Night Listener

Devastation at night…never enough to rouse me from my sleep.

Oddly enough, the embattled winds usher away the voices that I keep.

Chanted choices abated by bouts of rain on broken cobblestone.

Reflections in clown-house mirrors…shuttered by a wild life in the storm outside.

Outside of my pride.

In the nighttime bluster of moats…

I am as calm as cotton on a dry float.

Poets of SMITTEN Speak: Melissa Fadul

I had lost a female friend (catholic.) She had been assumed to be in a lesbian relationship. She drove to Conneticut and never returned. Her partner, appeared, distraught. Disturbed with how she had been presented by the church. Odd,
in the folk group we all sang in…to see Dawn dismissed as though, she had been a stick figure on a chalkboard. ‘How could Dawn leave without any real reason for leaving? Persecution for her beliefs? My young heart never understood or knew for sure.
Dawn remains a missing person. The police called it…a mental health issue. The church dismissed it all. As if Dawn never occurred. Her lover moved on full knowing that…lesbians do not have an account. That women who love women are just something to be disregarded.  @randomwordbyruth


Melissa Fadul lives in New York with her wife, dog and two rabbits. She teaches English Literature and Advanced Placement Psychology.  She loves animals, poetry, and film and photography and baseball and screenwriting. Melissa is currently writing her second poetry manuscript and a screenplay.  Melissa hopes that someday she can work with her favorite actresses: Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Cate Blanchett and Mariska Hargitay.

Is the Die Really Cast?

I was a sophomore and part of GLU (the gay and lesbian union as it was called then) getting my undergraduate degree in New York and two years younger than twenty-one-year-old Matthew Shepard, when barbed wire pierced his wrists as he was pinned to a fence on a chilly October evening. After his assailants, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson thumped his skull, dented it, they stole his shoes and wallet before running him over in a pick-up truck— leaving him for…

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Poets of SMITTEN Speak: Aviva Lilith

How is being a JEWISH lesbian different and what does the jewish lesbian voice bring to the table?

Lesbian voices are already marginalized, we aren’t something that just anyone would pick up and read. Being Jewish is something that has always marginalized my voice. This combination is important to me, because there aren’t enough lesbian Jewish poets out there, and I know that growing up, I struggled a lot to test my limits in what I can write or feel or say about being lesbian and Jewish. I wished I had more role models to look up to that were like me. I feel like there’s a specific voice that is always pushed in school, in the media, in America. That voice wasn’t one I could relate to. I needed someone who understood my culture, as antisemitism has always been in my life. I also needed someone who was apart of my culture to help me understand the feelings I was going through when I started liking girls.


Aviva Lilith is a queer poet who, like a flower, enjoys the sway of fate. She’s been writing since elementary school, working towards earning a BFA in creative writing and photography at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Along with poetry and flowers, she enjoys knitting, cloud gazing, and dumpster diving for new collage materials.

Do you think there is enough representation of lesbian poetry and writing in general and if no, what do you think is the reason?

No, and I don’t think so because lesbian voices are not out there enough, and when they are it is within a community of other lesbian poetry and other lesbian readers and writers. I think I just wish that LGBTQ voices were more integrated and “normal” within the void of everyone else. It is really really nice to have our own community, and I think it’s also necessary in order to…

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at the Edge of America

There is a voice in the trees

i can hear it from the asylum window

the priest is at odds with himself

about my condition

there is a voice in the trees

it hovers just beyond the river’s bend over there.

the world is at odds with itself

about situation like this

there is a lady in a room of no windows

there is a lady in a room purged of love

i am at odds with priests and worlds

there is a humming lady,

in a room,

in the trees,

where the river bends,

over there. – T C Cannon

Cannon, who died when he was just 31, made enduring and vibrant works melding Native American and more mainstream artistic and pop culture imagery.
Cannon, who died when he was just 31, made enduring and vibrant works melding Native American and more mainstream artistic and pop culture imagery.

Her own thirsty heart

So quiet instead we are, often falling in love and unable

to share this or speak of it, for it is forbidden. No one will

listen, or be interested, they do not understand our strange ways.


photo of two women Photo by Mahrael Boutros on

But I am divided. In a way that is hard to shape into words.

For women who love women are often the rarest night birds.

Theirs is a love that does not come easily and for this reason, it takes a great deal to stay

Sure and certain on the rainbow path.

Sometimes I understand my bisexual sisters, who having had their love affair with the curves and softness of a woman

Return to their husbands in droves or pick out that wedding dress and let the man

carry them over the threshold.

For a woman to be loved by a woman may feel natural but many times it is a struggle

we have no rule book, we may both want to have the other carry us or hold us when

fear besets

and men are so good at being heroes

and women are…

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