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.” 

 

Impalement Arts by Amy Pickworth

It’s not the bullet not the bullet that kills youIt’s the hole it’s the hole it’s the hole                                        Laurie Anderson One Pressed against the temporary wall, blinded by footlights and sequins, snare drum thrumming ten knives three times a day Two The Princess of Éboli was praised throughout Spain for her beauty, “despite having lost an eye in a mock duel with a page.” Her face in every portrait is a piece of ripe fruit. The eyepatch is simple, black. Three

 The bowstring—                                                                                       Roofs swept   is released                                                                                               by maraschino   the arrow                                                                                                   lights out   sent into                                                                                                 of sync, warning  the darkness                                                                                             stray airplanes. monofilament                                                                                           Young men rig  spooling out                                                                                             cable in secret. in silver loops                                                                                            I dream about  between the                                                                                                 those lights   twin towers.                                                                                             all the time, says Jean Louis.

Four WHOOSH THUNK      sometimes a blade pins the hem of my skirt WHOOSH THUNK WHOOSH THUNK      a pair precisely measures the width of my head Five sometimes WHOOSH THUNK a lock of hair drops Six William Burroughs misses the glass, shooting Joan’s head instead. She was twenty eight. One of her children was also his. He writes in Queer, “the death of Joan brought me into contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit.” Seven From the Pall Mall Gazette, August 23, 1892:

No small sensation appears to have been made by the report of a duel between two ladies of the high Austrian nobility. The Princess Pauline Metternich, the Honorary President of the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition, and the Countess Kilmannsegg, the wife of the Statthalter of Lower Austria, and President of the Ladies’ Committee of the Exhibition, had a fearful quarrel over some arrangements at the Exhibition. The affair was regarded as so serious that it could only be settled by blood. . . . The duel was fought with rapiers. At the third round the Princess was slightly wounded on the nose, and the Countess on the arm. . . . Their wounds were attended to by Baroness Lubinska, a Polish lady who has studied medicine and obtained a doctor’s degree, whom they had prudently sent for from Warsaw to attend the duel.

This account fails to mention that the Baroness was familiar with war injuries, and knew that infection is likely if fabric is introduced into a puncture wound. For this reason, she advised the women to strip to the waist before the duel, which they did. The account also neglects to clarify that they were fighting about flower arrangements. Eight Sometimes a row of WHOOSH THUNK beads clatters to the floor Knives always quiver longer than you'd think. Nine John Wilkes Booth writes “wet, cold, starving, with every man’s hand against me, I am here in despair. And why? For doing what Brutus was honored for—what made Tell a Hero.” Ten Verdi has Princess Eboli sing about veiled women, about misunderstandings created by love. It’s her love that will destroy Don Carlo. She curses her beauty. Meanwhile there’s a parade, a burning of the heretics. The Grand Inquisitor is watching. There will be no peace —we know this—in Spain or France or Flanders.   Amy Pickworth's poems have appeared online at H_NGM_N and Ink Node and in print in Forklift, Ohio; New Ohio Review; and Smartish Pace. Her book Bigfoot for Women, winner of the Orange Monkey Book Prize, will be available in 2014. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

On Cattlefish and Halves of Water: A Postcolonial Valentine by Amy McDaniel

Fleshing by Sarah Marshall