Two Serious Ladies is a small online magazine to promote writing and art by women.

The magazine was created in 2012 by Lauren Spohrer, who regrets how slowly she responds to submissions.

It’s named for the 1943 short novel by Jane Bowles. The novel contains the line:

“I wanted to be a religious leader when I was young and now I just reside in my house and try not to be too unhappy.” 

 

C - M - C by Jennifer MacKenzie

for the seven daughters Jenny 1 Little beard come listen to me tell me a story about your childhood village No one is left now at the right hand of the needy and I want to punch the walls of my penthouse to release some misery I have stapled this paper flower to your mouth when I feel lonely I speak to you about betrayal and defeat The linen. The coat. The linen 2 Now I will be my father throwing pennies into the deep end of a pool My body was an enemy and object of shame I could not stand to see reflected. He had hired someone to build this pool and this man took the money and went to Mexico and we had a big muddy hole I dug out soft black pamphlets of shale and cracked them open in my dirty hands leaf      leaf       leaf             blank At last the pool was      With long mirrors running down the whole right wall in which we can behold Their guardians, who are               also their owners They are something twofold          the king, the kind both objects of utility and depositories of value a physical form and a value form Now I will leave you to your poverty and go study yoga in India Now I will marry a rich engineer and have one daughter as he wants a second one to go with the first Now I will go help women or victims of war or both at once. Surely they will be more grateful But I learned to dive. Glorious swoop inheld breath all mine. For pennies 3 Sleep, get up. Sleep seep, git. But bring your notebook Just in case the crazy ones weren't wrong about increasing the total joy (But it's my money!) treasonous flippant attitude of plenty to trust that goodness stands the king, the kind They are something twofold I only sink into sadness. No one wants to learn Polish. But how joyless and depressed and sad and nearly defeated this made me! I went to photograph the kiosk of chandeliers Celebration bubbles away I cannot rescue even a napkin or a shrub The linen. The coat. The linen The liar wants money From me, hopeless salad of lyrical narcissism Believe me dear citizen Your devoted Karl Marx 4 Bluejay forsythia why'm I so set against it except it's where I'm from Romeo escaping the city for ruined abbeys became freckled Olaf eating watermelon wars very far away To nature then because houses are boring seen from above in miniature patterns or bland flags up close of brick or aluminum siding Instagram Blue jay forsythia Parallel lines never meet smack it up Actual poverty is not romantic smack it wolves and bears and birds Indianapolis carriage wheel factory John Muir turned his back on and walked to the tip of Florida 146 years later is it so exciting dear citizen to put the word asshole in a poem? Blue jay asshole forsythia The coat the linen. If you have two coats Remove from poems: trees flowers water other than those comprising bodily fluids Chaleco salvavidas, calyx of exosphere pocked with small rocks burning up before they reach the earth Jenny Jenny Jenny Jenny Jenny Jenny Jenny (but only three lived to adulthood) squalor of London bad for lungs Believe me Your devoted Moor has an asshole and also he's being one 5 Spruce quartz rocks gull flower branch Why should I pay for anyone  someone should pay for me, treat me like a flower, buy me and make a baby in me I am the sky, sea, or earth the pregnant hills at Bolinas just starting to green Or a woman--just for good riddance my cheap heart hucked into the center of the fight against the moors, Whupp! silver casket gleaming I hope you can afford someone to wipe yr ass when yr 90. This gasp delicately larded in severe anxiety and dealt a fart a skinny fart in the elevator It is religious (the elevator) It only works if you swear in the name of the orphaner, the closer, widest manacle and uprooter of star-rictus Looking up, playing pale boy as bell majesty of the unwedded, smarting burning chrysanthemum- liner, mantle, threshold (stop barking) my lovely assistant whom I utterly mistrust sits in the bath convexing    Life. Womb. Life his steamy belly in and out. According to my credo everything is just a prelude to his leaving me. One by one in my dreams everyone is leaving music a perpetual quarrel with origins and returning soused. Everyone doing according to form whipped and not crying out hung swelling from trees later sprayed with fire-hoses hosed down and icing up in January Detroit Ford Highland Park plant five dollars a day for the speedup now they call it The Ford thin men padding their shoulders pale men rouging their cheeks I will not imagine a doe as the emblem of every victim o what does it mean my dream of prosperity were you waiting a bandit to extort from me my mother's diamond ring before sleep repent take their miseries into your chest entangles and she tries to please it to repeat some of its names the caged birds as amulets of breath finally crying out Believe me 6 But he beats me the boy is saying standing before a man seated in a clean shirt. The sturdy boy is black with soot. A righteous bellowing ensues. The same exchange pins these soldiers here sweating. Flood of solace wholly absent. Not even a howl stirred inside us, nudged by a white cane tapping Last night another round of killing stray dogs, you could hear them yelping till dawn Who dragged you through all this teleology to live in feints of smaller and smaller amounts of money food money shelter money a dog nosing a pricked can for the spiraled out-dribble no regeneration sleep lacking all forethought scapulae heavy petals of clay beneath the river he sleeps, his paralysis thickens Then he is moving through a city alone and hungry language breaking usages seated in a clean shirt a bitch with saggy belly slacked out onto the sidewalk a monologue about ferns But isn't this an alibi: always the first man Grass rocks water (O poem already!) crickets spruce seaweed lichen boulder my cheap heart hucked gleaming, and that was the last anyone saw of it / smack it up and that was the last / smack it whether the tiny commandoes swarming down ropes on TV are real or the story of an ant towing a fine thread through a conch toward a drop of honey -- Jenny Jenny Jenny Jenny Jenny imprint in pale damp clay of a small bird's baroness feet Believe me It is too complicated to explain when that whistle broke the Lord's business into a scream Jenny why I am in despair of ever being loved Jenny and cannot send you money         Jennifer MacKenzie started reading Marx for the first time this April in Cairo and then Doha, where she became convinced that Qatar is the ideal place from which to consider crystallizations of capital and value in the early 21st century. Some of her recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Forklift, Ohio, Lungfull, and Typo. A chapbook, "Distant City", is forthcoming this July, and a full book of poems (title yet-to-be-determined) will be published as part of Fence Books' Modern Poets series next year. She lives for the time being in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mimi, Claude, Sam, Chloe and Marcel by Eugénie de Rosier

Burials by Evie Woltil Richner