Surrealist composite image including references to Botticelli's Venus, pomegranate, and vaginal/biblically accurate angel

by Caitlin Smith



Rhienna Renée Guedry


Before discovery, before surgery
      and excavation I planned drawings of
the lava of my middle,
      my pelvic bone rendered in black ink
wide as the Bristol pad which bore it
      I sketched horrors, each pain a retelling
of the hips of my Doomsday
      —all plagues, all infestations:
box elders for their perseverance;
      larva and flies for their consumption;
grubs for writhing in the rot of me

The truth was these pests heralded
      dormancy, the two-on-a-pain-scale days,
hallelujahs so rare I dared not jinx them
      The truth was, I buried the lede
I was not consumed
      by slow, small beasts of the earth
No, most days were electric eels
      shocking and feasting; tentacles
swift, sharp, and mean; most days
      I was scourged by the stuff
of bad tattoos—razor blades, broken
      glass, barbed wire—none of which
I could bring myself to render




Rhienna Renée Guedry (she/they) is a writer, illustrator, and producer whose favorite geographic locations all have something to do with their proximity to water. Her work has appeared in Muzzle, Gigantic Sequins, Empty Mirror, HAD, Oyster River Pages, and elsewhere. Rhienna is currently working on her first novel. Find out more about her projects at or @cajunsparkle on Twitter.


Caitlin Smith (b.2001) is a multidisciplinary surrealist completing her master’s degree at the University of Sunderland. Working with a plethora of mediums, Smith favours relief printmaking processes & painting, acrylic being her preferred choice. At present, her practice explores the figurative narrative of the internalised femme fatale conjuring fragmented paintings and prints. Caitlin visually transcribes an outrageous oeuvre displaying themes of politics, societal taboos, and conflict, employing a mordacious narrative leading to a series of pronounced juxtapositions filled with allegories.