Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rage Rage

furious to the wall
heated in the hall

laughter let loud
shouting to burn

dying to save
reaching to feel

need to be needed
must be heeded.
--JD DeHart

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Between the Sepals

my pink petals darkened brown 
I thought for the sin of my unwashed hands. 
Barbie doll romantic reenactments
 always terminated in taboo 
Georgia O’Keefe finger painting.

When I first saw a lady slipper in the woods, 
I knew it had nothing to do with shoes,
 unless you’re talking pumps, just for the sound of it. 
it has a labellum,
 just say it slow and sultry like with your honey sweet lips.
And of course bellum is Latin for war.

A phalaenopsis orchid:
phalaina from Greek, meaning moth
but I see a soft phallus in the word, spelled more prettily.
I mean it has a tiny nub
called a column, and therefore
columns in common flowers are 
called the stigma, 
and that’s what I certainly had,
with my boy-bruised petals 
back in a spring equinox that was never equal. 
Maybe Aristotle knew what he was talking about
when he used opsis to mean final tragedy,
because everyone knows moths aren’t as good
as butterflies.

Receptacle, they brand the 
swollen segment beneath the blossom.
Doesn’t the flower sound so used now? 
No worries,
they tell me it went willingly
 to all the bees that desired it 
 and it’s not the bees fault 
the flowers bloomed with such
alluring submission.
There have always been too many bees to count.

How funny that bees save their cultish devotion for only one 
of their stature
which is never a flower.

over stroked metaphors of flora 
turn feral fauna I suspect
if you read between the sepals.
--Lara L.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

As Far As I'm Concerned

As far as I’m concerned,
I told you I was gay
When I bit Barbie’s head off
As far as I’m concerned,
I told you I was gay when
I stole Jim’s racecar pajamas
And wore them underneath
As far as I’m concerned
The baseball cap
I wore from ages five to fourteen
Was one of the many ways I told you
I was gay
When I refused to wear the top
To my bathing suits
I was telling you
When I insisted on swigging soda
From the bottle
So it looked more like your beer
I was clearly telling you I was gay
When I wore a sweatshirt
Over 2 t-shirts
With a mustard stain on each of them
I was telling you
When you teased me about wanting

To marry Joe Namath
And I said, no, I wanted to be Joe Namath
I was telling you
When I asked you to call me “Sport” instead of “Sweetheart’”
I was telling you
When I wiped my mouth on my sleeve
Shoved my hands in my pockets
Practiced spitting, grunting
And peeing while standing
I was telling you
The time I begged for authentic cowboy boots
The black watch plaid flannel shirt from LL Bean
The Brooks Brothers’ navy blazer
With the secret inside pockets
I was telling you
When I dressed all in black
And put grease on my face
And practiced crawling beneath beds
(pretending they were barbed wire)
Simulating the POW’s in Hogan’s Heroes
I was telling you
When I tried out for solo on
“When you’re a Jet you’re
A Jet all the way from your first
Cigarette to your last dying day”
Instead of “Tonight
I was telling you
When I wanted the orange 10 speed
The GI Joes
The Erector Set
The Walkie Talkies
The Boxing Gloves
The Sling Shot
The Daisy Rifle
I was telling you
When I stole your shaving cream
I was telling you
When aunt roberta said I “walk

Like Bucky Dent” and I said ‘Thanks!”
I was telling you
So when you were laying there
Finally dying and I didn’t
Start explaining how I prefer to have sex
And with whom I hope you realized
It’s not like I never told you

