Sometimes you have a choose a side, sometimes you have to fight even if you hate fighting

I’ve always been a fighter. I didn’t have a choice. But this isn’t about me.

This is about those who stay out of it, who don’t fight. Long I have admired this tendency among some people to avoid confrontation or fighting, because life is short, friends are precious, fighting is bitter and ugly, we need more joy and beauty.

That said, it is from a position of privilage you did not fight. You had a choice.

Some of us do not have a choice.

If I had a black face you’d agree, you’d be nodding right now.

But you don’t think other causes are as worthy as BLM which you will post about and defend. And they are, they are as worthy, they are as important and that doesn’t diminish BLM.

I’d like to stay in a place of tranquility too but I have never been able to. Maybe you think it’s a choice of mine to be gay but it isn’t, it’s something I knew quite young in life and wished I didn’t have but I did and so I made the best of it.

Is it harder being black and having racism? I think it’s the same. Any form of prejudice is BAD and HURTFUL and WRONG and by not seeing it as being as ‘bad’ you are saying without saying, that it’s not as important.

Since I live with the outcomes every day, I disagree. It’s every bit as important. Ask any black queer and they’ll agree. Being queer can hurt every bit as much as racism. It’s a different pain, but it’s just as real.

So forgive me if I talk about something that isn’t important to you because it doesn’t affect you. And whilst you are not black and being black doesn’t affect you personally, it’s universally talked about and BLM is in the news, so you protest it. Would you defend me as much if gay-rights were? I would hope so.

We choose what ‘matters’ and we pick our fights. I didn’t have a choice when I picked the fight to be treated decently despite being gay. Nor when I noticed how survivors were treated, nor women, nor Jews – and so the list goes on. But this is not about me.

This is about how people have grown tired of certain ’causes’ and the ’cause-du-jour’ influences what they say and how much they do, far more than the value of the cause. Realistically all causes are equal. But we don’t treat them as such. We pick and choose because it’s exhausting. But we also go with the flow, so if BLM is the ’cause-du-jour’ as valuable as it is, in real life, we also respond to the majority and that’s less authentic than we realize.

People don’t talk about Jews anymore, nor do they defend them despite crime and violence against Jews being worse than it has been in 40 years. That’s because it’s unfashionable, there are less Jews, their voice is quieter, they had their allotted time, we’re bored of hearing about it, we’ve moved on. And before you doubt me, think about it, really think about it.

Same with gay-rights. Didn’t gays get the right to marry? Then quit complaining! Black people are still being racially attacked, let’s focus on that, let’s forget the gays. The only reason you are harping on about it is because you are gay, but what about the blacks?

What about all of it? And when is all the hate and all the discrimination too much so we put our head in the sand and we try to deal with just us, because it’s all too much.

The other day I found out in three separate unrelated incidents, that my being gay was an ‘issue’ enough to cause prejudice and unkind words about me. I was used to it but you never get used to it. I realized that I had stopped fighting because I was tired of fighting but we don’t have that option. We never have that option. Not as long as women are raped, children are molested, men are gang-banged, girls are circumsized, Jews are made unwelcome, black men are shot, black women are not taken seriously when they are exploited, Hispanics are treated like second-class citizens and so the list goes on.

I can see how it’s much easier and nicer to just opt out.

I can’t opt out.

So I opt in. Because defending others is what I have always done and will always do. I wasn’t defended as a child, so now as an adult I CHOOSE to defend those who cannot defend themselves. It’s maybe what I most like about myself.

I realize friends can’t always pick a side. Maybe we never should. But sometimes we really have to. If someone for example, supported Hitler and the extermination of 6 million Jews, would that be reason enough to unfriend them, to support the others? What is enough? What counts? What doesn’t?

I don’t babysit because at the back of my mind I worry the parents will think I will abuse their children. It is ridiculous but since it’s been said about lesbians, I have that reflex. Those things poison you. They poison your freedom. Just as black people have historically apologized for things they did not have to be sorry for, and felt the need to blame themselves for their oppression, when it was not their doing.

