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She Speaks

Carnival and Lent by Laurence Thompson

A jar of paint-thick blood and mire

To wet an oxen’s head

A finger blackened by the fire

And pressed against the red.

 

A mask of white upon the fool

Who stares up from the feast

A couple fleeing with their mule

But cannot move the beast.

Continue reading “Carnival and Lent by Laurence Thompson”

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Girls are Silver by Olga

girls are silver

 

                                          I was taught that

girls are silver       smiles to be polished

laughter the sound of a fingerflickedagainst

a     trophy     ringing  with emptiness.

 

                                              I knew that I wasn’t

silver   knew I was drinking from the depth

of starving wells     knew that girls

                                                        like me

                                                          would

rust Continue reading “Girls are Silver by Olga”

As I Rise by ReVerse Butcher

As_I_Rise_FINAL_rVb


 
rVb in tunnel
ReVerse Butcher is a multi-disciplinary artist with focuses in making unique artist’s books, collages, visual art, writing & performance. She will use any medium necessary to engage and subvert reality until it is less dull and oppressive. When she grows up she wants to be a well-read recluse. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Monstrous Woman by Leanne Moden

I want to be a Monstrous Woman

To speak out of turn

To take up space

To scandalise tabloid newspapers

 

I want to question authority

To win more fights than I lose

To take my fair share

And allow you to take yours too

 

I want never to apologise for myself again

Continue reading “Monstrous Woman by Leanne Moden”

Wrap by Sam Kaner

Wrap.jpeg

 

Sam Kaner is a visual artist and writer based in Nottingham, UK. Her work is rooted in the personal experience of social and political navigation as a depressed trans woman of colour.

Her work is documented on her website, www.samkaner.com, and on her Instagram account, @skamglamart.

3 Poems and 1 Haibun by Robin Anna Smith

Shapeshifter

 

I exist somewhere between `

            a match and a flame,

                          a tear and the sea,

a handful of clay and a sculpted vase.

No other being determines or

             influences which form I take,

                          which direction I follow,

which air I choose to breathe into my lungs.

Those who fear my state of being

              fear the unknown,

                         the unsubscribed,

                                the undeclared.

And that which causes their unease is my strength.

 

disrobing

gender is the seam of ill-fitting pants

that, no matter how they are altered,

continue to give me a painful wedgie.

 

it is a pair of support tights,

that I’m required to wear beneath a skirt,

which gives me a miserable yeast infection.

 

the only relief is to remove the constraints

of gender entirely and allow myself

to breathe freely…

 

droplets of revolution

ideas require darkness and a steady drizzle to germinate. letters and syllables mingle. seeping layer by layer into the ground. entwine and thrive deep in the earth. forming stories which push their way up. they present themselves without shame. basking in sunlight. continuing to grow. shouting the brightness of their names. for as long as we tend to them…

 

rainseed I feed words to the cloud

 

The way we communicate, specifically with stories, is part of what makes us human. It’s how we know about our past, how we investigate and work through our present, and how we can contribute to the future. By writing our own narratives, we take control instead of allowing them to be written for us. As with growing plants, timing is important in the process of culminating and sharing our stories. This process is a way we can work through conflict and maintain the power of our identities—our resolution for revolution.

 


biopicrsmithRobin Anna Smith (she/her) is a non-binary, disabled writer and visual artist, currently residing in Wilmington, Delaware. She primarily writes about personal experiences with trauma, loss, disability, mental health, and gender identity. She is a regular contributor at Rhythm & Bones Lit. Her work appears or is forthcoming in a variety of online and print journals internationally, and in Unsealing Our Secrets: A Short Poem Anthology About Sexual Abuse and You Are Not Your Rape Anthology.

More of her work can be found at her website robinannasmith.com and Twitter @robinannasmith.

 

For Lydia by Becky Deans

Good golly miss Molly

Did you marry a man with a miner’s lamp and

No brolly?

 

Didn’t you know that the marriage bed came sprinkled with

Soot? Did he blind you

With a title, then tempt you with a butty?

 

How long did you keep that aspidistra flying?

Through the childbirth and the child death

And the end of the piano music

Continue reading “For Lydia by Becky Deans”

Battle of the Sexes by Lauren Winson

Pink is pretty and bravery blue (or so we’ve been told)

forgetting that once upon a time

Victorians held the opposite view-

so when will we stop

teaching young children

that pink, make up, Barbie dolls and dresses are for girls

whilst boys have blue, guns and action heroes?

 

When will it end?

 

Women raised to believe they need saving,

their short skirts sexualised from infancy,

infants expected to be raised by their mothers,

not fathers, these men taught to save everyone:

except for themselves.

Continue reading “Battle of the Sexes by Lauren Winson”

Gender Lines by Jennifer Moore

Two sides, no in-between, began I don’t know when

No, no, you can’t confuse the ladies with the men

Each day the frame repeats

We’re told the story again

In silence and in actions, signs and words

 

These are the questions thou shalt not ask

These are the persons thou shalt not see

And these commandments are all we need

It’s dangerous

Beyond the gender lines

Continue reading “Gender Lines by Jennifer Moore”

Someone Else and Harry by Jason Jackson

It all started when Harry had to move into the apartment.

The walls were white, and there were marks where the previous tenant had hung pictures. Harry went around the place, measuring these spaces. In a notepad, he wrote down numbers. He drew little diagrams.

