I Was a Fearless Little Girl

I’ll never know if my mother thought that she might have had a cross dressing pre-teen son, or maybe she just thought that I was just a theatrical kid. After a quick costume change out of my denim bugle boys and into her brazier and favorite silver and turquoise jewelry, I was the most fearless little girl on the North Side of the Bronx, and that helped keep me alive.

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Never Heard From You Again

Once he was gone…
once my world came to a screeching HALT…
you were gone with everyone else –
and it was silent.

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Becoming Violet

There is a number, a precise hour, minute, second between the sun’s revolving door and the moon’s sparkly shine when the world grows quiet and lavender fields weep violet.

About Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

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Isn’t That What Friends Are For?

Decades ago, when I was in elementary school, I did have a few genuine friends. However, the so-called cool kids swiftly kicked us to the bottom of the totem pole and successfully labeled us as faggots to the entire school. When I moved to Florida in 1979, my world did improve. However, because of my grade-school trauma, it wasn’t easy to make real friends. In High School, I was acquainted with dozens of kids from every social group, but I didn’t have the phone number of one friend to rely upon if my car broke down.

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Whirlpools and Windmills: I Choose the Present

I can be like a boat passing by and flowing onward or get mired in it trying to make it what it is not, and whirl around and around wandering in an endless thought process of, “If only.” I then get stuck on the rinse and repeat cycle, living reactively all the time, falling blindly into the holes of my history, until I give up altogether and get stuck on the riverbank of hopeless despair. OR, I can see. Recognize. Steer clear. Float over. Dance through. On, into the vast river of life. Mistaking the whirlpool for the river, I am doomed. And yet the only way out is to realize that the whirlpool and the river are made of the same substance, dancing. I am whole.

About Pam Ross Porcaro

Pam Ross Porcaro began her spiritual questioning at a very young age, inspired by her Lithuanian grandmother who was a devout Catholic. At the age of 17, she was discovered by a model agent in Washington D.C., and her fashion modeling career took off. She was represented by Ford Models in New York, where she lived for 11 years, traveling around the world, and working with many of the top designers, photographers, editors, and artists in the world, doing everything from editorial, to runway, to advertising; and appearing on many magazine covers, in catalogs and in ads. During her travels and interaction with many diverse people from different cultures around the world and her deepening spiritual questioning, she discovered and became fascinated with Zen meditation. She began a vigorous meditation practice, which changed her life, and awakened her passion and curiosity for all things Eastern Culture, including, Yoga and Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She studied and practiced Zen meditation (zazen) with Zen Masters, John Daido Loori, of Zen Mountain Monastery, and Eido Roshi, of the Zen Studies Society in New York and of Dai Bosatsu Monastery, in the Catskills. She moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and continued her Zen Studies/practice with Zen Master Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi at Zen Center of Los Angeles. She went to CSUN to study towards a B.A. in Religious Studies, focusing on Eastern Religions, as well as Women in Religion. Pam became a mother of two and subsequently became involved in fundraising charity work for her children’s school. In 2011, while delving even more deeply into her Zen practice, Pam had a chance meeting with Yoga teacher Steve Ross of Maha Yoga. Steve introduced her to Siddha Yoga, which opened up her meditation practice even more. In 2012 and 2015, Pam completed a total of 300 hours of Yoga Teacher Training under Steve Ross and Ish Moran. Pam attended many seminars, classes, and workshops with many renowned teachers, including but not limited to: Jack and Elissa Zimmerman, to learn the Way of Council; Candace Silvers, renowned life coach and human behavior specialist; Alison Armstrong of PAX Programs (A program that promotes peace and understanding between women and men); David Deida and Michaela Boehm; The Integral Center in Boulder (To learn the practice of “Circling”, or interpersonal meditation); The Art of Living Center (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; teacher); The Self Realization Center ( founded by Yogananda); Oneness Meditation. Currently, Pam is raising her two teenagers, continuing her meditation and yoga practices, and developing a project with life coach and healer, Sujon Datta. She is represented by Iconic Focus Models in New York, and Innovative Artists in Los Angeles.

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I think my love language is all of you it does not even exist to write it down. I do not know how I function with my guts pulled apart by life. People leave, then they come back changed, a new unsuspecting death surrounding them. They introduce their partners as “this is the love of […]

About Christina Strigas

Christina Strigas is a trilingual poet, raised by Greek immigrants, and has written three poetry books. Her latest, Love & Vodka, has been featured by CBC Books in, “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List: 68 Poetry Collections Recommended by you.” She is currently working on her fourth upcoming poetry book, Love & Metaxa. In her spare time, Christina enjoys foreign cinema, reading the classics, and cooking traditional Greek recipes that have been handed down from her grandmother. Twitter: @christinastriga Instagram : @c.strigas_sexyasspoet Facebook: Christina Strigas Author

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Running For My Life

I couldn’t sleep anyway
There was nothing else to do with my rage and sorrow
no one believed me – everyone hid in the shadows of shame
I was a broken exile machine piled
exiled in the house I grew up in
so I ran

About Marie Scampini

Marie Scampini is a published poet, playwright, short story writer, currently working on a poetry collection and project - 1775 Poems in 1775 Days, to save her life every day, on a page, and in this world; fighting for justice, safety, and equality for all, one person at a time.

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i know, at least, that she was ripe
full of not a hardened pit like me
for so long
but hopes that began and ended
seven times over

About Amanda Linsmeier

Amanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairy tales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. For her, writing is the best kind of magic, and her work is heavily influenced by mysterious women, nature, and beautiful images and fueled with lots of iced coffee and background music. She’s the kind of monster who dog-ears book pages, and she has read her favorite book, Beauty by Robin McKinley, probably a hundred times. She loves pizza, tattoos, shopping, and pretty much anything French.

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