Broadside

narrative feminism

Do you to know what it’s like?

To lose your body

Have it taken from you

Entitled to them

It’s never true

Do you know what it’s like?


Do you know how it feels?

To lose all hope

To be used

Powerless it seems 

It’s never true

Do you know how it feels?


Now what?

Men will say forget

If they believe you

Silence feels safer

It can’t be true 

Unless you know what it’s like

— Emily Young

Marginalia

We go to the movies

and see men billowing

along the glorious tides

Of Dionysus & Apollo

Then coming up for breath

to fuck ladies with large breasts

then down again, planting

phallus to the soil--

and growing up,

growing out,

often becoming

beautiful.

 

But we wonder

when we will go to the movies

and see varying sizes of breasts!

Afloat in the evanescent tides

of Aphrodite & Earhart,

coming up for breath

to open labia and

open lips

and be loved?


— Lauren Turner

A poem on letting go.

I wish I would have known

To practice harder at letting go.

Growing up everyone told me to savor,

To treasure, to keep, to hold.

Now, the door slams.

He screams, “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LET IT GO!?”

I don’t know.

I don’t know how.

I try at night,

As I cry into my pillow,

But I don’t know how.

*

My mother raised me to be a fighter.

My father wanted me to soar.

All the teachers said I was gifted.

All my family said it, too.

“You’ll be president one day,”

Said grandma as we watched the nightly news.

The press and the print are daily pressures:

Everywhere I look—

I’m a woman—

I’m supposed to be more,

Give more,

Have more,

Love more,

Live more,

Laugh more…

The only thing this man-happy world consistently tells me to do less of is c r y.

*

So when I look in the mirror,

at the bags under my eyes,

The pudgy skin above my hips,

And between my thighs,

Analyze every sag on my arms,

Every pore on my face

And I think about all of the words

Of hate, and shame,

And embarrassment,

That line the bones of my body,

Trust me…

I wish I knew how.

I WISH I KNEW HOW

To let it all go,

To feel free,

But I never got that memo.


— Isabella Margot

*Adam, while he names *

ADAM:

to kill a junebug--tasseled,

bulging but glistening like marbles

spun under sea. The uselessness

of sex--the havoc we make of pleasure

then, in

tumult, find her obscenity like

water: I am what I love--

  backbone

and

dusk.

 

to kill a rooster: who among you

is at ease? Who thought this

saint would be unmoored like the

stones, seeds, shackles. It’s like this: hand of my

hand, marrow of my marrow, and lack

for my lust with the fruit ripe

enough to bite into flesh

of finger and ovum.

just a taste.

 

EVE:

I am what I love--

 Dirt

And

Morning.

 

Still,

when she unfastens morning, God is

the pear and the body-- baked,

undertow, with a face full of doves.

 

 

*“I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted

To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty”*

-Sylvia Plath

 

I ranked the beds by the quality of dust upon the sill--fresh, earthy, fraught.

There are only two ways of doing without.

 

I knew a girl convinced of her charm,

her distaste for flowers. she’d dress me in white

I’d float from a stone to a spruce

unearthing all rhyme.

--Solemnity: the broken mood of men--

the moors, their ripeness. The sea

spray--foam--apollo

mars tides over.

O nets:

whose fish? Whose mother?

 

*The Gods and Their Little Games*

 

Hera told Zeus to write the vows, calls

centerfold a load of cock and summons all

 

kings to pine. Oh Balladeer of Murder! Oh,

Beaked Myth-Maker!

 

Stuff your legend. Eve is returning that rib

  to Adam, but he wants

to keep the flesh of his flesh,

rattle at his own tale,

keep light fastened. Eve is unleashing

 

solstice, excising Cain, forgiving Jacob, letting

monarchs pollinate her blood,

make it bloom--

make it bright black.

__

 

Zeus never learned to write, Hera trots

rose hips over to Eve and they sing the

breeze for 17 minutes.

 

There they go, taking Babels down

brick-by-brick, unsewing bones to

 

frisk freedom’s feathered tail, sweating

and sunk up with swans. but you’re

 

crocheting chasms of

forgetting, rationing mondays into

 

linens, loving something

that is not me.

__

 

*Moth Song, 279*

 

Apprehending like suds on

Saturday car washes: ether

or rain. and what was there but unpotted

honeysuckle climbing pergola fastened

by father and dug by worms:

split and puddled,

plucked, but parsing

stones in all their performance.

 

***

 

A moth is an unadmired wingéd thing:

yearning for un-cottoned, bare bodies.

 

Sleeping, we are all moths--sheeted and

shook by our blindness. By the light nested

away. By the laughing needle awaiting our

thoraxes.

 

Will they wonder how our big bodies

took flight? Will they forget us flying?


— Danielle Isbell

Untitled

The women around me hurt

The women within me ache.

Ache for justice,

Ache for answers that have no period

No desire to end, nothing to be withheld from.

Honesty is the goal not yet met.

Would you run if I were a man,

Or stay because I’m a woman?

You oppress out of fear.

There is no fear to return to you.

We are not shallow, insipid beings

But feelers

Creators

Human

Female.

That notion scares you.

Run to the hills, boy.

Make haste as those before you,

Choosing to live narrowly

Hallowy

Blankly.

There are many worlds and wonders women create [and destroy]

And you will never feel

Never express

Any desire

To explore

To strive yourself to a better connection

A better sex

Because you hide behind the sex you have chosen,

Witless and closed.

Fear not your darkness, for you have chosen it.

Don’t shed your shadow upon the light of those living,

within and beyond the intimacy of knowledge.


— Ashleigh Evans


With Death in My Own Breast

The cracked leather held pain in its divots

of a body full of inclination

to rise, to heal,

to be without struggling to be.

 

Soundlessly, routines did shift—

a school absence for once unwanted;

she heard thunder

even in the whispers of steps.

 

Alone in the chair, tension froze painted on her face,

her brain concerned—even in sleep—

of the battle plan for a war won only by

strategic casualties.

 

She paid with clumps of hair I never saw fall,

Stopped by shower drains,

Sitting where she once could stand.

I cried when you could not climb the stairs.

 

I do not understand your weakness.

 

I wait with death in my own breast,

And bated breath in my own throat,

Prepared to accept survivor status

Passed to me like participation trinkets.

 

I did not sign up for this game

Or spin the wheel for this feral lottery

That puts me pillowtalking with a serial killer.

Yet you shook hands with the reaper.

 

Fear becomes a familiar bedfellow

As we debate seven years versus ten

Of capsule poison meant to cure.

I once said “blue” so much it ceased to be a word.

 

I do not understand your strength.

— Amanda Chiu


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