Dayna A. Gross


In my past, death has already un-breathed. What once was and is are no longer the thoughts I was born with. Language has brought me back to the point and then away from it again, like an ancient symbol. This is why I photograph and will never be a writer. Writers know how to reveal their contradictions. I want to understand my behavior, why I resist and why I give in. I trust my body is hiding invaluable truths. The sharp pain of these whiskey notes stirs my spirits.

One day I’ll dedicate myself to all types of breathing, just like I’ll commit my existence to the language extreme and unwrapping – no – tearing apart of veneers. What moment is worth capturing? What must I preserve in the fixer, reproduce in the dark room under the unveiling of light? I’m holding onto several answers and they are leaking between my fisted fingers, slowly breathing outward.

    I hold many frames in my mind. I want to capture the instant, but once it’s caught it is in the past, and their unobtainable forms tortures my philosophies to satisfaction. I must prepare my camera equipment and photograph a dancer. Yes, a dancer. I stand up and position myself in front of the bar. I rock my hips from side to side on the barstool. And roll a cigarette. That was when Sade approached me.

Sade undresses and dresses again in front of me, “After I left you the other night, I took the s-bahn home and a man followed me from the station to my apartment. He rolled a joint and we got high. I ended up in a taxi with him. This morning I found a recording of our whole conversation from inside of his apartment, including the part where we had sex and I fell asleep, you want to hear it?” Sade asked.

We both listen to her moaning, but it mostly sounds like a lot of shuffling. I hear his low voice, but can’t make out any words, or country of origin.

“Apparently he had a stutter and tried to wake me up. He told me we had to go, he needed to meet his brothers in the park. We got into a cab and I ended up in my bed alone. I think it was five in the morning. Could you hear that he had a stutter?” Sade asks. “I don’t know his name, I don’t even remember his face, but he might recognize mine. Oh well. He won’t be the first and he certainly won’t be the last,” Sade says while strategically pulling down a red velvet box from a top shelf, her large lopsided breasts spilling over her corset. I look down at the way her heals lift her body upward.

    “Do you mind if I use your recording for something?” I ask. “There are these moments in the world that people know they can be living, but cook dinner and fall asleep to a movie instead. Let them live through your story. Are you ready for your portrait?”

    When I met Sade in the bar, she was accompanied by three men of three different ethnicities eager to capture her gaze. She was intrigued by my intensity and approached my concentration. I was fascinated by her ease and her indifference to her audience. Eventually she asked if I’d like to join her for a threesome, that she’d like to get to know me a little more intimately. I asked her if she would like to meet again for a photoshoot.

    “Can you sit on the edge of the bed? Bring your right foot completely out towards me and bend your left leg a little, spread them a part a bit more. I’m going to put the flame on the ground between your legs, just get as low as you can before it gets too hot.”
    “Oh, but I like it hot, you must know that by now,” Sade says.
    “Okay, then I’ll use the longer red candle I originally had in mind. Now lean back on your forearms and seduce me.”
    “Do you want to photograph me tying up my boots first? I can put one leg high up on the desk. These boots are stunning, I absolutely have to wear them for such an occasion!”
    “Yeah, it’s better if you put your leg up on the chair, but let me set up the candle holder first and light the candles.”
    “I like the color arrangement of the candles, that’s a nice touch,” Sade says.
    “Yeah, each color corresponds to a planet and the days of the week.”
    “Oh, I like that very much.”

    I photograph the woman, amazed at how beautiful her body is, so full. The way she carries herself makes her size flow flawless as if this shape has been sold and desired by women all over the world for centuries.

“Thetis dear? Can I ask you something personal?”
“What is your relationship to your body? Do you feel free in your body? Disconnected from her powers? Or, do you feel confined by her shape?”
“All three I suppose. Depending on my environment and where I’m at emotionally and intellectually.”
“I can see that. I believe you would benefit from unconventional sexual experiences. We live in a very confusing world, where money and sex have no clear boundaries. It’s up to us to explore and define these lines for ourselves, you know what I mean dear?”

Sade’s proportions on anyone else would seem disorderly, but she allows her uneven breasts to hang freely over her leather corset, her thighs much larger than her calves, her upper arms hang loosely from behind, and her eyes, her skin, glow like Icelandic ice caps. Those eyes will never mask her intentions; a youth she will nurture, undulating through time like the ocean tide.

