BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
This essay at Jezebel called "Becoming Ugly" by Madeleine Davies:
"The truth, though, is that while it’s been ingrained in me to chase their acceptance and approval and be “in on the joke,” I was raised from birth to fear men, to never trust or expect them to protect me. Thirty years of being suffocated by their desires, whims, and power has only proven the fear as founded. In the years that followed the last time Tom grabbed me (and he never did it again after I punched him—nor did he ever forgive me), I would see good liberal boys, the ones who had feminist mothers and organized progressive political demonstrations, go completely silent when a high school acquaintance accused one of their own of rape. At 19, I had to hide behind a truck as a man followed me as I walked my dog, filming me out his car window for blocks. This summer, a bearded man at a pool party kept asking my friend and I to do drugs with him, insisting it was safe because we were “unrapeable.” Later that night, after rejecting multiple drinks that he seemed to pull out of nowhere, my friend and I joked that the man was too dumb to even commit sexual assault properly. Because what can a woman do, if she wants to avoid an entire lifetime of terror and bitterness, besides laugh in the face of what seeks to harm her?"
"This is the land
drifting into cherry spring;
each of us must decide.
the car rounding the road
like your tongue on a rainy afternoon
when the cat is asleep on the sill
so much easy—
open joints on bridge
you can hear our warrior cry
wind through this bayou
you can hear us all the way to the moon."
Ilana Masad has a short fiction piece up in (b)OINK's first issue:
"How much hatred must we feel in order to do this? None whatsoever, as far as we are concerned. We are a two-sided coin. The oppressor’s profile on one side, glaring and tight-lipped, nose regal but second to the eyes’ squint. The other side, the protector, is benevolent, looking straight on, expression full of mercy."
-I love this poem by Emilia Phillips over at Poets.org:
"My grief was born
in the wrong time, my grief an old soul, grief re-
incarnate. My grief, once a black-winged
beetle. How I find every excuse to indulge it, like a child
-Bust posted 7 inspiring quotes from Carrie Fisher. This one is my favorite:
"What I always wanna tell young people now: Pay attention. This isn't gonna happen again. Rather than try to understand it as it's going along, have it go along for a while and then understand it."
-Asiya Wadud is Brooklyn Poet's poet of the week. Her poem is killer. An excerpt is below:
"a book of prayers
saved for daylight
and damned light
to retrieve a body
all. these days
to make it, to mourn
to mark a journey
a white shrift unsullied
mash’allah my god
can deliver my god
saves face my god
solemn hunter my god
a privation my god
in the light call it, pilgrimage
call it crystalline, call it
empire call it
salt honed call it
Volume 1 Brooklyn made a list of highly-anticipated books coming out in 2017.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (2016, ELJ Publications), & Xenos (2016, Agape Editions). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM. Some of their writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Feminist Wire, BUST, Pouch, and elsewhere. They also teach workshops at Brooklyn Poets.