don't die press

The Graces teach Psyche the origin of oppression

by , on
2020-08-28

New poem by Casey Catherine Moore

Feminine oppression
Is the bottled-up emotions, forced down by Uranus into Gaia’s belly
The tears that leak out after ages of suppression
Our oppression is when the words
Are trapped on the backs of our tongues
And feelings pull forth instead
Like the last bit of honey oozing from the jar
They call us hysterical, a word tied to the darkness of the womb, hystera
But you need no womb to be a woman and to be a woman is to be transcendent
They teach us to be givers, to twist ourselves in different spaces
They tell us we are both Madonnas and whores
They build the gilded cage and ask us to dance
And call us bossy when we make the rules
When Pandora was made from Earth Phobos screamed
And man took heed and tried to shovel her back down
But woman is necessity, Ananke, and because she is darkness she is the only thing who
can chase away Night.

Triple Threat

by , on
2020-08-24

New poem by M. Magee

These girls.
These women.
These Goddesses.

All telling stories
Like tender snowflakes
All part of a raging storm

They call to me
And to you
And to all of us

DO Something
SAY Something
Rage! Die! Kill! Scream!

Don’t let the mean ones in
Don’t let the nice ones out

Don’t let me out
Or in
Or both

Rage against the machine.
Rage
Such an awesome word
And Death

Tracing snow-angels after the storm
One, Two, Three
Angels in a row
Delicate
Simple
Beautiful

All Her Stories left there

Three dead snow-angels
These girls
These women
These Goddesses

No Mercy

by , on
2020-08-21

New poem by Tanasha Martin

I am laid bare.
An ink tattoo
with scarlet cells
who cluster
and cling;
my body welcomes
and warms, and
as is written,
I take my place
and multiply –

an option you should appreciate
and you say you do, but you
don’t.

I am exposed.
A design
of once tiny scarlet cells
that clustered
and clung
to a body
who welcomed
and warmed, and
as is written,
I took my place
and she multiplied –

but no options were ever appreciated,
only met with white-knuckled
stone.

We live on display.
Masterpieces
shunned by the blind; we
seep
and scar;
our bodies
targeted
and torn, and
as is written
you take your
place
and as hypocrites do, multiply –

For the options of outrage are reciprocal,
its fury seizes you by the throat.

Our ears will repeatedly ring
with spurious sentiment,
but it should subdue and
soothe our souls to know:

Pseudo virtue
is not an admirable attribute.

Empty empathy
Breeds no mercy in your belief.

When hate is what you live to breed – promote,
Mercy is what you will have revoked.

A Sense of Things

by , on
2020-08-13

New poem by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

How do I understand
these strange times
when, in discovering
my humanity, I lose
my sense of life? Giving

in to ingenuity, I forget
the nature in which I am
embedded, my body,
spirit, brain, mind,
neurons—words

for the elusive
structures that provide
the concept of self,
define Homo sapiens,
or create the contrast

that forms the other.
I know the same-celled
vermin, even individuals,
who dwell within my home
and how to kill

an infestation, yet think
about half robotic
cockroaches designed
to carry miniature
microphones to find

our kind in disasters,
search and rescue
experiments. Then
there are the rodents
caged in labs, engineered

for research, genetic
codes altered, blueprints
to expand our lifespan.
Have I misunderstood
the cost of kinship?

Nightmare

by , on
2020-08-10

New poem by Melissa Garcia Criscuolo

Locusts spout
from his hole
of a mouth
and his tongue
escapes a fat black
leech at my
neck his lips press
rubbing alcohol
into my cut
flesh pinned
under his torso
I do not want
this his words
slice me
like a rusty
scalpel and I
am running
out of gauze

A Love Sonnet – to My Thighs

by , on
2020-08-03

New poem by Sarah Taylor-Foltz

My thighs saunter in black denim, they nail
Men and beasts alike. Truly, they are quite
A pair, even when naked and pale.
They will not deny or ignore their might.

I love how they look in black skinny jeans
The curve at the top, where thighs turn to ass
The beloved moon. They are strong: these queens
They occupy their birthright of space and mass.

They waltz through this world boldly not giving
A shit about how anyone sees them.
My thighs have energy—they are living!
They’re tough and cheeky—my thighs of mayhem.

Wicked thighs—no domestic convention
Can pen them in or demand their attention.

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.

S/tick: Angry/Mad is here!

by , on
2020-07-28

That’s right: S/tick Issue 4.4 Angry/Mad is finally here!