--Jennifer Brooke

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lot's Wife In Prime Time

Wheeled out in prime time,
dusted off, make-up girls
powdering her up from crusted
toe to nose, Lot’s wife dug
from the desert, placed on a
sound stage under lights to
amuse the martini boys and girls
and sell a few six packs—here
the aftermath of a sand god
speaks to the masses in a tongue
they do not hear.
Could be Oprah or Maury,
Johnny or Dave—no matter,
any full set of teeth and lacquered
hairdo will suffice.
So Lot’s dear wife sits as a
caked mannequin, camel smile
burnt on for millennia, limestone
ears buzzed by an audience’s
tinnitus, listens to the micro-phoned
questions coming from a crowd
eager to consume a rock woman’s
Her thoughts ooze out like moss on
They would fish-hook them from her
frozen tongue.
Her gaze of ages from welded eyes
made cracked crystal by Sodom’s
burned turrets. This the lack of
obedience from the spirits’ warning
of not to gaze on the white incarnation,
solid fog made of mad oranges, blazing
reds, a tiny god’s history-pointing finger
that brought them all here, madly in love
with the heat that they imagined.
Her contemplations from a coral brain
remembering the shock wave cracked-foamed
over her form stilled in flight—cones of
electric light settling over, a stinger that
cannot be pulled.
These words she would hammer together
to make a house for them to live within:
do not believe that the force of history,
of rolled out consequences can be
peeled away, that forgiveness is flaked
stone revealing the core of kindness.
Do not believe that we can gaze
behind and find summer’s solace
choking the rot of autumn.
Do not believe that we are chosen
by heaven’s probability for
immortal glory after the arena’s
She would like to raise a stalactite
middle finger, but that would not be
All I did, like you, was look.
--Ralph Monday

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Having enough to

Starchy corn
Summer heat
Shit planting flies
With a windmill in the background

Enough money raised
Timber, low beams
Chunky leather sofas
Sticks to our bare legs
As the furniture moves
                past our noses

A washing machine
and wooden chairs
           for the dining table

Upstairs there are cries and groans
Beds being assembled
Trapping fingers
Breaking nails and
Bruising knees
On the hardwood floor

We need some rugs for our new home too.

--Katie Lewington

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Silence of Words

As a girl I was told that it was better to
sit in silence—because I was a girl, so
I sat in silence as a girl.
        Not to be denied, I knew my creative power,
made a box of words that in curvaceous moments
pulled muscle cars from the past that drove
me along in perfect seeing silence. Those who made
me mute may as well have written an obituary of rocks.
They did not understand that my multi-colored
        leggings gave tread to my wanderings
where I would someday embrace the PTSD, love
the past ripped pains.
        In my hush I saw that most men would have
an Ithaca-moment, that metallic lingerie was nothing
but a subversion of surfaces withholding encrypted love,
        that their glass gears, confectioned cogs
prevented them from ever knowing an intimate,
perfect tension,
from seeing that from an off-center equator
Venus went gliding by, transiting the sun, making
of love scented inflammations.
I sat in silence with my box of words, as a
girl in silence, because I was a girl, and knew
centuries’ afterburners
where they only knew small gods whining
in their heads. When they talked they said
        could not gain immortality from the
underworld, but I learned, in my silence,
of a fire-crowned seduction
sighed out by breath of the dead-young.
I mounted syncretism’s secrets, learned of
snakes that fondle prayer beads,
        spied a lake of ice on the moon where
dead skaters glide, plucked out the mystery,
for this is where Van Gogh painted,
        where Stravinsky composes modern melodies
still, the place where the Alps are eating the oceans
and Josephine Baker taught Eve’s black moves.
        These things smiled at me from my box of
words, where I sat in perfect silence, as a girl,
moving toward that day when I would be a woman.
--Ralph Monday

Sunday, October 25, 2015

1 morning w/ you

The disorder of the fluffy clouds
And the crumbs scattered on the kitchen top
The curtains rumpled
And the prints on the floor
                     My clammy feet are making

Untidy messes

Starting with the bed

The sheets wet,  stinking of sweat
                  And sex

You naked
Cigarette smouldering in your mouth
As you open the window
And lean out
Observing your Kingdom

It ends abruptly
A ring tone howling
A phone call and your concerns are elsewhere

Am I merely travelling the rainbow
Will there be a pot of gold

And I feel  -lonely
Anticipating the weekend
I will keep busy
But it will be empty
As I search
Outside the window
For people
Lives,  culture,  colour,  life

Flick open the magazine
Try not to overhear what it is
Who it is
That has called

The glossy pages
Breasts exposed
And legs apart
A simple theme
She,  without flaws,  and an adopted name
Sleek cats of many varieties

I peel back the silver foil
Balancing the magazine on my knees
Chocolate scrapes underneath my fingernails
Feel bad,  guilty
Will this chocolate add fat
To my stomach
My upper arms,  are they looking chunky
Maybe the chocolate is appearing there
Building the fat
Like a temple
So every stone I gain Is in the wobble of my flesh
At every step I take
I will be reminded of everything I have eaten
I will be the walking advertisement to my own diet
I will be ashamed

No sooner have you finished the call
Your phone begins to rings again

I can support you
Let me show you
If you let me I can

My lips are sore
Neck marked by the bite of your teeth
Two more weeks
And this is all there will be left
Memories to stir emotions

I will masturbate to this later.