I’m gay. I was born gay. I dated a couple of men it did nothing for me, it was before I ever met a gay-woman, and since then I haven’t looked back. If I were not able to be gay I’d probably be a serial killer or a monk – because there’s nothing else for me. I can’t be bi, I can’t be straight, I’m queer. It has impacted my life negatively and positively. The negatives are that my own family of origin wasn’t happy about it, and it may have been one of several reasons they didn’t approve of me. I lost friends. I lost jobs. I was accused of flirting with a woman just by talking with her. I’m seen as a pervert, unnatural, etc, etc.

On a positive side, I have been lucky enough to work with AMAZING women who are not only pro-LBGTQ but pro-woman and pro-equality of all peoples. Not paying lip-service to, but really BEING.

So excuse me if I think it’s a bit lame you are on the fence. I don’t think if someone were racist you’d be on that fence. I think it’s because it’s my queer fence and it doesn’t mean that much to you. Let’s call it what it is. And if that’s ‘drama’ then truth is drama. And I don’t think truth is drama. I think truth is truth and it’s a fucking rare thing these days.

When I began SMITTEN I was so proud. But I got a lot of flack too. When I had my page I was beseiged by men writing ‘you’re too pretty to fuck girls what’s wrong with you?’ – I don’t recall people really being outraged by that but if I were black and I were called the N-Word I’d be defended. I think it should cut both ways, in all matters of prejudice otherwise we’re saying – this doesn’t matter AS much.

If you are bored of me talking about being gay, I can only say, try being gay yourself and see how long you last before you want to speak out about how hard it can be. One time I was in the closet and everyone assumed since I am very feminine that I was straight, I saw the other side of it, and it was ugly as hell !! People disparaging queers so much I was sickened. THAT is reality. If you think that reality is okay, check yourself.

I’m so grateful that the majority of my jobs are with people who support who I am but I am dismayed when someone doesn’t really care enough. I think there is a right and a wrong. It is wrong to hate someone for being gay just as much as it is wrong for someone to hate someone for being black. Why is this still under debate?

I’m beyond apologizing for who I am. The other day I posted two queer-themed things on my FB page, one about a transsexual Indian woman who was talking to Obama about what it was like for her to live in India where it was illegal at the time to be who she was, and one about ‘corrective rape’ in India. I hardly received any responses but if I posted something about BLM I would have. I find it sad that there should be any difference. Okay we can argue, BLM is in the news now, but what about when gay-rights were, I don’t see people giving as much of a damn and the paranoid part of me says it’s because they’re not quite as ‘tolerant’ as they think they are, and they wish I’d just shut up. Sad that you would not think that about causes that ‘matter’ to you but you do with mine.

Nothing anyone can do to me now will hurt anywhere near as much as other things have, I literally have been torn apart and put back together, so I’m fearless when it comes to being judged. Go ahead, if it makes you feel better, I’ll still be here. And I will still speak to gay-rights and the quiet disapproval we feel every single day JUST like racism and its disgusting quiet poison. No I’m not trying to join in to get pity and get on the bandwagon of BLM for attention, I’m simply speaking my truth. I don’t need attention or pity, but I will fight for mercy and goodness, every single day.

Well I’m not going to. And I ask anyone who truly feels a little funny about gays to unfriend me, because that’s who I am, unapologetically and I don’t want or need people who have any kind of issue with it, in my life. Yes I actually CAN live with the fall out, I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. Do you know why? Because I am a SURVIVOR in so many ways, and moreover, I have gone through worst shit than even those who think they know me, can possibly imagine. So whilst I empathize with your need to live a quiet life, and not have drama, there are times we really, really, really need to pick a side.

National Indie Excellence Awards

If you purchased a copy of Indie Blu(e)’s SMITTEN and you want a gorgeous gold sticker to recognize that SMITTEN won Finalist position in the National Indie Excellence Awards, please PM Candice Louisa Daquin or email her at (indieblucollective@gmail.com) letting her know how many stickers you require and your physical address & she will send them out as soon as possible.

If you already sent your address, expect your sticker in the mail any day unless you live abroad, in which case probably 2 weeks time. If you can kindly take a photo of you with your new FANCY SMITTEN with her sticker – !!! That would be so appreciated! We want to keep the enthusiasm for this amazing, now award winning publication going!

*** If you have not yet purchased a copy of SMITTEN, consider buying a copy of this award winning beautiful Anthology of female poets talking about love between women, it’s available nationwide & internationally & all new copies automatically come with the award sticker on the front cover. A perfect gift. An ideal companion on your shelf. ***

 

Thank you to everyone who supported this successful & meaningful project. I hope to work with you again very soon. #supportindieauthors #supportpoetry #supportequality

 

One such devoured moment

egon-schiele-two-girls-lovers-1

I am not overt

even when good green absinthe is poured over

a sugar cube

the silver tongs holding

sweetness just.

I am not overt

will not tell you of my sinning urge to

strip you dear of clothing and chew

the very mercy from you

beneath my aching layers

where frill and fancy and the soft cotton of

longing

lie on top of one another, spilling over

in quiet crescendo.

I’m not overt

as you bend toward sunlight, creating a halo of

light beneath your breasts and I see

the coffee cream and the glory of

all that I have ever desired

drawn in chafed clamor.

With reddened mouths, we

empty our aching into indigo rivers

for to release them

and become that thing of wanting

does not possess a language sufficient.

If it did, I fear I would

spend decades

describing what it feels like

to surrender to you,  feel the rounding

of dark silver, begin to etch my spine

its crescent capture, a moon within my

shuddering limbs

as we cascade over the other

swimming like night swans

oblivious to the beckon of dawn.

I fear, should it be translated

my throaty cries will be colors without

meaning, a lake of pleasure, where finding you

I sink beneath, without need of air

your fingers playing me

like a waterlogged flute

for the merfolk who surely have

no rest in their abandon.

It is my greatest secret

that you own my heart and I

supplicate myself in yours, with the

rosy thirst of a child seeking measure

I find myself in the echo of you

your fingers deep in me, striking urgent note

sonorous and defeating sound

together we listen to the rabbit stitch beat

of our hearts, pressed in uttered motion

as you enter my blood and I

absorb a little more of you

as suppliant as a beggar for your

nectar.

I fear should you ever not exist

the part of me wedded to you in between

the trees and through time would

perish like starlight.

For only you bid this girl

alive like ancient wood-maker, setting finish

the sound of us, abseiling into the other, our

wordless joy, limbs bound, skin hot to touch

this thimble of love vibrating its frequency

out to lighthouses and beyond.

Lost from you, I would be no more than

a figment of what was, tortured by

recollection, denied the warm sustaining of

your cherished arms about me.

I am not overt

yet if I were, I should

spill like a warm wax, the seal of you

pressing permanently into my epidermis

a shape of longing and need

where mouths are elongated into song

throats flung back in instrument.

You inhabit me, as I reach for you

cresting waves, growing barefoot dance

a chant in time with quickening pulse

your eyes black in half moon shade

swish of violent love, simmering damp and lush

I release to the witching smell of your

skin surrounding us like points of

flame in absolute blackness

rising up, exhausting their burn

falling down to rise again ever

defiant and pleasured

by the anonymity of their

evoking spectacle

as if I were alive

only in that moment

when you struck me

bright with sulphur

the sabotage of my sanity

given willingly for one

such devoured

moment.

SMITTEN was a Finalist in the National Indie Excellent Awards

Today I got some very good news I wanted to share with all the SMITTEN crew who made the anthology of women who love women poetry – – SMITTEN so incredible. SMITTEN was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards! For an LGBTQ anthology of poetry this is a huge achievement and I wanted to thank everyone who was involved in SMITTEN for their incredible work! Indie Blue & Christabelle Ray & Kindra Austin for publishing SMITTEN & featuring their work in it & Mitch Green for its amazing cover. Well done everyone! BE PROUD! SMITTEN AUTHORS GROUP
CONGRATULATIONS!

It is our great pleasure to inform you that you are a Finalist in the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards. Your book embodies the standards of excellence that this award was created to celebrate. We salute your talents and our jurors truly respect each of the final works that are honored this year.

