Archives for posts with tag: Music

statue lmnstuff
Jim Morrison Tells Me I Have Greek Feet
by Lindsey Martin-Bowen

Jim claims inherited feet shapes
are based on their origins.
“With that index toe outgrowing
your hallux (big toe),” he says,
“yours are Greek.” Then he grins.

For decades, I ignored my feet,
except to clean—soak in Epsom salts—
until this year, when they bleed.
I rub a pumice stone over cracks,
wait for them to heal, and
meditate about feet:
Cornerstones to columns,
pedestals to pillars—
our feet hold up our worlds.

Greek feet—barefoot runners
leap across urns for eternity.
Greeks used few feet in poetry—
Sappho’s many lines lost.
And they wrote plays
in couplets, repeating the first line’s
number of feet in the next,
so back-row listeners knew
who spoke when feet repeated.

“You know that means you dominate
a marriage or household,” Jim adds,
grins again, wrinkles his nose.
“I don’t,” I boldly say.
“I am still waiting for that to be.”

PHOTO: Ancient marble statue with a young foot hanging into the void. Photo by Lnmstuff, used by permission.

Jim_Morrison_1969

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Years ago, when I (my persona) screamed down asphalt through mauve Kansas fields and the Flint Hills, rock shaman Jim Morrison crawled out of my car stereo while a yellow hornet on the windshield danced like a Kachina in a sand painting. It was magic. Perhaps. I still don’t know. Yet poems resulting from this encounter resulted in Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s third poetry book, CROSSING KANSAS with Jim Morrison. In it, Jim comes with me to find La Loba*, in hopes she’d resurrect his bones. But the wolf woman refused, and we went to Paris and the Père Lachaise Cemetery. There, Jim’s dark monument, wrought with graffiti, commemorates him. I’d thought this story had ended when I left him there. But I was wrong. He won’t leave me alone. He pushes into poems and ignoring his burial, often joins figures from everywhere—ancient Greece and Eleusinian mysteries, wild and wooly creatures in my “frenzies” poems, and post-modern philosophers. Even today, he whispers to me when I stare at a waffled, red-lace sky filled with popcorn clouds looming above our foothills.

*Wolf woman. Bone woman. According to Southwest legends (from various tribes and Mexican cultures), La Loba works with angels to gather bones of humans and wolves, then resurrect them. 

PHOTO: Jim Morrison (Dec. 8, 1943-July 3, 1971) at age 25 in a promotional photo for The Doors (1969).

Lindsey (cropped) as Audrey 2 01-25-16

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pushcart and Pulitzer nominee Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s fourth poetry collection, Where Water Meets the Rock (39 West Press 2017), contains a poem named an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 85th Contest. Her third, CROSSING KANSAS with Jim Morrison, won Kansas Authors Club’s 2017 “Looks Like a Million” Contest, and was a finalist in the QuillsEdge Press 2015-2016 Contest. Her Inside Virgil’s Garage (Chatter House) was a runner-up in the 2015 Nelson Poetry Book Award. McClatchy Newspapers named her Standing on the Edge of the World  (Woodley Press) one of Ten Top Poetry Books of 2008. Her poems have appeared in New LettersI-70 ReviewThorny LocustFlint Hills ReviewSilver Birch Press, Amethyst ArsenicCoal City Review, Phantom Drift, Ekphrastic Review (Egyptian Challenge), The Same, Tittynope ZineBare Root Review, Rockhurst Review, Black Bear Review, 15 anthologies, and other lit zines. Three of her seven novels have been published. Poetry is her way of singing. She taught writing and literature at UMKC for 18 years, MCC-Longview, and teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and other criminal justice classes for Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, Oregon. Visit her on Facebook and on Amazon.

the-piano-lesson-1916.jpg!Large
One small child
by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

At my teacher’s second-floor studio,
I fidget on the piano stool.
I am staring at
the opening bars of
The Moonlight Sonata.

I am still waiting
to perfect this piece,
fine-tune it in time
for the Christmas concert,
feel and express it
as viscerally
as my teacher does—
each sombre note
seeming to dissolve
on her fingertips,
tell-tale tears twitching
on her waterline.

I peek outside through
a gap in the curtains
and see my father—
he is waiting in his car,
windows rolled up,
air con turned on,
patiently parked
in the shade of two acacias.

It was an hour-long drive
to get me to my lesson,
and my father naps off
his fatigue,
knees folded against
the dashboard. He and I
have been doing this
ever since I was
a toddler,
and I have often wondered
what he dreams of
during his micro sleeps
as he waits for me to finish.

While the Moonlight Sonata
lulls my mind,
something tells me
that he dreams
of Christmas Eve,
seated in the audience,
waiting to hear me play
his all-time favourite piece-
“One small child,”
like I have
every year

PAINTING: The Piano Lesson by Henri Matisse (1916).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am very fortunate to have a devoted father. He used to drive me to my piano lessons. This was usually after a long day, after he had worked two jobs. Over the years I evolved as a pianist and my father has heard me perform many pieces. But to this day he says that his favourite remains “One small child.” I like to believe that that one small child is me. My father will turn 74 this year and I wrote this poem for him.

Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is an Indian-Australian artist, poet, and pianist who was raised in the Middle East. She holds a Masters in English and is a member of Sydney’s North Shore Poetry Project. Her recent works have been published in Silver Birch Press, River and South Review, Bracken Magazine, Ethel zine, and several other print and online literary journals and anthologies internationally. Her poem, “Mizpah,” was awarded an Honourable Mention at the Glass House Poetry Awards 2020, and her poems on the Covid crisis were made into a podcast by The Someone New Theatre Company, Melbourne. Her mixed-media pieces have been published in over 40 literary journals, including 3AM Magazine, Star 82 Review, Otoliths, and The Amsterdam Quarterly, as well as on the covers of Ang(st) the Body Zine, Pithead Chapel, Uppagus, Periwinkle Literary, and elsewhere. She is a chief editor for Authora Australis, and regularly performs her poetry and exhibits her paintings at shows. She teaches art to young children, and lives in Sydney on the land of the Ku-ring-gai people of the Eora Nation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

mary cassatt 1
How to find your voice
By JC. Sulzenko

It’s not every day your voice forsakes you.

From childhood on, I learned songs by ear—nursery rhymes, carols, Broadway tunes, gospel, folk, and rock.

I sang around campfires, on long car rides, in a mass choir, and later in an a capella group.

Just after my mother died, I dropped out. I got used to humming anthems and pop songs to myself, to whispering lullabies to my grandchildren.

Until the other day, when I had my granddaughter’s attention and remembered that song about wheels on the bus.

I heard the melody in my head and started to sing, but the notes, the words came out with a rasp and off-key.

I drank cold water and tried again. I switched to a simpler rhyme, with the same results. That’s when I had to admit my singing voice was missing. I needed to find it.

I began in the top left hand drawer of my dresser where I keep practical things—nail files, combs, unopened lipsticks and compacts, single buttons, along with an array

of discouraging cloth facemasks. What had I hoped to find there? If not my voice, then a clue as to where it had gone and why.

I rummaged in the back of my closet, behind the silk sheaths that won’t fit until I emerge from this claustrophobic cocoon, my wonky hip is replaced, and I can exercise without

pain. I pulled out my jewelry box—I’d forgotten the crystals I wore to the last party we attended when we could go wherever we wanted. I put them back.

I speculated. Perhaps my singing voice had gone dormant under the fine snow, which fell for a day, a night and sculpted the landscape to its design.

Or perhaps, constricted by lockdowns, my voice escaped and fled into heaven’s blues, icy Blues. Or perhaps it simply lost itself, whatever the reasons.

It needn’t worry that it’s not good enough. The child will recognize her grandmother’s music, even on a small screen.

