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.
Thank you to everyone who submitted to the anthology: Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women. I am privileged to read your work. Thank you for letting me inside your soul. There is no higher honor for me.
In three days the submission period closes. If you still want to submit you can read the guidelines for submission HERE.
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women will be published by Experiments in Fiction, a publishing house owned by the wonderful poet Ingrid Wilson. The gorgeous art on the cover is by Nick Reeves.
A Poem from Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings
Seduction by Gabriela Marie Milton
the rhythm of castanets awakens the moon on opal rings your kisses spin a cricket’s hitting a crescendo waves tattoo dark shadows on your skin sonority, you who vibrates the souls of those who haunt at night the Port of Cartagena
I toss in smells of apricots and plumes the Hand of Fatima takes off my veils your forehead sinks into the sweat of lovers who sever their veins oh, dream of the unknowns, you, latency, the sigh of blood which flows in spring both mud and flowers grow
didn’t you know that when you said I love you you stepped on roads of fables and folk tales? you glued your heart onto a purple sunset smells of lilac and of roses, impregnated strolls, seduction, it wasn’t me it was you who stole his soul
Updates/Clarifications on the Anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women
The deadline for submission is April 15. You still have time to submit.
The copyright of the poems you submit is yours.
We do not accept simultaneous submissions.
We accept previously published poems.
You can submit regardless of the country you are located in.
You cannot submit if you are under 18 years of age.
With respect to the length of your poems, please follow the guidelines for submission. There are several poems that did not, and are exceptional. I decided to publish them. To make things fair, those of you who struggled to follow the guidelines for submission can now submit the third poem. Make sure your poem is no longer than 40 lines. Please label your submission: Third Poem Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women
You will receive a notification of acceptance/rejection in the beginning of May.
If you still have questions please use the comment section below.
When Miriam sent me the French translation of my poem Souls I was waiting for a train to nowhere at the corner of Friday and Saturday.
Oh, fragile blossom of my dreams how friendship and beauty go together.
Miriam, thank you for bringing tears of joy into my life. Thank you for being you. Thank you for this marvelous translation. Thank you for giving me “the kind of things that money just can’t buy.”
Souls by Gabriela Marie Milton
I had to go through your soul to get to mine once in mine I wish I would have stayed in yours boats memories of that port where demons haunted you empty chests our hearts taken out every evening mornings pumping despair and agony no blood left between your soul and mine an autumn naked sky
French translation by Miriam Descendres
Il me fallu traverser tes méandres Pour revenir en moi-même; une fois parvenu, combien aurais-je désirer alors être encore en ton âme.
Les bateaux… Mémoires de ces ports où les démons hantent Les battants de ta poitrine.
Et nos coeur laissés là à l’abandon; chaque soir; pour de nouveau pulser sous les feux de l’aube, entre désespoir et agonie.
De sang, il n’en reste plus goutte s’écoulant en mon âme, la tienne. …