Poetry, Uncategorized

Something about a Coffee Shop – Ally Ameel

I’ve never understood coffee

but I see it’s simple way

intruding into the lives

and noses

of others

even me

the coffee shop on the corner

sits patiently waiting

I’ve never tasted coffee

with its smells and colors

a penny found on the street

heads side up

to the color of night

when you can hear the crickets

and the cars far away

but nevertheless

I find myself at that coffee shop

around 6:00 pm

after a day

that felt much longer than a day

and it’s not so bad

it’s got this eclectic vibe

that’s surrounds me

hanging in the air

and coffee

the smell doesn’t push me away

it opens the door

since 1985 it says

and I can see how the jazz music

and black plush chairs

could make you sink in

and forget the time

and I can see myself

reading for days

watching the sun rise and fall

and not even drinking coffee

just yet

people talking

people watching

let’s stay here

a little longer

 

 

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Poetry, Uncategorized

Espero a mi vuelo – Carlina Green

 

“Espero a mi vuelo”

por Carlina Green

Espero a mi vuelo.

Argentina me llama

a dejar el suelo

que ha sido mi ama,

mi cárcel, mi tiruelo.

Quita las escamas

de los ojos en duelo;

así una lágrima derrama

y me da consuelo.

Translation:

I await my flight.

Argentina calls me

to leave the ground

that has been my master,

my prison, my little tyrant.

It will remove the scales

from my mourning eyes.

so that a tear spills

and brings me solace.

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Poetry, Uncategorized

(untitled) – Karlee Sanders

give up
give in—
no

<give more>
<give generously>

you’re nothing
you’re worthless—
no

<you’re worth the sun and the stars>

can’t—
no

<can>

don’t—
no

<do>

good thoughts are preposterous—
absolutely not

<good thoughts radiate positive vibes>

ks

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Poetry, Prose, Prosetry, Uncategorized

Things That Are Grey – Ally Ameel

I’m not sure if it’s grey or gray, but in the end it doesn’t really matter

 

everything is blurry

 

it’s like my ears stopped working

and I can’t see very well

like I’m looking through water

and everyone is swimming

 

which I guess I am

 

I don’t know where the crying began

and when I stopped

 

but now i found myself sitting

in silence

 

I could smell cleaning products

and the walls were so white

it was almost blinding

but the light bulbs

washed everything away

 

I stared at the wall

and sometimes

people passed

in blurs of white

blending with the walls

and occasionally blue

 

I must have sat for hours

without thinking at all

 

mom came later

and did her mom thing

with the hugging and the worrying

and trying to figure out

just what I’m feeling

dad just sort of stood there

with his hands in his pockets

saying I’m sorry a lot

he doesn’t deal with sadness

too well

 

they waited

but then we had to go

and I had to say goodbye

 

I’m used to goodbyes

but they never get easier

no matter how many times

 

I stood up

and walked to the window

next to the door

the blinds cut my vision

into thin strips

but my brain put the image together

like a puzzle

and I saw her lying there

with her chest moving

up and down

I breathed with her for a while

 

I walked inside

and stood near the window

to the outside

 

I remember when

she taught me to play chess

even though I already knew how

and she broke all the rules

and wouldn’t let me take any of her pieces

not even the little pawns

 

she had cats too

but only two

so not quite crazy

like I said before

she snuck them pieces of her dinner

while we sat around the table

playing cards

when she got sick of chess

she cheated at that too

 

and she even made me watch

black and white romance films

while I sat on the green couch

with cracks in the leather

and she sobbed

into a box of tissues

 

she believed in

true love

and all that stuff

 

I looked outside

the sky was grey

it seemed to know

that something sad was happening

i was still crying

 

she finally spoke

her voice crackling

like a radio stuck between stations

 

“henry stop crying”

 

I turned around

and there she was

mrs laverne

she still wore

those silly green glasses

her skin was worn

and she looked tired

 

“henry get over here. I’m dying, didn’t you hear?”

 

I stumbled over, awkwardly

 

“hi” I muttered

 

“wow your social skills have really improved”

 

I didn’t laugh

 

“you know henry, you’re a good guy.”

 

“oh thanks.”

 

“and life sucks, but it will get better”

 

I thought

about when mrs laverne

bailed me out of jail

 

she asked me what I knew

about love

 

I always thought love was stupid

and cheesy

I thought

it was supposed to make you happy

but all I felt was grey

like the sky

 

but then I thought about

when mrs laverne

made me chicken noodle soup

when I got pneumonia

for two weeks

 

and when she fixed my car

after I drove into a tree

and she didn’t even tell my parents

 

I thought

about how she dazed off

and stared

at the photograph

of her son and husband

siting on the mahogany table

in her living room

 

and I sort of knew why now

 

“thanks” I finally said

 

she reached her hand out to mine

her nails were still painted red

I almost smiled

 

“I’ll miss you henry”

 

“do you really believe in love?”