ART: The Banjo Lesson by Mary Cassatt (1893).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As most of my interaction with everyone outside the home, including our family, has become virtual, I noticed how my own inner and outer dynamics have shifted. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not. Prolonged isolation has affected my self-discipline, my sense of purpose, and my readiness to write. It also has made me realize how much I miss singing with other people. Instead of shelving poetry ideas as I am wont to do at this point in my life, I felt some urgency to compose “How to find your voice” once I saw Silver Birch Press’s call for “how to’” poems. As an aside, I recently joined an online choir and enjoy the sessions more and more each week.

js2-copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JC Sulzenko’s poems appeared on Arc’s Poem of the Year shortlist, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and Oratorealis, in anthologies and online, either under her name or as A. Garnett Weiss. Silver Birch Press and The Light Ekphrastic publish her. In 2020, her work appeared in Vallum, the Naugatuck River Review, and the Poetry Leaves project. She won the Wind and Water Writing Contest and the WrEN award (Children’s Poetry) and judged poetry for the National Capital Writing Contest in 2019.  Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press) the Poet’s Pathway, and County CollAboRaTive projects featured her in 2018. Point Petre Publishing released JC’s South Shore Suite…Poems (2017). Her centos took top honours in The Bannister Anthology (2016, 2013). She presented workshops for the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the Canadian Authors Association, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the Ottawa Public Library, and a number of Alzheimer societies, among others. She has published six books for children and co-authored poetry chapbooks Slant of Light and Breathing Mutable Air  with Carol A. Stephen. Based in Ottawa, Canada, JC curates the Glebe Report’s “Poetry Quarter” and serves as a selector for bywords.ca. Visit her at jcsulzenko.com.

peru licensed Pablo Borca
COVID Lockup in Lima
by Rose Mary Boehm

It’s quiet Sundays again. Our Presi
(and his band of braves) have decided
that we’ve had enough fun. Back to total lockup
on Sundays. Just heard the police giving someone
a hard time. The woman was walking her dog.
What, the poor dog can’t poop on Sundays?

So, today there are no cars, no dog barking,
no young voices laughing. I look out of the window
and the only living things are the palm trees
and the ever-increasing flock, colony, fleet,
parcel, or dissimulation of birds. The Pacific
is gently sighing its waves onto the pebble shore.
No witnesses.

But during the week it’s COVID entertainment.
And they are getting better. Bring a smile
to my face every time they pass. A trumpet,
a guitar, a drum and a singer. They make
their way along the boardwalks of Lima
to keep us locked-up folk smiling.
At first it hurt a bit. But they

must be practicing their craft. Every day
they keep the rhythm better, the singer
almost hits the right notes, the guitar
seems to be strumming with more confidence,
the trumpet no longer tortured.

Let me celebrate the bringers of cheer,
not wanting anything else but smiling faces
at the windows of the many high-rises along
the seafront. Every fifty meters or so
they stop to play Peruvian huaynos,
dances of happiness since Inca times.
I swear there once was a gaggle of police
in uniform who jumped and stomped
their hearts out.

PHOTO: Peruvian couple dancing Huayno, a traditional musical genre typical of the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, northern Argentina, and northern Chile. Photo by Pablo Borca, used by permission. 

peru licensed mark tucan

NOTE: Huayno is a genre of popular Peruvian Andean music and dance. It is especially common in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, but also present in Chile, and is practiced by a variety of ethnic groups, especially the Quechua people. The history of Huayno dates back to colonial Peru as a combination of traditional rural folk music and popular urban dance music. High-pitched vocals are accompanied by a variety of instruments, including quena (flute), harp, siku (panpipe), accordion, saxophone, charango, lute, violin, guitar, and mandolin. Some elements of huayno originate in the music of the pre-Columbian Andes, especially on the territory of the former Inca Empire. Huayno utilizes a distinctive rhythm in which the first beat is stressed and followed by two short beats.

PHOTO: A Quechuan man with traditional dress and drum (Peru, 2018). Photo by Mark Tucan, used by permission. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am delighted to have this opportunity to write a poem in honor of the people here in Lima who have only one wish: to see the rest of us (especially the over-65s who are still in strict quarantine) stand at their windows and smile and clap. They are simple folk and could sure do with some money. But they do it from the goodness of their hearts. I find that very moving. At times even the police join in. Police have also in the past been driving slowly up and down the streets, windows open, playing happy music at full blast. You have to love the good intentions.

rose-m-boehm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and Tangents, a full-length poetry collection published in the UK in 2011, she’s a three-time winner of the Goodreads monthly competition. Recent poetry collections are From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden 1939-1949: A Child’s Journey and Peru Blues or Lady Gaga Won’t Be Back. Her latest full-length poetry manuscript, The Rain Girl, will be will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all good bookshops starting on September 10, 2020.   