The lists of Winners and Finalists are proudly showcased on our website, please visit www.indieexcellence.com and click on the 14th Annual Finalists tab to see your book cover, name, and info highlighted for the world to see (click through to your website if provided). Awards are available for both download and purchase on our website including cover stickers, certificates, and medals. The 14th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards Press Release is distributed to an array of news and media outlets and it is also on our website as a download for your use. Please share it widely–this honor should be used to promote and garner attention for your amazing product!

The entire team at the National Indie Excellence® Awards sincerely hope your participation in our contest will serve you well in your ongoing success. We thank you for your patience during this challenging year as we all deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Sending you and yours our deepest congratulations.

Warmly,

Everyone at the National Indie Excellence Awards

WELL DONE to everyone involved in this project! I am ordering stickers of our achievement, if you want one, let me know and you can put it on your copy of SMITTEN and be proud of how well SMITTEN has done. Typically LGBTQ books do not succeed like this and I always knew, with the incredible writers we had in SMITTEN we’d break that glass ceiling.

 

Thank you to everyone involved in SMITTEN: Christine Ray. (Indie Blu(e)) Kindra Austin. (Indie Blu(e)) Mitch Green. (Designer) Avital Abraham. Didi Artier. Kim D. Bailey. Sonia Beauchamp. Henri Bensussen. Sarah Bigham. Susi Bocks. Elmear Catherine Bourke. Dani Bowes. Ruth Bowley. Cassandra Bumford. Lynne Burnett. Amie Campbell. Tara Caribou. Jennifer Carr. Laura Elizabeth Casey. Olivia Chachinsky. Teresa Chappell. Clementine. Kai Coggin. Carrie Lee Connel. Susan Conway. Selene Crosier. Emily Alica DeCicco. Katherine DeGillo. Liz DeGregorio. Grace Desmarais. Rachel M. McCayhey. Sean Heather K. McGraw. Lindz McLeod. Cristina DeSouza. Hoda Abdulqadir Essa. Melissa Fadul. Kirsten Fedorowicz. Rachel Finch. Susie Fought. Renee Furlow. Nadia G. Wandeka Gayle. Milena M. Gil. Rebecca Ruth Gould. Manda Grathwohl. Maria Gray. Maranda Greenwood. Carrie Groebner. V. Hamilton. Kim Harvey. Sophia Healy. HOKIS. Kelsey Hontz. P. M. Houghton Harjo. Tia M. Hudson. Hallelujuah R. Huston. Rachael Iikins. M. Duckett Ireland. Sarah Ito. Jessica Jacobs. Paula Jellis. Carol Jewel. Kelly Girl Johnson. Emily R. Jones. Sarah Kacala. Sarah Karowski. Nick Kay. Destiny Killan. Erin King. Crystal Kinistino. A. Lawler. Jill Lee. Aviva Lilith. Tre. L. Loadholt. Katherine Love. Carolyn Martin. Jennifer Mathews. Alexandria Moore. Charity M. Muse. Skye Myers. Nayana Nair. Jack Neece. Jesica Nordarse. Michelle Paige. Alison Palmer. Marie Prichard. Georgia Park. S. A. Quinox. Talia Rizzo. Samantha Renee. Dr. Sneha Rooh. Rachel Roth. Maranda Russell. Millie Saint James. Rebecca Sanchez. SATU. T. M. Servin. Kay Shamblin. Tan Shivers. Alexandra Short. Izabell Joraas Skoogh. Jamie L. Smith. Janis Sommers. Megha Sood. Alicia Sophia. A. Staley. Wil Staley. Alison Stone. Tekla Taylor. Shraddhanvita Tiwari. Carla Toney. Piper Michelle Townsend. Charlene Trolinder. Erin Van Vuren. Sarah Vermillion. Marvlyn Vincent. Isabel J. Wallace. Angie Waters. Milly Webster. Vanessa Rowan Whitfield. Karissa R. Whitson. C. E. Wing.

Perhaps you dreamed of me

kissingA few people said / write something succinct / shorter than your usual / elaborated rhetoric / don’t you know how to / edit and be precise in your / measurement of words / good writers don’t need / verbal diarrhea / they can mold meaning / certain as bending copper / to light.

