Poem by Carrie Rudzinski
1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 13.

Named “Best Female Poet” at her first national poetry competition, Carrie Rudzinski has since performed her work for audiences across the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and India. She represented the Boston Poetry Slam at the 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam, twice at the National Poetry Slam, ranked 14th at the 2011 Women Of The World Poetry Slam, and placed 2nd at the 2011 NPS Underground Individual Competition. She most recently represented Denver’s Mercury Cafe at the 2013 WOWPS. Her newest collection of work, The Shotgun Speaks, was published in May 2013. : carrierudzinski.tumblr.com

Snag a copy of Words Dance 13 here!

Digital Edition : $3.99
Print Edition : $16

Words Dance will be sharing one poem every 2 hours from noon to midnight on Saturday & Sunday, don’t miss out on this poetic goodness, follow along here : http://wordsdancemag.tumblr.com/

The Reason You Are Not A Poet

He’s yelling from the bathroom.
You move close to the door to hear.

He says,
I love your hair in my shower. I love your hair in my shower.

You exhale and realize
he will never be a poet, but you love
the way he called your eyes kettle drums one night,
for lack of anything else to say. The way he carved your
names into his kitchen table, misses his shotgun, could be
an advertisement for Ray-ban sunglasses. The way his graying hair
reminds you of Kafka, that he leaves kayaks in your
living room to dry. The way he says good morning
and good night and aches for you. He half nelsons
you into his arms, you laugh, you laugh,

and tonight you lean your head against
the bathroom door and you know

he will never be a poet,
but he’s got better things to say,
more love to generate
than Neruda ever did.

He will never be a poet,
but that is what you are here for. To let everyone know
his eyelids look like blades of grass when he sleeps,
his arms are branches, his roots
are you.

                     - Heather Bell
                      from her book Nothing Unrequited Here


How to Pick Up the Pieces

When you are left exposed
like a seedless dandelion
after an anarchic shitstorm,
don’t bend down & yank
your roots from the ground.
Don’t dream of licking the dirt
from your fingernails. Don’t
vibrate on the breeze of blame.
Don’t dress yourself in the darkness
of victimhood or suffocate yourself
with shame. This loss is not death.
Imagine a blaze of breath spilling
from a pair of thick lips stained with
your wine. Think of yourself a necklace
lolling on a lover’s neck still wet with
kiss. Severe your perception from
truth by popping your head off.
Shove every sad song into the hollow
of your stem & spread the milk
on your skin like salve. Learn
by heart that you can’t predict
the weather only prepare for it.
You will outgrow this. You are lion’s
teeth. You are medicine tongue.
Your roots are resilience. When
you have your heart under a
magnifying glass the only thing
left to do is sing for the sun &
light yourself on fire. Be ready
for the next good gust but
remember that you are not
a candle. You are not a match. 
You are a goddamn wildfire.

- Amanda Oaks of WordsDance.com

on my seventh birthday

dad teaches me how to fire a rifle cleanly
piercing targets dead center

cold blue-black bullets
smacking and puncturing
the pink skin of innocent balloons
unassuming pepsi cans
makeshift bulls-eyes scribbled on pizza boxes

i fire
to admire the wounds i made
bubblegum rubber shriveled like terrible skin
shiny aluminum torn by a pointed head
cardboard corpses flaunting their battle wounds

dad says “all you do is pretend
the target is something you hate.”

i think of fractions
with mismatched bottoms that i can’t add
i think of tiffany-know-it-all
the slim blond at school who calls me whale girl
i think of dad
i fire cleanly

