A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Joanna Valente


Pandora Unborn

Water in we / waved gigantic from shells / lost a home found
woman / turned her into a bird / cawed her listen

/ every Halloween her feathers turn white / until May
colors them / her daddy on the road / uses GPS to find
him /has better luck debating

the wind / her mama gave birth / stillborn / says come to
me apocalypse
/ says love me wild as atoms /just when the
crazy's out / it gets let back in / all years pass—




Birth of Dionysus


lion jumps / through elephant craniums / fire whizzes moss-ravaged jaws

jade clouds seam dawn / someone forgot to close the gate / his mother is alone mostly
on knees curling plumed serpents / around black fog / day-moon eclipses her womb /
into a book of names



My favorite souvenir is all the shells I keep collecting the beaches in Cape Cod. They hang out in various places in my apartment (notably the bathroom). I love the ocean, so they represent that love. 

Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (forthcoming 2016, ELJ Publications) & Xenos (forthcoming 2017, Agape Editions). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Some of her writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. She has lead workshops at Brooklyn Poets.