Feeds:
Posts
Comments

We have moved!

We now have our own website, thanks to the incredible Tim Raveling, and you can read the magazine here –
http://thesurvivorchronicles.org

Way back at the beginning,

you said something mean,

unfair.

I dialed your mother’s number

hoping

that hearing her voice

would make you see the light.

I held the phone up in the air

between us.

We could hear her:

Hello? Hello?

We both held our breath.

I chickened out and hung up.

Then I stepped in dog shit

on the kitchen floor, from

our new puppy,

and you laughed. I threw

an orange at you, but it crashed

through a window. I wept

while sweeping up

broken glass.

Anna Kendall says: “I was married for twenty-six years to a very successful man. These poems emerged seven years later because I wanted to forgive myself, because I needed to cough them up, to purge the vile memories, because I desperately needed to make sense of a long and
abusive marriage.

My ex-husband was a sex addict. It’s hard to explain how his extreme narcissism affected me – my poems say it best. For now, let me just say that to live with this kind of man is a very lonely existence because any kind of touching has nothing at all to do with love.”

Survivor

The multiple troubles of man,
my brother, like slander and pain,
amaze you? Consider the heart
which holds them all
in strangeness, and doesn’t break.

Shmuel HaNagid, Hebrew poet of Muslim Spain (993-1056)

I am Yeats according to Auden.

For poetry accomplishes nothing:

it survives in the valley of its making . . .

I accomplish nothing but become

the poem that survives.

I am no righteous poem keeping score.

Hemingway was right,

The world breaks everyone:

Her rape. His torture. Their neglect.

All unloving shatters the glass

of our words learning to be poems.

Scars are ugly, but strong at the broken places.

I ran with that pack,

until I grew my own bootstraps and bared teeth,

trying not to save or scare all

who want to love me.

When she isn’t teaching the abundant virtues of the comma, writing about big hair and Elvis, and doing the Cha Cha, Kim Baker works to end violence against women. Kim performs in the annual Until the Violence Stops Festival Providence. Her poems have been published online and in print. Her most recent reasons to cha cha cha include fourth place in the Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Poetry Contest, This I Believe essay broadcast on NPR of Rhode Island, and first play stage-reading at the Culture*Park Play Marathon in New Bedford, Massachusetts about a middle-aged female survivor of childhood sexual assault.

The impossible

At the edges of the day light hesitates

as if to respect our dreaming

shy until it meets

the heat of our morning eyes

 

Our embrace binds us

and the tender dawn

binds the air in wispy zephyrs

that are flirting with the sun

 

Full energy purrs

through our standing hair and naked nerves

Dawn filters between sky and river

between you and me my love my fair one

 

Can daybreak light the time

that lives before and after us

that lives

beyond the pulsing dying stars

 

Can dawn hold back the spinning hours

extend the project of renewal

as far as our imagination and desire

can reach can see

 

Sun

stop

and let

it be

 

Calaverita de dulce

mi panecito de muerto

detener quisiera el tiempo

tan incierto tan incierto.[1]


[1] Little sugar skull

my little bread of the dead
I wish I could stop time

so uncertain, so uncertain

From an anonymous Mexican children’s song

Juanita Garciagodoy says: “I was born and raised bilingual, bicultural, and binational in Mexico City by a father from Guadalajara and a mother from Minnesota.  I published Digging the Days of the Dead in 1994 while I taught in Macalester College’s Spanish Department.  I’m married to novelist George Rabasa, and we live, write, run, and walk within sight of the dark and changing Mississippi River.”

christened by Katrina, she was on a roof for twelve days,
while my mother knit and my father
drank pomegranate juice with ice cubes in a glass,
and watched FOX 2 News forget about her, on a roof for twelve days
while I put my socks on inside out and thought of myself
in love and acid
churning in my stomach.

That’s not the painful part, she says,
articulate fingers, wristbands too tight.
She folds her arms to a rock-a-bye cradle, empty.

Lena Judith Drake is the editor-in-chief of Breadcrumb Scabs poetry magazine (http://www.breadcrumbscabs.com). For more information or her previous publications, please visit her personal website (http://lenajudith.sedentarygecko.com).

. . . determined to do the only thing you could do—

determined to save the only life you could save. Mary Oliver

Unsainted and unsouled,

November rips the scab off childhood,

wounding, yet again,

veteran of domestic violence.

Malfeasant birth month,

beasted and feared,

like grandfathers and other departed souls

whose secrets ooze putrid from the family tree.

Blood-red abrasions and healing-yellow bruises

struggle toward abscission,

denounce the diseased lineage each fall,

save the only life they can save,

and let,

conflicted,

go to a safer, if uncertain, fate below,

where they drift aimlessly on fickle wind,

pile in dead refuse,

or settle, recluse,

fingered and veined,

but bloodless.

Perchance,

blessed to be plucked

by a delicate hand awed by russet and amber,

pressed into palm or poetry,

caressed.

Rescued.

When she isn’t teaching the abundant virtues of the comma, writing about big hair and Elvis, and doing the Cha Cha, Kim Baker works to end violence against women. Kim performs in the annual Until the Violence Stops Festival Providence. Her poems have been published online and in print. Her most recent reasons to cha cha cha include fourth place in the Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Poetry Contest, This I Believe essay broadcast on NPR of Rhode Island, and first play stage-reading at the Culture*Park Play Marathon in New Bedford, Massachusetts about a middle-aged female survivor of childhood sexual assault.

Belt

Slipping it off before coming to bed
you are suddenly here. The way your small fingers
slid that device from its regiment loops
the long leather tongue dropping free in your hands.

You’d turn one end twist to add strength to your wrist
and come at us then like you came at the cat –
terribly foaming from bedroom to stair
where you painted its flank ’til it cried like a child.

We knew that such animal fates were not ours.
Our transgressions paled by such grave disregard
as would turd on the couch or put nicks in the rugs.
Such was our comfort, our stay to the wind.

With years we found more things to vex you to ire:
gravel chunks pitched at a neighbor’s broad glass,
feet pitched at other kids’ spines. In a park
a sapling I whittled once clean of its skin

digging the soft exposed sides with a pen.
We were your boys then, as we are your men;
never quite knowing just why our hands act,
watching them flash out before us, now, like

players on some stage, amazed at their lines.
Amazed at their fortieth year, and one night
suddenly standing here

watching the clumps
of red earth
smack against your empty house,
again, and again.

William Orem writes in multiple genres. His first collection of stories, Zombi, You My Love, won the GLCA New Writers Award, previously given to Sherman Alexie, Alice Munro, Louise Erdrich, and Richard Ford. His second story collection, Across the River, won the Texas Review Novella Prize for 2009. His first novel, Killer of Crying Deer, will be published in September of 2010.

Other stories and poems of his have appeared in over 100 literary journals, including The Princeton Arts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Sou’Wester and The New Formalist, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in both genres.

His plays have been performed in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Louisville, Buffalo and Boston, with a recent staged reading in Manhattan; currently he is a Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers