Three poets to inspire you

Submissions are currently open for Issue X: oleander, an issue which will explore duality. While the submission window is open we wanted to share with you three poets and their work to help inspire you to create and submit to oleander. You can find more information and prompts here too.

Be inspired by Shauna Oteka McCovey

We chose this poem because of how the structure could be used to explore duality, truths and untruths – we loved the idea of reading between the lines.

I Still Eat All of My Meals with a Mussel Shell

Creation stories
have long been disputed
by theories of
evolution and
strait crossings.

Because our rivers
were once filled
with gold
our women were violated
in the worst imaginable way.

Only a few
still know
the formula that
will bring the salmon
up the river.

If you cannot see
between the lines
then your collected facts
will never constitute

Be inspired by Diana Anphimiadi

We chose this poem because of how it explores Iphigenia’s sacrifice from her perspective; revealing the woman behind an often overlooked tragedy of the Trojan War and reminding us about how Iphigenia believed she was summoned to marry Achilles, only learning the truth too late.


I stand. Meaning
I shift my weight carefully
from foot to foot.
I find a place for my hands.
I pull my dress down to the knees.
touches only prepositions,
cannot reach
the root of the word.
I stand,
one knee bent a little,
shoulders squeezed
as if wringing wet clothes.
My foot grows numb
as if all the jellyfish and seahorses
at the bottom of the sea
swam over it together.
I stand. Meaning
I wait for you.
The heat of the afternoon
will scorch my golden hair
to crumbs of sand.

The flower of my womb
blossoms like a perpetual wound.
I hide behind the thin folds of my dress.
I stand. Meaning
I look at you. Meaning
a ripening gaze, seeing
someone else’s war
and my own war too —

my war —
their war —
my wedding.
I would kiss you,
but my head is torn from my neck
as a sacrifice.

Be inspired by Maggie Smith

These two lines can be used as ghost lines or as jumping off points, but both prompt ideas of reflections, the truth/lies in mirror reflections and tricks played by how we view the future as bountiful when in fact it is empty until it becomes the present.

“The mother is glass through which you see, in excruciating detail, yourself”

Maggie Smith, The Mother

“The trick of the future is that it’s empty”

Maggie Smith, Future

Submissions for Issue X: oleander close on June 11th! We accept poetry, prose, CNF, photography, artwork, visual poetry and hybrid pieces.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: