Nadia is a girl
She is a Yazidi girl
She is a very brave Yazidi girl
She is a very brave victimized Yazidi girl
She is a very brave victimized and orphaned Yazidi girl
She became enslaved
She was (legally !!!!) raped
She managed to escape and was a refugee
She had to endure all this, because she is an innocent Yazidi girl.
She now has an advocate
who is ashamed
and says so in an assembly of the UN
she is proud to present Nadia
as a survivor,
a Yazidi leader
a Nobel Peace Prize nominee
a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations.
Her name is Nadia Murad.
I don’t know blight,
or famine, I have not
tasted the sweet blisters
formed from napalm,
or seen true shock
and awe rain down
on my city. I yet
have not fled home
in real terror,
left my family behind,
myself but a naked child..
or had my child
torn from me,
my arms no shield
for a bouquet
bloomed from bullets,
I have heard
of leaflets announcing
, I imagine quiet,
as any dead
left to collect
these promise notes
in the crooks
of their elbows,
the dead palms
of their open hands…
letters from humanity
to none, even the living
Hospice arranges transport,
delivers the necessary equipment
because mom wants to come home.
Gentle paramedics maneuver
her gurney across threshold,
navigate narrow hallway,
settle her into the hospital bed
in the den where she will spend
the rest of her life.
She is able to breakfast
at the kitchen table,
shuffle two or three laps
around the living room
with her walker before
snuggling into leather recliner
with paper, blanket,
steaming hot toddy.
Friends and neighbors
arrive in shifts
to deliver flowers,
pay their final respects.
Soon every surface
is covered with bouquets,
of inevitable funeral day.
An interchangeable cast
of cranky actors costumed as nurses
or white-coated specialists
move in and out
of your hospital room.
They ignore the name
listed above your bed,
printed upon wrist band.
Wordlessly perform a variety
of medical functions.
So far, they’ve pricked
your finger, mistaking you
for the unresponsive diabetic
on the opposite gurney.
Administered respiratory therapy
intended for a guy across the hall.
Tried to dose you with
the incorrect chemo.
Food service bungles
90% of your orders.
Twice they forget
to deliver your dinner.
Over and over
you remind them
you can walk on your own
when they insist
on a walker or wheelchair.
You wonder if the pathology report
of metastasized malignancy
actually belongs to you.
Try to convince yourself
it’s just one more mistake.
For six months
mom has complained
of stomach pain
to her impatient doctor.
His records document
breast cancer surgery,
spread of malignant cells
into her stomach.
Despite her history,
no new scans are ordered.
He tells her she’s
just getting old.
exhaustion and weight loss,
common symptoms of aging.
When she develops bloating,
he prescribes an
over the counter laxative,
sends her off for an x-ray,
says all is normal.
A week after she collapses
from debilitating diarrhea,
is taken to emergency by paramedics,
a consulting gastroenterologist
discovers an intestinal blockage.
Seven days later, a surgeon
opens her to reveal
the inoperable cancer.
Jennifer Lagier has published twelve books and in literary magazines, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press). Forthcoming chapbook:, Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Website: http://jlagier.net
unless you grasp me by the hair and force almonds into my eyes
unless you smear peach yogurt on my skin, slant me crooked, italicized font always to
times new roman, unless my skin is actually made of vanilla flavored cream,
stop making me your character
to snack on.
in your poems, he said. it makes it
too personal apparently, which makes me wonder
what else is too personal for him
to bear. when blood ran from my body
like the life of the nile
he ran too
for his own life
because my womanness was too much for his body to understand.
i am not me, period. i am me
the definition of oppression is not my identity
so don’t slip that harness over my head
don’t make me walk the tightrope between
my mother was not a feminist
but she lived a feminist
she likes her accent. it doesn’t hurt
when the broken edges of her english cut her
the way they cut ariel’s feet when she
walked on the shards of her slippers.
a long time ago her english teacher once told her
never to be ashamed of who
she was, that americans love
the accents of the exotic, and i
was too ashamed of my country to tell her
the truth: that we love the white sand beaches of third world countries, but forget when
malnutrition shrivels their bones
just as easily as ours
fatten. how could i explain that when her english teacher said the exotic, he meant
mother, i hated having to break the truth
to you: that there’s a line between being
fashionably foreign and being
too foreign. those people only love
originally published in The Eunoia Review
Eva Gu is a Chinese American writer/poet. She has attended the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop, and her work is forthcoming in the Eunoia Review. She reads for Polyphony HS.
You will be a high achiever
who knows everyone else is not.
You will be the kind of person who leads
by accepting a new company Audi
on a morning you announce redundancies.