She thought it over

Knowing it was possible

After all she’d written some very

Shaved and glutted poems

Once.

 

(It wasn’t her way and if you are not true to your way

then you may as well be another lemming / willing to leap / from cliffs edge

of course this precludes learning which is / a value immeasurable

sometimes you can learn everything and still / go back to drawing unrealistically).

 

Finding something – – – perhaps it’s not a poem or a form but a short story

In the elongation and manipulation of reality and precision. Imprecise then. Deliberately.

 

Long ago she had no words because she couldn’t spell well enough to write. So she drew. For hours. Reels of paper. Stories by picture. Things she needed to say. To no one listening.

When she saw Woman In A Red Armchair hanging in a burgundy room / the silence palpable aside / rain hammering outside / mercilessly / like a hundred mouths clamoring

she tried not to stare at the line that made the woman / female

but was drawn to it as she might have been / a real breathing woman

something exquisite and desirable / she longed to see a live flesh and blood girl

to touch her with her empty hands and run them over her / quivering flesh

until those colors swelled up / and she cried out / for the sheer torment and beauty

but

no girls existed / save those who / liked boys / there were plenty of them

why were they all heterosexual?

why wasn’t she?

In America she heard / there are entire schools / devoted or a byproduct perhaps / lesbians / and only-girls-schools / well don’t start on them …

living in the city / you’d think but you’d be wrong / a few pinches / mostly shorn / forlorn

empty eyed / emulating men / less female than / those who wanted to lie beneath them.

Where existed that / judge not / beauty / with /dark eyes

the missing / beat / savor / prosper / sail

to her / soul.

If she could have / found her all along / not searching years but moments / glimpsed

sight and immediately / both knew / this bond before / words spoken

even at 13

even before she were born

perhaps you dreamed of me

created in the stillness of your loneliness / that which you did not have / filling emptiness with yearning / I am born to be / the wet ink on your skin / a permanence / no longer waiting / arms outstretched / for dreams unnecessary / now we / are.

Never quite together / torn asunder / this year the blackcurrents come later / as if they knew / what wonders and nightmares / store / waiting behind the pitch / to come rushing / we tried / we failed / the frailty of emotion / it bleeds easily / like thin skin / gone a-blackberrying / on a listless day / no clouds nor movement / sky dim / with unspent rain / the longing stored up / causing pain.

Perhaps you dreamed of me.

I stood — uncertain — proud backed —

against the light

where shape can be outlined

most acutely

if then you’d looked — ephemeral — something unstated

in muted expression

what we do not say — what we hold inside — contains the greatest

message.

Return to me. Though you are gone. Through the shroud. Time be gentle. Time be cruel.

Different and the same. Recollecting nothing. There is the proof. Stained on our table. Where you cut yourself. On a sharp knife of desire. And I opened to you. Ballet within music. Rapture closed us together. Forgotten. How do you not remember.

That long night we ran barefoot?

Flowers close their drowsy heads. Against night. Sleep. An eternity. Wakening. We are

strangers. Again.

Loss. A pressed red petal against Italian paper. Seeking its watering. I am so thirsty for your return. My love.

SMITTEN authors share their favorite poems in SMITTEN – Lynne Burnett

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So far, my favourite poem is by Jennifer Mathews: “What He Gave Away” on page 75/77 (depending on your version). It’s an honest narrative with a light touch, grounded in good childhood memories about her grandfather and then the reality of her grownup life and love, apparently at odds with him (‘Four years since I’ve been told not to visit”).

What’s difficult for some families to address or acknowledge tends to erase the person they loved from their minds – until, as in the poem, she shows up unexpectedly and can relate face to face with her grandparents, who actually welcome her back into their lives.

This situation is relatable and Jennifer’s grandfather is entirely believeable (and humourous) and the poem, with just the right amount of earthy detail and voice, ends on such a lovely, redeeming note (“I am back in the family”).