“Desire is confusing. I’ve always wanted to be desired, but in a private way. In a way that doesn’t demand attention. I grew up in a religious home. For the first 18 years of my life I thought I wouldn’t have sex until I was married. Then I decided to destroy as many confining regulations as I could find. But I destroyed it delicately. Gently tugging at the roots, to leave behind as few threads as possible. I don’t think I’m a person who gets off on destruction. I get off on freedom, but in my case, all acts of freedom are destructive. The conflict is forever present.”

“Sweetheart, I’ve been there. I know the feeling. But our bodies our powerhouses of pleasure. And our societies are brimming with executioners and priests of shame. Your body will be a site of shame until you let her play in the wilderness. There’s an abundance of opposition in our world. We can’t let them tell us what to do with our bodies. Learn to balance out the mind with the body, instead of living in this world of logic where we fall into the prison of the mind. Trust your body.”

I concentrate on moving around the room like a centipede and photograph her from various perspectives. A silence cascades over the candlelit room. The only audible sound is her soft breathing and the clicking of my camera. Her gaze makes me feel as if I am the object and she is the predator.

My family would be repulsed by such hedonistic ideas. For them, this way of thinking cripples morality. They don’t want to understand how much they confine and restrict the body, especially the female body. Why do they fear sexuality? and beauty? Common-faced sister is already worried about her own daughter, she says it’s going to be terribly challenging at some point because she can see that she is remarkably beautiful. She’s afraid of the way people look at her. Her daughter is too young to notice it now, but common-faced sister is afraid of how the realization of her beauty can affect her spirituality, like a hand of darkness reaching for her soul.

I press the camera forcefully against my cheek and squeeze my exposed eye tightly, though I truly want to see her through every sense I posses. We move through different postures and positions. I photograph her seduction from all angles until I am no longer ashamed of looking, and move beyond admiration.

I want to capture her world, her private world. The world men and lovers don’t have access to. After clicking and rewinding three rolls of film, I feel exhausted. I’m too acutely vacuumed into this woman’s mind. I’m losing my sense of boundaries. I pack my equipment and hurry off to the supermarket. Uneasily, I search for Spanish oranges.

Dayna A. Gross has been published and shortlisted in the Büro BDP Writing Prize 2020 (November 2020), Angel City Review (July 2020), Another Chicago Magazine (June 2020), RHNK (2017), JFKI (2018), Seeing Her Ghost (2017) among other small press publications. She lives in Berlin, Germany where she hosts an experimental poetry radio show called CRYPTOMNESIA, which streams FM in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Olga Vereli


the horizon is dripping honey and cement
industrial lights of Eleusis

“there will always be somebody riding the bus”

Don Quixote is heading to a party uninvited,
today’s tarot reading told her it’s time to socialize again

She’s thinking of performing a ritual on a crossroad
in the mystical place that is Eleusina,
a landscape oozing with primordial power
coming out of earth’s vagina

the vagina is always industrialized
The first industrial revolution happened when
the first sex workers started working on ancient dicks.

She’s ready to call upon the power of
tomorrow noon. Everything is calculated.

The ritual will include Kathy using a rosemary branch
dipped in water and oil to spill it over her naked body.
Then she will go eat boiled bitter greens in a nearby tavern.

The vampire men of Eleusina will be watching her
but she knows their game
She knows the incestuous crimes they’ve committed
Their sperm transmits nationalism
She’s here to stake Lord Byron, their patron saint and father
Drive her wooden stake right through his heart
She means business this time

      Justice and Piety august I call,
      θραύουσα δικαίως,
      human life annoy

those mothers who are fathers
I’m always that person who notices how violent their love is
they want your love to be used as a weapon, just as theirs

