Euphemism ~ Candice Daquin

My grandmother used to say

If you give it away too easily

People will not value it

If it’s too easy it won’t have worth

And I realize

All the time I thought truth

Could be a beautiful thing

I was just making it easier

To be taken for granted and hurt

But I don’t play games

So if you’d only like me when I put on an act

And play hard to get

Then I’ll probably be alone forever

Because I’m not going to do that

Just so you fall for someone who

Isn’t me

That impressive mirage you conjure

Part from your own want

Part from my tease and need

For acceptance

You don’t know yet

I’ve an entire suitcase of rejections

Dolls with turned faces who declared

You’re a disappointment

I keep them in my attic and try not to talk about how

Their approbation flayed me more skillfully than

A pack of wolves set to hunt

I think there is not much difference

Between murder and neglect

Still

When it’s a balmy moon and we’re listening to the radio

If I hear a song for the girl I was

Before her face was pushed and held down

In her own regret

Your need and my tokenism

Are like wet matches

Able to dry out and catch

Given enough longing

Though it’s nothing more than spectacle

And borrowed words

Reveling in the saturate

Of one unfocused moment

Lapsing in her chair

Red toes, black eyes

Spilt hair, tied back bosom

The angularity of pain

Sift of life straining for

One last memory

Dancing in your arms

As you whisper things we’ll never do and maybe

I believe

Before sunrise

Every damn one of them

They stain my skin

With their heavy pits

As you take me into you and gasp

Underwater music sounds

Like a bird released from its cage

Will linger

Before flying away

And you

Place the empty containers of your words

Perfume bottles for the dreamer

Touch the door with trembling fingers

Wanting to make it last

Knowing it has already fled

And the besting of wings

Join children’s laughter

Playing by busted sprinkler

Water catching sunlight

Reminding you of grief

And her intoxicating print

Heavy in your chest

Temporary warmth

We’re walking on different sides of a sunlit street

The rain has ceased, everything glistens with temporary warmth

We are no longer the children of coal and sinking crafts

Who plucked our fear from our teeth like stray pieces of meat

In undigested land devoid of dental floss

I swam once

The entire length of a pool holding my breath underwater

The teachers eyes bulging, as he asked me why I didn’t drown

I could have told him, drowning wasn’t the worst fate

Nothing to lose with eyes closed, pushing against surly weight of water

Antiseptic smell in my nostrils and your voice

Catching with laughter like much played vinyl

We hung from tree limbs to forget the welt of sad places

Drifting in sunlight as long as we could, before shadows criss-crossed satsuma sun

I could have said; when you’ve nothing to lose

It’s easier to give your all

Even as you drown on dry land

But adults never understood us then, with our suitcases of pain and secrets

They stapled confessions together and told us

Don’t make up wicked lies

Sent us home, without pebbles in our pockets

To mark the way back to before we spoke

Out.

That is why

Diving deep

I would talk to you as we

Held our mutual spearmint breath

Swam fierce, then languid, until numb

Through unyielding padlocked worlds

So similar to all we knew

Save those brief moments skipping class

With the glory of a starting over day, all her unabashed radiance

Even nightmares could be beautiful

Braid their hair with pink skirted daisies

On days like those

Hours- Samantha Lucero

Hours clem-onojeghuo-192729

I see those mottled photos, ornate albums

of yesterdays yellow sun

Of swollen women, dream-like, in a lavender field.

They leash their arms around an oval-shape

becoming empty; the shape deflates, the air comes out like water.

It starts to breathe it’s own small breath in the shape of a person,

someday a man, a woman, sometimes swollen, sometimes

stiff, stark, or bleeding.

Seeing those photos one day,

your nose has memorized leather and tobacco flower.

for her, it’s dr.pepper, Disney on ice

the cotty musk she never knew she had just inside the pi of bone.

samantha lucero 2017 ©


Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at Samantha Lucero, sometimes and is a managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Untitled- Samantha Lucero

Untitled arleen-wiese-457173my scent, not his scent,
but by some changeling blood
could spread the same smile
on halloween. on christmas
waking up in blankets
it didn’t fall asleep in.

there’s bricks that hold down a red
bottlebrush flower from 1994.
remember,
she called you honeysuckle,
and thought rats had no bones.

i remember
my small hand in his
big glove, rough inside
like sand paper. old yellow leather in
a white truck stuck together
with luck, cigarettes in a soft pack,
right in your shirt pocket, next to the
heart in my hand, in your glove
in a warm cup of coffee,

i could live on that smell and skip
meals for the month of
october.
just the memory of it,
and the dregs of
california pain.

i could armor myself in you.
live in your flannel and die.
carve a valknut in my chest
over the hole where no light
can get in.

but you’re the one with
the valknut – you’re
the one who earned it.

through a violent death,
but you’d want the cross
instead.

“these violent delights
have violent ends.”

scorpio.

scorpio.

scorpio.


Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at Samantha Lucero, sometimes and is a managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Uncomfortably Numb-Christine Ray

stop
Once upon a time
i was an innocent
girl-child
full of trust
day dreams
fairy wishes
like many
girl children
barbarian
invaders
tried to claim
my territory
as their own
i was young
helpless
powerless
but absorbed
the lesson
shame

i learned to live
outside
of the country
named body
retreated
to the
the land
called
dissociation
to protect
the integrity
the fragility
of self
grew thicker
skin
became
a chameleon
felt rage
simmer
in my belly

told over
and
over
again
that I existed
for other’s
entertainment
pleasure
called
bitch
dyke
ballbuster
tease
when
i insisted
that i would
set the terms
for
who
when
where
my body
would be shared

many years
later
i meet the foe
called
neuropathy
that drags
me
out of
dissociation
and solidly back
into body
whether
i want to
be there
or not
neuropathy
is excruciating
numbness
burning
radiating pain
i laugh
at the irony

Remember; learn- Cliff Notez

eyoung_lbrown_sg

[Poem by Cliff Notez, photo from the biography of Eva Jones-Young]

Remember;learn 1

There are times where I curse the past
Reminiscing on the Grit of pain
an accepting that things have happened.
Disregarding that things are happening,
I am turning a blind eye to my hindsight
Ignorance has never been bliss
Memories are not prophecies
They are blueprints.
Remember, recollect, remind.
Reconsider, revisit, recalculate
Remember, recollect, remind.
Remember.
Remember.
Remember;
when concrete shaved the skin off your palms.
How it made you miss the comfort of your bike
and how you will never hit that corner,
Going that fast again.
Remember;
Your first fight
Decorating your face with knuckles and blood
how he hit you with a jab,

– Remember;learn 2

jab,
hook,
jab, jab.
Learn to duck
And swing
And counter
And swing
Until you hit
Until you hit.
Hit,
Until you break.
Remember;
Not all things broken will be fixed
Remember;
Surviving demise makes you invulnerable
Remember;
we have been surviving since we were born
Remember;
Nights with no box-spring and dinner plate,
Never go hungry and sleepless
Remember;
sleep closely relates to death
Remember;
The day your grandmother died,
never let another good woman leave you again.

– Remember;learn 3

Remember;
the day you first cried,
how laughter felt like hugs
Remember;
the homicides
And how to never relive a crime scene again
Remember denial
Learn access
Remember pain
Learn pleasure
Remember tribulation
Learn good fortune
Remember where your feet walked in turmoil
And learn to never walk in coal again
Compress the memories of those roads
And create diamonds
Remember;
how they burnt your school down in 8th grade
Value your education
Savor every cent they give you for being under privileged
Remember you are privileged
Remember there is white privilege
Remember you are different
Learn the beauty of blackness

– Remember;learn 4

Remember you have Vitiligo
Never forget that beauty is beyond skin deep
Remember;
when they kept you silent,
learn to sing euphonies when asked to speak.
after remembering the lack of luster and value in lies
learn to speak truth
Remember;
how we’d be living the same pain
if we never learned to escape it.
When thinking of the past
Do not disregard struggle
Remember;
how none of it came easy
be thankful that any of it happened.

unnamed

Born in Boston Massachusetts, at the beginning of the 90s, Cliff Notez  is an artist, film maker, poet, musician, photographer, and producer/engineer working with people and places like Harvard, MIT, Boston University, RAW Art Works and more. Cliff recently graduated from Northeastern University [2016] with a masters in digital media and was 2016 Vox Pop Poetry Slam Champion with the Haley House slam team and is currently finishing up his new film and albums, and chap book due out in 2017.When he’s not working on his own art or doing shows, he’s working on everyone else’s as the founder and director of media brand HipStory as lead administrator and educator for the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Teen New Media Programs.

Uncomfortably Numb-by Christine Ray

stop
[Another powerful poem by our powerhouse of a poet,Christine Ray!]

Once upon a time
i was an innocent
girl-child
full of trust
day dreams
fairy wishes
like many
girl children
barbarian
invaders
tried to claim
my territory
as their own
i was young
helpless
powerless
but absorbed
the lesson
shame
 
i learned to live
outside
of the country
named body
retreated
to the
the land
called
dissociation
to protect
the integrity
the fragility
of self
grew thicker
skin
became
a chameleon
felt rage
simmer
in my belly
 
told over
and
over
again
that I existed
for other’s
entertainment
pleasure
called
bitch
dyke
ballbuster
tease
when
i insisted
that i would
set the terms
for
who
when
where
my body
would be shared
 
many years
later
i meet the foe
called
neuropathy
that drags
me
out of
dissociation
and solidly back
into body
whether
i want to
be there
or not
neuropathy
is excruciating
numbness
burning
radiating pain
i laugh
at the irony