Art and Poetry

BARRICADES

I wrote this piece after a long hiatus from writing. I don’t know about you, but my worst fear is losing my gift of writing. As if time could take away the gift I worked so hard to craft. I think many writers have this fear. The fear of losing their magic. Even more so, putting pen to paper and uncovering things deep down inside maybe they weren’t ready to release.  XX, Ashley – Founder of Harness Magazine. Come find me – @adrelli – @harnessmagazine   “BARRICADES” And I miss the pen and paper in ways you couldn’t imagine An ice has frozen over what once was thick and beating I’ve built barricades So tall I can’t even let myself in And I’ve avoided The ink For its truth would unthaw what I am not ready to face The unknown The breaking without m...

EXPLORING POP CULTURE THROUGH ART

Hi, my name’s Rebecca Fahey. I’m a 20-year-old illustrator from Ireland. My work is inspired by pop culture and our obsessions with commercialized products and mass media. I create humorous and intense depictions of our reality. I always found humanity’s self-obsession of themselves, what they must be and social pressure so interesting, so I always incorporate it into my work. I use bright colors to enhance the visual experience of my work. My work “LABELS” is a representation of our obsession with brands but also labeling ourselves. As humans, we have a drive to learn, understand and find recognizable patterns of most things even to the tiniest details. We stamp labels to separate our understandings. But in some cases, it causes some form of segregation and perplexity. I created thi...

RECIPES FOR SELF LOVE: ILLUSTRATIONS

The inspiration for the illustrations comes from the desire to disrupt mainstream media and everyday social injustice. There are so many lies that we as a society are led to believe, especially regarding gender. Over the past few years I’ve learned so much about social justice and wanted unmask and interrogate some of these untruths. It’s fun to draw and good practice to try identify one thing each day that might be a lightbulb moment for someone else. The zine “Recipes for Self Love” is made up of contributions from other women on the topic of practicing self love. Women submit a written piece or visual representation of how they manage to practice self love in a world that wants them to hate themselves. I pair artists with the written pieces and put the book together to print...

TO BE A WOMAN ALONE AT NIGHT

To Be a Woman Alone at Night Crocodiles have a strong grip and teeth that cut, but they can’t hurt you if you avoid the watering hole.   That is why I never walk alone at night; Crocodiles walk on two legs after dark.   To Be a Woman Alone at Night, Part II Why do you not carry your keys between your knuckles in a dark parking lot, or check the backseat of your car before you get in?   Because you are not a woman.   Author: Emily Byrnes Author Email: e10rear@gmail.com Author Bio: Emily Byrnes is a mental health advocate/dog mom/feminist/writer from New York’s capital region. You can check out her Instagram page for more of her work. Link to social media or website: Instagram @emilybyrnes_  

HER NAME WAS MAY

I’m walking home from a night class. I forgot my umbrella but it’s only spitting. The Main is one-way, and the cars with their headlights come in my direction. I hate that. I can’t stand the idea of someone noticing me from their car. I can’t stand the idea of someone staring at me from behind their headlights. The alley down to my place is shared by two bars, a strip club and a porn theatre. Men stumble out, too embarrassed to even look at me. Drug dealers and prostitutes all mind their own business. We don’t notice each other; we just overlap. I get to the square in front of my building and sit on a bench to have a smoke. It’s a rough neighborhood but my building is new and clean – part of an incoming gentrification-spree. A homeless woman comes up to me, saying something in a muffled, w...

I JUST WANT TO SEE THE LIGHT

Is the universe conspiring to bring what I’ve been thinking of in front of my eyes or is it just coincidence? Well, to be honest I never believed in coincidences (everything happens for a reason), but as a human my insecurities take those “timely events” as something that just happens and not as a sign. Signs or not, they happen, so do timely events. The world is out there full of  people telling us phrases we actually needed to hear, songs playing in our heads just popping out on the radio, and stuff like that. You’ll see it everywhere. A week ago someone told me “Let that feeling grow and show it, if you feel it that is exactly how it has to be, yes it is a sign from your heart”. “Our eyes only see and our ears only hear what our brain is looking for.”...

