Heather A Warren

S/tick is excited to present an excerpt from the work of Heather A Warren! The poem in its entirety and a second poem by Heather will appear in S/tick’s upcoming Issue 2.3. In the meantime, feel free to contact Heather here.

As a newborn
your father
strapped you down
the slide.
You cried
stones.

Then your mother said, “We will run away for six years.”
Your father set the baby bibs, the clown dolls, the crib on fire.

My mother told me to sleep.
I could never fall asleep
with the night-light
as a pig-tailed
little girl on
her knees
praying to God for sleep.

Be sure to watch for S/tick Issue 2.3 to read the rest of “As a newborn” and more from Heather.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Rebecca Schwab

S/tick is very pleased to present a brand new poem from Rebecca Schwab!

Quitter

Dedicated to the domestic violence survivors of the Apology Not Accepted blog

The one who bit, teeth like sharpened toothbrush handles

waiting for the shank—

                clamping onto pressed wool trousers, fraying careful skirt hems and marking

plum-veined flesh like

red ink circling want ads.

(pressure blooming  into bruises)

                —vowels of my name torn out.

swallowed.

digested.

The other and his straight-edge tie pins,

eager to poke,

           to puncture—

                                                 perforating my arms like parade tickets.

Shining loafers reflected a crocodile smile,

                a roguish eyebrow

                —creases of his suitcoat clean as paper cuts too small to bandage.

That one in June—

                eyes like oil spills on blacktop, swirling,

                slippery

—mercury always climbing and thirsty. 

He left before the bill was paid,

before the vodka’s ice had a chance to melt.

But now there is a fragile quiet,

broken-heel pumps decommissioned

and lemon-peppered tilapia

broiling in the pan.

A door undarkened and

a knob I can turn.

                No mat to welcome anyone.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Elisabeth Blair

S/tick is pleased to present an excerpt from a brand new poem by Elisabeth Blair! The poem in its entirety and two others by Elisabeth will appear in our upcoming Issue 2.3. Find more of Elisabeth’s work here, and feel free to contact her.

Excerpt from Dark, isn’t it?

See here, where the fireplace ends, that’s been chopped by the ax of a government man, who also baked in the oven all the leftover flour til it was black. Hundreds of men then plowed through (none of them with a context) to ensure the place was trampled with bits of their DNA on the walls where they put their hands whenever they paused to move in a synchronized way, dancing like well-fed birds of prey. Each man in his own particular way of being.

Be sure to watch for S/tick Issue 2.3 to read the rest of “Dark, isn’t it?” and more from Elisabeth.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Noralyn Masselink

S/tick is thrilled to present a brand new poem from Noralyn Masselink! Noralyn can be reached here.

Why does her unprotected sex
make my groin ache?

must the sins of the unprotected mother
now be visited upon the daughter?
or did she imbibe at my bruised breast
what is now her own
but once was mine
sick insecurity

or were her father’s proclamations of whoredom
(called forth by pink polish on her pre-teen nails)
a curse she must carry
unable to shake loose

I sold my soul for what I did not know
was debtor for things done once twice to me
but now the debt has come full circle
and so I plead
sweet Sophia
set my daughter free

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

L.A. Ashby

S/tick is very pleased to present a brand new poem by L.A. Ashby!

Spider Webs

For My Father:

I remember hoping that the blood
cascading from your hands
actually came from your wrists.

I toyed with the idea of an extra-large coffin
for your bloated body;
your face still whiskey-red and wrenched in anger.

But here you are, bitch-crawling on the white marble floor
in the white bead board kitchen    
with white cabinets, bleeding Jim Beam 7-year
tatting, like spider webs at my feet. 

In the corner, my mother;
she picks up shards of the porcelain lamp                  
that you just drove through her grandfather’s desk.

Her tears, fallen
Appalachian-rain onto the dull rough hardwood.
I ready for the five hundred cuts that she is bound to get.
                                                                              
Step over you into the bathroom
and in the mirror I see that you got me one good.

I toss you a Band-Aid,
you melodramatic-moan, a heave-squall-gasp.

My phone clicks open, the numbers dial themselves.

as your 95’ Blazer growls gravel down the hollow
and I bitch-crawl with bleach on the white marble floor.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Rachael Z. Ikins

S/tick is pleased to return from summer holidays with brand new content from Rachael Z. Ikins! Please visit Rachael at her website, and watch for more from her in the upcoming Issue 2.3 of S/tick!

