I once told a joke about a straight person.
They came after me in droves.
Each one singing the same:
Don’t fight fire with fire.
What they mean is: Don’t fight fire with anything.
Do not fight fire with water.
Do not fight fire with foam.
Do not evacuate the people.
Do not sound the alarms.
Do not crawl coughing and choking and spluttering to safety.
Do not barricade the door with damp towels.
Do not wave a white flag out of the window.
Do not take the plunge from several storeys up.
Do not shed a tear for your lover trapped behind a wall of flame.
Do not curse the combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen.
Do not ask why the fire fighters are not coming.
When they say: Don’t fight fire with fire.
What they mean is: Stand and burn.
Lauren Zuniga - “Benediction for the Hustlers & the Gardeners”
"You blink with more passion than some people make love with."
A little reminder of how important it is to keep chasing your passion. We’ve been on a bit of a Lauren Zuniga kick lately as we work through old footage in preparation for our next big filming events at CUPSI and WoWPS. We hope you’re enjoying her too.
Hate Letters to Poems
Poetry does MORE than unsettle. Poems are not pretty righteous little things screaming out dirty laundry. Poems are cyclones destroying lives. Brew me a fucking storm ok? ok.
(Sorry if I piss you off)
(You can punch me later if you want)
and for this issue we’re only taking submissions from people whose poetry we have not published before!
(If you’ve submitted to us before that’s fine, just, not if you’ve had po’try in a previous issue)
Guidelines (I know, the upcoming issue info is out of date, we shall change that when Rose…
Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.
I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring–
afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy
in the raw wind of the new world.
– Louise Glück, Snowdrops
My mother is painting my nails black.
I’m six or seven. It’s Halloween.
“I want to be a girl,” I say.
It’s 1990 or 1991 and everyone who has died
and is dying enters my childhood bathroom.
I don’t know these boys (I don’t know you).
My mother is asking me “why”—
why can’t I take this test?…
Sierra DeMulder - “The Tampon Poem”
"Bears aren’t attracted to menstrual blood. MENSTRUAL BLOOD IS ATTRACTED TO BEARS."
Two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and Button Poet Sierra DeMulder tells it like it is about tampons, i.e. unreasonable things for men to be afraid of.
Once, taking a train into Chicago
from the west, I saw a message
scrawled on a wall in the railway yard—
Tommy, call home, we need you—
and for years I have worried, imagining
the worst scenarios. Beneath the message
was a number written in red chalk,
although at eighteen who was I to call
and at forty-six who is left to listen?