a destroyer of destroyers
our Mamma-Shiva
our Matron Saint
the one we should have had

- Jeanette Powers

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


I Didn't Want to Survive

Life may be unimaginable
without those great battles
we fight with ourselves.
The war inside fought
against our hearts and minds,
tears in our eyes, begging
forgiveness, for the love
we swear to deserve and
cherish, for that which
keeps our bodies warm and
comforted at night,
for all that has been lost
to never be found again along the way.
Life may never be the same,
may never be unquestionably good
or without pain. The car crashes
and thoughts thrown like ashes
through the windshield, the dark
and silent moment
where there's nothing left
to fight for. When there's
nothing more that could damage
anything that may remain intact.
Shattered little beings just
crashing into one another
screaming out in agony as our
lies to ourselves uncover
no skin left to shed. Little bleeding
hearts with pulpy beats on the pavement
pounding out our songs to the world
and praying to God or someone to hear and
push our trampled hearts back from
whence they came, deep in the dark
and deep within our chests. Our little selves
with sockets empty and raw from the war
so large they seem to be all we're made of.
A walking, talking, gaping hole with no
recollection of how to breathe or think
and our world crushed underfoot as we sit,
staring at our broken hearts on the floor
after being thrown back at ourselves with the
comet-tail of others' judgment. We sit
watching it beat back against the rain
trying to wash it clean. Red light pouring from
the street as cars rush past, hurrying to crash
into others and splatter their own lives
onto the street. Watching everything rush past.
Watching. And waiting
for the world to change.

- Cristina Kennington

Tuesday, November 13, 2018



What binds me to this earth
are the hands of my children,
as I hold my mother
holding her mother
back to the mother
who begat us all.
This is gravity.
This is why we call the earth Mother,
why all rising is a miracle.

- Donna Hilbert

Monday, November 12, 2018



They say you can’t play with them.
They’re doing important stuff.
You’d be in the way.

They make loud noises.
They get dirty.
They push past you and you lose your balance.

Later, they like you but can’t say it.
They mumble and blush.
It’s sweet.

They ask for your number.
They call and are shy.
You feel flushed with moonlight.

They love you; you fall for it.
You don’t give them what they want.
They are gone.

Or they fall for you.
Their helplessness is touching.
You hold the power.

The power feels good.
They say they will call but they don’t.
What happened to the power?

They need you.
They will give you everything.
You are not stupid, but you fall.

You know the answers. But:
No one listens to you, girl.
You don’t know shit.

They hire you but pay you less.
They ignore your ideas
then claim them as their own.

One of them understands.
He is kind and sweet.
You join that one.

You are pregnant.
You are happy.
Your are lost in the tide of mammal life.

This is the power at last,
A tiny being needing only you.
This one will be the sweetest of the sweet.

- Tamara Madison

Sunday, November 11, 2018



what justice can there be
when a 97yr old Jewish woman
outlived Hitler during WW2

only to be killed by an errant
nazi-republican from today’s ignorant american hellfire
while attending temple
in Squirrel Hill
on a windy October Saturday?

there is some profound injustice in that evil,
but I know the oblivious pitchfork
and torch trump followers
will miss it

or revel in it
like pigs
in shit

- Heidi Blakeslee