licensed Iakov Kalinin
Venetian Midnight Tea Nocturne
by Terrence Sykes

   The man in 119 takes his tea all alone – “Verdi Cries,” Natalie Merchant

falling winds reverb the centuries
through my open hotel window
ritual midnight tea
cusp of today yesterday tomorrow
what distant isle shores
steeping origins once docked
Ceylon – Formosa – Mauritius

watching the moon sail over
Salute’s silvered light
Accademia’s bridge creaks
in remembrance of tourists
yet the echo of Bembo
halts my fountain pen
into limbo

ten days I came to
forget the past
one week has already passed
but I remember
each night the rising
floods my room
from the enjambed window

across the Grand Canal
Punta della Dogana
riding endless waves
Vivaldi’s autumn
echoing emitting ethers
though winter is not far away
longing for the other

seasons of my life
could I play them from memory
yet no violin nor fiddle
at hand or within reach
drawing a map in my mind
upon the pages of my soul
endless ramblings

along the way from portals
decommissioned churches
wandering & meanderings
what treasures wash along
the canal walls
if only I had faith
to baptize my grasp

cosmic concerti must end eventually
gathering my scattered verse
souvenirs camera
journaled memories
I rise – ajar the door
place the tea tray
upon the passage floor

awaiting checkout
spring fades into summer
purloin one last croissant
shut the entrance door
but the open window
back to this room
will never close

PHOTO: Grand Canal and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy. Photo by Iakov Kalinin, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Several years ago, I heard Natalie Merchant sing “Verdi Cries” … I listened over and over … it drew me in … of course I’m a tea lover and a loner  … so I decided to do a poem …. IMAGINING myself in the song … I took the liberty to use Vivaldi since he lived and worked in Venice …

sykes-2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Although Terrence Sykes is a far better gardener-forager-cook . . . his poetry-photography-flash fiction have been published in Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, India,  Mauritius, Pakistan, Scotland, Spain, and the USA . . . he was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia and this  isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations — whether real or imagined.

ErieCanal8_12_AP
Towpath
“I’ve got a mule; her name is Sal, fifteen miles on the Erie Canal”
                                                                      –Thomas S. Allen, 1906
by Julie A. Dickson

Along the water’s edge, the canal, the locks
cutting a swathe through towns and farms,
water glistening in the sun, I sing beneath my breath
a song about Sal, walking the towpath, pulling barges
along the Erie Canal to the next lock, water rising or falling
to allow the barge passage, weighed down with cargo.

Sal had a job, walking the towpath, perhaps fifteen miles
as the song describes, with a man leading her, long rope
tethered to a heavy loaded vessel, her burden to bear.
Did Sal mind her position in life? Did she live long?
Did Sal yearn for pastures and freedom to run and graze,
instead of spending her days on the towpath?

The canal is visible from many roads along New York State,
locks appear as bridges to nowhere, I often gazed at them
from the back seat of my father’s car, singing about Sal.
The towpath of our lives is a tether to responsibility, focused
as Sal was, on the task in front of us, not on the beauty of the canal
alongside, water reflecting old factories, birds feeding on its banks.

The song, made famous by Pete Seeger and others, taught children
about early life on the canal but we didn’t know its meaning,
plodding along, making a living, fulfilling a purpose in a small niche,
Sal led barges loaded down with goods to the next town, her mind
on walking, but thinking perhaps of the hay waiting in her stall.
Tethered to tasks, we don’t see the canal, eyes only on the towpath.

PAINTING: “Erie Canal” by John Henry Hopkins (1825) via William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.

Dickson_Erie Canal copy

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am a lakes girl, a New York State girl, having been raised around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie; water is in my blood, and I would drive the length of the state just to view the canal and farmland. The bridges to nowhere were a mystery to me throughout my childhood.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie A. Dickson is a New Hampshire poet whose work addresses nature, current events, animal welfare, elephants in captivity. Her poetry has appeared in various journals, including Ekphrastic Review, Poetry Quarterly, Blue Heron Review, The Avocet and The Harvard Press. She is a member of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, and has coordinated workshops as well as 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Her full-length works of poetry and Young Adult fiction can be found on Amazon.

