January 20, 2017 Issue
On this Inauguration Day, we are raising our voices for justice, equality, diversity, unity and empathy.
IMAGE: Shepard Fairey, www.theamplifierfoundation.org
by Alysia Sawchyn
I pulled into the row of parking spaces at 6:25pm on a Saturday night, already five minutes late to the monthly prayer meeting at Our Lady of Clearwater. Looking up at the glass-paned building, the stone grottos encasing plaster statues of Jesus and Mary on either side of its main entrance, like guardian lions, I took one deep breath in and let it go slowly.
By Mariam Williams
For two weeks after the election, I wrote nothing. I was enrolled in two writing workshops for my MFA, and I wrote nothing. I submitted a poem I had written over the summer and didn’t bother to revise for my poetry workshop that week. The following week, I skipped my nonfiction workshop all together. I also doubled my regular dosage of anti-depressants and avoided all the people I can’t stand on even my best days.
On November 9th, I opened up Instagram and my writers group pages on Facebook and found people touting Morrison, Baldwin, Hughes.
by Caitlin Scarano
Author’s Note: Starting the night of the 2016 Presidential Election, I started a log on my computer that I maintained for ten days. I attempted to trace my reactions to Donald Trump’s victory, while recording other losses that were happening in my life at the time. This essay is shaped from those notes with some revisions and additions.
The night of the election, I am all body.
Later, my mother will say: My whole body is numb with an unbearable sense of grief. Later, Josh will write me: I felt it in my spine.
by Erin Armstrong
I’m sitting on my front porch smoking a cigarette because it’s 3am and I can’t stop thinking about fucking my father. And ain’t that just something. Is it? I mean, I’m not thinking about it because I want to be thinking about it, or because I want to fuck him. Even if I did he’s pretty dead so it would be something on several something fronts. Or backs, or my face and mouth… there I go again.
by loie merritt
It’s been two weeks since I’ve sat down to write. Everything is just misspelled words knocking against silent sobs in my ribcage. I can’t remember the way I felt before, the safety locked in, like both feet happily grounded in a block of cement, heat conducted and hardened with my own privilege. At the same time, nothing has changed. Day to day, feeding to feeding, broken dish to shitty diaper, my children requiring me to hold my own shit together. But in silence, I hear a clock ticking. And we don’t own a ticking clock. On this rare rainy day, I am thankful that I don’t have to go outside, into the world, the world that is the same except cut open. Do you feel that pain? What does the pain sound like today?
Jennifer Williams is a writer, musician and community organizer living in Oakland, California and has self-published two workbooks titled The Process of Letting Yourself Have a Creative Process and The Better Feminism Workbook. We chatted with Jennifer about The Better Feminism Workbook, finding strength in the era of Trump, and more.
my lover speaks in signs / fractals
hands into language when their voice fails them
i too know language / in the failures
of my body / split syntax of fractured chest
Oath of Softest
He makes his money his woman (in the office to steel (but the resolution (will not be televised,
(take this, then (our oath of softest.
A fly by Might operation might operate (on your granny, her (hip hip (hopping below the belt
(and he’s ready to give her (whatever care he can grab (in between conference calls, (while the
full ass of social media (butt dials their representatives (leaving an oath of softest (in the empty
art of the dialtone (when the voicemail box is full.