Sunday, 17 March 2019

Writing In A Woman's Voice is now on equinox sabbatical and will resume on March 24, 2019, which will also be the date when the Moon Prize for the March 20 full moon will be announced. Happy spring or fall to you, depending on where you are.

Saturday, 16 March 2019


Too close

by Marina Kazakova


Too close
to keep the heart
rate down to hundred,
to keep the hands
straight,
to ropewalk
as nothing
is sitting in front of,
to play
indifferent,
to say what
is expected,
to eyeball
the other faces,
to not proceed
with stupid questions,
to restrict
the craving
to ropewalk
along your lips and
hair,
to whisper
to myself
the love letters,
to tremble
in the dark
when no one
cares,
when the night
is too close
to the body of
the sleepless ropewalker,
when the heart
dances along
the white sheets,
embraces the warm pillow,
jumps and laughs
inside the dream
where the olive tree
is too close
again
to
stop the dream
and to return
the ropewalker
back to the hungry hands
of one
busy morning
in Brussels.


* * * * *

Marina Kazakova (b. Gorky, 1983) is a writer, poet and audio-visual artist in Belgium. Published internationally in magazines and journals (Three Rooms Press' Maintenant, AntiNarrative Journal, Crannog), Marina is a frequent performer. She has been shortlisted at different poetry/film-poetry competitions and was awarded various prizes. She is author of verse novel Tishe...Piano, the film adaptation of which was shortlisted for International Short Film Festival Leuven 2013, Miami Indie Wise Festival 2018, XpoNorth Festival 2018, and got ‘The Best Narrative Short’ Award at the International Film Festival on behalf of Savva Morozov in Moscow in 2015. Her literature works deal to a large degree with confrontation with the past and explore the challenges posed both by memory and grief. In addition to poetry, Marina has written essays and articles for such publications as The Word Magazine (Brussels), Culturetrip.com, Seanema.eu. Marina holds a Master in Public Relations and in Transmedia. Currently, she is Communications Officer at ‘Victim Support Europe’(Brussels) and working on her practice-based PhD in Arts “Lyric Film-Poem. A research on how the unique characteristics of lyric poetry can be expressed in film” at Luca School of Arts (KULeuven).


Friday, 15 March 2019

Just an interim image to prevent Facebook from grabbing an unrelated image from a prior post, with greetings and best wishes to all.



THE PEDICAB

by Jan Callner


Do you remember when we took a pedicab in New York City
because it was raining so hard we couldn’t get a taxi to go see
“August, Osage County?”

We stood in front of the Waldorf Astoria and watched the
busy doorman try to entice cabbies to swing in under the awning,
hijacked his efforts, jumped into the bicycle cab
and laughed all the way to the Music Box Theater
practically touching the passing cars
in lanes skimming our skirt tails.

The play was momentous.
A powerful, funny, sad
story of a dysfunctional family,
the last line a quote from T.S. Eliot,
“This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends.”

Afterwards, through light drizzle,
we walked back to the Waldorf under my umbrella
into Peacock Alley for a glass of wine
before heading up to our room.
Later, I raced down to the Alley again to retrieve the
missing favorite umbrella,
but it had disappeared, as umbrellas do.

Next day we each bought necklaces
from the elegant jewelry shop on the lower level,
yours white bone, mine silvery pearls.

“At the Waldorf Astoria.”
Those eight syllables when I say them make my tongue jangle.
‘Twas there we celebrated Mother’s Day, mothers both of us.

Today is the first day of my life without you.
I hope you’ve gone on to some other great adventure.
I hope it makes New York City pale against its existence.
I hope you know how important it was to me that you were my mother.

And, the pedicab, Mom. Don’t forget the pedicab.

September 9, 2018




* * * * *

Author's note: "Pedicab" is a poem I wrote the day my 96 year old mother passed—September 9, 2018. Writing it was the only thing that made my grief bearable.

Jan Callner is a professional soprano/musical director/composer/actress/teacher and writer. She has degrees in English and theater arts and studied Opera Performance in Conservatory.

