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From Radiance Winter 2000

 

I like her, fat lady

I like her,

fat lady

naked, she is in

raiment

full and flouncy

I like her,

fat lady

she shakes her ass,

& sequins

of cellulite

dazzle my eyes

I like her,

fat lady

hugging her:

soft & warm

as mink

I like her

 

DENISE NOE has been published in The Humanist, Exquisite Corpse, Metis, The Gulf War Anthology, Light, and Wicked. Her major interests are dinosaurs, the ape-language experiments, and social welfare issues. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and writes regularly for the Caribbean Express and Newcomer magazines.

 

 

This Morning I Celebrate

the ordinary size woman
who decides dieting is a waste
of time. Lumpy and short, she runs
her pudgy hands down her ample
hips finally saying, Yes,
this is me.

I celebrate the middle aged
woman who slaps herself aside
her head thinking, why
would I want to be the pencil
thin cookie cutter cover girl
of anorexia—a woman
the shape of a blade of grass?

She’s tired of all that.

Tired of feeling worthless
after hours of marathon shopping
at Bayshore Mall with her skinny
young daughter. Tired of looking
through silver-hangered racks of black
leather skirts that would fit
one of her cellulite thighs. Tired
of thinking that having a big ass
is a crime punishable by imprisonment
or death.

She’s proud that she Sousa-marched
her everyday butt into August
Max Woman to buy real clothing
for real women.

I celebrate the woman
who Sunday-watched the Fiftieth TV
Emmys with its parade of pretties
in drop-dead designer dresses,
dripping in diamonds, breast
implants and tummy tucks—
and didn’t go crying to her room.

I celebrate the woman who silent-cheered
the actress who raised her golden-winged
statuette high into the air proclaiming,
This is for ALL the fat girls!

 

SANDRA MARGULIUS is a Wisconsin poet working on her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has been published in several local and national magazines, including the Cream City Review, and has read at various poetry events. Her interests range from reading tarot cards to participating in a women’s writing circle. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband, two daughters, and son.

 

 

just the way

just the way I walk
with my heels swishing under
a long blue skirt
And the way my hair smooths
back slick
in the shower.
just the way I talk
with my voice carrying over
the air like subtle perfume
And the way my soft thighs
touch the fabric
of my night gown.
just the way my body flows
and ebbs
like the sea
And the way I see my own
nakedness in the mirror
and realize
the gentleness of my mothering hips
and the grace hushing
over my skin
like waves.

 

SHANON BALLAM is at Utah State University working on a master’s degree in the theory and practice of writing. She is married to a wonderful man, and together they enjoy three cats, three ferrets, and their dog.

 

 

Red Because . . .

"Black," mother says, "You should wear black.
It’s slimming."

Should I stand in the shadow? I want to ask.

"Brown," the clerk says, "You should wear brown to
Accent your hair."

No bright color, no center stage, no pizzazz? I want to ask.

"Navy pinstripes," my sister says, "And you should wear pants—
To give you height."

How tall will I be in navy pinstripes? I want to ask.

But I do not ask.
I already know.

I will wear red.

I will walk in the sunshine.
I will wear a yellow flower on a red dress and
I will celebrate this day.

LUANA M. SMIGELSKI lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and teaches workshops on creativity. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News.

 

 

Fat

Fat’s a word I can say
Soft and quick,
Without pondering,
But with inquiring tilt.
Or I can drawl fat out
With a curve to my eye
And a slow wag to my tail.
Fat’s a recyclable word,
Thoughtlessly wasted by insecure children,
Squandered by gossips
Gaunt from lack of generosity.
I say fat carefully,
With a listening touch.
You thank me for calling you
Fat,
Instead of overweight.
What’s weight anyhow, to get over?
Out-there and honest,
Your fat whispers to my touch.
Lush and beloved,
Your fat satisfies my touch.
You’re just right,
Fat.

 

KAY LIEBERKNECHT is a wordmonger, horse lover, and healing woman who lives in the hills above Ukiah, California.


Remember, this is only a taste of what's inside the printed version of the magazine!

 

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