I Hear a Robin Sing (TW)

I can’t see anything. I grab at twisted nightgown wrapped around my neck, over my face. ”You want to fuck?” Her voice yells. ” I ‘ll fuck you!” She shoves me toward the bed. It is high, a new style mattress. Catches the small of my back.

I gasp for air, fingernails snap on fabric. I hear it rip as her muscular knee forces my thighs apart. I am crying. 

"NO! NO! " my voice cracks. Our bedroom window open, it is spring. A thought flies through my head, can neighbors hear? She always worries what they think. She sees herself: perfectly coiffed, nails filed sharp,  made-up, a creased-pants example of the-only-way-to-be. If they do hear us, it will be my fault. It is warm outside, light, evening air scented with the lilac hedge alongside our house. I hear a robin sing. Kind of evening, used to love to ride my bike through after supper when I was a kid.

I’ve kept the nightie over ten years. It  rips in two, now a rag. I heave my hips, slap at her. She punches one sharp-tipped hand inside me.  I’m still screaming NO NO NO. Somehow I slide out from under her. “Get the fuck away from me!” she hollers, I’m the attacker? She will be sure of it later. Stagger to the bathroom. Shield my breasts one-handed, throw the door lock. Sometimes she tackles doors like a football player. They explode open. Other times she slams them, pictures on both sides of walls fall, glass breaks.

I put my hand between my legs to see, is there blood? I sink to the cool tiled floor, just a nameless drip of condensation from the shower. The nightgown was white with lavender and pink roses printed on. I hold a scrap to my face. Blot my tears. I can’t make eye contact with the woman in the mirror over the sink. I hear the television come on, Access Hollywood. My little dog snuffles along the door-crack. I want to let him in. I can’t move yet. He thumps his body down on the other side to wait. One day soon I will leash him and his sister, stuff cat in carrier, throw my medications and important legal papers in my computer bag, grab purse and cell phone, we will leave. We will stay with friends while I find us an apartment. I will sign divorce papers and explain to my passionate young attorney that I do not care what I  am entitled to, I will no longer fight her for anything at all, not even a dollar bill. We will move into our new place end of July. Helpers will leave us, four freed survivors afloat, a sea of cardboard. A friend and daughter will bring me a plate of chocolate chip cookies tied with a turquoise and orange bow. “Happy Home Coming.” 

It will take me two years to stop flinching when I hear neighbors on the stairway, to stop expecting the locked security door to blast open. It will take me two years to decide to write about it, to take the closet door off its hinges so the bully has no where to hide.  She will have stalked me from the back seat, her friends’ Lincoln, searching the parking lot while I stood right next to the poop can with my dogs. She will knock on my door, winter. Not knowing who it is, I will open. The dogs will attack her legs. She will thrust my painting and a box of small treasures into my hands. Spin away, dash downstairs into the snow. I learn to be in charge of the lock. There is a huge difference to a life where you are in charge. Today I will walk the dogs into fresh spring air. Starlings will chortle from poplar budded branches. 

Epilogue: one day I will see her on a metal bench outside Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Without my glasses I will recognize the crease in the woman’s sneaker socks and will realize it is my ex. I will enter the store, make my purchase, leave the doors at an angle that will prevent me from seeing the bench again. I will shake my head. She is just a white haired old woman, bouncing one leg. No longer dyes her hair. I will drive away into my freedom.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

Please click the Submit link in the frame to your left to submit to S/tick after fully reading these guidelines!

S/tick publishes 2-4 issues per year and accepts rolling submissions. Due to a high volume of submissions we are now accepting blog-only material as well as contributions to the issues so that we can get as many feminist voices out there as possible! Please read all guidelines before pasting a submission into the submissions manager below to be considered for both the blog and the online issues. A small portion of submissions chosen for an upcoming issue will be posted to the blog as a “teaser” (e.g. a paragraph, stanza, or single piece of artwork).

Welcome to S/tick! We want submissions of your feminist art and creative writing. Tell us your stories and challenge the status quo. Try odd or forgotten writing forms, like haibuns, on us. Or, if none of these red dresses fits you, simply ensure you redress something of interest to women!

We encourage you to check out our issues by clicking the links to your left to get a sense of what we’re looking for and what your work might look like in our journal. Our hope is to provide a community for feminist writers and artists, so please offer a little of your time to those who have contributed!

The following submissions criteria must be met to be considered:

1. Note: If this criterion is not met, the submission may not be responded to. Unless the issue theme indicates otherwise, submissions must be somehow related to women. Female protagonist or speaker or subject matter that pertains to women’s issues are examples. A feminist point of view is probably the best example, but is not necessary. A submitter does not have to identify as feminist. Women and Canadian artists may be given preference, though all are invited to submit.

