Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

Ten Steps to Stop Yourself From Drowning (A Poet’s Edition) – Bree Bailey

“The truth is that most drownings are preventable, but you have to understand the facts and know how to prevent it from happening.”

                                                -excerpt from StopDrowningNow’s Drowning Statistics Keynote

Ten Steps to Stop Yourself from Drowning (a Poet’s Edition)

1. Don’t read sad poetry –  words will meld and grab a hold of your bones, of your metaphor. It’s the booze of the Bard. It will only weigh you down.

2. Swear to be good and pretend you’re god. Walk on water and make believers out of your begotten.

3. Don’t fall in love with devices of fuck-me-over plastic. Cheap canoes will crack. The only thing that will save you already exists within you.

4. Leave voicemails even when you don’t know if someone might listen. Write letters. Mail care packages. Do something to surprise someone because butterflies in stomachs can sometimes be life jackets across the pond.

5. Make sure to save yourself before trying to save someone else. Your words won’t mean anything if no one gets the chance to hear them.

6. Learn to swim even when you are drenched and dampened from dread. Learn CPR. Continue the Poetry Regardless.

7. Know the risk and danger of natural waters. You think that shit can kill you? It will. But you’re god, aren’t you?

8. Build up fences around anything that may cause you to submerge yourself into sadness.

9. Make so much noise it fills your lungs and threatens to shoot geysers of grief. There is nothing silent about how you will leave this Earth.

10. Don’t go at this alone. Look for a life/guard.

Bio – Bree Bailey (she/her) is a NJ-based full-time mama bear and part-time poet. As a mental health ally, Bree speaks openly about experiences with depression and anxiety. When she’s not writing, she’s eating tacos and dreaming about all the places she has yet to see and dance in with her family and friends. Bree’s poems have been featured in All My Relations, Ample Remains,  Anti-Heroin Chic, Olney Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, Wrongdoing Magazine, and is forthcoming in Serotonin, among others.

shadow image of a man pushing a cart with a large wheel and small umbrella

Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2023

Gnashing Teeth Publishing is proud to submit the following poems for consideration of the Pushcart Prize. Each of these nominees had work published by us in 2023, whether online or

BOOK REVIEW: gossypiin by Ra Malika Imhotep

Roots, ancestors, bending limbs and time. Ra Malika Imhotep’s gossypiin is a harvest of the experiences and discussions of black women. The meaning of the title, like many of her

The Reflection by Nadia Nunez

What an obscurity energy there’s no serenity A smile is what you’ll never see All you’ll hear is “In memory” Not a single ring on the telephone All you see


we love hearing from you. tell us everything