M

Blood-letting

by Gail Goepfert

 

          —The Wounded Table, 1940

Not saints, you and I,
          but may I please,
          please, be seated
          with you at the wounded table.
Let us exact from each other
          all manner of loosening
                    the pull of honeyed tongues,
          the sharp-boned
          cinch of hands—
loss and pain vined
          about our necks.

It is hard to weep
          when living
has made us strong.

You and I, we must warble—
          to redden our stone-
bleached hearts.

 

Gail Goepfert, an associate editor at RHINO Poetry, is a Midwest poet and photographer. She teaches poetry at National Louis University. She has two published books—A Mind on Pain in 2015 and Tapping Roots 2018. Get Up Said the World will appear in 2020 from Červená Barva Press. Recent publications include Kudzu House, Stone Boat, Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine, Bluestem, Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, SWWIM, and Beloit Poetry Journal. More at gailgoepfert.com.

 

See what happens when you click below.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Blood-letting”?

“The Wounded Table” is one of Frida Kahlo’s most haunting image-rich paintings depicting a skeleton, children, a figure wearing overalls typical of Diego Rivera, Frida’s often unfaithful lover/husband, and blood oozing from a human-legged table–all symbolic of the brokenness and desolation she felt during much of her life–a result she attributed to betrayal by people and her own body. The painting represents Kahlo’s harsh reality, but one I felt I understood. I wanted to identify with Frida in this poem, to acknowledge personal imperfections, a clear lack of saintliness, but also to be the advocate, the voice that said: Do not despair. We are strong. Suffering has made us that way.

News

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now OPEN. The submission period closes June 15, 2020; submit here.

Upcoming

08/03 • Darlene Scott
08/05 • Jocelyn Ulevicus
08/06 • Amy Bobeda (1 of 6)
08/10 • Cynthia Belmont
08/12 • J. C. Todd
08/13 • Amy Bobeda (2 of 6)
08/17 • Jo Gatford
08/19 • Amanda Vineyardx
08/20 • Amy Bobeda (3 of 6)
08/24 • Eva Jordan
08/26 • Gary Fincke
08/27 • Amy Bobeda (4 of 6)
08/31 • Renee Agatep
09/01 • Başak Yirmibeşoğlu
09/03 • Amy Bobeda (5 of 6)
09/07 • Paige Welsh
09/09 • Avital Gad-Cykman
09/10 • Amy Bobeda (6 of 6)
09/14 • Julianne Di Nenna
09/16 • Joey Kim
09/17 • Erika Kanda
09/21 • Brittany Oppenheimer