είχα ήδη αρχίσει να διαλύομαι στον αέρα
ήταν ξένη σ’εμένα όμως χρησιμοποιούσε
το σώμα μου ξεκίνησα να μιλάω
για να σταματήσω την ευγενική εξαΰλωση

street signs fading into languorous music           ως πράκτορας ενός παρακράτους
“how to invent a language                                   μυθοπλασίας
on a bus”                                                             προβοκάτσια:
some passengers are asleep                               προκλητική συμπεριφορά, λεκτική
others murmur softly                                            ή/και γραπτή με σκοπό
prayers to St. George                                           να υπονομεύσει τις παγιωμένες
the slayer of dragons                                            συγγένειας

when stretch’d upon the bed of grief
the sex seeks relief
συρματοπλεγμένη πολυάνθεμε
πολυώνυμε δαίμων
ποια ώρα διαστέλλεται
ποια δαίμονας θα φέρει επάρκεια σαν πορτοκάλι
ποια επανάληψη συλλαβών

(tombs of ancient tribes are resting beneath the houses
in the woods there’s mostly pines and ruins of dream hotels
capitalism is falling apart and re-emerging as a vampire tooth
we’re looking at Kathy’s short hair, her tanned skin, a bloody knee)

She’s tried foolishness, loneliness, sexiness, emptiness
licked the sorrow from the wound

Here to plunge once more in the womb waters
venerable pow’r, who bring’st relief in labour’s dreadful hour
λύσε τους πόνους μιας αρχαίας αλφαβήτου ντροπής

the whole world is an orange
I’m inside a worm bus traveling across this juicy sphere that is non-stop producing sticky dreams
endless solar power
eternal desire
my body is your body and your body is one with the orange sun and I will never die

Olga Vereli is a writer based in Athens. Her work is interdisciplinary and cross-genre. She has published a collaborative zine under the title The Cemetery Is A Forest and runs the newsletter The Gizi Resident.

Chiara Crisafulli


day 7

That summer night,
a year after Aris left, like
a brave sober drunkard
I dared ask why. Why did
you disappear? Why did you
leave all of a sudden?
                    (I left because I’m young, he said,
                    ten years younger than you.
                    What do you want from me?)

Our first night replayed in my head.
‘Do you feel safe?’ he said, staring at my tears.

So many unanswered questions
and ringing Sunday mornings.

All the shooting stars draw
a path heading for the
green –

I look at my feet.
I think maybe I should have worn
a different pair of shoes.

day 14

Today, after
a run and wrinkled
cravings for Kalamata
olives, I left
the peels of my avocados
and phantasies over a trip to Spain
leaking in a big
black, garbage

my violet
white H&M running shorts
down the stairs. The

touch of my
                 skin on the steps. The taste of
                       my bones on the shiny wooden
                               floor. Beyond the heavy

building door, wind
grabbed my body. Kicked it,
made it scream.

I saw Aris. Unexpected,
ghostly, unreal.

Eyes warm and frozen.

He was sitting next to the gate.
He was texting with his phone.
He lifted his chin and smiled

but I had to let go
of the garbage.
I had to
close the door.

day 28

These days I sleep
less, dumb thoughts
ovulate: heated,
salty eggs for
breakfast, fine leather
biker boots. Cooler,
nail polish
Bulky breasts as
church bells,
loose black locks

shutter my

thirsty,                                                                                                                                               stinging,

darker nipples — like shepherds on plateaus
                    tending to their goats too early at
                        sunset. When I digest my

period cramps,

breath crumbs

like truths

I knead with my bare hands to
strawberry cheesecake. This is how I
                                                                surrender to my body:
to its language so far unknown. There’s no
migration of cells but
rather, in-house
talkers — like hens. They gather close to my cheek,
sometimes it’s my hip or my
left ankle, and lift a

red, thick curtain to
show me a toddler in a
stroller. He squeaks,
laughs and when sucks his
big toe I see he has no
                                                      Then I read. A gig. Around you.

Your voice// your lips// move fast /

then slower / and slower /          and          /                    slower       /
                                                                                                                            warming / juicy flow/
saliva / us / moaning /
                                                                                                              brushing kissing/
                                                        …what was I doing…again?

Your stomping chest is no distance I can bear. Ache

pours into
wombs, weeps
dyed words       now

drying —
over the shell of this
full moon

Chiara Crisafulli juggles words, space and un-structures with no desire to restrict forms and/or genres. Her dream is to see ordinary things turning into art—plastic garbage bags, scratches of paint, glimpses of light. Before being a body of work, art is a way of observing (ourselves in) the world. Originally from Sicily (Italy), Chiara wrote her first poem at age 7 inspired by the moon, boredom and loneliness.Her academic background is in journalism, philosophy, teaching English as a second language, playwriting, travel writing and contemporary poetry writing. In the past eleven years, she has experienced living, travelling and volunteering in different countries including Ireland, Holland, Greece, the Canary Islands (Spain) and Portugal. She currently resides in Lisbon working as an interpreter and at her first experimental hybrid poetry book in English.

