by Cat Fitzpatrick
She grins to herself, then, since they friended
each other at some point during that night,
she opens messenger and starts to write
a message: “Hi. It’s been a while
but I’d still like to be your friend.”
by Meher Manda
P and Aliza fought often, and in these battles P always managed to leave reminders of himself. Like the time I found her with three of his fingers imprinted on her right cheek. Red, engorged, the fingers had distinct boundaries, and touching her right cheek meant you climbed up an edge over the echoes of his fingers, and then wheeled over downwards for her face again. Long welts for long fingers. Really showed his hands. A worker’s hands, Aliza would say. Great for pleasure.
by Lynne Steger Strong
Too many stories teach us, my friend said to me the other day as we walked aimlessly around the city, that we’re all supposed to be heroes of our lives. He blamed capitalism. Perhaps too easy a foil in 2019. But all the systems that we build are implicated in and bolstered by the other systems under which we function. We can’t tell any stories in the western world not informed in some way by capitalism, by all the specific and myopic (see also: mostly white male) stories that we’ve been told before. We can’t tell stories that look like those stories without amplifying or reaffirming aspects of these systems in and under which we’re all functioning.
Sophia Shalmiyev writes, “Jeannie Vanasco’s second book, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl, has a narrative structure and aim that is completely new, charged, activated. The book will leave people stunned. Jeannie Vanasco performs a lot of labor in this book to examine the male side of sexual assault, which usually escapes our purview and any responsibility, even if a man is arrested for assault. Arrests or convictions happen so rarely, it is staged as a crisis to be examined through the lens of justice, through a scarcity of justice model, but we still do not get the story, we do not get the understanding the victims and survivors need. The shape of violence lives invisibly inside of a woman. Now, the narrator is sharing a sliver of that burden with the perpetrator, and they are both wearing it, or are about to, publicly: she as the author; he, as a man with a pseudonym who has willingly submitted to being interviewed by the woman he wronged when she was a girl.”
by Rachel Lyon