She has written 20 musical plays for young audiences. Two of the titles, fully recorded, are available on Amazon. One of them, "The Frog Prince," won the Early Childhood News Directors' Choice Award. Her  handbook for singers, "Practically Singing" based on her experience on tour with the USO and internationally with her band, is also available.

Thursday, 14 March 2019


Poet on the Subway


by Marianne Szlyk


I can’t write in public.
I’m not that thin girl
hunched over her moleskin notebook,
bearing down with Bic pen,
filling up pages with miniscule
print, crisp phrases, line breaks.

My handwriting bloats, falls down,
falls apart, not clutching the
pole, not toeing the lines
as the car shakes and
passing people clip my hand.

When I was that girl
hunched over, I was reading.
I remember riding all the way
to Union Square just so
that I could finish my book.
Co-workers said I’d be mugged
if I kept doing that.  
            
I imagined riding to Brooklyn,
losing myself in Balzac, stopping
at line’s end, Coney Island
at night, the summer’s finale
in sour and bitter indigo.

There I’d pretend to wait
for another train, one leaving
for anyplace other than this
city, anyplace other than this
life where I was that girl
hunched over, not writing.


* * * * *

Marianne Szlyk is a professor of English and Reading at Montgomery College. She also edits The Song Is... a blog-zine for poetry and prose inspired by music (especially jazz). Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski's Porch. Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, is available on Amazon. Her poems have appeared in of/with, bird's thumb, Loch Raven Review, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Setu, Solidago, Red Bird Chapbook's Weekly Read, Mermaid Mirror, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh's art. She invites you to stop by her blog-zine and perhaps even submit some poems: http://thesongis.blogspot.com


Wednesday, 13 March 2019


Of Blessed Memory

            After a photograph of Holocaust survivor Flora Singer

by Marianne Szlyk


The sun bleaches the slats
of a black and white fence.
Small statues bask

in sunlight, not too warm
on this October day
just before leaves turn.

You stand in the space
cleared from matchstick woods,
a place far from home,

the woods you looked out to
from the Catholic orphanage,
the woods you wandered

while in hiding. Surrounded
by the frog musicians
of Grimm’s fairy tales,

your back to the ash leaves
about to turn 
the color of old bruises,

you have no more stories to tell.
You look out to the camera.
Now you are home.


* * * * *

Here is a biographical sketch of Flora Singer: https://www.ushmm.org/remember/holocaust-survivors/volunteers/flora-singer. 

Marianne Szlyk is a professor of English and Reading at Montgomery College. She also edits The Song Is... a blog-zine for poetry and prose inspired by music (especially jazz). Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski's Porch. Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, is available on Amazon. Her poems have appeared in of/with, bird's thumb, Loch Raven Review, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Setu, Solidago, Red Bird Chapbook's Weekly Read, Mermaid Mirror, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh's art. She invites you to stop by her blog-zine and perhaps even submit some poems: http://thesongis.blogspot.com


Tuesday, 12 March 2019



by Oonah V Joslin


My first elephant
thought we were twins
my sister and me dressed in Sunday best.
Couldn’t tell the difference between
me in blue and her in green,
like he’d never seen children before.

He raised his great grey trunk
sniffing
all wrinkled not neat like us

not flecked with tweed
splattered with mud he was and curious.
I moved away

cautiously.
Decided I didn’t like zoos.
I was afraid

I might mess up my shoes.


* * * * *

Oonah V Joslin is poetry editor at The Linnet’s Wings. She has won prizes for both poetry and micro-fiction. Her book Three Pounds of Cells ISBN: 13: 978-1535486491 is available online from Linnet’s Wings Press and you can see and hear Oonah read in this National Trust video. The first part of her novella A Genie in a Jam is serialised at Bewildering Stories, along with a large body of her work (see Bibliography). You can follow Oonah on Facebook or at Parallel Oonahverse https://oovj.wordpress.com/.