And it’s interesting to me too that the grandfather’s gifts of imperfect fruit, stale bread, wilting flowers suggest he’s able finally to take his granddaughter back into his heart exactly as she is, as we all are—perfect in our imperfections.

By Lynne Burnett.

Lynne Burnett is a SMITTEN author and published Poet and Writer. You can purchase her collection of poetry, IRRESISTIBLE, here. Lynne’s poetry website is https://lynneburnett.ca/

To read more SMITTEN poets purchase a copy in time for the holidays and share this incredible project with someone you love. SMITTEN is available via Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Ingram for any independent bookstore. Consider supporting SMITTEN each purchase COUNTS and lifts up the visibility of 120 incredibly talented poets and artists who created this beautiful collection of poetry and art.

SMITTEN authors share their favorite poems in SMITTEN / Susi Bocks

susie bocks clementineAlthough there were so many great poems in SMITTEN to choose from, “Please like girls” by Clementine, took me back to the early years of discovering my sexuality. Each time I met girls who got my attention, there was this feeling of mystery surrounding our interactions, and it was hard to talk openly about desires.

Same-sex attraction just wasn’t spoken about in those years. This poem highlighted the trepidation and angst I experienced during the teenage years but also my interest in the same sex which remained unspoken until I became a woman.

Remembering those feelings that I dared not speak about is a powerful reminder how important SMITTEN is to the next generation. I’m so glad to be a part of the energy of this sex-positive culture. #LOVEISLOVE

We were very honored to have Susi’s poem in SMITTEN she’s an extremely talented writer. Susi Bocks writes a wonderful blog of her own on WordPress called I Write Her and also is Associate Editor and Barista Author at Fictional Café

Susi’s work can be purchased via Amazon you can also catch her thoughts on Twitter 

To read more SMITTEN poets purchase a copy in time for the holidays and share this incredible project with someone you love. SMITTEN is available via Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Ingram for any independent bookstore. Consider supporting SMITTEN each purchase COUNTS and lifts up the visibility of 120 incredibly talented poets and artists who created this beautiful collection of poetry and art. 

Poets of SMITTEN Interview Series: Hoda Essa

Hoda Abdulqadir Essa is a New Orleans native with roots hailing from East Africa. Hoda is a maker, writer, lover, shapeshifter and soul traveler, searching for heaven or hoping to construct it with her own bare hands.

How does being a poet inform your views on expressing emotions through writing? 

As a poet, I’m consistently working from a place that many people call “emotional intelligence” – in other words, I am dreaming out loud when I open my mouth or put pen to paper. So, for me, being a poet comes with a subtle responsibility to always tell the truth. Poetry is not a soundbite nor is it a news-clip. To me, poetry is the rhythm that lives in each person individually. It’s important to express that and writing is a powerful medium to do so.

When you found out SMITTEN was about women who loved women, without the emphasis on erotica that is usually the case – could you immediately think of ways to express that love through writing? 

Absolutely! My friend and I talk about bringing intimacy to life and to me that is what art is. No one has ever written ballads about an intellectual conversation they’ve had but we pause to capture the gentleness of a lover’s brush against your own skin – to me writing is a way at grasping moments that we ultimately have no language for. The erotic, especially, can be more greatly understood as we wrestle with it on the page.

What does it mean to you to be part of something like SMITTEN and have your work alongside other women who love women? 

To me, this is a declaration of the time’s we are in. Standing together in creativity unity is the most empowered place for many women, myself included. It means to me that I have graduated into a time space reality that is being carved out by the very people writing and experiencing love for and from a woman.

Why is love a worthier subject than erotica to write on? 

To me they’re intermingled. You have to love a moment to be inspired enough to write about it. Erotic writing is being so in love with an intimate moment that you want to recreate it for others. The two are closely related as far as I am concerned.

Have you ever been SMITTEN and if so, do you feel it’s possible to summarize those feelings in poetry? 

I am smitten and often. As often as possible. And I love this word as the title for the anthology (kudos to you all) because that word encompasses how wistful it is allowing oneself to be overtaken by simply being fond of another. I’ve tried my entire life to bottle this feeling and give it to the world so yes! It is absolutely possible to summarize these feels in poetry, until we can market the sensation of course!

