Sunday, 22 September 2019

Writing In A Woman's Voice is now on equinox sabbatical and will resume on September 29, 2019. Happy fall or spring to you, depending on where you are.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Silent no More

by Ann Christine Tabaka

The silence of a thousand years
is broken with a whisper,
emanating from
the heartbeat of oppression.

Time can no longer restrain truth.
It breaks open sins of the past.
Soaring above the rabble,
chains falling off,
secrets bleed out.

Blackened bones of our ancestors
crumble in desperation.
It is my turn to speak.
My words are winter rain.

Bare limbs reaching from the pyre,
their cries can no longer
be buried alive with their bodies. 

Blue songs and green desires
melt away in an inferno.
Annealed, weak become strong.

Pained voices unite,
shedding off their shroud,
never more to be silenced.

* * * * *

"Silent no More" was first published by Barren Magazine (September 2018)

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She is the author of 9 poetry books. Christine lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are: Burningword Literary Journal, The Write Connection, Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray BranchThe McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore. Website:

Friday, 20 September 2019

Tonight At Last Call, J. Calls Me His Brown Liquor Girl, Again,

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

his voice dark urgency, like when we were attached.
I let him grip my hips, slow dance me back to that lust,

to the parking lot, his car,
my tube top a trophy in one hand,

a bottle of Southern Comfort in his other.

He pours that sweet Joplin down my throat,

guides my hand between his legs. Drives

to the Malibu motel with ocean views,
vibrating beds, and once more, our delicious thrashing,

complimentary KY where the Gideon should be,
the insomniac waves rocking us long before my marriage,

and now after.
When I ask him which part of me he loves best,

J. answers: Whats missing,
tonguing the place where my nipple had been.

He doesnt mind the mastectomy scar,
the one my husband cant bring himself to touch.

* * * * *

"Tonight At Last Call, J. Calls Me His Brown Liquor Girl, Again," was first published in Rattle.

L.A. poet Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Verse Daily, Plume, The 
American Journal of Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Diode, Nashville ReviewWide Awake, Poets of Los 
Angeles, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She’s the author of 5 poetry collections; How I 
Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), Enter 
Here (2017), Junkie Wife (2018)and The Dead Kid Poems (2019). EROTIC, New & Selected, 
publishes in 2020 from New York Quarterly. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 
nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.

Thursday, 19 September 2019


by Alexis Rhone Fancher

“She told me if anybody screwed with her they’d get a stiletto heel in the eye,”
 - her former apartment manager told the TV news.

Alf and Ana drank tequila at the club until closing.

Ana wore a tight, green dress. Alf said she looked like a whore. 

Back at the apartment, the neighbors heard screams.

“The defense will prove she was a battered woman,” her lawyer told the press. 

She was too short when the stilettos came off but her feet ached.

She had to stand on tiptoe to reach him, for Christ’s sake.

Women are always losers in Texas.

Ana alleged: “He cursed in Swedish when he beat me.” 

She’d read Swedes beat their women in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

In the early morning hours, Ana stabbed her lover thirty one times.

The stiletto heel fused to her fist.

When the police arrived Ana was covered in blood.

In that green dress she looked like Christmas.

(CNN) -- It may have been a vicious murder or the unintentional result of a
lover's quarrel. Either way, the death of a Texas college professor stands
out for the weapon the killer allegedly used: one of her own stilettos.

* * * * *

"Stiletto Killer ... A Surmise" was first published in The Mas Tequila Review, 2015

L.A. poet Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Verse Daily, Plume, The 
American Journal of Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Diode, Nashville ReviewWide Awake, Poets of Los 
Angeles, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She’s the author of 5 poetry collections; How I 
Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), Enter 
Here (2017), Junkie Wife (2018)and The Dead Kid Poems (2019). EROTIC, New & Selected, 
publishes in 2020 from New York Quarterly. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 
nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Calling

by Leonore Wilson

      --for Sylvia Fomina

I. He held the orphans upon orphans with HIV AIDS, the ones dying, the ones with days, minutes to live, the many the many who called him father, father. And the women he drove for hours over unpaved roads, over rocks and ruts, and he had the only small car for miles and miles, a rickety one, and the women about to give birth so young at thirteen fourteen, too young, the ones whom he drove for miles and miles and miles, singing to them, and then the silences that were a part of the singing and yes 

II. today at Mass you suddenly thought of Sylvia, lost Sylvia, lost love Sylvia at Villa Montalvo, the cottages in Saratoga an hour from the Pacific, the wild pacific, beaches of sand by artichoke fields, Villa Montalva where violet bee filled wisteria poured out water, streamed in large and small rivulets from the small wooden porches, Sylvia who escaped Russia after her mother had a nervous breakdown and so Sylvia was adopted by a family in Argentina, an Italian maestro and his wife, she and her brother, her brother a professor murdered during the coup.