2. Do not include a bio. We will request an artist’s statement that asks how feminism or gender influences your work if we accept your submission for an upcoming issue.

3. Do not send pieces or excerpts longer than 2000 words. A grace count of approximately 500 words will be considered where the piece is strongly relevant to women or feminism, but otherwise a piece that exceeds the count may be deleted unread.

If you have a piece much longer than this that you would like to submit, please send an excerpt, letting us know that it is an excerpt and what the total word count is, and we will request more if we are interested. Alternately, we may accept the excerpt alone.

We will consider the following: one piece of prose up to 2000 words; up to three poems less than 2000 words together; up to ten pieces of artwork.

4. Issues pertaining to publication:

a) We cannot accept previously published work, though we may consider art or writing that appears on your personal website, provided you link to S/tick as an alternate place of publication.

b) For writing or art that is published again later, we ask only that you please identify it as previously published in S/tick so that you can help give a wider audience to all our talented contributors, yourself included!

c) Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please inform us via e-mail at stickyhaibuns@gmail.com as soon as a submission is accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions (another submission after the first has been responded to) will not be considered.

d) You own the copyright to all your own work, but give us first publication rights.

e) We cannot at this time pay you in any way for your work. The pdf issues and blog are free to the public, and you are free to download the issues. We hope you will share our beautiful issues widely!

f) We will consider work from those artists who have previously been accepted, but please wait six months before submitting again. We will be happy to consider those previously published at any time for an interview for our …And Stones feature if you e-mail stickyhaibuns@gmail.com with information about your fabulous woman-centered activities!

5. a) In the submissions manager below, please choose “Text” for a poem or story and “Photo” for any artwork.

b) Please include your name, location, and e-mail address at the top of the text box. By submitting to S/tick you consent to being added to our mailing list, from which you will receive only a handful of e-mails each year regarding issue launches and the occasional themed call for submissions.

c) Please read and accept the terms of submission.

d) Select any relevant tags from the list, and feel free to suggest any further tags relevant to your submission for consideration by the editor.

Thank you for your interest and support! We look forward to working with you!

—Sarah-Jean Krahn, Managing Editor

with Ada Sharpe, Contributing Editor

Merrill Edlund

S/tick is very pleased to present another Canadian writer, Merrill Edlund, with the following delight!

tightpantsrant

It usually happens on a day when you have a spring in your step and you feel a like the sun is shining just for you and you’ve decided to take up yoga and you wander into a store to buy the latest tight pants and the girl says to you oh yes, those are the style that my mom wears. You’re sure she is just trying to be pleasant, to strike up a conversation maybe make a sale. But it hits you like a stone pinging off your windshield and yes indeed she has put you in the same age category as her mother. She is not one of the younger attendants in the store, she appears to be the store manager and she’s likely younger than your oldest daughter. Wait for it, she can’t stop herself; I hope I look as good as you when I’m your age. (You want to say you don’t look as good as me now). You are a middle aged woman and every style in the store makes it even more prominent. That pulpy protuberance that reminds you that you gave birth to three children, endured twenty five years of not sleeping through the night and you are too tired for exercise of any kind.  Even though you want the glow of downward dog, and the yoga instructor is the cutest young guy you have seen half naked in forty years, you just don’t know if your back can handle all that twisting and turning. And you ponder skipping yoga and going to a friends for a glass of wine instead. You need it more than falling on your head while attempting a hand stand against a wall. Somehow you have made it. Burned your bra, survived all of the fads and still you spend over one hundred dollars on tight pants and they come with a bag that chants your outlook on life is a reflection of how much you like yourself and breathe deeply and do one thing a day that scares you like reading the words will make you a better person. You have just purchased happiness and a chance to get rid of the ripples of cellulite that hang in layered folds under your arms and besides your ass looked pretty damn good in the three way mirror and low lights. Tight pants that clinch caesarean closures and bind the breach of a bewildered bulky uterus that was wrenched out like a woolly sweater (it was just hanging around too full of itself). Just when you are at the point in life where you have nothing to lose, you’ve stopped living in a laundry commercial and now wonder when the pills you took to buy her freedom will stop causing concaves the size of moon craters in your body. And you wonder if she will ever thank you.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Kasie Whitener, PhD

S/tick is pleased to present Kasie Whitener, PhD, with a brand new story! And you can visit Kasie’s blog for more!