- Michelledion Matthews
from Words Dance 3, Winter 2003


i thank

the women’s magazine that
says it stopped running articles on dieting

the loopy lilac print from the editors squealed
"we don’t want to perpetuate female insecurities"

i flip through the scented pages
admiring the glossy waifs
who live on air and compliments
arms akimbo on a 20 inch waist
perky plastic boobs that would please any man
and a frozen-frosted lip that says “i am beautiful”

articles about your body
how to become anyone but yourself
sculpt a stomach like hers
a face like hers
a life like hers

we’ve created an army of dolls
put together wrong 

and they flash lethal images
at average women who now assume 
they must have gracious breasts and wide hips
with nothing between the two

so—please—starve me 
of affection until a man 
can run his fingertips through the desert valleys
between my ribs

but do not lie to me 
or pretend to do me favors
by avoiding the articles that help you
fly off the shelves

and do not feign concern for my confidence 
that you were once able to deplete
you have already done enough

                - Michelledion Matthews
                   from Words Dance 3, Winter 2003



Poem by Shinji Moon
1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 13.

Shinji Moon is an eighteen year old girl who is no longer afraid of her shadow. She studies English, Journalism, and Creative Writing at NYU and hopes, one day, to write her way out of dying.: commovente.tumblr.com

Snag a copy of Words Dance 13 here!
Digital Edition : $3.99
Print Edition : $16

Words Dance will be sharing one poem every 2 hours from noon to midnight on Saturday & Sunday, don’t miss out on this poetic goodness, follow along here : http://wordsdancemag.tumblr.com/


Poem by Marina Oliver 
1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 14.

Marina Oliver is a Creative Writing and Journalism double major at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. It took her awhile to weed out nearly every other major as a possibility and finally cozy up to the inevitable writing life course, but she made it. Her favorite things include music festivals, hearing about others’ life journeys, frozen pizza, and vigilante social justice. : wordswecaptured.tumblr.com

Snag a copy of Words Dance 14 here!
Digital Edition : $3.99
Print Edition : $16

Words Dance will be sharing one poem every 2 hours from noon to midnight on Saturday & Sunday, don’t miss out on this poetic goodness, follow along here : http://wordsdancemag.tumblr.com/


Poem by Heather Bell
1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 13.

Heather Bell was nominated for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Pushcart Prize from Rattle and also won the New Letters 2009 Poetry Prize. Heather has also published four books. Any more details can be found here.

Snag a copy of Words Dance 13 here!

Digital Edition : $3.99 

Print Edition : $16

Words Dance will be sharing one poem every 2 hours from noon to midnight on Saturday & Sunday, don’t miss out on this poetic goodness, follow along here : http://wordsdancemag.tumblr.com/


Poem by Jessica Dawson  :: 1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 14.

Jessica Dawson is a modern-day Wendy. She abhors self-promotion but requires an audience at all times. She reads the dictionary for fun, speaks only in degrees of sarcasm and is more vulture than falcon, really. Her book, Fossil Fuels, is available from Words Dance Publishing.

Snag a copy of Words Dance 14 here! :: Digital Edition : $3.99 :: Print Edition : $16

Words Dance has been sharing one poem every 2 hours since noon yesterday (10/12), this will go on until 8pm EST tonight (10/13)! All poems are from issues 13 & 14! Don’t miss out on this poetic goodness, follow along here : http://wordsdancemag.tumblr.com/


michael lived
around the corner
from me
when he hung
it was said
that his girlfriend
dumped him,
so he went
into his
a rope & bucket,
& jumped.
people said
his mother found him,
& she dropped
the 12 piece
bucket of chicken
she had bought
for dinner
by his feet.
she grabbed
his legs
& tried to push
him up,
trying to save his
already dead life.
they said
his fingers were broken
because when he dropped
he had changed
his mind,
putting his fingers
into the rope,
each one
snapping like
a twig
from the weight
of his swinging
a lot of people
were at the funeral.
teachers who
did not teach him
& did not
know him
had a lot to say
about him,
girls & boys
who hated him
were holding
one another
& crying.
shannon & i
sat in the back
of Saint Teresa’s.
we did not say much
or do much.
we really did
not know him.
we got up & left
half way through
the funeral,
& we cut through
the woods in our
funeral clothes,
saying nothing
to one another.
& when we arrived
at shannon’s house,
we took our clothes off
& lost our virginity.
no words were ever said
between us
as we both sat there, naked.
feeling like a couple
of mortals
for the first time
was more
than enough.


