The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from how wild + soft you are by Wild Soft (Hilda Weaver, Nicci Mechler, Wendy Creekmore, and Kristin Koester), released by Porkbelly Press in 2021.

I Can’t Always Speak the Language

of birds flocking southward.
Fat clouds confuse my tongue,
pulling my poems out to bury them at the foot
of a Kentucky Coffeetree. Breathe in.

The story behind our teeth will push loose—
keep your sight on the horizon.
Dusk-pink day brings with it a cleansing rush of deer
and quail rise to the now-full moon. They cup

their wings for a skid-landing across
a nameless pond and settle in,
clustered masses on smooth glass—
white bellies pressed into the sky.

Wild Soft makes her home on the banks of the Ohio River. Her work appears in such magazines as Stone TellingStill: The JournalRoom, and three drops from a cauldron; her first chapbook is in these cups (dancing girl press, 2016) and her second: how wild + soft you are is available via Porkbelly Press. She is the Pushcart nominated collaboration of poets Nicci Mechler, Hilda Weaver, & Wendy Creekmore. Kristin Koester joins in for this chapbook.  

Individual bios:

Wendy Creekmore lives in rural Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Virgil, and two kitties. At some point of each day, she can be found reading something from stacks of books and a load-heavy Kindle app and journaling furiously. Her work is has appeared in Sugared Water and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

Kristin Koester spends her time battling forest fires in her brain, writing poetry, and making art out of life. She is proud to be Kentucky-born and finds refuge in a nook where the Ohio and Licking Rivers meet, opposite of Cincinnati. Her work appears in Licking River Review.

Nicci Mechler splits her time between writing poetry & speculative fiction, editing various things such as Sugared Water, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She’s hard-pressed to go anywhere without a sense of wonder and a pair of red shoes. She has published in a variety of magazines such as BoothKestrelThe PinchRoanoke Review, and Arroyo Literary ReviewDeep in Flesh (dancing girl press) was released in 2016.

Hilda Weaver is a retired psychotherapist, the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of many. Her poetry appears in Sugared Water94 CreationsOffcourse, and Licking River Review. Her chapbooks are The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Nettles and Thistles (Finishing Line Press).

Photo credit:  Lisa Sigler Photography

After a 25-year career as a paralegal, Amanda Valerie Judd returned to school to earn her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College. She is currently attending Southern New Hampshire University working to earn her BFA in Creative Writing – Poetry. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PAN-O-PLY Magazine, MockingOwl Roost, Trouvaille Review, Prospectus, and Talking Stick 31.


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