 

“doesn’t everybody? it’s the only reason I’m still alive”

 

she closed her eyes

and smiled back at me

 

“goodbye”

 

“I’ll miss you too mrs laverne. you weren’t so bad”

 

I walked away

without turning back

in the back of my mind

I wanted to say

see you tomorrow

but I knew it wasn’t coming

   

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A History of Lighthouses – Ally Ameel

cities shouldn’t be so bright

your eyes glittered in times square

like moonbeams

i blinked three times fast

my tongue twisted from saying your name

two syllables too long

you spun around under a sky full of fire

patterns of rainbow special effects

a candy colored kaleidoscope

your hair lifted from your head

twirling

as you danced

and clapped your hands

at the vanishing art

like a child

and then you were gone

somewhere far away

something about

“getting away from it all”

leaving me behind

as i sit outside

sipping coffee

dark as night

i think of where you are

so far

but i remember

we share the same moon

no bigger than a fingernail

yet even bigger than me and you

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Sleeping with God: “Minnie” – Danielle East

I remained too much inside my head; I began to lose my mind. –Edgar Allen Poe

 

The Antebellum

 

I

“Would you marry me,” I begged him to say yes. I spoke the request I had been wanting for so long.

The more the world wanted us apart, the more we gravitated towards each other. The world hates what cannot be comprehended. Beasts and human? An abomination, a sin. The Lord clenched his chest and fell to his knees at the sight of such an un-Godly social experiment. Yet it was not our fault that we fell in love. Like Adam and Eve, we knew right from wrong, but it was temptation that brought us upon one another. It was always temptation that made the most bias and greatest fall and lose strength.

I didn’t care if it was morally wrong to fall for whomever I loved. With all the wrong gone on in the world, how could true love fall in this category? It was only hypocrites, self-loathing hypocrites that defiled everything that was good in the world. Oh how I hate people like that. They go around living their lives with their heads held high, nose at an angle and spiting on everyone who they think is beneath them. It’s just child’s play for them to detest me. I know God hates ugly, but you don’t even have to dig deep in my heart to know I have no love for them.

“Don’t you love me?”

Anyone might think I just hate white folks, except my lover, because they are white and the world is hateful, but I don’t too much like black folks either. None of us will ever leave slavery if we don’t all band together. You don’t need to be self-educated to know right from wrong. Right and wrong ain’t something them book with them English words in it can teach you. Yet, some even know right and wrong, but can’t live by it.

Despite my hatred for the world, there was only one true person that held my heart. My Clarence dear. So loyal to me he is. Greater than any man in the South. I can hardly remember a time when I did not cling to my lover. He always gave me that feeling of hope. Something in him always told me, even though we were in the midst of a troubling time, there was still a beating heart in the world.

But don’t none of them Negroes like me since I have been with Clarence. To what I suspect, it may be jealousy at the least. I believe many of them desire to be with him or if they have to, be raped by him, just something to make them cry at night and wish even more they were dead. Even if I tried, I wouldn’t be able to hold a nice conversation with one of them. My whole race card had expired. None of them merely talked to me. I am a black sheep, exiled by my own kind. No one to relate to, no one to braid my hair and discuss whatever the hell with.

“Would you marry me if I was white?”

I burst out with a different approach to make the question more suiting. Clarence I knew loved him. Although he was taller than average, blond-headed and blue-eyed, he had my heart. I know, slave masters kept wenches all the time, but our relationship was different. I was more than just a bed mate. He wasn’t a racist bigot. How unusual and unbelievable it was, it had been too long under his protection to know him in any other way.

To be a person born into the slave trade is as like being conceived at the gates of Hell. My burnt crisp skin that which was cooked by the devil’s roasting pan. The way he fiddled at my hair with his pitchfork to conduct a nappy mess on my head. And the way he placed me in the world at such an un-Godly time.

Being black in America when a system constantly works against you is a curse. My appearance was not a choice but; white folks treat us as though we willingly picked to jump into this lake of fire. Unfortunately, my outward appearance will not change in the years to come. Nor will the way I and all the other Negroes are treated because of it. It’s preposterous that at this time a white man can steal a horse and be hung because of it but kill a black person and live.

But there was no need for me to complain. Unlike my other equals that produced their only means of surviving in the field, I did not work. My master, he did not pay attention to if I got the work done or not. An unusual black woman I was, but I did help out in the kitchen. My hands had not touched a crop since I was eight years old. This is when I took to the kitchen like my mother and those mothers before her.