A HOLDING PATTERN

In this bed, where hands met thighs And bodies collided with a primal instinct, He would resist with just as much need, Pushing her away As if the referee had hit the mat Signaling for him to stop, the match had already been won.   Author: Elizabeth Montgomery Email: elizabethdylan6@gmail.com Author Bio: Elizabeth Montgomery is a full-time mom currently residing in Alexandria, VA. Most of her time is spent embracing her love of language and doing her best to place words on the page. She has most recently been published in Life in Ten Minutes and Into The Void magazine.

RED STRING DREAMS – A POEM

every morning i wake up to a lovely little tug on the red string wrapped around my pinkie is it morning, where you are? are you shifting beneath the covers because the sun has peeped through the blinds? are you hitting snooze on an alarm clock, hoping that you can catch a few more minutes of sleep? are you leaving bed before the sun rises to make a cup of coffee, because, baby, i won’t be the morning person between us i’ll be the lump in bed beside you that is all legs & arms grabbing to tug you back into bed so i can steal a few more kisses.   is it evening, where you are? are you turning off the lamp beside you so the soft dark wraps around and sings you to sleep? are you sprawled across the bed watching videos on your phone, even though everyone says the light will ruin your ey...

LOVE STRIKES GIRL

This poem is to honour LGBTQ week. …your lyrics are lost upon me but your face arrests me instantaneously eyelashes flicker over pale cyan orbs the kind of colour caused by the set sun and begins to bleed bright blue against clouds you twitch and cropped wheaten hair swishes across the nape of your naked neck another twitch to side profile and i study your nose which is slightly upturned as though sculpted by pixies from some forgotten land my gaze falls to the ripe crisp crescent of your lips i’d like to know them i think those lips i’d soon grow to miss and I imagine what they’re like to… someone like you who relinquished garish girlishness but still cherishes a sweetness between sovereign steps only glimpsed by those who truly search you laid down face paint long ago your nakednes...

NOT YOUR GARDEN AND OTHER POEMS

Not Your Garden  You are not entitled to pick flowers from someone else’s garden, uninvited even if they are displayed for the world to see. ———————— Purity Purity; a dirty little word that keeps half the world in chains. ———————— Flowers and Silence That flower between your legs bares king and peasant, writer and artisan, healer and soothsayer, yet still they have the audacity to silence you.   Author: Emily Byrnes Email: e10rear@gmail.comAuthor Bio: Emily Byrnes is a mental health advocate/dog mom/feminist/writer from New York’s capital region. You can check out her Instagram page for more of her work....

HOMEBODY

This project was inspired by “home.” We wanted to embody high fashion with a homey / even a neighborhood type of feel. We shot various looks with the lovely Evie Williams with Click – Re:Quest Models NYC. One of my favorite looks was Evie modeling her Onepiece raincoat. It was just such a staple piece for this shoot. I always try to capture the realness / rawness of the project + of the person. Those candid + natural moments are the best of moments! Author: Maria Doka Author Email: mariadokaphoto@gmail.com Link to social media or website: http://www.mariadoka.com, instagram.com/mariadanielledoka Wardrobe Credits: Zara Blouse + Denim Calvin Klein Bralette Onepiece Raincoat, Zara Top, Urban Outfitter B...

ALMOST

I woke up blinded Reminded of your smooth words and the thought of you 4:14 a.m. most of Toronto’s still sleeping Laying here wide awake, I’m lucid dreaming The only place where I let things go, with some degree of my control Baby, these days love has different meanings A few months pass and it was nothing more than demeaning to you Maybe I shouldn’t have let myself walk in Maybe my values were too old fashioned Since when did being passionate become mistaken for trying too hard? Remember when we only had land lines, to reach me you would show up at the front of my yard Nowadays I would be lucky if a man like you would send me a text, throws one off guard To think technology would make communication easier I cannot see over this barrier “Girl, I think you need to let it go,” my friends rea...

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