August was one of the busiest months on record for WWS publications. Settle in, the list is long. Congratulations to all the WWS members who had work published in August:
From Antonia Crane‘s “Stripped Bare: How I Told My Mom I Was a Stripper” at Lenny Letter:
My mom knew I’d quit doing the drugs that made me paranoid and skinny because I’d started returning her phone calls again. She also knew about my bisexuality because I’d brought my girlfriend, Austin, home one Christmas. The two of them sat close, sipped whiskey-Cokes, and giggled while Mom’s cheeks turned rosy. “I always thought being bisexual would be the best of both worlds,” she said. She knew I struggled financially and that I was in AA, too, but she didn’t know I’d slinked away from our small town to be a sex worker. Would she be ashamed of me if I told her? Would she stop loving me?
Also from Antonia, “Your Life as a Middle-Aged Stripper” at The Establishment:
You’re 44 — which is approximately 187 in stripper years. Okay, you’re really 46, but you lie to everyone about your age and have for years: to friends, co-workers, your dad, your bosses, your customers, CNN. You have been working in the sex industry for over 25 years. You wish there was someone you could talk to about it but you don’t know anyone who has clocked in for booty duty this long. You look like hell. You have the shits. You’re dehydrated. The only thing multiplying in your cells are the dark circles under your eyes from zero sleep. Now, when you throw your neck out, it stays out. Your lower back screams. Your knees click.
From Melissa Chadburn‘s, “9 Renters Rights Your Landlord Doesn’t Want You to Know” at Everyday Feminism:
We all know this is not a phenomenon that is just happening in this hustle and bustle part of L.A. People everywhere are being touched by gentrification and many are at a loss on how to combat this trend that catches on like wildfire.
Especially vulnerable are renters. According to 2016 US Census Bureau Survey over 37% of US households rent.
How many renters know their rights as tenants?
Also from Melissa, “10 Heart-Wrenching Rent Crowdfunding Campaigns Brought to You by Gentrification” at Everyday Feminism:
In Inglewood, Ann Pittel is in her third shelter. She works full-time cleaning homes but has been unable to make ends meet. According to her GoFundMe, her car was recently totaled due to a hit and run so she can’t even use her car as a temporary place to live in.
Her GoFundMe aims to raise enough funds so that she can get an RV to live in.
From “Twelve Days” by Karin Aurino at Agnes and True:
I have this perfect life—a perfect husband, three happy children, a beautiful home in the City of Angels—even the neighbours are nice. So why am I hiding in my bedroom? Because everything that was good, has somehow turned bad. So I’ll stay upstairs. Problem solved.
From Muriel Leung‘s “Untitled,” a poem included in “Huddled Masses? Losers!” at The Guardian in which 21 poets were asked to write a poem Donald Trump would like to see on the Statue of Liberty:
Give me your meat, your body, tender half,
your back-bearing labor, split down the middle.
Just as citizenship can be partitioned, so can land.
From “Kicking Ass Is Comfort Food: Triple-Layered Cookie Dough on the Hellmouth” by Lauren Eggert-Crowe at What Fresh Witch Is This:
How can a feminist superhero live in the world? After twenty years of massive cultural shifts, many of us return to Buffy The Vampire Slayer with this question, a theme the show addressed from multiple angles over seven years. The central conflict within Buffy’s character arc was always the pull between isolation and community. The “one girl in all the world” felt both superior and lonely; It was only the support of her beloved Scoobies that alleviated this crushing alienation. She had to relearn each season that her power increased when shared.
From Laryssa Wirstiuk‘s “Bee Sting” at Four Ties Lit Review:
On the morning radio show,
a caller says he was stung
by a bee, years ago, and still,
as an adult, he feels the prick
of pain on his forehead.
From Barbara Berg‘s “Sloughing Off Skin” one of two poems published at Lady/Liberty/Lit:
You wake up, but it’s hard.
You’ve lost most of your cortisol.
You’ve filled your sympathetic
nervous system with too much
gas for too long.
From “Things to Know for Compañer@s: A No More Deaths Volunteer Guide” by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo at Cultural Weekly:
Did you know?
When patrolling trails, you may encounter a
mountain lion. If so, gather together, stand tall and
wave your arms. When encountering lightning,
spread out and crouch close to the ground. Do not
confuse the two.
Also from Xochitl, a review of her book of poetry Posada: Offerings of Witness & Refuge at Cultural Weekly:
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, in her full-length poetry manuscript Posada: Offerings of Witness & Refuge, evoked feelings whose names I searched for as a teenager whenever I entered the sanctuary of the churches. But where, in church, I never felt what I thought I was supposed to feel, there is something in Bermejo’s unrelenting voice in Posada that brought me toe-to-toe with the spirits that she references. There is something sacred about the repetition of Chavez Ravine, 1949 as an invocation of place for many of the poems in this collection. Here it is more than a ritornello or variation on a theme, but a ritual visitation that frames a history and provides a place for artifacts that hold memory.
From Carla Sameth‘s “Haiku Series: On Waiting for Acceptance” at Brevity:
Sunlight sings birds float
Splatting against my window
Draw curtain, no more
Me: stare computer
Like moth drawn to blinking light
Nothing found inbox
Congratulations to Carla who won a scholarship to a post-graduate workshop in poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts!
From Shawna Kenney‘s “Vegan Las Vegas!” at Ozy:
Sin City is known as the land of excess, home to all that is over the top, including food — all-you-can-eat buffets, bottomless Bloody Marys, world-renowned steakhouses. What’s a vegan to do? Years ago, not much. But today’s Vegas has gone through a plant-based makeover. The hip off-Strip Downtown area is the new hot spot for vegan eats.
Also from Shawna, “Unique Yards Reflect the Changing Face of the L.A. River” at KCET:
For some, mention of the Los Angeles River conjures images of industrial warehouses, graffitied concrete aqueducts, or the post-apocalyptic backdrop as seen in movies like “Terminator 2” and television shows like “Fear of the Walking Dead.” But for those with homes near the fabled 48-mile water source, there’s a lot life here, too.
From Rachael Rifkin‘s “How Shallow Breathing Affects Your Whole Body” at Headspace:
Long-term shallow breathing can seriously affect our health. According to Luckovich, the chronic stress that is associated with shallow breathing results in lower amounts of lymphocyte, a protein that is critical to signaling other immune cells. The body is then susceptible to contracting acute illnesses, aggravating pre-existing medical conditions, and prolonging healing times. Shallow breathing can turn into panic attacks, cause dry mouth and fatigue, aggravate respiratory problems, and is a precursor for cardiovascular issues.
Also from Rachael, “Your Body Tenses for a Reason,” also at Headspace:
When I was in labor, everyone encouraged me to remember to breathe—the OB-GYN, the nurses, my partner, my parents, and anyone else who wandered into the room. As if I—after months of practicing deep breathing to ocean sounds—didn’t already know this. As if I was purposely trying not to breathe, instead of frantically gasping for breath amidst the pain.
“You’re fighting the contractions,” someone said. “You’re tensing all over. It’s just going to be more painful if you’re tensing. Give in to the contractions.”
Congratulations to Peggy Dobreer whose poem “Intervention” was published at Rise Up Review and to Soleil David who also had her poem “Un Documented” published!
Congratulations also go out to Linda Ravenswood whose poem “The Refugees Come Like Monarchs” was published at The Acentos Review. Linda also won a poetry residency at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.
Congrats to all!