Yin, Yang, and Midlife Crisis

Since graduation I’ve felt a disturbing and persistent sense of disquietude. Bringing my attention to this feeling, I’ve tried to find its origin. It’s tightness in my chest and nervous vibration in my limbs, as if I’m ready at a moment’s notice to spring up and run. My jaw is held tense with the back […]

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For Jonas

Grasp for birthday candles in the junk drawer. Dig fingernails into white wax while tonguing through architecture on the side table tasting for the copper menorah that stays out all year. What to do in the dark without power: remember all the postcards unsent. Keep trying all the light switches— desperate muscle memory. Lust for […]

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Odd Jobs: The French Garden

There is nothing more exciting, I think, than poring over a seed catalog.  The names.  The pictures.  The hot pink flowers and bulging green squash, the Borlotti speckled beans and Corno di Toro red bells.  I buy plants for the way they sound.  I see “Early Moon Beam Pastèque” and I hardly need to know it’s […]

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Virginity and The Red Tent

I’d been meaning to read The Red Tent long before my last post on menstruation positivity, and prompted by a reader, I finally did after the New Year. (Spoiler alerts for those who haven’t read it.)  I remember reading about Dinah’s mention in the Old Testament, as part of a university class on militant metaphors […]

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Interview with Alexandra Kleeman

I think that because women are so much more self-perceptive there is a sort of distance from yourself that can form as a result; you’re always checking yourself to see if you’re looking right and acting right and thinking the right thing. When I first heard word of Alexandra Kleeman’s debut novel, You Too Can […]

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Song for a 25th Birthday

Buy two basil plants—let one live. Strip the other naked with your teeth. Cherish your lemon zester. Look for bodies that know this pleasure. Take note of the cellulite in your thighs; consider your normal BMI. There are places you will see that were never on your bucket list, like the inside of your bones […]

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Patriarchal Communication 1.0

Chelsea is a recent transplant from Wisconsin. She completed her undergrad in Creative Writing at UW Madison in 2014 and has since developed a passion for studying psychology and Buddhism with a particular interest in trauma and dissociation. She writes nonfiction, literary nonfiction, and the occasional poem when she is feeling rebellious. She loves hiking in the […]

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15 Funniest of 2015

It’s hard to find a lot of joy in 2015. I myself spent a good portion of the year, a wayward millennial, regrouping in my hometown, hiding from the economy, and trying to remember what it is exactly that makes me me. But even from under my rock, even wrapped in a blanket of devastating news that […]

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The Women’s Procession at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Tricia Knoll is a Portand poet, retired from many years of communication work for the City of Portland. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (BA) and Yale University (MAT). Her poetry and haiku appear in numerous journals and several anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild looks at human and wildlife interactions, mostly within the Portland city limits. Her […]

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Men and Fish

Jamie Kahn is a writer and ballet dancer from Pennsylvania. She’s been published in the anthologies Beyond the Sea and Eber and Wein’s Best Poets of 2015. She was honorably mentioned at the DeSales University Poetry Contest in 2014 and will have a poem appearing in the next issue of The Claremont Review. She is […]

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Six Million Dollar Woman

  Marcia believed she could be on the verge of winning a role in which she might have an “Oscar moment.”   #SisterBitch In the roles she was best known for, Marcia Hammond had played difficult women. She had trained at Juilliard and she knew how to craft a facial reaction, taking it from what […]

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On Why the Editor Cannot Objectively Select Poems for Publication after Sex

Shawn Aveningo is an award-winning, globally published poet whose work has appeared in over 80 literary journals and anthologies, including LA’s poeticdiversity who recently nominated her poetry for a Pushcart Prize. She is co-founder of The Poetry Box®, managing editor of The Poeming Pigeon and journal designer for VoiceCatcher. Shawn is a proud mother of three who […]

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Atlas As Woman

I. The barista calls me ma’am because I am makeupless—the pink of my Polish skin and the South’s sun spots pocking my cheeks— and my wide hips are in yoga pants on a Wednesday, mid-morning. I easily ask about milk alternatives because I have learned the language of passing for calm and unconcerned with guns. […]

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Nothing Left to See

Shawn Aveningo is an award-winning, globally published poet whose work has appeared in over 80 literary journals and anthologies, including LA’s poeticdiversity who recently nominated her poetry for a Pushcart Prize. She is co-founder of The Poetry Box®, managing editor of The Poeming Pigeon and journal designer for VoiceCatcher. Shawn is a proud mother of three who […]

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Appreciating Menstruation

Woman’s curse.  Shameful.  Painful.  Pitiful.  Gross.  You can’t go into a mosque to pray when on your period because you are unclean.  This is what I was taught by society and religion when I was a pubescent girl. It didn’t help that my periods were excruciatingly painful and unmanageably heavy.  I wore adult diapers to […]

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just so you know

Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Her poems have appeared in publications throughout the US and UK including Antiphon, Stirring, Naugatuck River Review and Persimmon Tree. Her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released by The Poetry Box, Portland, OR, in February 2015. Carolyn served as […]

