Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

Slaying the Gorgon by Kirsty Niven

She didn’t set out to become Medusa.
Failing to see that her resting face
with its permanently etched frown
was a weapon of mythical force.
Beauty warped into a titan terror,
the legend grew as she did –
ballooning outwards like a puffer fish.

She wasn’t born as something Chthonic,
just another cute crying whelp
loved by her mother, spoilt by her father.
She blames the tentacle whip of the belt.
Her list of castrations multiplying on,
as purple-faced, she unleashes
aeons of daddy-didn’t-care indignation.

She could have been a mother you know,
a proper one. Impregnated by Poseidon,
birthing bloody vipers in ribbons
that squealed in suffocated cries.
She stomped all over them, a tantrum,
squashing every inch of life out.
She refused to let them breathe.

She never wanted to become Medusa.
The venom seeped from her pores
into the static air, paralysing everything.
Unravelling Plath’s Atlantic cable,
I muted her serpentine tongue.
Her severed head still sits on my mantel,
a Caravaggio painting, oily gaze still potent.

I will not become like her.

Bio: Kirsty Niven lives in Dundee, Scotland with her partner and feline quartet. She is an internationally published poet, and her debut chapbook Broken Picture was recently published. Her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Self Portrait, Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Film and The Scottish Book Trust’s Scotland’s Stories. Kirsty’s work has also been shared in numerous journals, magazines and websites such as WA International, Sylvia Magazine and Dreich.

Goodnight, Taj Mahal by Andre Peltier

Deep below earth, clay and sand, deep below roots and aquifers, it lies in wait. Like that silent coyote stalking her white-tailed deer through the brush, it waits patiently and

contain by Megan Cartwright

verb past tense: contained; past participle: contained 1. have or hold (someone or something) within. Similar: hold carry To have and to hold in our own microcosm, constructed of hope.

Listening to Words by Mona Mehas

Listening to words out of touch cross lily pads, one to the next my rules, a tiny picture frame debt of honor, repay the gift. Headlights illuminate the path listening

Blooming by Elizabeth Gade

Some days are easy and some days are exhausting the days you have to dig through the muck inside take more hits than a heavyweight prize fighter cling to life

Pomegranate Rose by Laura Peña

I want to feed this delicacy To my concubine A tiny spoonful at a time I want to watch the luscious sorbet Linger on the tip of her tongue Melt


we love hearing from you. tell us everything