Issue 22: Cat Woodward

Potential for Child-bearing as the Condition for the Worship of Woman-as-goddess

What’s that, She splits to become?

Moon and Waters plough up the cheerless self

that had languished with the weasel in the pennyroyal.

Which is to say, baby drags her Mother out with her,

blinking as though from Hell.

Such shrewd knowledge

drips from the dark

made of meat and fire and value.

A unicorn might weep joyful tears of feverfew -

O virgins, you tight hard buds of somewhere,

I believe in you.

Spell for Unconditional Love

to speak it plainly

makes sympathy die

like any baby bird ever.

modesty, disfigured and badly-dressed

touts a pain, the liar.

or it’s me, girl gone old and bad

going around, writing poems on the rocks


‘but I too must be adored!’

while the rain rains, smoothing stone bald


never never never


Cat Woodward is a feminist lyric poet. Her first collection, Sphinx (Salò Press) was published in 2017, her second collection Blood. Flower. Joy! is due from Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in 2019. In 2018 she won the Ivan Juritz Prize for new works of creative modernism. Her PhD (UEA) is in robot and lyric voice. She has been published in Datableed, Lighthouse, Adjacent Pineapple, And Other Poems, The Interpreter's House, Ink, Sweat and Tears and others.

Copyright © 2019 by Cat Woodward, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.