--Katie Lewington

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Speak Your Peace: Mandie Jichita

This piece was originally performed at Cha Island on March 26, 2015 for our local Speak Your Peace! event. It was amazing. You shoulda been.

I never got to enjoy the oceans

When the car creeps into the empty intersection on a red light, then slowly reverses at a sharp angle
I say, "What the hell was that?"
He says, "Turning...?"
I laugh like a fool
Apparently my laughter is contagious
If I wanted to go for a drink, I could do it now
I can make my own decisions, drive and fuck and open a bank account
I can walk from here to Europe if I really want because
Every ocean has been replaced by rigid concrete
And I no longer have an excuse to drown
200 days of being a juvenile later
Whose feet are these, on which I must stabilize my weight?
The advantage of seizing strong legs to hold me up
is the certainty of a dance
while the disadvantage is dancing a dance that is not mine
We promptly got lost. We ended up on a winding road with no exits, then in a few construction zones
Which felt oddly homey
A hole in the dishevelled rubble, supposed to house a pristine structure
Supposed to be something already
As I am
I'll live in a hole such as that
In the earth
Because this regulator keeps me synthetically contented and it feels like
Being made of glass
Polished to a shine - tucked away on a shelf
I've lost count of the years in which I've buried my head in the sand
Because to summon my lucidity is a waste
It will always look black, feel vacant
It will echo with wraithlike conviction and smell of blood
For eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds – I counted
Gravity pulling the grains
He says, "I'm nice to you, aren't I?"
I say, "I know. I'm sick and sleep deprived and confused and just; don't take anything I say seriously."
I don't say: Our next meeting will depend on other people and it will fall through
Because strong legs, when borrowed, eventually deteriorate
And your number will tremor whenever the wind blows, telling me
I shouldn't be afraid of a boy's number and
I'm so afraid
If I wanted to go out
Wade through the rubble and find a fancy seat.
Sit there stoically waiting
For a drink
I could do it now
I can make my own decisions, drive and fuck and open a bank account
All at the same time, if I wanted to.
I could.
Happy Birthday. Cheer overcomes us.

--Mandie Jichita

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Speak Your Peace: Judas

This piece was originally performed at Cha Island on March 26, 2015 for our local Speak Your Peace! event. It was awesome. You shoulda been.

you can think if you like, the cosmic ebb &flow
is an oddity you’ve come to intimately know
chaos isnt a dance to be memorized
its all improv babe
thrash, weave maybe even land on both feet
that moody sea lulls you to a false stability
then flips ship on you
sometimes im a narwhal
or else im grasping at staying afloat
what tastes worse , the water or the air?
so often peace of mind feels so goddamn remote
i dont know what to do anymore
numb or overrun
masterfully glacial or flash flood
perpetual motion mind & cement in my blood
i dont think i like it
my sober stream of thought
the screaming is too loud
death wails of a planet
clutching a knife wound-oil stain
of human greed and obsession to"succeed"
corruption down to the seed in the core in the rotten blood electric fruit served on rustic pharma fresh style plates
encouraging you to gorge in hopes you die by 62
profiting on providing false cures to you
how can you look at a fellow earthling as scum
turning your mobile investment so you can throw money at another fucking stadium
so many still believe that salvation lies
in the hands of sadistic suits and ties
who strap guns to the hips of ill temperments
compassion and universal love is becoming a crime
words are moving too fast to tell me what is time
countless hours since my eyes last closed
the ride isnt stopping
space seldom tells treacherous tales
so i cast my net, cast my bet and breathe
our silent exchanges always interrupted
because pigs /do/ fly
throat catching reminder of "how it is"
observing the worker ants from up high
we cant make sustainable use of what grows wild
but they can exploit, brutalize and destroy any adult or child
self entitled hording of water
stealing imaginary rights to a resource no one can own
slap on a pretentious label and sling it like smack
best seal off the boardrooms and mansions
i wouldnt wanna be there when nature comes calling for her share
attempting to keep my head clear but this fucked up fantasy dont disappear
but resistance will never be as excrutiating as compliance
a world tip toeing around elitist whims
then survival depends on defiance
with a flick of a switch we could all be dust
keeping up the love is all i can trust
heart always wins the fight
friend i guess im running out of ways to cope
sitting, gazing up a 90 degree slope
bare fists clenching ice
any idea what im doing right now?
any at all