Click here to read Angry/Mad now!

What you’ll find inside:

  • Artwork by Elaine Woo, Kristin LaFollette, and Sandra L. Faulkner.
  • Prose by Lisa Levy and Simone Liggins!
  • Poetry by Ann Cefola, brit griffin, Gail Grycel, Jo Lambert, Kate Falvey, M. Eileen, Naomi Borkent, Tiffany Washington, Victoria Bailey, and Zanne Aglio!
  • Some old madness and anger from poets and sisters in the public domain: Adah Isaacs Menken, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Edna St. Vincent Millay!

And watch here for more Angry/Mad blog posts in the coming months! We will be posting a new piece 1-2 times per week.

Please share widely so we can reach more feminist readers and encourage more feminist writers!

Acrylic Claws

by , on
2020-07-27

New Poem by Anna Kaye-Rogers

I am meant to protect myself, to scratch and tear, a cat hissing in the night. I bare my teeth. Everything is sharp and pointed. I am meant to be fierce, on fleek, my eyebrows rubbed raw. I tear my own flesh and relish the pain. When I am found they will examine each nail, to see what traces have been left behind, that what was underneath was more important all along. 

My kitten kneads me, each claw dangerously close to connect. I am covered in fine red lines, a correcting pen to each stretch mark, every scar, all the places the bumps and bruises settle along my skin. She curls into the caverns in my collarbones, the slow curve of my belly, an outstretched arm threatening to fall off the side of her world. When she is cornered she is afraid, she spends days under the bed, yet now when I sleep the blanket that once protected me feels too thin. There are monsters inside cocoons, and I have met my share. She sleeps on my back and holds me to the world I try so desperately to escape. Tiny claws mark the passage of time, and when my nails chip I peel the rest away. I cannot abide my imperfection, I must cover up all sign I ever was flawed. The soft cotton balls stink of strong poison that I willingly apply to myself.

And when I drink I am told to protect myself, to measure the liquid against the color of the polish. If it changes it means I am not safe, I have been seen as harmless and marked. Why must we teach our girls to dip their fingers in their own drinks, why are our young men not keeping fingers to themselves? Our nails get longer and sharper, we file them to points and bite them to the quick, always peeling and ripping and building anew. We blanket ourselves in pastel pinks and metallic purples, bright blues and soft white lines, until lips and nails match and everything is blackened, for there is power in feeling unreadable. 

I wish to sheathe my claws, to find a safe place to curl up and rest and be left alone, a hidden space that black cats and soft kittens can find. I wish to enjoy my drinks in peace, to luxuriate in my own silence, the actuality of my own being in my own spot and perfectly enough. 

I run my nails lovingly across the backs of necks and shoulder blades, down spines and up sides; to run my fingers through hair lovingly, because I want to be needed too. I want to be capable of murder without breaking a nail, but sometimes there are people who remind you to put your claws away. 

What to Do with My Legs

by , on
2020-05-21

Well, folks, you probably haven’t heard from us in a while. So here is an absolute treat to make it up to you. The elegant yet uproarious audio stylings of one Christina Guldi are here to make your Throwback Thursday. The audio is split into 2 parts. You can also read an excerpt below, or the full text in Issue 1.1, the very first issue of S/tick!

What to Do with My Legs by Christina Guldi, Part 1:

What to Do with My Legs by Christina Guldi, Part 2:

Can’t I just be still and enjoy this for what it is? Live in the moment like a Zen Buddhist. Why is he doing this? It doesn’t seem as if he knows he wants this. Did he forget where he is? He seems anxious. He did say he was a Buddhist earlier at the bar, right? Was that around last call? So I’m SURE he’s living in the moment. Isn’t this supposed to make me feel appreciated? Feminine? Empowered? Why do I feel like I supposed to be rooting him on with bullhorns and sparklers somehow? I’m not really into feeling like having orgasm anyway right now. I feel like I’m supposed to have one though. Because if I don’t I am somehow failing him . . . in his own expectations for himself. Is there something wrong with me that this isn’t really making me feel sexy? Am I too uptight for not being able to just indulge? Why am I wishing he was kissing my shoulders or my back or the back of my knee instead? Why don’t they ever kiss the back of my knees? How would he know if I didn’t tell him? But how would they know if they never try? Ohh, why don’t they ever kiss my knees? Why am I expecting golden swirls of equality and adoration to be emanating from the skins of our bodies as they mesh together?