The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew, released by Zone 3 Press in 2021.

Excerpt from “Dressing for Diwali”

My first confession:
hands piled on my calf
birthmark
barely covered.
I tried to tell you
before you noticed.
I tried to tell you
my mother believes
it was the radish
sandwiches she ate.
She says they stain
so easily.

Komal Mathew is Gujarati-American writer from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and Sarah Lawrence College, she is the author of For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons, which won the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. She lives with her family in Smyrna, Georgia, where she is the co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew, released by Zone 3 Press in 2021.

Swim Lessons

The God who is there
took and divided your breath,
which you held

The God who is there
gave you a clean push of space
which you sifted

Child!
what have you left behind—
a stretched summer day?

What won’t you do
to prove
than still water

small gifts
like a creation story.


under growing waters
like you were dividing the Nile.


a tiptoe on warm pavement?
a clear view of the sun?


you want more
more than soft steps?

Komal Mathew is Gujarati-American writer from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and Sarah Lawrence College, she is the author of For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons, which won the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. She lives with her family in Smyrna, Georgia, where she is the co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew, released by Zone 3 Press in 2021.

[romantic theme increases in volume and dynamics]

The scene is simple. Two horses fall in love over apples—
When I say I want to be consumed, I remember that women die
by fire, our women, at higher rates than men. Standing next to
a stove, throwing a thousand mustard seeds. I think you know
I mean hurry and halt. Take a penny and please leave
a penny: charity of mind starts with the benefit of action.
See what I did there? I’m still at the beginning of this romance.
Tell me that’s the way it works before I go and you go
with me, ambitious, to the beginning of many deaths. Who could
trust the future with a past like that? Who could see love
as anything else than an all-consuming fire?

Komal Mathew is Gujarati-American writer from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and Sarah Lawrence College, she is the author of For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons, which won the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. She lives with her family in Smyrna, Georgia, where she is the co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons by Komal Mathew, released by Zone 3 Press in 2021.

For The Shepherd Who Is Also The Path The Sun Makes In Daytime

A good shepherd is a wonder in contrapposto, an artist
mapping the Serengeti with kingdom lines.

A good shepherd angles a lion’s eye, traps gazelles
in dry fields, copies a cheetah’s spots one leg at a time.

A good shepherd does not give you stones
when you ask for toast, does not ask you to work

without a burning bush—but owns a gate, uses a gate, pulls
the weeds and leaves the wheat on an altar of choices.

A good shepherd is a prince of peace when terror finds its full echo,
a creator in the wild where a predator, providentially, becomes prey.

Komal Mathew is Gujarati-American writer from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and Sarah Lawrence College, she is the author of For Daughters Who Walk Out Like Sons, which won the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. She lives with her family in Smyrna, Georgia, where she is the co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen, released by Alien Buddha Press in 2020.

Statement, 2019

I have had physical pain that precludes sleep.
And during those months
I take a vacation from knowing.
I find that I not only must but can
forget those headlines and those movies.
To have insomnia due simultaneously to pain and to knowing
to know and to experience at the same time
to feel the pain of others while feeling my own
is something I cannot do.

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on three topics: spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is Negative Aspects (dancing girl press), and her latest prose collection is Not Erma Bombeck: Diary of a Feminist 70s Mother (Alien Buddha Press). Forthcoming are Disturbing Shapes (New Plains Press) and Reasons and Remedies for Insomnia (dancing girl press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University’s Honors College.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen, released by Alien Buddha Press in 2020.

Schubert Songs I Won’t Sing

Well, I’ll sing the beginnings.
But when they turn too sad
too definitely sad, I stop.
I won’t. I refuse.
Sometimes it’s the last verse
sometimes it’s the last line
and, for one song, it’s only the last word.

And I won’t say what that word is
or what the song is.
Not only won’t I sing, I won’t say.

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on three topics: spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is Negative Aspects (dancing girl press), and her latest prose collection is Not Erma Bombeck: Diary of a Feminist 70s Mother (Alien Buddha Press). Forthcoming are Disturbing Shapes (New Plains Press) and Reasons and Remedies for Insomnia (dancing girl press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University’s Honors College.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen, released by Alien Buddha Press in 2020.

Comforting, 2003

I was waking up in the middle of the night and my new love asked, ”Are 
you okay?”

“Not quite,” I said. “For some reason I’m thinking about those kinds of 
movies where the bad guys tie up the good guy and bury him under ten 
feet of cement. He’d be so alone, nobody would see him or hear him or 
know he’s there, suffocating, not even God.”

My new love shuffled on over and took me in his arms, crooning, one 
atheist to another, “Don’t worry, God can see through cement. God can 
see through cement

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on three topics: spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is Negative Aspects (dancing girl press), and her latest prose collection is Not Erma Bombeck: Diary of a Feminist 70s Mother (Alien Buddha Press). Forthcoming are Disturbing Shapes (New Plains Press) and Reasons and Remedies for Insomnia (dancing girl press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University’s Honors College.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen, released by Alien Buddha Press in 2020.

No Sex for Now

(1) (The reason)
I can’t lie on one side for too long, can’t do any motion for too long, can’t 
be still for too long. And, after a time, I have to be in my chair.

In general, I can’t be put in any position. I can’t be a puppet. I have to 
decide which position to be in. I and only I know what that is.

This thing is isolating. My body must be reclusive, mine and mine alone. 
I’d rather it also be Jon’s but right now it can’t.


(2) (Well, almost no sex…)
In the hallway we’re talking, then hugging, then a little kiss before he goes 
to do errands. I say “I really want to French kiss but then you’ll think…”
In answer he gives me, then I give back, the shortest sweetest French kiss 
I’ve ever had.
A kiss I’ll think about when I’m in 9-pain.
A kiss I can take with me into the steroid injection room.
A kiss to keep with me this whole long dark ride.
A kiss to remember the rest of my life.

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on three topics: spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is Negative Aspects (dancing girl press), and her latest prose collection is Not Erma Bombeck: Diary of a Feminist 70s Mother (Alien Buddha Press). Forthcoming are Disturbing Shapes (New Plains Press) and Reasons and Remedies for Insomnia (dancing girl press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University’s Honors College.

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.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Amanda Judd, is from Stress Positions by Marion Deutsche Cohen, released by Alien Buddha Press in 2020.

Lessons from “The Back Pain Book”

(1)
I mayn’t move too far to the left, mayn’t move too far to the right, mayn’t 
bend and twist at the same time, mayn’t sit too long, mayn’t stand too 
long, mayn’t walk too long, mayn’t be lying down too long,

And the doctor says “Keep moving.” This is the opposite of paralyzed, I 
have no choice but to move. And I’m tired of moving. I want to rest.

(2)
Don’t sit down for more than 20 minutes at a stretch, don’t walk around 
without taking breaks, don’t lie down for too long, either.

Thus am I further reminded of the impermanence of things. Not only does 
nothing last forever, nothing lasts more than 20 minutes. Sometimes less.

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on three topics: spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is Negative Aspects (dancing girl press), and her latest prose collection is Not Erma Bombeck: Diary of a Feminist 70s Mother (Alien Buddha Press). Forthcoming are Disturbing Shapes (New Plains Press) and Reasons and Remedies for Insomnia (dancing girl press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University’s Honors College.

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.

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.

We are the Banquet

the others, just voices.

Choose dessert first, if you know
what’s good for you.

We do, and we are dancing
on the strings of beans,
place papaya on our swollen tongues

and dive into the leafy green
feast of fairies giving life.

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. wildandsoft.wordpress.com.  

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. thicketheart.com

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.