Guest Post: Sharp-Harlan F. Baudelaire

Last night,
during a perfectly normal
dinner,
I swallowed a sharp chip and it stuck

in my chest
before cutting
all the way down
from the inside out.

In my space
sharing the same air
you failed
to see the moment of pain.

Reserved,
with a sip of water,
I went on
in silence.

This morning,
during a perfectly normal
cup of coffee,
I gasp

the cut still aches
along with a thousand other
cuts made from
sharp words

swallowed in silence
that slice
all the way down
from the inside out.

detached,
with a sip of water,
I go on
in quiet.


Harlan’s poetry explores the emotional and often concealed existence of women. In 2018, she has several works published by The Whisper and the Roar, A Feminist Literary Collective and Tiny Flames Press. Harlan is currently completing her first chapbook, The Music of Whispering Horses and Other Lies, which she plans to present in late 2019.

You can read more of her writing here.

Guest Post: Turning-Harlan F. Baudelaire

A little too bright breezing in
head turned right with a close-miss kiss
too close.
Something
other than bourbon is
living—
there.

You see for a second
brown-eyes-turned-black
and cross the room
escaping cuts from scalpel-sharp
intuition abuzz
from the company
of your lingering guest.

Choosing
to turn to the
left,
in silence,
enveloped by years of cold deficiencies
I count three anemic heartbeats then
float away.

This anesthetized pulse
drives down
the culpability
of knowing.

Turning, instead,
toward
retreat.


Harlan’s poetry explores the emotional and often concealed existence of women. In 2018, she has several works published by The Whisper and the Roar, A Feminist Literary Collective and Tiny Flames Press. Harlan is currently completing her first chapbook, The Music of Whispering Horses and Other Lies, which she plans to present in late 2019.

You can read more of her writing here.

Guest Post: A Prayer for Pennsylvania/Marissa Glover

Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be the nameless & unnamed
Give us this day our daily news—
decades of abusers now accused
Deliver us from evil

I do not forgive priests who hurt little children

No matter how much they confess
or kneel or swish with holy water
No matter how many catechisms
or pilgrimages or prayers to the Virgin

I do not forgive pedophiles
or those who look the other way

They can drink the communion cup
until their bladder fills, explodes the prostate—
stuff their mouth with wafers, white as chastity

They can choke on this spotless body
rendered for them, offered for healing
of sickness and removal of sins

May they aspirate halfway through
their Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned
both the confessor and the falsely penitent

Then let them burn
Let them burn

Amen.

This poem was first published at Poetry 24 in August 2018.


Marissa Glover is a teacher and writer who shares her thoughts more than necessary, which she considers a form of charitable giving. If it counted as a tax deduction, she’d be rich. Her poetry has been published at Easy StreetThe OpiateLipstick Party MagazineUnbroken Journal, and Muddy River Poetry Review, among others. Follow her on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_.

Silhouette- Sabrina Escorcio

She came into the earth
between pillars of freedom
and oppression.
Her incompatible hosts,
were stubborn bones
softened only by fate.

Claiming her burden
head first amidst thighs
damp with promise,
and blush stained bed sheets
that swaddled an imperfect future.
Mother, delivering wisdom,
and purging past,
with each painful groan.

Their silent heritage broken
as the meek battle cry
left fluid filled lungs,
breathing life into a stale room.
A frightened young woman,
now matriarch, cradles hope
between trembling hands
for the first time.

What is the shape of bravery?
A strong chiseled jaw gifted at birth.
A mothers distended belly
at nine months.
The curve of a woman’s
engorged breasts desperate to feed.

Or is it simply,
the silhouette of new mother
embracing her infant.

© Sabrina Escorcio
July 2018

Heritage Series

Dedicated to my mother and daughter.