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Speak Your Peace: Caitlin Hoffman

I originally performed this piece at Cha Island in March 2015 for our local Speak Your Peace! event. Everyone was amazing. You shoulda been.

Cunt Talk

Now I know we don’t wanna talk about cunts

‘Cause men fear them which means they fear us

Nobody wants to talk about blood

in the soul or spit

Nobody wants to hear about the times I thrashed against my clit

when I fucked the whole world away and felt


Nobody wants to see me look at her to imagine touching her to wonder if I could

these fingers have drawn a thousand lines in my mind yet rarely materialised against thigh

only once or twice and even then

too ashamed to be wet

preoccupied with a million lies like You’re cute when you’re angry I’m good when I do what they tell me I wanna fuck hard and loud and I don’t give a fuck who it is or if it hurts

This body wasn’t mine it belonged to every eye

and when he stuck it in I didn’t cringe. Didn’t cry. Just held my hands against his shirt whispered no once or twice or five times

and we didn’t break up

and I never called it rape.

I was taught guys like good girls who talk dirty, skip foreplay suck first think later ask never sit still stay on top. Swallow bend beg for it so what’s it matter if I did or didn’t like it when sex is centred around the dick I may as well have been a doll but doll’s don’t have scars dolls don’t have acne marks dolls don’t weep into toilet bowls and wonder why they’re ugly

Dolls don’t have ribs pointing out too far

Dolls don’t whisper no.

As I wipe the dirt from my sweet little secrets

I wonder how the world could ever benefit from this

and I worry my words will only hurt or make it worse.

We cannot spark a revolution w/ our tongues

No matter how much they beat against us

for long before we learned to talk they learned to silence us.

I always wanted to be a boy and for a while thought I was

but daddy’s little girl still wore dresses to Sunday School

now looking back I see what I meant to express through this

what was expected of me in a Christian family

I sensed very well who I wasn’t supposed to kiss.

In girls I was meant to find friends and in men an eventual husband

which soon turned to cocks locked with frustrated fingers

fucking so loud so silently

and never finding anything.

Would I have done better abstinent

Would I have done better without regret

Would I have done better loving women

exactly the way I wanted.

Now I know a little too late

Love isn’t a sin but lust is

Just stay with me on this

Lust isn’t desire lust isn’t libido lust isn’t attraction and lust isn’t sex

Lust is what turns us into

meat on heels

the prop they’re gonna tap the hole they’re gonna get

bitch slut dyke fake the names they give us to assume our submission

strip our humanity

the ones that gave excuses for raping slaves.

And I know it hurts to hear, and I still look at her even when she isn’t here

and remember a cunt gushing on my chair

because there between fingers and kiss I sensed something resembling innocence

a feeling I’ve never felt in these lips.

But you don’t wanna hear about her

and you don’t wanna hear that word

you’d rather I keep lying

and say I like it.

--Caitlin Hoffman

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Speak Your Peace: Rose Merke

This piece was originally performed at Cha Island on March 26, 2015 for our local Speak Your Peace! event. It was awesome. You shoulda been.

Whisper to ROAR

I spoke, it wasn't very loud
and no one heard me

I was not heard and
it felt like I was not seen,

In my private place I spoke long
of all the things I wondered about, thought about things,
I wanted to see if
someone would listen.

If they saw me maybe they
would hear me.

I tried to speak again
and no one heard me

I felt so sad, so all alone,
I started crying.

Now there was SHOUTING!:
I'll give you something to cry about.

I was in shock,
I did not know that tears were loud
and could be heard when my voice could not.