Γκέλυ Γρυντάκη

ενaς pολemος

Living like bats, or owls
labouring like beasts, οι μάργκαρετ c.
dying like worms

οι μάργκαρετ c. πονάει
• από τα χτυπήματα της συγκατάβασης,
• της ευγενικής απόρριψης,
• τα ωωωωωω και τα αααααα του ευσυγκίνητου κοινού
• τον κρυμμένο σαρκασμό στις υποκλίσεις, κάτω από χοντρά σβέρκα που τραντάζονται από γέλια και lust
• τα τοξικά σάλια στα χειροφιλήματα

η πατριαρχία είναι ευγενής για να είναι πιο επώδυνη, έχει περιποιημένα μυτερά νύχια που γρατζουνάνε στην χειραψία και το οξύ τους καίει για πολύ ώρα μετά

και ε σύ ψάχνεις (μικρά) αναλγητικά αλλά αυτά δεν φτάνουν πια
now the drugs don’t work emily

στο τρανς σου μπαινοβγαίνεις σε αυτό που θέλεις να είσαι σαν εκείνα τα εκκρεμή με τις μπάλες που συγκρούονται πέρα δώθε                                          πέρα
δώθε                                                                                           πέρα
δώθε                                                                                  πέρα
αυτή    η    ψευδής    εντύπωση        αι        ω         νιότη         ταc
(φίλε είμαι επιστήμονας.                                                         ξέρω καλύτερα από τον οποιοδήποτε           τι                   σημαίνει                             κενό

έχω αλλάξει 999 πουκάμισα από κερατίνη κι ε ξ α ϋ λ ώ ν ο μ αι λίγο περισσότερο κάθε φορά που
θυμώνω;                 σημαίνει                                 και μετά

η κούραση είναι
για να ξαναμαζέψω
την ύπαρξή μου
και είμαι
ένα τσικ

οι μάργκαρετ c. αγαπάει το μυαλό της       μισεί το μυαλό της
αγαπάει το μυαλό της       μισεί το μυαλό της

αλλά αυτό το τικ τακ είναι εξαντλητικό

θέλει να το βγάλει για λίγο,
να το αφήσει
σε ένα ποτήρι φορμόλη στο κομοδίνο
σαν μασέλα
ή δείγμα σε cabinet de κuriosites

θέλει επιτέλους ν α α ν α σ ά ν ε ι
να νιώσει κρύο αέρα να χαϊδεύει το εσωτερικό του κρανίου της
που καίει
θέλει να νιώσει πώς είναι
να μη σκέφτεσαι τίποτα

ίσως αν καταλάβαινε λιγότερα να σταματούσε (you have the right to remain silent?)
και αυτό να ήταν λιγότερο δαπανηρό για το εγώ της

το αναγνωρίζει

δεν μπορεί όμως να κάνει κάτι γι’αυτό

το εγώ της της αναλώνεται οδυνηρά κι αμετάκλητα
γλιστράει από τις σελίδες τα σημειωματάρια τα folios τα γράμματα τα notes
ξεχύνεται με κάθε λέξη από μελάνι στο χώμα,
το χώμα και το εγώ της είναι ένα βλασταίνουν μικρά μωβ φυλλαράκια βολβοί ρίζες φυτρώνουν μεγάλα σαρκώδη μανιτάρια σαν αντρικά δάχτυλα
που δεν ξέρεις αν είναι δηλητηριώδη
αν δεν τα δοκιμάσεις

α σ κ ή σ ει ς τ α π ει ν ό τ η τ α ς
α σ κ ή σ ει ς εί ναι
βαθειές ανάσες

ίσως αν καταλάβαινε λιγότερα να μην έφτιαχνε ελπίδες από σκόρπια μανιφέστα

η ελπίδα είναι πιο κοφτερή από τα νύχια τους αλλά οι λεπίδες της είναι διπλές
όσο βυθίζονται σε σένα βυθίζονται και σε εκείνους αλλά αυτός ο πόλεμος είναι άνισος,
γιατί η από κει μεριά είναι χοντρόπετση είναι από πλαστικό ή λαμαρίνα
είναι μονωμένη από διογκωμένη και εξηλασμένη πολυστερίνη από αφρό πολυουρεθάνης και χιλιετίες, από πετροβάμβακα, και τόνους αυθεντίας
τόμους αυθεντίας
δεν νιώθει

«ένα ακόμα μικρό τσίμπημα για την πατριαρχία μια βαθεία μαχαιριά για τις μάργκαρετ c.»