Casket Fresh

          Well, I know she’s tacky, honey, but she’s family. You don’t have to remind me about how hard she makes it on ya’ll. I know about that time she took you and your sister to the R-rated movie and made out with her boyfriend and told you not to tell me. I thought she’d be a great babysitter for you because, you know, I used to babysit her and so I know I showed her how to do it. But I guess my good lessons never did rub off on her because she couldn’t be trusted a lick to keep you. Or your sister. I thought maybe your sister’s thing with the boys came from her followin’ your cousin around while she was so young. But then there’s so many things that cause the kind of problems your sister has with the boys. You never did though, did you? You never had those problems and now you’ve got Beau and he’s just as perfect as can be. I know you’re so in love with him it’s like you can’t stand it. I know. I remember bein that in love with your daddy. And then with your sister’s daddy. And then. Well it doesn’t matter now. Bein in love is something special every time it happens. Course this is the last time for you, isn’t it, sugar? Until you have a baby girl anyway. I never have been in love like I was with you when you were born. And with myself for havin born ya. Course your daddy didn’t stay in love with me even though I had done that work to born ya. But that’s okay. He’s a good man anyhow. I’m glad he’ll be there for you. Thank you, honey, for invitin your sister’s daddy too. I know you don’t know him and Darla that well but they mean a lot to your sister, she’s still so young, and they’ll need to be around a lot more. After. Well that doesn’t matter now either, does it? Oh, don’t cry, honey. It’s gonna be a while, you know. Let me hold that for another minute, okay? They said it would be okay if I just for another minute. I promise. Your sister was here last time and she’ll tell you. Go ahead and ask the nurse if you don’t believe me. Or text your sister. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Not like I’m goin’ anywhere. Oh, hell, honey quit that cryin. This is why your sister comes instead of you. This and so she can skip school. Crazy girl. Beau told you it would be like this. He knew because of his mama havin to do it, remember? She’s got that neat little fake titty now. Did she show it to you? Lord, you’re a mess. Get it together please. It ain’t the end of the world. It ain’t even the end of the dose. Now, come on and read me the rest of the names. It matters, you know, even if I’m not there. Especially if I’m not there. It matters to include family. I know you’d like to leave some off and, well, your cousin for example. But remember the summer she came and stayed with us after Darla? Remember she had that polka dot bikini? The rainbow one with the tiny black dots that looked like it had mold spots or something? That was the summer you got your period and did you tell me? No, but you told your cousin. So she’s good for something. She was your confidante. She kept my secrets when she was a little girl and my sister trusted me to watch her and we ate ice cream instead of lunch. She was a wild teenager, I know, and she’s a bit tacky, I know. But her mama’s gone now and she’ll be good for you when. Well after. But let’s don’t talk about that now. You know what my sister used to call girls like her? Okay, yes, you can take it now. I feel better now. My sister, her mama, used to call them casket fresh. Oh, honey, really, don’t cry. It ain’t what you think. It means the front is all presentable but the back is a mess. Get it? Like no one sees that anyhow. Right? Wait. Honey, I’m sorry. No, you’re right. Funeral jokes ain’t funny. I’m sorry. Here, let’s get through the rest of the list. I’m sorry. She’s family. Invite her. She’s family. You’ll be glad she’s there, you’ll see. The day in your life when everyone you know and love is in one place. Don’t leave anyone out if you can help it. You don’t want to miss anyone. There’s a second time, of course, when everyone you know and love will be there, but that time you’ll be dead. Don’t look at me like that. I ain’t forgettin’ about that. Ain’t forgettin that time gonna come for all of us. All of us. Some sooner. But this time is your time and I know you’ll be just beautiful. And Beau will be crazy with love for you. And I’ll think you’re prettier than you’ve ever been. Except maybe right now. While you’re here. For me. Smiling. Or tryin’ to anyway. Thank you, darlin’, for tryin’ to smile. You kinda look casket fresh when ya do that, ya know? Pretending it’s okay. Pretending you’re not ready to burst with the tears behind those pretty blue eyes. It’s okay. We’ll be okay. You’ll see.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.

Nettie Farris

S/tick is pleased to welcome back Nettie Farris with a brand new poem!

Bluebeard

               a story by Charles Perrault

She wrote
a violent
poem.
(Hooks.
Knives.
Thunderous
hooves.)
Then
erased it.
The blood
she
could not
get
rid of.

Copyright Notice: All work appearing on this blog is copyrighted to its stated author and has been posted with permission. Please post a link to a post you like rather than reblogging in order to avoid copyright infringement.