Kay Shamblin is a lesbian poet, student, and avid D&D player based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poetry has been published in theWhiteSquirreland OROBORO, and her most recent work is centered around body horror, eroticism and intimacy.

I started writing poetry before I realized I was a lesbian, but I started getting serious about my writing at around the same time that I started to really question my sexuality. One of the moments where my sexuality became clear to me was when I realized that I wanted to write poetry for this girl so badly, but I that had never wanted to write poems for the men that I dated. I write on my sexuality a lot now, in less of a political way and more of a confessional or introspective way. Before I knew I was a lesbian, my poetry felt artificial. Now it feels raw.

I don’t really see any tropes in work by women who love women that get on my nerves, but I get really heated at some of the portrayals of gay women by straight writers. If I see one more oversexualized, male gaze-y, predatory depiction of gay women I’m going to scream.Woman Motivational Quote Facebook Post(28).png

I don’t think that love is a worthier subject to write on than erotica. The two intertwine so often that I feel like it’s a disservice to both subjects to act as though they’re completely divorced from one another or working against each other. I’ve found that one of the more important parts of my journey as a poet has been finding ways to combine themes of romance and eroticism in poetry, especially since women who love women are so often objectified.

It’s a reclamation to be able to talk about sex and love concurrently and on my own terms, all the while having the power to frame this conversation in the ways that I want. Poetry, especially love poetry, is as much for myself as it is for the girl I’m writing about. It’s a way to shed all the stigma surrounding the ways that gay women express sex and love. To express a shameless outpouring of yearning and say “Look! I’m not predatory! I’m in love!” is reclamation in itself.

I’m so, so smitten with my girlfriend. As much as I want to get cocky and say that I can put that feeling into words, I know that there are some things that are bigger than poetry. My love poems go through more drafts than any other of the pieces I write because of that desire to get things across exactly as I mean them. I come back to the same images/situations a lot in love poetry just because there are certain things that really hit me in the heartstrings. I have insomnia, so I end up spending a lot of time awake, holding my girlfriend as she sleeps. There’s so much intimacy and tenderness wrapped up in those moments, and I come back to them a lot when I’m writing for her. For me, writing on that feeling is as close as I can get to transcribing love.Woman Motivational Quote Facebook Post(29).png
I love my chosen poem! It’s a labor of love that has become really dear to my heart. Over this past summer, my girlfriend and I were living in different cities and didn’t see each other that often. We were texting and sending each other love letters to fill that space that distance left, and that’s where this poem began. This started as a few lines in the notes app on my phone that I wrote and texted her during my lunch break, but I ended up coming back to it. There were a few months where almost the only writing I worked on was this poem, and that’s why I submitted it here. I put a lot of love into this piece, and there’s a lot of love to get out of it.

SMITTEN is coming out late October, 2019 via all good book stores. Published by Indie Blu(e) www.indieblu.net 

Please consider supporting this project of over 120+ talented poets and authors by purchasing a copy of SMITTEN for someone who appreciates beautiful poetry. https://www.facebook.com/SMITTENwomen/

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