This Kind of Fairytale

We polish our big bellies with creams,
          we henna Eden vines on them,
we Buddha rub them, as do strangers, for wealth.
          In birth class they tell us
your body was made for this. They tell us
          your mothers were strapped down and drugged.
We are capable of doing so much more:
          of squatting, of controlling our contracting
muscles, of talking to our babies, guiding them out.
          Picture your cervix opening, opening
they tell us, and we picture mandalas everywhere—

37:3 Geek Girls

Calling all geeks! Room wants your geekiest fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, graphic literature, and critical essays for our September 2014 issue, Geek Girls. The issue will be jammed-packed with Canadian geek culture, including superhero-inspired art by Sandra Chevrier, short fiction by science fiction author Larissa Lai, interviews with some of the wittiest geeks on the Internet and more!

Check out our guidelines for full details.

Deadline: January 31, 2014

Assistant Editors: Taryn Hubbard, Carrie Schmidt

Volunteer with Room

Help shape the future of the Canadian literary landscape, and feminism too! Join the volunteer collective of Canada's oldest literary journal by and for women. We are looking for literature-loving women in the Metro Vancouver area able to commit approximately 2-4+ hours a week to running a literary journal.

No direct experience necessary. Must be willing to jump in and learn! Most work is done remotely, with monthly in-person 2 hour administrative meetings.

Current opportunities include

Saturday Family Picnics

I learned how to pick locks in prison. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon; the adults were drunk and some had paired off to have sex in tents pitched on the lawn. I was sitting on the scratched wooden pew of a picnic table, playing backgammon by myself. I shuffled the pieces back and forth on the board and tried to shut out the moans ten feet away, the barbed wire on the fences, the prisoners eating cold chicken with their families at the other tables.

I was ten years old. I didn’t know where my father was. Maybe in one of the tents. Maybe pissing on the side of the building.

Cloak

I hide my power in a cloak I hoard as anger.
My jaw gears like a charging bull;
hairs horn from my butting forehead.

Snatch and Release

Manolo called it the Everybody Laughs Scam, but as I approached the couple on the bench I found that prospect hard to imagine. The woman looked teary-eyed and the man had the strap of his camera bag wrapped three times around his fist.

The Gathering

The wind rolls down the street a rogue
wave and breaks in the maples above. Great swells
crest in the uppermost branches and it is alone a wonder how
the little birds are not
shaken loose from their limbs.

Town

It starts with a river. Green hills,
and promising flatland beneath them.
All these trees go, and get lugged out
of the clearing. The stone near the water
is brought to the place where the woods
once stood, and also the felled trees that
lived there before, and this is how the town
rises from the ground. Structures answer
the needs of the people there. A church,
a school, a jail, a cemetery. Occupations
grow, more answers. The doctor who
interprets fevers, the midwife, a witness
to how bodies respond to air the first

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