Then by Linda Wimberly

Then for pasting

Linda Wimberly is a writer, artist and musician from Marietta, GA. A former Vermont Studio Center resident in writing, her poetry has appeared in The Raw Art Review, Lunch Ticket, Stone River Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems and others; and a short story appeared in Cricket. She is a self-taught, abstract artist who works in acrylic, oil and mixed media and her images have appeared in or been cover art for Critical Pass Review and Inscape Magazine. Her image “Woman on the Move” won the 2019 Art Contest for So to Speak: feminist journal of language and art. (lindawimberly.com)

In 1998, you could practice your French in France by Natalie Campisi

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In 1998, you could practice French in France. The new and old words were still distanced by water and paper and games of telephone.

It was the year of the Euro. The year of Kosovo. The year of Sampras and the Yankees.

The bus wobbled on steel-belted cartoon wheels toward Montpellier from Paris. Not Marseilles where they steal your money at knifepoint. We had little money and no credit cards and no gold to sell in a pinch.

In 1998, you relied on maps and eyes and lips and eyes.

In 1998, old lives couldn’t be accessed through an app and unrequited loves could remain in amber, forever lithe and limitless, forever ​Lotte​ — not living in Haddonfield with four kids and a mortgage.

<<Je voudrais ​deux billets, s’il vous plaît?>>

With paper maps and paper money, we packed on the packed bus with skinny people who mumbled grunts and slip n’ slide words, a potion of sweet and mildew. The wheel was too big for the driver’s hands. The mirror too small to see.

The faded baby blue bus was peeling-paint old.
The windows were trimmed in white and had curved corners.

A man pressed against me. I sent this postcard of the man pressing against me to my older self, and I received it — perhaps in the middle of the night — and realized he had assaulted me. He had pressed his body against mine on purpose. It wasn’t just a packed train. Assault is a big word when time gets between action. Too big. But, memory remains. I hated it.

I send a postcard back to my 22-year old self: “Push him away. Disez: ​Arrêtez! Arrêtez!

But, no. It’s in amber now. The bus keeps moving.

 

 

Natalie Campisi is a journalist and fiction writer currently residing in Los Angeles. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction and her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Auburn Literary Journal, and Writer Magazine. She was recently awarded a writing scholarship to the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Currently, Natalie‘s producing, directing and performing in a fully improvised play based on the work of Wes Anderson, which is running at ImproTheatre in Los Angeles.

 

 

Original photograph by Donald Emmerich.

 

#Mountains: Women Are Mountains Scattered by Wren Tuatha

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Red pill/green pocket/squire, asks then takes anyway,
can you see me or the planet from a crag in Arkansas?
Gynic peaks pull the moon in you by a string.

What do you orbit? How do you know when to alight if land
and women are mountains scattered, grounded but shifting
unfinished? You and Mohammed, playing pipes at mountains.

Two peaks, one in Africa, the other Appalachia, pour
water that makes the moonbow, marrying light and vapor.
Only two places on Earth does the moon lay this lyric.

Mountains in Nepal listen to gunfire. In Kentucky they
lay down for clean coal, rebranded. Lung forests in Sierras
truck downhill. Peaks in Switzerland take the breath away,

rare oxygen. Do you see me on the planet from Alps, Everest
or Kilimanjaro? Rice terraces and the perfect elevation
for quinoa. Who are you feeding? Who comes to the table?

Not women. When restless we erupt, rebranding, renewing.
We sway slow on our plates. My skin has regrown after lavas.
Sit down. Your babbling is corrosive, a tune in smoke while women

chisel, turn spokes. Narcissus drowning and other irrelevant kings.
No matter your heights, a king convinced of his wings and his view
brought us to this ledge.

 

First published in Thistle and Brilliant, Finishing Line Press. 

