I spend most of my time in the house. I rarely write anymore. I remember what you once said, I believe you were quoting: Culture has become a demonstration of nothingness. It moves with a terrifying speed in direct proportionality with our appetite for fame.
Three times a year fleshy, peachy roses are still being delivered. They have my name on. It happens mid-day, at the exact time when I take sedatives before immersing myself in a bath infused with scented Dead Sea Salt. Dried flowers float in the water. They stain my skin. They make me think summer by our lake: scents of blue irises; somnolent movements of algae.
Nights are cruel. No nightingales. Tree branches hit the master suite’s windows even when the air is soft like the breath of a new baby. Half-naked, lying on the sofa I think Wuthering Heights. Catherine’s ghost knocking on the window. In the dark, Lockwood pushing his hand through the glass. Her cold hand. Her voice. She wants to get in.
Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women
When I posted the call for submissions to Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, I wanted to compile an anthology that would underscore how powerful women are, and how much they can accomplish regardless of the adversities most of them go through. I had no idea that – while reading the poems I included in this book – a larger story will emerge. I can only judge this story with my own sensibility.
First, there is my complicity with the poems from the book. I am a woman, and I can relate to the consequences that our patriarchal society has on my fellow women. The stories the poems here tell are my stories even if I did not live them all. Either Jung’s “objective psyche” exists, or I underwent a process of osmosis while reading the stunning work I selected. All abuses described here, as well as all victories, became mine.
Second, I can assure you dear readers that you will not regret a moment immersing yourselves in this book. It is not important whether a poem is born like a child, or constructed like a temple. The type of poetry is always secondary to its substance. It’s a matter of preference. The poems in this book are poems of substance regardless of their form. They grab you by the throat. They scream listen to me. They bring you to your knees. They inscribe on each page – with a multiplicity of voices coming from all sexes – the astonishing power women have. They are exceptional poems.
Third, is this a feminist book? One could see it as such regardless of what definition of feminism one employs. However, our minds and souls can transcend definitions. We can go beyond reflections. The poems in this book are not reflections or merely copies of life. They do not belong to certain metaphysics of feminism and/or patriarchy. The poems in this book are life itself.
Welcome to women’s lives my dear readers.
You will enjoy this ride.
I promise you.
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, edited by Gabriela Marie Milton and published by Ingrid Wilson/Experiments in Fiction will be released in the first part of June. Artwork by Nick Reeves.
One night the moon stretched in our bed, its lips sultry, its breasts soft like two humongous cotton candies bought by the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round Carousel. That night your cascading laughter made all naked desires hide under the bed. I tried to drag them out. I couldn’t.
Later, head on your shoulder I looked at the stars through the broken ceiling, my eyes plagued by an inexorable yearning to prove my existence. I don’t know why. Those who want to prove their existence live in the realm of the inexistent. They are bizarre people who write love letters to themselves trying to deceive others. Any trick is a cry for recognition. Any cry for recognition is a basic assertion of impotence.
What was I doing? Oh, I was trying to get into my red dress. I couldn’t get it over my hips. The humidity of the night must have made it stick to my skin. Did you laugh again? Stop. Put your shirt on. We’re going out.
Anyway, I was talking about the absence of existence itself which always leads to sorcery. The skin of an eel caught in the spring, dried, stuffed with rose petals and rosemary, chopped and hidden behind the head of the bed. A night spent in that bed will haunt the two lovers for life. Like I haunt you.
How did you call me? Why did you use that name? Yes, it is my first name, but nobody uses it. Everyone calls me Gabriela.
Stop calling me Anastasia. I am not resurrected yet. I don’t know who Anastasia is. I’ve never met her. But don’t get fooled. That doesn’t make her less dangerous than me.