οι μάργκαρετ c. όταν πονάει θέλει να κουκουλωθεί να τριγυρνάει με ένα μεγάλο μακρύ γυαλιστερό μπουφάν υαλοβάμβακα που σέρνεται στο έδαφος στους κήπους του Kensington, να καλλιεργεί σαρκοφάγες ορχιδέες και daffodils στα μαλλιά της
να σκαλίζει απαλά τη γη με μια χτένα

να ψιθυρίζει λυπημένα χαϊκού στα
σκαθάρια και τις αράχνες να μιλάει στους
κοκκινολαίμηδες και στις ξανθές αλεπούδες

(που φαίνονται συζητήσιμες και ανοιχτές στο ευγενή διάλογο και την καθαρή επιχειρηματολογία)

οι μάργκαρετ c. όταν πονάει θέλει να πέφτει από παράθυρα να καταπίνει δηλητηριώδη μανιτάρια να αυτο-πυροβολείται στην καρδιά να βάζει το κεφάλι στο φούρνο να γεμίζει τις τσέπες με πέτρες και να βουτάει στο ποτάμι

να κλείνεται στο γκαράζ να
βάζει δυνατά τη μουσική και να ανάβει
τη μηχανή του Cougar της

dont they know its the end of the world cause you dont love me anymore

οι μάργκαρετ c. όταν πονάει είναι το yellow stone το κοζλοντούι και η φουκοσίμα
       είμαι ο βεζούβιος το κρακατόα και το Eyjafjallajokull είναι δύσκολη
          στην ανάγνωση και στην προφορά είμαι καυτή και παγωμένη
              ανορθόγραφη και επικίνδυνη είναι έτοιμη να εκραγεί
                 να καλύψει τον κόσμο με δάκρυα λάβα
                        και να εξαφανίσει τους
                            δεινόσαυrους και
                                άλλα δεινά

οι μάργκαρετ c. όταν πονάει θέλει να γράφει αλλά όταν γράφει πονάει περισσότερο

Gelly Gryntaki is a curator and a writer. She writes about art and other things. She has organized and curated a variety of art projects and exhibitions in Greece and abroad and several of her texts have been published in printed and online media. Her website is

Virginie Foloppe

Male gaze

“Me Too is a movement, not a moment”. Tarana Burke.
In France, on November 3, 2019, Adèle Haenel spread the Me Too movement initiated by Tarana Burke in 2006, speaking publicly and live on mediapart to denounce the sexual assault of which she was a victim as a minor under 15 years old. My video, which is part of this movement carried above all by survivors, testifies to “une culture du viol à la française”, according to the title of the book by Valérie Rey-Robert present in the image. On February 28, 2020, I joined the demonstrators near the Salle Pleyel, the day of the Caesar ceremony where Polanski was named despite multiple accusations of rape. Then, on the evening of March 7, violently repressed by the police, where I surprised myself shouting with the demonstrators, as never before. And finally on July 10, Place de l’Hotel de Ville after having watched for a call, following the appointment of Darmanin (Prime Ministe accused of raper) and Dupont-Moretti (Minister of Justice ). The sounds that you will hear, I recorded them during these three dates. And, if a book is present in the image, it is because it is an intellectual stone capable of making the eye bleed, a weapon for collective resistance.

