With your lips
against the flank
of my hip,
I find God
and beg for more.
My prayers grow louder—
then let loose to quiet praise
as your spirit
leaves my body.
Previously published in Pankhearst’s Slim Volume #3: This Body I Live In – November 2015. Available for purchase here.
I’m a lower-middle-class American, but I breached the middle class. I’m behind on my bills and I usually can’t afford to add guacamole to my dinner, but I have what I need. I had a decent enough high school education and earned myself small scholarships to get me through two years of college, with additional help from financial aid, because I was poor.
I worked full-time while going to college full-time, to enter adulthood where I then worked two jobs amounting to nearly 60 hours a week for five or so years, so I would not be poor. It’s very hard in this country to not be poor.
I was lucky. Not everyone has had the same breaks as me, not that I’ve had it easy. But I was able to find work and take care of myself. Jobs aren’t always available to everyone who looks for one. I had to settle and work jobs I had no interest in, but still…I had work.
We, the lower and middle class citizens, support those above us, which does not make sense. It also keeps us from advancing. The top one-tenth percent own about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Why are we responsible for keeping them afloat, when we’re largely ignored or ridiculed by them for our positions in society? Contrary to what some believe, not everyone on government assistance is a bum; they’re often forced to get assistance because they were forced out of what they had or could have had by a rigged system.
Last night I attended the Bernie Sanders rally in Birmingham, Alabama. I went to support a candidate who is tired of the haves taking advantage of the have-nots. He spoke and we listened. I drove home with my palms tingling; they felt raw against my steering wheel – from clapping. I couldn’t sleep last night. His words were bouncing around in my head and I suddenly felt more pride in being American than I ever have. We’re part of a political revolution; we’re part of a historic time in this country – a time in which one man is gradually convincing more and more of us that this is our country, that we have a say. He’s asking us to join him in this revolution. I’m in.
Be part of history.
Take back your country.
The old dog sits close;
thunderstorms and nostalgia
have us held up
in the back of the house—
each seeking shelter
from our own fears.
Originally published at Gnarled Oak – Issue 5; November 6, 2015
in your pocket,
where your mind is.
Clutch it with free hands;
grip the emptiness
the way children do
when they’re hungry
and tell me again
how my soul is lost.
Originally published at By&By Poetry – October 2015
Get your submissions in, folks. This anthology is gonna be good. Pankhearst books are well done and diverse; this is my first time as editor, and I have every intention to keep up the good reputation.
America Is Not the World will be an international collection, and will consist of poetry and short fiction. It’s not a negative theme, so if you submit, don’t assume I want to read America-bashing moaning and groaning. Opinions on the country are allowed, as is anything. Primarily, though, I want to collect voices from all over the world. All info can be found here.
Pass this call around to anyone who may be interested! I’m looking forward to reading these submissions!
Not all women wear dresses; I don’t.
I do piss in the same public restrooms
as those who do. The doors have signs
decorated with a little female form,
shaped like an A, and lacking all color.
But we are not basic models, uniform;
we do not all have high-pitched voices
and dainty waists. Not all of us giggle
when a man eyes us; some of us stare back
with self worth flickering in our pupils.
I belong to no one. The tattoo that stretches
across the blade of my right shoulder says:
“I Am Mine.”
And I am.
We scare the simple-minded, and escape
the confines of tradition, all while embracing
the bits of it which do not condemn us.
Contrary to what the psychologists say,
we do not all want to marry men
who are like our fathers; hell, some of us
cringe at the very thought of marriage—
and of our fathers. Some of us want children,
but not husbands; others want the opposite
or none of the above. And those of us
who just want sex are not sluts or selfish.
Anyone who assumes such likely wants to live
like us, but is too stubborn to drop the standard
pre-conceptions and holier-than-thou scriptures
which define them as much as their hemlines.
I vote for and against those who are
for and against me and my interests; still,
we have few options and are seen as both
victims and threats, depending primarily upon
our appearance. The times are changing,
though; as are we. You, whoever you may be,
would do well to step out of our way, and to take
that damned A-dressed emblem off the door.
Published at The Fem Lit Magazine – October 2015
Source: A | Rachel Nix
The cool mornings linger
in the hollows, where the land
dips and divides, waiting
for the day to arrive—
the South cannot shake
the humid breath of sunlight.
Originally published at Plum Tree Tavern – October 2015