Ok peeps, today you get a double shot from one my all-time favorite small poetry presses, the women-centric Dancing Girl Press & studio.
This artsy shop is run out of downtown Chciago by poet/artist Kristy Bowen, a talented gal with impeccable taste.
In addition to overseeing the publication of its annual chapbook series, Bowen also has on offer a quirky collection of paper goods/vintage ephemera and produces the feminist online mag wicked alice.
Two of Dancing Girl’s newest chaps are featured below with selections. Click italicized title to order.
The surf lays out featherless wings
and sanded birch limbs,
pieces once bound by ice.
Does a wave batter debris into something better?
A woman goes to the lake.
shorts and t-shirt taunt early May,
faded welts dapple wintered flesh.
She carves the sand with a stick,
draws two names inside a heart.
In an hour the beach will be blank.
She has predicted this end,
tasted it on his menthol tongue,
felt it in each whorl and callus,
every knuckles’ edge.
When waves encroach, she snaps
a photo with her phone.
She will not stay
to see her name sucked back with the sand.
The audio for this poem is at The Poetry Storehouse.
from For the Girls, I
by Christina M. Rau
NAMING THE WIFE OF SISYPHUS
Cathy—it’s a sweet name,
one who loves her husband
but since she’s got a bit
of resistance in her, maybe
it’s Kathy, with a K,
or Kat since she’s got some
sass, too, or Katerina,
a strong, sexy name,
but that would make her too skinny.
No one has ever seen a fat Katerina;
Fat Katerinas simply do not exist.
She needs to have some weight
so she can throw it around
when she stands her ground.
Georgina—slender with a slight belly,
a woman who can bellow at the Gods,
but that’s not old enough;
it needs to be antiquated,
like Antigone, but not as depressed,
like Aphrodite, but not as beautiful,
like Angelika, but less cinematic.
Frannie, Francine, that must
be her name—no, Francesca,
a woman with looks, older but not
too old a soul, one strong enough
to love a man whose heart attacks him
and then kills him
though he refuses to die.
Perhaps that’s too pretty still;
even a slightly average woman
would move on.
Laura, Maria, Betsy, Daphne,
Portia, Sally, Vesta, Wanda,
Yolanda, Zelda, Helen—
nothing quite fits.
They are all slightly off.
Nothing safely and soundly
encompasses all that is the woman
who stands by her man
in the face of his false immortality
and the consequences of his
DGP: Chapbook manuscripts currently being accepted from women poets through August 31. Guidelines.