Then he spent the next day in town. It was more difficult than he’d imagined, but he finally got everything he needed: seventeen pictures, each one corresponding to a white space on his walls. Harry didn’t care about the pictures – one was of a grinning cat in the rain, and Harry disliked cats – he just cared that they fitted the spaces.

He spent that evening drinking coffee and hanging the pictures, and eventually he lay down in bed.

The previous tenant had left the mattress, and although Harry was used to sleeping on the left, this mattress had an indentation on the right. Harry lay down in this exact spot. It was too small for him, but it felt safe, and in the morning when he woke he found he hadn’t moved. Continue reading “Someone Else and Harry by Jason Jackson”

Confessional by Meeah Williams

It’s a bad habit I picked up

when still living out my pack of lies

& can’t quite shake

attention like a drug

I keep shooting

down the highways of my wanting veins

exposing myself to men

like a circus curiosity

the Amazing Chick with a Dick Continue reading “Confessional by Meeah Williams”

We are Women by Emma Miles

emma1emma2emma3emma4emma5.png

 

 

 

Emma Miles is a English graduate and writer, with a particular interest in typography and all things experimental. Most commonly found pretending to be other people.

Children of the Revolution by Emma Ireland

we, the children of this revolution

who came to it all from fields afar

not born beneath a dissident star

of parents dressed in shades of green

but found we belonged only in between

and here we stand, and here we’ll fall

and we’ll die together

or not at all

we, the children of this revolution

who carry our books instead of swords

who taught ourselves, despite it all

who search for truth wherever it lies

and see the world through suspicious eyes

here we stand, and here we’ll fall

and we’ll die together

or not at all

Continue reading “Children of the Revolution by Emma Ireland”

Painted Legs by Juliette van der Molen

it won’t do,

grandmother said,

to show bare legs.

you need smoothness

and muscle tone—

not to mention the

barrier between

the hands of men

or even their eyes

and your flesh.

 

no silk to be had,

and there’s a war,

by the way.

but, still—

the illusion must

remain intact,

nothing’s changed!

Continue reading “Painted Legs by Juliette van der Molen”

She Speaks by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

When she speaks, the penny bomb drops,

When she decides to say #MeToo #TimesUp

When she remembers, but doesn’t voice it out loud,

When the Ace woman speaks and says ‘Don’t touch me there’,

When the Bi woman speaks and says ‘Actually I’m happily married’,

When the drag queen speaks and says ‘stop bothering me’

It isn’t a challenge, a threat to your identity,

She’s telling you her boundaries.

They are not up for negotiation,

negation, conquering, obliteration,

her body is not your inclusive space.

She doesn’t need your arrogant attempt at re-education.

 

When she speaks, the penny bomb drops.

  Continue reading “She Speaks by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

S(mocked) by Juliette van der Molen

puckered tight,

disapproving lips,

where threads have

pulled and gathered

red and white gingham

checks across a chest

that doesn’t know how

to expand, just yet.

tennis shoes tied

in double knots,

sun licking pavement

until it is gooey,

spongy with heat. Continue reading “S(mocked) by Juliette van der Molen”

A Song From a Straight Ally by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

I am a straight ally.

And I choose to make an oath to all that choose to hear it

I will defend the different dissonance, I will stand with

those told who to love and when to love and how to love

those told that they cannot have.

Those told that they are somehow lesser, that being gay is a joke

That being Trans* is just convenient cover for a pervert

Those told that simply being anything other than straight is not normal, Is deviant, is ‘other’

I make this oath because of the things I see

I see forty-nine threads cut short, I see the right to pee safely being ruled by fear

I see the rules of divorce still governed by straight law

I see secure employment being based on your sexual orientation

I see religion twisted into hate, I see corrective rape, I see murder

I see you, queer girl, your slip shed soul constantly bruised from unwanted advances

When a man reeking of arrogance says,

“You’ve never had a real man, bet I’ll give you a good fuck”

Continue reading “A Song From a Straight Ally by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

#7952 by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

I have ten minutes here,

Less than ten in this press of people, before I go through those gates

to tell you that, Berlin was beautiful, a free celebration of all love

The Self-Owners, The Island, The Girlfriend, The Schwanenberg.

Then under the strict shadow of a worded paragraph I am now a number

Scratched into my skin, my name pressed into records,

between pages and pages of names.

Before Berlin was lights and love and music, gay bars and open study

Here is mud obscuring my identity,

photographed from three angles,

in grim stripes and triangles

we become homogeneous herd, corralled into camps.

Continue reading “#7952 by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

To My Daughter by Zachary Payne

oh 200 grams of you

today they told me you will be a woman

a girl, a girl

we are having a baby girl

I will be a father

and with this great news

I’m hurt by the privilege

that exists

that continues existing

that besides all of the battles

will exist when you are born

 

remember

you don’t have to be a princess

or wear pink

(unless that be your desire)

Continue reading “To My Daughter by Zachary Payne”

Rapid Eye Movement by Kevin Jackson

He who may be she

used to think playing piano

was a way to touch god, or at least

 

something beyond the window

not made of  tarmac, livid body

 

parts. Such a god, music-mother,

swaggering-string-weaver, hip-horn rooster, took him

(as teachers then stamped her,

with the authority of corridors

going nowhere), took her mind off

Continue reading “Rapid Eye Movement by Kevin Jackson”

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