Your poem in SMITTEN was excellent, why did you choose this particular poem and what did you hope it would convey to readers?

I chose this poem because I was inspired by a woman who took my breath away. She was beautiful, inspiring, deliciously sad in all the right places and talking to her moved me. We never formally met but my hope in writing “WOMAN” was to zoom in on how explosive this connection was without any physical intimacy. I am not even sure if I felt romantic ideations towards this person up until this day – I just knew that I wanted her inner-flame to be safe. I wrote this poem to honor her fire; to protect it.

SMITTEN is available by ordering it in your Barnes & Noble, purchasing it online at Barnes & Noble or Amazon or asking your independent bookstore to order it via Ingram. SMITTEN is available on Kindle and in print form.

For updates on SMITTEN visit the Facebook SMITTEN page.

This is a huge project of 120 female authors – an anthology that is testimony to the power of love and connection between women. Support SMITTEN by purchasing a copy for someone who supports LGBTQ equality, women or poetry.

 

 

SMITTEN

For the sake of SMITTEN, a project I believe in more than anything I have ever done before, I have asked close friends to take over my social media rather than close it down, so that SMITTEN can continue to flourish and succeed.

In my absence, due to my severe eye-sight-issues, my friends will be running the SMITTEN Facebook page and all SMITTEN related materials. Our goal is to ensure SMITTEN is successful in all ways. Sales are one way of legitimizing a project and ensuring its authors are HEARD.

Obviously LGBTQ projects are harder to sell than others, but it is my hope SMITTEN can continue its success through the rousing support of all those who believe in LGBTQ equality and the rights a woman has to love another woman. Please consider supporting SMITTEN – each sale helps raise visibility and gives SMITTEN authors another opportunity to share their unique and beautiful voices.

SMITTEN news and updates can be found here

SMITTEN is for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you support local bookstores please ask them to stock SMITTEN using Ingram. If you cannot afford a Kindle copy or hard copy please ask your local library to get a copy of SMITTEN via Ingram. It doesn’t take much and it means everything to the 120 authors and poets of SMITTEN. Indie publishing doesn’t flourish without our support as a community!

Poets of SMITTEN Interviews: Erin King

Erin King lives in southeastern Pennsylvania. Interests include creating fiber art, jewelry making, and the outdoors.  She lives with her partner of eight years.

What made you interested in submitting for SMITTEN?

It was a incident of timing, really.  Like once a decade I’ll go on a poetry writing binge.  There’s this feeling that something is under my skin, that something needs to be expressed.  That’s when I write.  This coincided nicely with SMITTEN, and it’s such an amazing project.  I feel so fortunate to be included.
Since SMITTEN’s launch what’s your response been from others?
  Feedback has all been positive.  One of my male friends said my work was hot.  I’m not one to say hooray about the male gaze on lesbian objects but I didn’t mind; that’s what I was going for in these two poems.  
When writing were you thinking about the political implications of your work?
  When writing these I wasn’t thinking politically or even socially.  I was a woman lusting after another woman.  It was definitely a micro level thing.  No lofty aspirations here.
Why do you find it important to express yourself through poetry? How does it differ from other mediums? 
When I’m working on designing a piece of jewelry or layering an art journal page, things come a lot more naturally.  It flows more.  Poetry is more deliberate.  My ultimate goal is to introduce poetry to visual media like painting and art. 
Do you think there are many steroetypes of LGBTQ people and if so, do you think as a writer you can dispel them? 
I think there’s a lot of biphobia coming from all sides.  We’re fickle, we can’t pick a side, blah blah blah.  It’s all bullshit.  I’m not sure if I can dispel them, though I am happy to say I’ve been with my Margaret for nine years.
How did you get into writing and what do you get from writing? 
   I started writing when I was 12.  It was pure escapism, a reprieve from an abusive environment.  I would come home from school every day and write.  When my parents started barging into my room, I’d sit with my back against the door, physically creating a boundary when there were none.    It’s not so different when I’m 47.  It’s escapism in a different sense.  It’s sublimation, a channeling of energy.  
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