You should have wide experience
in eating previously healthy organisations
from within. In terms of qualifications
you will hold a grade A in Asset Stripping
You will have the skills necessary to tie
in knots of regulations anyone who needs
tying up. Deep down, you will believe
people rather like it. Leadership is bondage.
Remember, it’s all about those acronyms:
BDSM – Bondage, Domination, Sado-
You will enjoy making jokes about bondage
to your personal assistant, as well as
relevant sexist or racist or ageist
(delete as appropriate) comments
and will be an expert at clarifying afterwards
that any offence was the employee’s fault
for not having a sense of humour.
After all, tone is everything for a leader
when faced with a tribunal.
You will like suits, football and golf
and you will have a family incarcerated
in a frame on your desk.
You will be happy to make difficult decisions
while dressing them up in frilly tutus.
Your cross-dressing decisions will curtsey,
pirouette, grand jeté, plié faster and faster
until all the mesmerised audience can do
is gasp and applaud and then file
out of the auditorium in an orderly fashion,
switching the lights off as they go.
Jonathan Taylor is an author, lecturer and critic. His books include the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015), the memoir Take Me Home: Parkinson’s, My Father, Myself (Granta, 2007), and the poetry collectionMusicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.
Aid convoy burns.
OMG a long time married
￼celebrity couple divorces
What could have broken the
turns our eyes.
Paul Brookes has been published in many magazines in the south west. He performed as a member of the poetry in performance group “Rats for Love” and his work was included in their 1989 publication “Rats for Love: The Book” by Bristol Broadsides His first chapbook published in 1993 was “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts.
His website is email@example.com
It is that expression
which I have never liked –
Get Your Tits Out!
They are breasts, belonging to me.
My body with its hang-ups
exposed to a louder, penetrating tone,
to show them on a wolf whistle
feels more battered and bruised.
This morning I received a letter
to have my tits out/checked.
A mammogram, a massive steel machine
with lights and buttons,
the fun my husband has,
and the milk that was supplied.
Plates came crashing on my tits
flattened, spreading like pancake batter.
I gritted my teeth to manage the pain
sweat poured from forehead,
my arms went numb,
I must have been white as the gown I wore.
The nurse was very reassuring and I noticed
her hands were not treating my tits like objects.
Johanna Boal 2016
ancient silk road heirloom
grew upon the left bank
determined Queiq river
rising field of peppers
blossoming at dusk
It happens a lot.
I look up to see
with the butt of his rifle
move Dad forward.
“They don’t know where
we belong.” He says.
Paul Brookes has been published in many magazines in the south west. He performed as a member of the poetry in performance group “Rats for Love” and his work was included in their 1989 publication “Rats for Love: The Book” by Bristol Broadsides
His first chapbook published in 1993 was “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley” by Dearne Community Arts
His website is firstname.lastname@example.org
The poor city bathed in blood
each drop in the name of one god or another
aftermath of a violent, destructive
and inhuman storm.
His mum, his dad, both are gone.
Are they dead? He does not know.
Home, he seizes the small statues,
once a cherished gift from them,
now they enrage him; they stand
so placid and silent on bookshelves
and table tops they seem out of place.
Decapitated heads, amputated arms
and severed legs crash in all directions
in splashes of marble, stone and porcelain.
Explosive red flares before his eyes
equalising the street scenes.
This is what he sees the rest of his life.
It seeps through any timeworn cloth –
this bright wine.
Listen to it, crisping, already
the middle distilling –
marking stages out, in sight.
Rings, tree rings, ley lines,
layers like hills. A map;
been here, there, here
and wherever the rag goes, a tracer
there, and here, seeping
from where the bullet met beef;
a touch away from a tenderer touch
but came to meet me anyway.
It split me.
A fine wine
listen to it, crisping, already
the middle distilling,
riven into mountains and miles
and the sea in-between.
Caroline Hardaker lives in the north east of England and earned her BA and MA from Newcastle University. Her poetry has been published worldwide, most recently or forthcoming in The Stinging Fly, Neon Magazine, Allegro, and Rat’s Ass Review. She was Pankhearst’s Fresh Featured Poet for March 2016, and is a poetry and drama reviewer for the Three Drops From a Cauldron e-zine. Her debut pamphlet collection, ‘Eye, Tongue, Machinus’ will be released with Goya Press in February 2017.
sunday morning is often quiet here early .the radio playing.
did you know they play music alongside bird song. a special
we sit quiet and listen. you see i think the swallows have gone.
i did not see them leaving.
in syria they drop bombs to gas the children.
it has come out in a rush of words, i do not wish to offend.
i have been studying history lately, and though i cannot spel
i have to say that i am ashamed of my country too.
and the effect all these things have on people
who do not offend.