Excerpt: All We Have is Our Voice by Carole Stone

About the Book:


Poetry. Women’s Studies. 

“In ALL WE HAVE IS OUR VOICE, Carole Stone’s fierce dramatic monologues, delivered by the wives and lovers of such titans as Tolstoy, Lincoln, Freud, Yeats, Joyce, and (Dylan) Thomas, incisively protest patriarchal privilege and exploitation. Taut ekphrastic poems aptly probe the artistic struggles and transports of Kahlo, Schiele, Chagall, (Lucien) Freud, and others. And Stone also pays heartfelt tribute to literary figures such as Vallejo, Crane, Akhmadulina and Ratushinskaya who encounter extremity.”–Thomas Fin

Read an Excerpt:

Featured in Aug/Sept 2019 Issue: Fierce Female

Mary Shelley Beside Mary Wollstonecraft’s Grave

They say a woman could not have written

such a tale, that it is a ghost story

I overheard the men telling

the stormy night we matched wits —

Percy, Lord Byron and Coleridge —

three geniuses and me.

My maker, my muse, who left me

motherless at my birth,

I create a creature, unnatural, wild dark.

Here is my book, monster with the dull eye,

yellow skin that hardly covers his muscles

and arteries; my shriveled, nameless, infant child.

Frida Kahlo’s The Broken Column, 1944

Nails tacked into the sheet

draped around me from the waist down,

as if I were in the gynecologist’s office

mourning the child I lost,

my back, bloody

as the backs of the penitents

who corn whip themselves,

the column held to my chin

like a gun about to go off,

my naked breasts protrude

from the brace tight

around my rib cage.

I’m sick of it,

operation after operation,

suffering I can’t shake.

My body survives in the sky,

wisps of blue, and the earth,

an undulating green, landscape

of Mexico whose contours I love.

Martyr, saint, muse.

A woman with ordinary sorrow.

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