The videos of Virginie Foloppe, based in Paris, are short performances. Since 2019, social movements in France have become a great source of inspiration for her, the Yellow Vests, feminist gatherings and demonstrations, where the photographic medium or sound recording have been experimented, while continuing to conduct her research on sexual violence (rape and incest), in video, articles, creative writing, or in his course at the Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Daniela Lucato

My name is Sami

Cinematography: Jacopo Pantaleoni

This video was made during lockdown and finished on 25th April 2020. It is a reflection about domestic violence, human rights and woman condition in all countries. I was inspired by a personal involvement: an old friend I met by chance after a long time told me the abuse she was victim of from her husband. She thought it was painful but she accepted it as a normal condition. I was shocked and I told her she needed to contact the police. I thought about this short talk we had for a long time. I really think the way she accepted this abuse, thinking it was normal, is a huge issue for many women.

This is something that needs to be changed. This topic is for me really important and the work “My name is Sami” is a studio for a bigger project. I feel a responsibility as a woman artist to make people think about it, to confront themselves with this item. I don’t know if it will help to resolve the problem, but this is a start to fight it.

Daniela Lucato started playing theatre in Padua (Italy) parallel to her studies at the university. After her degree in Philosophy she moved to Rome, Wellington and finally Berlin where she works as an actress/filmmaker. The Birthday (2014), her first short film written/directed in mandarin/english language, has been officially selected from 25 international festivals (among these Micgenero, Frameline, ShanghaiPride where the film was also nominated for the best cinematography). In 2015 she founded Connecting Fingers Company. Her last productions for theatre are Connecting Fingers, The Wheel, The rebellious Body. Her last films When I dance (2016), The Wheel (2017) are screen- ing on international film festivals. For the time being (2018) received the award as best in- ternational short film at DUAF/ Tribeca Film Center. In 2019 she wrote/directed the experimental short film Vieni and in (2020) the narrative short Mamma dorme (Mommy’s sleeping). During Covid-19 she wrote/performed/directed the short film My name is Sami.

Carolyn Guinzio


A sound and visual experiment about the “loss of power” in all senses. The sound is comprised entirely of altered, distorted, and slowed down household electronic sounds—the sounds of domesticity.

My piece “At Opening” appeared in A) Glimpse) Of), to my delight. My newest book (A) V(ertigo Book) won the Tenth Gate Poetry Prize and will appear later this year through The Word Works. My work has appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, and many other journals. My films have appeared in OzCast, Poetry Film Live, the Cadence Film Festival (Jury winner) and other venues and forums. My website is

Dimitra Ioannou


The ongoing photo essay “Τhe City is Now Yours” is a kind of palimpsest: in each photo there are traces of another; the magnified surfaces of walls, pavements and signs found in the Athenian Zone are partly erased by portraits of women and feminist slogans or vice versa.

Dimitra Ioannou experiments with narrative or anti-narrative forms in various media (language, photography, publications). She has exhibited her (video)poems, and photos in solo or group shows in Greece. Her pamphlet Electric Sarcasm is out from Ugly Duckling Presse (2020). She is the editor of the journal A) GLIMPSE) OF).

Monica Kim

time at a cross-section

“time at a cross-section” features erasure poems of The New York Times articles from the 1910s-1960s, and erases, inserts, and blacks out words to reimagine narratives that aren’t misogynistic and transphobic. Some poems address gender identity and expression, while others contend with the pressures women face in literature; still others tackle the intersectionality of gender and race to comment on modern-day issues while appropriating older language.

Monica Kim is a social justice advocate and aspiring writer. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she has lived in New Jersey for most of her life. Her writing has been published in The Mantle, Okay Donkey, Thimble Magazine, Stirring, and The Michigan Quarterly Review Online.

J.I. Kleinberg






J.I. Kleinberg’s visual poems have been published in print and online journals worldwide. An artist, poet, and freelance writer, she lives in Bellingham, Washington, USA, and on Instagram @jikleinberg.

Michelle Moloney King

5 miles of coloured pencils in mother’s hedgeschool

Michelle Moloney King, {she/her} neo-postmodern poet, asemic poet, & editor of Beir Bua Poetry Journal / Academic background ~ computer science, primary teaching & Hypnotherapy / Work published in Spillwords, streetcake, Artistic Differences Project, Babel Tower, & others / Holds Pushcart Nom  / Visual Artists Ireland member / 
Website ~  

Laura Hinton

is for Rapid City (or, Babysitter’s Husband)

The letter R is created by the artist Toni Simon.

