don't die press

2 poems

by , on
2020-09-08

2 new poems by Naomi Borkent

All Mothers Were Summoned When George Floyd Called Out For His

A black man lays cuffed on the ground
A white man’s knee crushing his neck.

He calls out for his Mother.
His dying breaths, to plead for his Momma.
To plead for air, for breath.

Mine catches in my chest. 
I want to turn away, I don’t want to see.

I don’t want to see the fruit of generations of hatred, systemic discrimination and abuse.

I want to say: “I don’t see colour!” But I do.

I see you, I see you, I see you. I do not understand your pain. I cannot. But I understand my privilege.


Skin That Looks Like Mine

Skin that looks like mine, you see in magazines. 

Skin that’s white. 
Pale, translucent and milky. 

Skin that says: “Eurocentric Beauty”
Says: “Sorry, Officer. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

But skin that looks like his
Skin that looks like hers…

Chocolate, latte, cinnamon
Kissed by the sun, made of Earth

Says: “Where are you really from?”
Says: “You don’t belong.”

One whose tongue remembers the language of their great-grandmothers…but speaks English instead. 

I can’t pretend to understand your pain. Your righteous anger. But I stand with you. 

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.

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!

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.

Evolutionary Process

by , on
2020-03-20

New poem by Anne Leigh Parrish

A multi-coloured canyon

Fire eats the forest
            Evergreens turn to ash
Water chokes the canyon
            Slopes fall under mud
Wind inhales the neighborhood
            Throws rafters to the ground

A woman gives her body out of hunger for the touch
Her private land is fertile where scattered seeds are sown

Abundance is
Husbanded,
Planned,
Discussed

Until all goes wild again
And yearns only for what
The heavens coyly know

Unfurling

by , on
2020-03-06

New poem by Holly Day

The dust finally settles, and it’s safe to come out.
Doors of fallout shelters creak open,
exhale recycled air and the smell
of confinement. The first step
cautiously out into the open.

Huddled masses stretch themselves into the halls
of new palaces: abandoned, themed McDonald’s
massive stock exchange buildings bearing reliefs of
extinct flowers and grains
an ice skating rink, big enough
for children and horses.

Self-proclaimed kings and queens
spontaneously create new religions
and traditions, declare them in a competition of cacophony
through broken skyscraper windows
and flimsy observation decks
littered with the bodies of sparrows and pigeons.

Angry/Mad: Themed Call for Submissions

by , on
2020-02-05

In an unjust world, there’s a fine line between anger and madness. S/tick Magazine invites you to channel rage into righteous art and writing for its next issue, “Angry/Mad.” Tired of the grotesque facades of rich men in power? White politicians cavorting in blackface? Sexual predators who insist their violations were consensual? Rhetoric on reconciliation without genuine action? People who look at wildfires, rising water, disastrous storms, melting ice caps and deny there’s anything amiss? Submit, but do not be submissive!

Check out the submissions guidelines here.

Deadline: March 31, 2020