"Agony and Mass" Published in SoFloPoJo

Yesterday, my poem was published in South Florida Poetry Journal! (Scroll down to read it.) It's a fairly personal piece for me.

My body
builds an empire as a dishonest queen

I've had chronic pain since I can remember. Doctors refuse to give me anything possibly habit-forming, so the medications I'm on don't do much. I've tried everything but marijuana (illegal here) to claw back a fraction of my life. People ask if I'm okay. I lie and say I am because I have no choice. The narrator speaks of lying more than once.

Lies make people more comfortable than the truth. No one wants to listen to everything that's wrong. It becomes a burden to them. It doesn't matter the harm silence can do.

go form another universe from a useless womb

Women are often seen as broodmares, motherhood the one accomplishment we're expected to reach. Disabled people are expected never to have children. Radiation took my ability to have kids (I never wanted genetic kids), but it's an interesting dichotomy... woman and cripple and survivor.

My pale, fat flesh kneaded into shapes it can't sustain,

At the end of the poem, the narrator addresses the pressure and demands of being reshaped. It might be a lover in the midst of seduction being too rough. It might be the reader demanding that the "fat" narrator become someone else.


  1. A powerful poem! Congratulations on the publication. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

    1. Thank you! How is your progress coming?

    2. I put myself in a little bit of a deadline bind so have been plowing through my latest novel way faster than is actually comfortable for my writing pace. But I got it sent off to my critique partners a few days ago and can now breathe for a moment while I wait for them to read and send me comments.

    3. When do you expect to hear back from your beta readers?

    4. Early December. That gives me a few weeks to process their comments and revise before the book is due to the publisher in January.