My voice kept trying to be heard
but it had no strength

I tried to shush my tears
but they could not be quieted

I tried to listen, to hear the voices of others,
perhaps their voice could become mine

In my head, I heard so many voices
most of them angry, threatening and loud

I wanted my voice to have the power to say
SHUT UP!, STOP,  I don't want to hear your voices anymore

I thought I was loud
yelling to be heard
but it came out as only a soft voice
that hardly got out.

I wondered who had stolen my voice, my power
and where had they put it?
I hope my voice would try again to speak, even whisper
so I might go to where it is.

I thought I had heard something
but couldn't be sure
I asked tentatively, Please speak again so I can hear
After some time
I heard my voice
a little stronger

I heard it whisper, I'm scared,
then each time a little louder,
I'm sad, I'm lost, I feel invisible,
I don't want to be tied up
even stronger

don't touch me, don't laugh at me,
And then my voice would hide and barely whisper
What if no one likes me?

Many thought my voice was fine
that I talked a lot.
They didn't hear a word I said, so I could just as well

be mute.

I kept on trying to find my voice
I wanted others to know it was mine and not
the lip sync of another

I became restless and dissatisfied
I myself could hardly recognise
my voice

I started to speak up,
louder than a whisper, all of a sudden
I heard a ROAR

I didn't know where it came from
I heard it again

I realised it was coming out of me
the ROAR was mine
from deep within.
It was the pain, confusion, and sadness.
It was fear.

I heard it again and I heard ANGER
this anger I didn't know I had or where it had been hiding
but I had to ROAR to get through all the layers
of protection and hiding
It came out a deep abyss
and it shook the very foundation of my life.

It was my voice
It had become clear
From a whisper to a ROAR
it could no longer be denied.

It is I.

--Rose Merke

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Speak Your Peace: Merick Milward-Quinn

This piece was originally performed at Cha Island on March 26, 2015 for our local Speak Your Peace! event. It was amazing.

For fifteen years or more, I've felt invisible. I recall saying, at the age of seven, that I couldn't possibly accomplish anything because I was a young half-Native girl (being the opposite of my oppressors, the middle-aged-to-old white men of power, but luckily I had parents to usher those ideas out with the words of, "It's because of those things that you have the power to do anything."

And for a decade, half my life no less! I lived on the reserve, but there are people here who've known me for years without realizing where I'm from, so maybe I should stop my own erasure and declare my heritage proudly! (Or sadly once you realize just how decimated the culture truly is.)

Passing on partial pale-skinned privilege, have I shucked the identity I lamented at age seven, I created on to suit the system for my late success. I wore a mask of assimilation, I've been alienating myself from all forms of my natural community sor far, only to go on building my own network. One just as eccentric and queer and mashed together on stories of the heart as the person I've become, the person I share universally.

My ambiguity in life is omnipotent, from my gender and expression, to exploding out of nuclear heteronormative family roles or rules, redefining success to include my lifestyle and connections because otherwise you'd never hear about the joys we experience from the mass majority who'd rather see me as a statistic than a flesh and bleeding human.

And no one in school tells you what it's like to always be in survival mode, when several years pass and feeling safe is only based selectively for nothing will remain stable.
--Merick Milward-Quinn

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Poem about a Book That Has yet to Be Written

There is bad blood
in the genealogy
of my Grandfather’s line
on my Mother’s side,
full of strange perversions
and sexual proclivities
that are not smiled upon
in polite society.
Things that make a normal
man cringe,
especially if that man happens to be me.
I have to face the fact
that such blood runs in my veins.
I’ve detoxified on celery and carrot juice
until the cows come home,
but that kind of shit runs deep,
and sewer sludge isn’t that
easy to flush clean.

There is toxic blood
in the genealogy
of my Grandfather’s line
on my Father’s side,
full of wine and liquor,
full of ego and ink
that spills on the page
with each drink down the drain.
The type of genes
that cause the liver
to fill up like a bloated whale,
and can lead to nausea
that takes the cake, and then
vomits it up on occasions
when the nights
go too long, running
into the mornings,
once a year or so.

All this crazy blood
swirls like a genetic soup
in my harsh DNA reality.
Which is fine by me,
because I’m more into
the idea of freewill anyway.
Besides, if I had to take my pick,
I’d rather be a drunk
than some lowlife pervert,
so I must have hit
the karmic jackpot this time
around the cycle.

Now pass that bottle, baby.

--Scott Thomas Outlar