Gah this month's posts from everyone have been so great!  I only wish I could reply directly to someone's topic, as apposed to a new post as a reply.  Maybe the folks at Harriet could do that on the next round.  I'd love to be able to do that.

Everything you said Kathleen is spot-the-heck-on, which is why I ended my post by saying that gender specific presses aren't a bad thing. You really summed it up better though by saying:  "trouble is that there are still systemic barriers and biases in place that keep a lot of writing by women from ever even getting in front of an audience to be judged at all." In the words of my peers, true that.

The fact that Tina Fey even has to mention that she "looks forward to the day" says everything.  And all the manhandling of my womanhood over the past 15 years which still occurs from time to time ("What?  They said I'm a little too heavy to play Smurfette in the animated Smurfs movie?  UGH!  Tell them I have the skinniest Heidi Montag-esque voice they've ever seen!  I know that doesn't make sense!  BUT NONE OF THIS DOES.")  also says it all.

It's hard not to let it touch us as women, not to get riled up over these things.  And I'm not saying not to get riled up.  I'm just saying we need to change the way in which we get riled.  I don't know if uniting under one gender is the right thing to do.

I propose we start a new journal called Shoot Out, where men and women battle on paper in the form of poems sent back and forth over an agreed upon topic.  Maybe this already exists, but for the sake of an example (and fun!) let's play with this idea.  A printed rap battle of love letter like poetry between man and woman.  I would like my Shoot Out to be with Jeffrey McDaniel.  Topic:  Belly Button.

Jeff, your belly button

Is like a baby starfish sleeping in the sand.

It is a spider's suicide imprint into your fleshy cement

Which is probably less like cement and more like sexy beige bear dough

Which is getting off topic.

Jeff your midriff's a martini glass crafted by your Mother

for a tiny alcoholic mouse that creeps in nightly,

pulls up a stool at your ribs and orders a double of your sweat.

Sometimes the mouse gets to the bottom of your empty belly button and says,

"Where did all the fucking olives go?"

There are no easy answers, little guy.

Jeff your belly button is so deep,

Beau Sia once wrote a poem entirely dedicated to it.

Your belly button is a tiny white Shell Silvestein firework.

It is the BANG! Camilla's finger gun did shoot.

It is a perfect crater in your moon.

It is the POP of a petit balloon.

And for the sake of rhyming,







Originally Published: April 20th, 2011

Actress and poet Amber Tamblyn was born in Venice, California. She is the author of the poetry collections Free Stallion (2005), winner of the Borders Book Choice Award for Breakout Writing, and Bang Ditto (2015). She self-published the poetry, art, and photography collections Plenty of Ships and Of the Dawn, and...