To Round Out our Celebration of International Women’s Day, a New Poem from IS&T Editor Helen Ivory.


Six Signs You Might Be a Slattern


Are you a little draggle-tail;

do your skirts bedevil leavings from the gutter?


When you take a turn around the park

do bitches bevy close and claim you kin?


Are you wanton in your daily intercourse,

your ankles grimed, your lips stained cochineal?


And how’s your baking lately –

is your dough a coffer for slut’s pennies?


Do you hear ill-clamouring in your breast,

is there a midden where your heart should sit?


When a caller raps, does your front door

acquiesce directly, the catch already sprung?




Helen Ivory’s fourth Bloodaxe collection is Waiting for Bluebeard. She teaches online for the UEA/WCN creative writing programme. Fool’s World , a Tarot (with artist Tom de Freston) won the 2016 Saboteur Best Collaborative Work award.  A book of mixed media poems Hear What the Moon Told Me is out from KFS.

Note: This poem is from ‘The Anatomical Venus’, which is forthcoming from Bloodaxe in 2019

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