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A Freelancer’s Interview With A Woman of Industry, 1982

Tricia Knoll is a Portand poet, retired from many years of communication work for the City of Portland. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (BA) and Yale University (MAT). Her poetry and haiku appear in numerous journals and several anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild looks at human and wildlife interactions, mostly within the Portland city limits. Her […]

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I love you more than Mariska Hargitay

Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Her poems have appeared in publications throughout the US and UK including Antiphon, Stirring, Naugatuck River Review and Persimmon Tree. Her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released by The Poetry Box, Portland, OR, in February 2015. Carolyn served as […]

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Catching Up With Linda Hogan

Linda Hogan is a celebrated poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, environmentalist, and a writer of short stories. Her novel, Mean Spirit, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She’s an NEA Fellowship recipient, a Guggenheim winner, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and, most recently, the recipient of the 2016 Thoreau Prize from the PEN American Center. […]

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Trendsetting in a Text World – Part 2: Sexuality and Gender Identity

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Please check out Part 1 before continuing. Achaea and same-sex relationships. Achaea has allowed same-sex relationship and been LGBTQ-friendly for years now. Given that we have real-life government workers walking off their jobs because –gasp! – they may have to award a marriage license to two people who […]

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Dear Mama PART 3

Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since […]

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Vacation: Return to the Harbor

We’re going to Le Havre! What a lark!  What a razz-matazz, living in a harbor town full of alternatives and sailors.  It was the moment life went BOOM. YOU HAVE ARRIVED. Hello, world!  Hello, beach!  Hello, midnight! And now we’re on our way back, my friend Laura and I (she of the cheese-tour-meltdown, who once […]

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Dear Mama PART 2

Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since […]

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The Unsinkable Effie Brown

As sane, reasonable members of society, the fantastical entertainment industry raises important questions. Questions like, who keeps greenlighting Adam Sandler movies? Why wasn’t Wild given a heftier Oscar push? Why does Jennifer Lawrence have to write essays demanding to be paid a wage comparable to her male counterparts? How in the name of all that […]

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False Identity

We construct many forms of identity.  An amalgamation summing to the concept of “me.”  Religious identity, sexual identity, gender identity, racial and ethnic identity, intersections of identities.  Conflict arises from seemingly opposed identities within a person and between people.  Macroscopically, identity conflicts wage wars.  Something of tantamount importance to us, yet also sometimes fluid or […]

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New Look

Put your hands together for PDXX Collective’s fresh new look! Our latest artwork (at the top of the homepage and on our social media pages) is fresh off the desktop of graphic designer Alison Shanik Breaden. When I met with Alison to discuss the redesign of the site, we talked about softening the minimalist look with a […]

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Dear Mama PART 1

Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since […]

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Half Smile

Karina Lutz is a workshop leader, poet, teacher, and lifelong activist. She helped secure passage of sustainable energy legislation, thwart a proposed megaport, and restore wetlands in Rhode Island. In 2013, she received honorable mention from Homebound Publications Poetry Prize for her manuscript, Preliminary Visions. Decades after your banishment I feel your expression wooden in […]

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I Am Death

What I carry inside is a void. It is nothing. The vibrancy of creation, the possibility is absent. There is no sorrow. There is no joy. Nothing. The chasm threatens to absorb me. The death I carry within is incompatible with my life force. Slowly draining. I am not here, nor there. I am not […]

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Mother Hands

“You have a mother’s hands,” My husband said to me when our son was a few weeks old. I was holding a whimpering newborn, cooing and shushing in his ear, while gently stroking his back in a clockwise motion. “Do I?” I smiled, amused that I was now a mother. With mom hands. When do […]

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Influences and Imagination

The voice was light, perhaps only a child’s voice, singing sweetly and thinly, on the barest breath. . .None of them heard it, she thought with joy; nobody heard it but me. -From Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House Two women are drawn to each other with suspicious speed at the start of The Haunting of Hill […]

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Ladies Just Aren’t in the Cards

I’ll come right out and say it: I play way too much Hearthstone. In case you’re not familiar, this is basically a Magic: The Gathering rip-off created by Blizzard Entertainment using digital cards which feature various monsters, heroes, and NPCs from the Warcraft universe. If all of that meant nothing to you, that’s ok. You […]

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AWP isn’t me.

I’m not sure who “AWP Is Us” is addressed to.* It can’t be me Kate Gale of Red Hen Press is pointing at. I went to Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference once in 2014, when it was in Seattle and I could carpool and stay at a friend’s house rather than paying for […]

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go outside and listen

“I’m sad,” I tell her, looking for analog in a world of constant digital connection. “I know,” she said, “you used to write great letters, too, and you know a lot of people, but you just need your roots.” “Go outside and listen,” my mother advises. Outside, I see all the life looking for hands, all the […]

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Have I Made It?

I remember the first time I attended the Willamette Writers Conference, the blend of idolatry and loathing I felt for the other aspirants. I couldn’t talk to anyone. What if these people were better than me? What if they made it and I failed? The second time I went, I was more ambitious. I reserved […]

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