don't die press

On Beauty

by , on
2020-07-30

New poem by Kim Malinowski

I bet Aphrodite didn’t have to shave her armpits,
no, she would go natural.
A goddess doesn’t have to conform
to societal pressures—
she is the pressure, the ideal, the embodiment
of desire and sensualness.
So, when I think of Aphrodite,
I think of her naked self as hairy,
maybe her navel a little linty. 
Maybe her hair doesn’t cascade
to her waist and maybe both of her breasts
aren’t plump, maybe one is a little lopsided,
and the other a little red at the base.
She has curves and a belly—after all
she ate all that goddess food.
And her eyes are lightning, daring humans
with her sumptuousness, her dazzling bounty.
She spins and the heavens just drool.
That’s what rain is.
Goddesses don’t shave, they just look damn good
in whatever they wear, and do it with pizazz.

I believe her

by , on
2020-07-23

New poem by Aimee Curran

I believe her.
Drinking too much coffee to stay
awake during the darkest hours.
Waiting up with the moon until it
glides past the lip of the ocean.

I believe her.
Filling herself with strangers
to keep him away in the shadows.
Flicking on the lights despite their protests
and never staying through the night.

I believe her.
Spending holidays at the movies
always buying one ticket and a box of Goobers.
Every Christmas eating pork lo mein at
Cathay Kitchen and asking for extra fortune cookies.

I believe her.
Writing poetry on napkins at the local
cafe, taking advantage of free refills.
Showing up every month at open mic,
sitting in the back, working up the courage to speak.

Hey Chuck

by , on
2020-01-23

This Throwback Thursday brought to you by Freesia McKee
S/tick, Issue 1.4

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde

this guy brought a poem
to our workshop
about being a man.
they called
his poem
“bukowskian.”

almost everyone
at the table
loved it.

after the workshop,
one guy told me
to write a poem
that included the word
“cunt.”

he knows i write
poems about women.
what else is there
to say?

“bukowskian.”

do you get asked
what it feels like
to be a symbol
for something?

i’m writing
because to me,
you have become
a currency:
i know how included i can feel
if i quote you.
the cost
is that my chair
gets pulled
too close
to their table–
that is a poem
that will never be
bukowskian.

My Mother is Bone White and Black

by , on
2019-12-05

Editor’s Note: Watch the don’t die press blog for some oldies but goodies from an earlier era of S/tick!

by Megan Harris

My mother is bone white and black
daughter born from cocaine breath
came out on the cusp of winter.
A wispy gasp and darkened heart
skin is paper stretched over bone
white sheet, dark pen, dark red.
Mother warns daughter to not love death
to not long to feel his dark eyes
fall upon her breasts.
Daughter is of winter locking,
a chest begging to be opened to light,
fill the lungs with dirt and breathe life.
Mother is bone white and black,
her burning head stares down
Daughter turns away again – frozen.

(Issue 1.3: Torn)

Dandelion

by , on
2019-05-17

excerpt from a poem by Jennifer Leider

grimed streetlamps light
pavement plagued with glass
straining—the moon doesn’t come around here
police sirens sing strawberry blueberry

and your hair smells like papaya
youthful energy
in the skulking night gangs
baby-faced boys with jutting chins
hoping guns turn them men
they won’t bother us anyways

this bodega smells like
donkeys and cigarettes and sulfur
we heave ourselves over the fence
to the neighborhood pool
your dad thinks you like boys

Read the rest of Jennifer’s poem in the upcoming S/tick Issue 4.2!

In the meantime, check out Jennifer’s Instagram @followtheleider.