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.” 

 

Five Poemsby Marina Blitshteyn

Influential Ghosts dear mothers, dear daughters, dear pen-pals, fellow students, former employees, professors, educators in general, dear somebody else’s headache, dear mistake or accident, dear wistful woman, why so sad, dear solitude, dearly departed, why your hand, dear empathy, dear nuanced understanding, dear plight of the advanced professional, dear single looking for a partner, dear partner, dearest,                                                   I’m just so bored, Rachel                                                   I confess I have no inner resources                                                           other resources include:                                                           my family                                                           a woman’s body                                                           an art v. love complex                                                           particular sound   Fellowship I live alone with my husband where we have several cats and pieces of furniture I live alone with my cats where we cuddle or I live alone with my roommates I have been working on my daylight hours for 26 years now and hope to collect them in a chapbook-length manuscript soon My husband is a composite of ideas I've been thinking about since high school a sort of roman-a-clef—For my research I have been reading feminist autobiographies such as Madame Bovary, The Second Sex, and The Golden Notebook, which is more a story of myself than my husband could be With this fellowship I will continue my work on personal habits and further my studies in the field of literary abstraction— I am grateful for the imaginative capacity I have been afforded thus far, and am eager to join my colleagues in the advancement of women in letters and the arts to date   I miss intimacy —It’s hard to see yourself sometimes… —What do you mean? —Like having that view of yourself from the outside. —Is that really seeing yourself? —No maybe not, but it’s the way you’re seen in the world. —I have this theory about artists: they can’t get too self-reflexive or they get stuck. —Paralysis of the will, I call it. Depression. —Yeah maybe, or like a crippling anxiety. —What’s even the difference? —The desire to communicate. —Is that depression? —No, that’s the desire to communicate with yourself.   prayer whatever selfhood acts here                let it swim unselfishly so all the earthly borders                of the self not compromise the heart there—so the fault                of other selves don’t drown or otherwise consume the self-same                worries of the mind— so that the self is kind enough                to other selves in other bodies— so that their personhoods are treasured                like the self—and all its complicated overwrought endeavors                —so that the self is joyful with the rest                                                        like touching the stove                                                                       not realizing that it’s hot                                                        like a train rammed into my gut                                                                       and I watched it happen                                                        like a slow drown, a loud incision                                                                       a precise disaster                                                        with its own dark mind                                                                       like an aware ecology                                                        takes pleasure in my ends                                                                       like it takes my surface first                                                        and then an organ on the inside                                                                       like it takes its toll and takes it                                                        with a taste for taking and a flair                                                                       for operating the device                                                        a talent for the fake nice face                                                                       aiming at me twice                                                        and then once-over—like the whole                                                                       affair is in alarm, the city                                                        rings its bells and tells you                                                                       there’s a toll here and a state                                                        so full of vibrant colors                                                                       it can bury you—                                                                                                Needs                                                                                                paper towel                                                                                                red onions                                                                                                milk                                                                                                juice                                                                                                bread                                                                                                dressing     sketch 4

 

 

                                        beautiful day, I’m in you                                         restless                                         like a man in me                                         arrested by the beauty of it                                         all that light                                         and not a body big enough                                         to wrest it from me  

 

 

Marina Blitshteyn is the author of russian for lovers (argos books, 2011), her work has appeared in la fovea, fawlt, southword, and culturestrike, among others. She writes and teaches in nyc.

Three Poemsby Rebecca Farivar

"The Journey to Shark Island"by Katherine Gallagher