 

 

Califragile founding editor Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared in The Cafe Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review and others. She’s pursuing her MFA at Goddard College.  Her chapbooks, Thistle and Brilliant and the forthcoming Skeptical Goats, are from Finishing Line Press. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Butler, herd rescue goats in the Camp Fire burn zone of California.

#MeToo: Evening Prayer by Melissa Weiss

You want to know how I spend
my time? Remembering
pink panties around ankles, scent
of petroleum jelly, scent of
Vaseline on fingers on–
Toonie to cup breasts in prepubescent
palms. Taste of Don’t talk
about it, she doesn’t know
what she did crammed down
windpipe, twenty-five
years, slowly
starting
to slip

free.

Melissa Weiss studies Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Recently, her work has appeared in Prairie Fire, The Maynard, Sky Island Journal, and elsewhere, and placed second in Into the Void‘s 2017 Poetry Contest. Melissa co-edits One Button Press in Kelowna, British Columbia. Her most recent chapbook, Don’t Fall in Love with a Poet, was released by JK Publishing in 2018. Visit her at https://twitter.com/melsince93.

 

Original photograph by Jorge Royan. 

#MeToo: Title IX Case Dismissed For Lack Of Evidence by Sandra Hunter

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Plaintiff did not indicate that she withheld consent

We are lost in our nervous system
You are sobbing
We have lost our language
We can only make sounds
I am here
I am her

We are in a wind tunnel
You are sobbing
You are a semaphore I cannot read
You are a small disappearing flag
I am here
I am he

We are in a shipwreck
You are sobbing
Call me from inside your wounds
Call me from your unwords
I am here
I am h

We are falling from an airplane
You are sobbing
I am pulling the ripcord
You are failing to open
I am
I

 

 

Sandra Hunter’s stories have won the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Award, 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, and three Pushcart nominations. She is a 2018 Hawthornden Fellow and the 2017 Charlotte Sheedy Fellow at the MacDowell Colony.

#MeToo: A Wolf Girl Enters the World by Wren Tuatha

Monstorium Historia

A wolf girl enters the world
through a slice in the air
that catches eyes all around.
Is her name ordinary, Maria,
or pedestaled, Dulcinea?

The air in the village square
tells the story of the pie
she carries. Younger wolf sister
stays close, dropping mental
breadcrumbs through
the forest of eyes.

To be a wolf girl and to be
a girl are redundant. Everyone
is entitled to look at will,
on the sly or not.

At court, brocade
flowers on her gown
fit in, but she will always
be queer.

Her Italian language is
baroque with syllables,
civilized. She has written
a poem. It feels natural
to choose the attention
of others.

She will recite her poem
now.

 

First published in Danse Macabre.

 

Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Pirene’s Fountain, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Pacific, and Bangalore Review. She’s also an editor at JUMP, International Journal of Modern Poetry.  Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

#MeToo: Dear Med Guy by Melissa Weiss

The devil drives a Mustang. Sinks crooked teeth
into Coach Purses and Haagen Dazs. Pinkie
swears and Snapchat filters. You
are an octopus tentacle on grease-stained
linoleum. The unnamed image in front
of a Polaroid. Your loafers are square
and geometric. Onyx. Glazed
in stringy bits and aphid innards.

I saw them yesterday
when you trampled on my me too.
Picked it back up and combed it
through the oily prickle on your chin.
Your breathy clouds spoke: slut. Tossed
the word through the air like an emerald.
Like you owned it.

You are a pine needle among matchsticks.
Eclipsed. Concealed. I don’t know how
to say fuck you any more eloquently.

 

Melissa Weiss studies Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Recently, her work has appeared in Prairie Fire, The Maynard, Sky Island Journal, and elsewhere, and placed second in Into the Void‘s 2017 Poetry Contest. Melissa co-edits One Button Press in Kelowna, British Columbia. Her most recent chapbook, Don’t Fall in Love with a Poet, was released by JK Publishing in 2018. Visit her at https://twitter.com/melsince93.