PHOTO: The author along a stretch of the Erie Canal.

1599px-ErieCanalMap
EDITOR’S NOTE: When completed in 1825, the Erie Canal, which spans 363 miles, was the second longest canal in the world (after the Grand Canal in China) and greatly enhanced the development and economy of New York, New York City, and the United States. (Source: Wikipedia.)

IMAGE: “Current route of Erie Canal,” map by Rosemary Wardley. (Credits on this page.)

green-lovers-1915 marc chagall
Gestures
by Wilderness Sarchild

Some gestures are universal
no matter the language of origin:

Hands clasped in prayer
Head shaking yes or no
Two thumbs up
Wink of a flirting eye
Raised middle finger on an angry hand

Helping a person stand up who has fallen
Feeding the homeless
Risking your own life to save another

One gesture’s universal meaning
has changed in the past few months:
Wearing a mask in a store
used to indicate a robbery.
Now it just might save your life.

PAINTING: “The Green Lovers” by Marc Chagall (1915).

mask self portrait

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: One of the benefits of sheltering at home is that I am finding more time to write.  I’ve written a poem almost every day since March 1.  Before Covid-19, I was lucky if I wrote one poem a week. I like starting with a prompt and seeing where the poem takes me. If the journey from beginning to end surprises me, that is a good sign that this is a poem I should continue working with until it feels ready to share.

sarchild

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wilderness Sarchild is an award-winning poet and playwright. She is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Old Women Talking, published by Passager Books, and the co-author of Wrinkles, the Musical, a play about women and aging that has been produced on Cape Cod for the past three years.  She has won awards for her poetry and playwriting from Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Chicago’s Side Project Theatre Company, and the Joe Gouveia WOMR National Poetry competition, judged by Marge Piercy. She was selected as Poet of the Week on Poetry Superhighway. Wilderness is also an expressive arts psychotherapist and grandmother of six.  She is a social justice activist and is a consultant/teacher of skills in conflict resolution, consensus decision making, mediation, meeting facilitation, and empowered aging. Wilderness lives in a cottage in the woods in Brewster (Cape Cod), Massachusetts, with her husband, poet Chuck Madansky. They are surrounded by wild neighbors that include turkeys, coyote, fox, deer, squirrels, giant snapping turtles, and birds. Visit her at  wildernesssarchild.com  and wrinklesthemusical.com.

Reardon.2..
Behind the mask
by Patrick T. Reardon

(mask)

Behind the museum glass,
a polished marble scream, frozen,
with large round eye openings,
pale stone, gray as smoke,
worn in ritual by one with sharp edge,
honed for soft flesh,
animal
or enemy
or the one offered by village
as sacrifice,
unmasked.

(masque)

Behind the court entertainment, the work:

A fashioner draws scenery lines,
writes actor lines,
makes believe a make-believe,
stages on stage a world,
shapes events,
characters,
couplings, uncouplings,
frown up, smile down,
god of the machine,
for three hours distraction.

Then:

Disintegration,
atomization,
expiration,
clock strikes,
and fashioner, home, fashions scrambled eggs and toast.

(mask)

Behind the cloth, covering nose and mouth,

lungs and a heartbeat, as vulnerable as a virgin;

an actor prisoned in a madman’s script,
as random as spermatozoon
in the splash gamble race to a future;

a slowly cartwheeling anywhere-everywhere catastrophe,
like the first cancer cells,
the clot,
the rip in hidden flesh,
that I will walk away from
or won’t.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For a long time I’ve liked the Ryuichi Sakamoto song “Behind the Mask,” covered by such people as Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton (great rendition!). So, when I started doodling, that was the direction I went. Of the three parts, the bulk of the second section was written first. It was followed by what’s now the opening section. The last was always last.

Reardon.1..

