Stevie Edwards: Five Days Before the Election

it's national poetry month, and spiderweb salon is celebrating by sharing work by some of our favorite poets & writers. we'll kick everything off with this rebellious and timely poem, Five Days Before the Election, by a dear poetfriend who we first met when she was traveling through denton nearly four years ago: Stevie Edwards! Stevie is currently living and writing in denton and involved with UNT as a Ph.D. and the following poem was previously published in Heavy Feather Review's #NotMyPresident series.

with each poem we share this month, we will also be including a writing prompt from the poet, to encourage further thinking and creativity. (feel free to send us your new work based off these writing prompts and you could be featured here in the future!) Stevie's prompt is this: write a "personals ad" poem that gets a little too personal and honest. (here's an example of one she wrote, "Shitty Human Seeking Shittier Human," inspired by this poem by C.D. Wright.) 

Five Days Before the Election

& I don’t want to feel the earth today because a rich man is in it
who says he has the right to grab

the most mine thing I can think of but maybe wouldn’t want to
because maybe I am almost thirty

& have grown stately in myself these last three years,
watched ass & breasts become

rounder worlds & said okay, I can inhabit more
cells, can be the earned size

of my grandmothers. & it is American to consider
that he has a right to lead

America, to gather the wrinkled hands of bankers
and show them all the nooks & crannies

cloaking hushed treasures, teach them how to strip
the quiet armor women don

when we are tired of eyes following our legs
up staircases. I want to lie

down in a river bed, to let the water rush over
until I am a cold nothing,

touched only in the urgent pity of rescue
divers dragging me

back to earth. I want to let a man, a stranger, worry
over my body, what makes it

tick & gasp. I want to name each thigh dimple
and raised vein, each flake

of dry skin & stubbled hair, lest someone think
they were ownerless,

run their hand up my skirt on a bus like it wasn't
a valued thing thieved. I want

to be precise about how rich I am, how bountiful
my folds of skin: this museum

of a pussy, this grand opera belly. Let the government
erect a fence around my yards

of legs, lush country of bush & blood. Let me be
a closed border, private country.


Stevie Edwards is the founder and editor-in-chief of Muzzle Magazine and senior editor in book development at YesYes Books. Her first book, Good Grief (Write Bloody, 2012), received the Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze in Poetry and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her second book, Humanly, was released in 2015 by Small Doggies Press. She has an M.F.A. degree in poetry from Cornell University and is a Ph.D. candidate in creative at University of North Texas. Her writing is published and forthcoming in Indiana Review, TriQuarterly, The Offing, Ploughshares Blog, Nano Fiction, Redivider, Yemassee Journal, Baltimore Review, The Journal, Rattle, Verse Daily, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. Join Spiderweb Salon and Stevie Edwards for a night of poetry and celebration on April 22 at Wine Squared for our POETRY PARTY!

stevie reading at her first spiderweb salon as a traveling poet | 2013 | photo by courtney marie

stevie reading at her first spiderweb salon as a traveling poet | 2013 | photo by courtney marie

we're still seeking poet & writer friends to feature here for the month of april (and to join us at our POETRY PARTY) - deadline is on april 10 and you can find submission information HERE.