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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
_ 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/
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.
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.