III. and Sylvia walking miles miles over the Himalayas, she who couldn’t talk for two years, gripped by grief, a grief that her maestro told her...told her to go to Kenya and live with the pygmies for the pygmies do not talk but said everything in song and Sylvia healed, healed, healed and at the Villa I took her to have her teeth looked at for the very first time, she in her early thirties, and the teeth pulled out and the opiates they gave that made her droopy as the long daisies that grew around the white statues, the statues of gods and goddesses, the beautiful matilija poppies with petals white as the blouses of Catholic schoolgirls, the ones you wore, starched and ironed that made you sweat, and made you smell like old stale milk…

IV. and how you drove her your Sylvia in your little blue station wagon, as she listened to the notes in her head, as you drove down the hills full of wealthy mansions behind iron gates, oh and sometimes as you took her here and there to grocery stores bookstores she would stand mid-step in her long brown hair and white flowing dresses as you walked here, there and even around the marriages that happened in the main house, the back with the fountain of goldfish and minnows and orange koi and soft lily pads, and she listening as if there were angels speaking and there probably were, the angels of sound Mozart heard, Beethoven, Mahler, Chopin, and didn’t she love the word smoothie for she could not eat and you took her out for smoothies and how she smiled with that word in her mouth like a holy wafer, and oh Sylvia how she composed a symphony there at the Villa, the song of the women, the song of the forest, the song of the pygmies that took care of her, loved her and she came back to song, slowly came back and she wanted you to write librettos for her…

V. she who moved to Berlin and loved Philip Glass and John Cage and you thought how you could love this one of soul and spirit, and yes even matter, her new boyfriend coming from Germany and she was glad when he left for she could not hear what she needed to hear, to hear to heal, oh and yes you could almost have taken this one, this beautiful young woman in your arms in your lap like a mother to soothe her, soothe her, mother who left her flock of toddlers at home with your mother to write your long poems in the morning when the doves called and called in the beauty of the long walks, she who left you a midsize photo of her embracing her maestro in Florence, she with the long bouquets of roses in her arms like St Theresa of Avila...

VI. oh remember, when you had stayed in your room because you felt the darkness in your head that came back, the long darkness of your childhood, your marriage, the pain in your womb, your heart and you stayed in bed at dusk though you heard her little knocks and the cat mewing behind her, the one you fed bowls of milk though you were told not to, the feral cats that needed the abundance of love, the feral, the feral like lost Sylvia, the one in the hinterland now, somewhere somewhere, and you remember how you walked long mornings in the garden by the white pillars walked among the bees and the heather, and the priest came to see you, the one who said he needed someone to love like you who read poems for homilies the one who said he was leaving the priesthood saying he needed someone someone, and telling you how a man slid his hand in his pants on the long train going somewhere when he was a teen, and the hand the love he loved for his mother was so hard on him so hard, oh Montalvo where other artists lingered, the large blocky fellow from Amsterdam who you drove to Frisco and he told you he had never seen such colors of houses such colors on the outskirts of the City, and you saw as if you were a child, again, the first time, and the playwright who wrote about golfing on the moon, and the young Thai novelist who wrote about being a whore in his parents homeland and he had a father who did not love him love him and always he found himself in strange cities, towns, artist colonies looking looking for that love, that father love that he failed to find, and what about Fr Tom now whose first parish in this valley town, he was sent to live in the convent with the nuns, the other priest, the one who visited you, who returned to the church, the one who told you he could not be around “little ones,” but where else could he go go and you said nothing didn’t know what to say, he would not live with him, Fr Tom the Kenyan, he would not live in the rectory with him, sent him there and when he left to your parish, fumigated the rectory as if there was it was diseased, if as if the diseases he had seen lived in his skin, his hands that blessed the orphans, those who called him father father father……

* * * * *

Leonore Wilson is on the MFA Board at St Mary's College of California. She is a former university instructor of English and creative writing. Her work has been in such magazines as Quarterly West, Laurel Review, Pif, Upstreet, Iowa Review, English Journal, etc. She lives on her family's holistic ranch in the east hills of Napa Valley.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019


by Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard

                        for Colin Kaepernick


We walk into a protected natural reserve   for native Hawai'ians,
a narrow path between  trees  and boulders   with the sound
of the distant surf,   then come upon  a blond woman
in an electric cart.  When she sees  the surprise
on my face, she says, We own this, the ranch
up the mountain.


There is a mirror  where only one  image
flickers  with its own colors  and shades
and there is only  one language  only
one way  to honor  the Creator.


The football player  kneels  during
the national anthem,  kneeling to honor
his soul  to honor  social justice  and the color
of his skin   that too many  disdain. 

* * * * *

Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard is the author of 11 poetry books, two of which have won awards and 15 non-fiction books concerned with human rights, women's rights, social justice, illness and more. She was born in Trieste, Italy.

Monday, 16 September 2019

A Dream of Him

by Emily Marie

I had a dream about the man with lightning Nikes
Desperately waiting to see him again
Desperately waited.
And there he was, just over the sphere of the horizon
It was strange and chaotic
He was shorter, though he knew me,
and said “hi” with his eyes.
I was the same
But he was different, grungy
And the scent that wafted through the air
emanating from him
was septic and sweaty
The once overpowering sweetness that lured
me close to him,
was just a dream.
And the dream was real.

* * * * *

Emily Marie lives a spontaneous, on-the-move lifestyle, though she finds peace in routine. She writes poetry sporadically when a moment in time has somehow fixed itself to her inner musings. Delving into the moment, she identifies the minutiae, desiring to describe them accurately, artfully, and to convey the potent mood of the scene at hand. Instead of a journal, she forms experiences and emotions into short, expressive poems. Subjects of interest: landscapes, oddities and acquaintances.