This is also when I took a liking the Master Clarence; who I only called Clarence. And when he would call, “Minnie, Minnie… You stay out that field. They don’t need you. Too pretty to crop, to pretty to pick.” So I say he took a liking to me too. Harmless or not, his heart was set on me. That’s why I’m set apart from the rest of the Negroes.

To say I was in love with Clarence was just an understatement. What would I do without him, and him without me as his companion? Being with my love Clarence was like sleeping with God.

“Answer me!”

His silence left me with the question of whether he loved me at a different level than he had before. Laying in the lush that be in his master quarters was where I stayed. The rest of the Negroes were outside in the slave quarters. This is where they stayed at night but, many of them did not remain in the homes. But none of them were stupid enough to run away and not come back. Just recently, many that choose to roam the land at night did not come back.

“I…,” he said.

Lying next to Clarence was like being closer God. His whole physique and personality is the opposite of me. The way his hair flows from his scalp to create the cows lick at the front of his forehead. I always wondered why the white man’s hair came out all straight like grass and got real oiled up. And the fact that my hair was dry like all the other Negroes. I prayed for hair like his.

His fair skin that contained little patches of freckles on his face and arms. His jaw was cut and structured like the no one other. His high cheek bones looked like they begged for me to rub my lips upon them. And I enjoyed them, even though sometimes all I could taste was sweat.

His height is what set him apart from the other white men I Knew in Forees County. His height, counted from the scratches marked beside the barn in the field were higher than any man on the plantation. I had never actually measured him but by the height of other men I had seen, I guessed her was seven feet. His bulky body and the awkward way he walked was much different than those of the Negroes. The cotton picker men smelled of hard work and hard days gone by. I preferred Clarence’s aroma to theirs.

He completes me. Whether be a good or a bad thing. His love matters much more.

“How would they react, “Clarence asked as he pushed his hand into my grasp. His eyes my caught my glance and I could see the sparkle in his light brown eyes. “When the time comes and we can. Don’t over think things. Good things come to those who wait Minnie.”

The sound of his voice alone was comforting…But his answer did not relive the empty hole in my heart. I rolled over in bed. Facing away from Clarence. Screeching voices, horrible moans, scratching at the roof of the home and my beating heart were the sounds that filled my desperate soul. I couldn’t stand the sounds, especially that out my heart, but I had too. I starred at the blurry wall. I could not let him see me cry myself to sleep.

 

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Deported – Alexandra Mayer

I heard bodies and sledge hammers slap the cold concrete

bodies climbed over each other

and bodies flooded out

to blue jeans and radio.

“Tear down this wall Gorbachev…

Freedom is the victor!”

 

And I wanted to run away too

to microwaves.
I was greedy.

 

Yesterday’s ghosts trashed our streets.

The old bakery crumbled under eulogies.

Bottles scattered the park, where my sister stole the lips of her first love
Life was decaying.

 

The woman offered me $500 a month

How could I have thought–

Her hands weren’t like ours.

They were soft and white.

Soon, mine would be too.

 

She told me I’d be a waitress.
He told me to bend over.

His eyes were cigarettes, put out on my thigh.

“This hurts!”

 

“What are you doing? I’m here to serve!”
“You’ll be serving alright.”

I wanted to die.

 

Months in peeling walls

staring down the balcony

while he clasps his meaty hands around my neck

and he shoves his gaunt fingers into my body

and he wants me to suck on his thumb.

 

My youngest client was 12

His father brought him.

My oldest was 82.

 

My body is the “unavoidable consequence of globalization.”
My body is the supply.

This is free trade. Unfettered capitalism.

I guess that makes me a business woman.

Not a victim– A business woman.

 

You can charge twice as much if you’re pregnant.

They like a nice glow

Hope makes a girl prettier, you know.

 

Months more in peeling walls

Thousands more hands

Sometimes sixty hands a day.

Staring down the balcony.

 

The man I was sold to ripped a hole in the mattress

shoved my stomach through

so their hands could be more comfortable.

 

It’s okay.

We’ll get out. We’ll get out.

I am not a victim.

We’ll get out.

I love you.

 

A man with cracked yellow hands started to pity me

It was his sixth visit when

he led me down the stairs and into the street.

It’d been two years since my feet touched the ground.

 

Three days later, falling into a hospital bed.

She’s more beautiful than the sun

dipping into the fields we toiled

than dirt stained sun dresses

than my sister’s laugh

than any young, and naive, and alive eyes I’d ever seen.
She’s beautiful and her hands are so small and so clean.

 

The man I was sold to hovers into the room

and over her.

I scream.

 

Two policemen rush in.

I recognize their hands

When they say to me:

 

“Get out you’re old

you’re minced meat.

We want a new body. Always a new body.

You can’t take her with you.
It’s the law.”

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