Laura Hinton is a multi-media poet, literary critic, and editor as well as an educator. Her most recent poetry book is Ubermutter’s Death Dance (BlazeVox); she has staged this performance work in poetry venues from Tucson to Maine to New York City, where she lives and teaches. Critical books and edited collections include The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911 (SUNY Press), We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics (co-editor) and Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superhero: Voice, Vision, Politics and Performance in the U.S. Contemporary Women’s Poetics (editor). She is a Professor at the City College of New York (CCNY of CUNY), where she teaches feminist and literary theory, poetics, film and visual studies, as well as creative writing. She is also the editor of the hybrid-poetics journal Chant de la Sirene (, and her website is at

Toni Simon is a multimedia artist and writer whose work encompasses the ways in which the future might appear, accessed through trance states. The process of channeled, automatic writing led to her illustrated book of experimental prose poetry Earth After Earth (Lunar Chandelier Press, 2012) and her current manuscript and video animation Telescope Highway. Her drawings have been exhibited at the Drawing Center, Odetta and A.I.R. Gallery in NYC.

Janelle Cordero

Janelle Cordero is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in the
seventh most hipster city in the U.S. Her writing has been published in
dozens of literary journals, including Harpur Palate and The Louisville
Review, while her paintings have been featured in venues throughout the
Pacific Northwest. Janelle is the author of two books of poetry: Woke to
(V.A. Press, 2019) and Two Cups of Tomatoes (P.W.P. Press, 2015).
Her new book of poetry and artwork, Many Types of Wildflowers, is
forthcoming in December 2020 from V.A. Press. Stay connected with
Janelle’s work at

Madeline Cash

Sponge Cake

Your mom is birdwatching and you’re thinking about rapists. She points out a woodpecker or something. She use to be a big name in publishing. Now she’s retired. Now she makes sponge cake and points out woodpeckers. The walls are painted eggshell so she’s walking on eggshells as she’s climbing the walls. She has the best landscaper in Connecticut. You wonder if your mom has a rapist. She’d have the best rapist in Connecticut. Her trees are so lush that they’re top- heavy. Their trunks buckle under the weight of their foliage. It’s like their suicidal says your mom. The best landscaper in Connecticut bolsters them with structural reinforcements.

Your mom asks if you slept on the flight here and you tell her you don’t sleep. You try to shower but your mom’s faucet is in French. It says “chaud” and “froid”. It’s too froid. It isn’t froid enough. You think your mom could use a visit to Froid. She asks where your rapist is now and you say he’s in your pocket.

Your rapist is on instagram, hanging out with everyone. Everyone is like, so-and-so invited him. He use to be a big name in raping. Now he’s retired. Now he hangs out with so-and-so and this must have been some fluke thing because he’s a really nice guy if you get to know him everyone tells you. The trees are suicidal and it doesn’t matter what language the shower is in, you never feel clean anyway.

You have trouble breathing at night. Your mom asks where your rapist is now and you say he’s in your lungs. You go for a walk on eggshells. Your mom’s landscaper is the best in Connecticut. He waves you over to see where the trees are buckling. He tells you he got into the country in a shipping crate so small he had to dislocate his shoulder to fit inside. You tell him your rapist is on instagram, hanging out with everyone. He says sometimes life throws a lot at you.

Your mom has a hybrid dog. You scratch its belly and pick up its shit. Once it dislocated your mom’s shoulder by pulling too hard on the leash. She could have fit in a shipping crate, you think. The dog cocks its head at you. It tells you that it use to be a person, a person who threw a quarter in a well during a lightening storm and woke up in the body of a hybrid dog in Connecti- cut. Some fluke thing. You’re like why are you telling me this. He says sometimes life throws a lot at you. You ask what it’s like being a dog and he says it has its days.

Your mom is making sponge cake and you’re thinking about rapists. Yours is a really nice guy if you get to know him. Your mom use to work in Paris. Now it’s only Paris in her shower. Now she’s buckling but bolstered with structural reinforcements. Now she’s blanching the basil and deboning the branzino and she’s mastered the sponge cake which is very moist. Don’t patholo- gize the sponge cake says your mom. Eat up. Life is hard but not as hard as a stale sponge cake. She makes extra for the dog and the landscaper.

Madeline is a writer from Sarah Lawrence College living and working in Los Angeles.