Sabrina was born to Italian Catholic immigrant parents in the beautiful Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by nature and raised on a self-sustaining farm, nature and faith are two predominant themes often appearing in her work. She grew up with a love for nature, the dramatic arts, music, as well as books and literature. After years of journaling Sabrina came to know poetry, as an adult this became an avenue of self-expression during a time of personal strife. This hunger for poetry was insatiable, leading her to scour second hand book stores for more inspiration. There she found classic authors such as Percy Shelley, Tennyson, and Sylvia Plath, as well as many obscure poets; She began to transform her journaling into the realm of confessional poetry. One of her favourite pieces is titled “Dark Pines Under Water” written by the Canadian poet Gwendolyn Mac Ewen. Sabrina hopes to feature her poetry in print one day, she can also be found on Tumblr as http://brie-writes.tumblr.com .

Unititled-Sohini Chatterjee

 

This poem is a wail

that needed to be heard

but wasn’t, when it couldn’t

take the shape of letters

or of noise destabilizing silenced morals

So it held my throat in the manner of

clenched fist, iron grip and mortal fear,

and demanded an apologia.


Sohini Chatterjee is an Editor at HYSTERIA: Feminisms Radicalism Periodical and Activist Platform. She is a poet and writer whose work has previously appeared in Coldnoon: Travel Poetics, Rag Queen Periodical, Quail Bell, Cafe Dissensus Everyday, Kindle Magazine, The Lookout Journal etc. Chatterjee holds an MA in International Relations.

What You Kill, Kills You- Sohini Chatterjee

At ten past two at night I push

sorrow out of ashen tongue, cigarette burnt lips,

stained sweater of blood, injury and sweat,

and spell T.R.A.U.M.A in hundred different

ways.

The mother commands homicide

of naked blisters and turgid wounds

before the stench of guilt reaches the shore

and screams breathless; I acquiesce.

Now every third Sunday after seven

satin sashes hide hidden sores

so that fine wine and finer lies can turn antidote again

So

I laugh ten times four every third minute

and count till five to stab at the heart twice

and pull out one strand after another

of hair lost to laughter lost to pain

and pull regret out of my skin

and hold it close,

until I choke.

And then at ten past two at night

demon slaying pills birth acrid truths

hold me by the neck

and force me to spell T.R.A.U.M.A

again.


Sohini Chatterjee is an Editor at HYSTERIA: Feminisms Radicalism Periodical and Activist Platform. She is a poet and writer whose work has previously appeared in Coldnoon: Travel Poetics, Rag Queen Periodical, Quail Bell, Cafe Dissensus Everyday, Kindle Magazine, The Lookout Journal etc. Chatterjee holds an MA in International Relations.

I never feared death – Marilyn Rea Beyer

I never feared death

Until you died.

 

Now – again – I fear facing you

With your dark curls and your Sinatra sneer.

 

Like on my 28th birthday when you warned to me watch my weight,

“Or I’ll trade you in for two 14s.”

 

And then you actually did.

More than two, really.

 

You mocked my other lovers as “nice boys,”

Then taught me toxic lessons.

 

Yes, you made my blood rush,

Grabbed me by the waist and hissed, “Follow me.”

 

Who’s your jitterbug partner now?

Do you make the tender angels cry?

Do you do to them what you did to Bernadette?

 

I wish sometimes I did believe in Hell

So I could just let you go.

 

That frail gray man who died last year did not resemble you.

 

People said how much you’d changed. Really?

Enough to apologize?

Enough to quench my fear of Heaven?

 

Marilyn Rea Beyer has been reading poetry in public since the 1960s but only began writing her own in the 2000s. She holds a Master’s in Oral Interpretation of Literature from Northwestern University and has had a varied career in teaching, high tech, folk radio and recently retired as PR Director at Perkins School for the Blind. A native Chicagoan and long-time resident of Lexington, Mass., she now lives on Massachusetts’ North Shore in Salem with her husband, history author and filmmaker Rick Beyer. Website: http://www.marilynreabeyer.com