- Frank Reardon


3 question interview about this poem can be found here: Poetry Matters with Rebecca Schumejda & Frank Reardon 


We stood, two I’s, two towers of a bridge,
suspension cables pulled tightly—
packed boxes holding everything I owned
around us.

My downstairs neighbor, a silver-haired
Latina woman, all hand gestures & broken
English tumbling off her lips asked us
if we were getting married.

Her crease-cradled eyes caught you
through her kitchen window climbing
the three floors up our building’s fire escape
to my attic apartment every day for a year
while she was preparing the dinner
that we would later smell filtering
through the floorboards.

Both of us chuffed no
as you leaned over to light my cigarette
while we waited for the U-Haul.

How many times was I lit on fire
because I mistook your kindness
for affection?

Our laughter for love?

Like the day we got stoned as fuck
& I threw the french doors & all
of the windows in my living room open
in the heart of winter, said, let’s pretend
we’re stranded in a tundra, handed you
a hat & a pair of mittens while our teeth
chattered camaraderie in morse code
through our hysterics.

The deck between us was never
compromised by the weight of
what I thought I felt for you or
by the tokens you paid to cross
into me.

Carrying boxes down the stairs
of the porch, loading them one
by one, like the memories we made
over the length of three years. Suspension
cables snapping all around us. This
will be one of the last times I see you.

That day sits in my heart like a souvenir,
a tiny snow globe that I shake sometimes
for a smile. Almost always having to
clear away the thick layer of dust
it gathered while sitting on the shelf.
A blizzard of memories swirling around
two I’s that never could bend long enough
to form the “e” in we.

                        - Amanda Oaks


My poem for this week’s Words Dance Writing Prompt!

Write a poem using this prompt, then link your poem up in the link list at the bottom of the post on our blog:

Choose a poem you like. I used “Fire” by Joy Harjo from her bookWhat Moon Drove Me to This? Cross out every other line (it doesn’t matter whether you start with the first or second line) and write lines of your own to fit with the remaining original lines. Then, cross out the remaining lines of the original poem and write more lines of your own to go with those you already wrote so that what you end up with is a poem that’s wholly yours.


Words Dance 13 : Summer 2013 is out!

So full of fire, meet the arsonists:

Tamara Phillips

Alli Woods Fredrick


• Clementine von Radics • Jeanann Verlee • 
• Alizabeth Rasmussen • A. Razor • 
• Sheri L. Wright • Leanne Banks • 
• Carrie Rudzinski • Olivia Hamilton Jones • 
• Donna-Marie Riley • John Dorsey • 
• Ellie Di Julio • Genevieve Salazar • 
• Lori-Lyn Hurley • Amanda Oaks • 
• Gregory Luce • Heather Bell • 
• Desireé Dallagiacomo • Jay Sizemore • 
• Meggie Royer • Hosho McCreesh • 
• Melanie Faith • Rebecca Schumejda • 
• Miriam M. • Shinji Moon •


• Dyamond Robinson-Patlyek • Amy Radbill •
• Patricia Christakos • Kat Falcon •

Instand PDF download upon purchase…

Click here to check it out & submissions are open for Issue 14!

Something Other Than Death

We wake each day
to all the little things
that kill us

bit by bit

and we take it as best we can.

We have little choice,
really, other than
giving in.

I suppose the trick
is to convince ourselves

we are working towards
something other than death.

We have to believe it,
at least a bit,

in order to continue.

We have to believe
the moment will come

that will transcend
the doubt and emptiness
of an average day

and reveal the missing
pieces of existence,
finally fitting them together

in perfect fashion,

showing us, once
and for all, that our time
has not been wasted.

                - William Taylor Jr.