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of eight books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. His poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, San Antonio Review, Ariel Chart, Cold Noon, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, The Write Launch, Meat for Tea, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Under a Warm Green Linden, and The Write City. Reardon, who worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published essays and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter and U.S. Catholic. His novella Babe was short-listed by Stewart O’Nan for the annual Faulkner-Wisdom Contest. His Pump Don’t Work blog can be found at patricktreardon.com.

woman-at-tbe-piano.jpg!Large
Misplaced Keys
by Kaki Olsen

A lot of things were “lost in the move” when my family relocated from Oregon to Massachusetts. Some books never made it into a box and Dad accidentally left my hamster in a hot car in West Virginia.

We were bereft of other things in the process. My sister sold off my favorite stuffed animal when I missed one of our yard sales. We had to sell our antique train seats. Because we had no room for it, my mother left the piano that she had grown up with in the care of friends.

Nearly two decades later, those same friends announced that they were moving and wanted to know if my mother would like to reclaim her old piano. She still had no room for another piano and she impulsively blurted out, “but my daughter would probably love to have it.”

And so it was that the piano was professionally moved from a living room in Oregon to a cramped student apartment in Utah. It was at least five feet tall, weighed 600 pounds, and had no decorations other than a gold-leaf “Steinway and Sons” on the music stand. As soon as the mover cleared out, I sat with reverence at the 1918 Model K piano and played my favorite Beethoven.

A few weeks later, mother and piano were reunited for the first time in decades. With the same sense of respect, my mother sat at the familiar ivory keyboard and sobbed her way through Debussy’s “Claire De Lune.”

I could fund a number of dreams with the sale of the piano that was restored to me, but I’ve never been able to disregard the history that tied two generations to an 88-keyed treasure.

IMAGE: “Woman at the Piano” by Henri Matisse (1869-1954).

kakipic1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kaki Olsen is a disability case manager who spends most of her off-work hours at her computer. She has been a published essayist since her debut at iEmily.com and her first novel, Swan and Shadow, was published by Sweetwater Press in 2016. She is an alumna of Lexington Christian Academy and Brigham Young University and her advice on the publishing process has been featured in AuthorsPublish’s e-zine as well as their Get Your Book Published: 10 Authors, 10 True Stories, 10 Ways to Get Your Book Published. Both books can be found at Amazon. She has been a guest speaker at two colleges and several conferences. When she is not at a computer keyboard, she enjoys playing several instruments, studying new languages, and traveling to foreign countries. Her published works are catalogued at kakiolsenbooks.com, while her critique of the written word is found at kakirecommends.com.   She appears on Twitter as @kakiolsenbooks and can be found on Facebook.

accola-17
17 (An Edge or a Precipice)
by Rosie Accola

Conflicting entities
silk thrift store camisoles purchased on balmy summer days
when family vacations and size-five shoes still fit.
The cashier gave me $3 off because
it looks good on you
That was the first time I realized
that maybe I was pretty enough
to get something I’d actually want
instead of mute boys with longboards/acne/shy smiles.

Floral print skirts with fabric starting to pill,
it’s the first day of school.
My history teacher’s favorite band is Jimmy Eat World.
When I was 12,
my favorite song was “23.”
Now,
I listen to Courtney Love howl.
I know the downbeat better than the weight of my own footfalls.
Courtney’s real.
She’s teaching me how to snarl,
through the slats in all the lockers.

I practice a grimace in the mirror,
I’m learning how to yell
that this crooked body is
mineminemine/
I’ll still flinch at yr touch.
It’s less about unhappiness,
it’s more about unrest.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, at 17, drinking black coffee at a ski lodge like an emo ‘lil shit.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Usually when I write poems I’ll just piece together little bits of found dialogue or fragments that I scribble in little notebooks or on my phone. All of my untitled poems are referred to as “Sad grrrl #” ‘cause I come from a long line of emo femmes. For this piece, the title is a Stevie Nicks reference/ a call to the fact that seventeen was when I started to explore aspects of myself that are still relevant today.

accola1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Accola is a zine-maker, editor, and poet based out of Chicago, Illinois. Her first chapbook of poems, Feel Better, is out now via Goblin Prints. She is the online editor for Hooligan Mag and the Entertainment Editor for F Newsmagazine. When she was 17, she wore too much eyeliner and listened to a lot of Hole. You can follow her on Instagram: @rosieaccola

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, today, equally, if not more, emo.