Erin Wiles is co-editor of Bad Shoe, a print forum for female poets in St. Louis published by JK Publishing. Erin hails from Ohio, where she earned useless degrees in English and French. Since moving to St. Louis, she has become marginally employed, started the St. Louis Projects, and has performed with many spoken word artists. She has written two chapbooks, Fractals (2008) and I & Apopcalypse (2006) both available from JKP.
No Waiting Hands
As my belly churns to swell
& fill the heated vacillating space
where I once clutched you
& my petty sometime gods
to my breast, I cross
my hands over my newly
blue-veined chest & faith-fall
into no waiting graspful hands
below me. This fear is not alone
as the homeless are alone. It is not
the endangered lonely of bag-lady
burying cans under the overpass,
stuffing shat-upon tee shirts
beneath her housedress, hoarding
her layette of broken bric-brac
in a grocery store's perambulator. It is not
her crowded lonely of streetside
defecation, her working and embellishing
that smell of the piss
of the heartsick, creating the stench
to say: go away! stay away! Unless
you have something for me . . . My alone
is not her alone but like her,
I am begging,
we must carry these signs,
they are body-written,
they cannot help but say:
One, you didn't love us enough
to stay. Two, we are too proud
to ask for this anyway. And three,
this is the struggle without which
we cease to exist, a.k.a,
I want you to owe me.
Streetside, we wait
and watch lumbering city buses
locked and loaded with explosives
trying to become people. Thirty weeks
have passed since we have fallen:
it is too late
to unpack these bags, we are
too far along and gone
to change course, so we rest
-- Erin Wiles
Elly Herget and Erin Wiles, from Bad Shoe, St. Louis' only literary magazine featuring entirely women writers and artists.
Matthew Freeman, author of the recently published Darkness Never Far, his third collection of poems.
Chris Parr, performance poet who has read his work at art spaces, music venues, and poetry events, in his native New Zealand, as well as in Boston, New York and St. Louis.
Lauren Keefer, a veteran of both Get Born and River Styx' Hungry Young Poets series.