An Ode To Mental Health Professionals By A. Davida Jane

An Ode To Mental Health Professionals

We live with our chests open, 
letting the world put its hands 
all over our hearts.

Our heartstrings sound 
like a harp, the music never once stops. 
This isn’t about love, this 
is about living.

Today I tripped over my 
every word, told them I don’t 
get panicked in social situations 
while my heart was a jackrabbit 
in my chest telling me to run.

I showed them all of my scars, 
made jokes about wanting 
to die because it’s easier 
to pretend to laugh than admit 
to yourself you’re that far gone.

I am that far gone. 
There’s no truth in hiding it, 
the bruising around my heart 
tells them everything.

If they still don’t believe me, 
let them look inside my wrist. 
Let them take out the stones 
I buried there so many times 
because something was gaping, 
and it was the only thing 
that could weigh me down.

Let them cut into my skull 
and see the warning signs 
on every wall, I’ve been painting 
my mind the colour of grim 
for months now so nobody 
could see it without a knife.

They have a knife, 
they call it a different name 
but they have a knife.

I live every day on the operating table.


By A. Davida Jane

A. Davida Jane is a writer and student from Wellington, New Zealand who studies English Literature and Classics. She spends most of her time around words, from poetry, novels and essays to working in a bookstore, and can’t imagine ever not writing. Find more of her writing at wefragilehumans.tumblr.com

The First Time I learned Its Name By Talicha Johnson

The First Time I learned Its Name

that movie, A Beautiful Mind, was on the
television, and at some point—maybe during

commercial break—my sister said to me,
You know, for the longest time it was hard

for me to watch this movie. So I asked why,
feeling on the brink of something.

Because of our mother, she’s schizophrenic too.
That was more than the brink, that was

the something that answered the question
everyone had always neglected.

It took nineteen years for someone to finally acknowledge
my mothers mental illness,

to put a name to the thing that left her a running faucet.
She flooded my childhood.

No one had bothered to teach me to swim.
I still only know how to hold my breath,

to wait for the waters to slow, how to find
the things that are floating,

and hold on to them.

By Talicha Johnson

Biography:

Talicha Johnson is an American poet and an aspiring novelist. She was a member of Charlotte’s Respect Da Mic Slam team in 2010, and has competed on a national level at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her work has appeared in Germ Magazine, The Four Quarters Magazine, The Legendary and Boston Poetry Magazine.

 

I Am Magic By Cecilie K.

I Am Magic

I’m all heavy handed symbolism and suppressed flinches.
I keep a tally between the weather and me,
who breaks first,
and how often.
I think I’m winning but it’s been raining a lot lately,
like the weather wants to remind me where I am,
that I’m still mostly water.
If my garden has taught me anything,
it’s that I will swallow anything I cultivate myself.
Even badly thought out creation myths.
I say magic is the way of perceiving
what consequences and chance have in common,
the outcome of what we put out,
and a willing mind that grasps
what comes back.
You remind me of the failed love potions I made when I was 13,
the smell of rotting rose petals everywhere.
So when I say
kiss me like you mean it,
when I say
I am magic;
I hope you can taste my whole mythology.

By Cecilie K.

Biography:

Cecilie K. Is a 26 year old Norwegian, lives in London on her 5th year. She murders tomato plants, but is good at growing strawberries. She has sugar packets everywhere, it’s weird. Cecilie is currently working on multiple publishing projects, first of which will be published late November 2015. She likes to use a lot of colorful imagery in her writing, mixing confessional poetry with urban fantasy elements. She loves Leonard Cohen with a passion and spends a lot of time clutching her chest and being in awe of some of her favourite poets on tumblr. Find more at Ceciliewriteswords.tumblr.com

Islands By Kim Morales

Islands

I should stand on the edge of Long Island,
we’ve moved to islands
We’re always on an island
PR, DR, Flores and now here
I am onto and on myself

wind chill air blue and freezing still

where I live is one big beach

I should stand on the shore
until they don’t want me there
and then I will drown myself
like the lazy Tainos
that my mother told me about —
I am my father’s daughter
“that fat brown girl no one taught her
how to swim”
My fault by my father’s error
but no one blame’s him

I asked you:
what have we agreed upon
regarding the cold?
did we decide
we’re missing limbs or only starving?
we lost ourselves in the middle of fingering and
the cold lost its meaning —

the cold doesn’t seem like the thing it was

once you get inside you forget how cold she blew you,
she cracked, she flaked,
she sleeted all over your face,
she killed the homeless man on Skid Row,
she took your house in 2008,
she makes your children go to school,
she makes you pay up front,
she sent you to the hospital,

but
we forget what it is once we get inside

once we get inside —
oh how our bodies deceive us —
they make you think want
they make you what, think,
remember you’re ashy lips,

I should stand on a bridge
with one walkway  and
believe you
I am not ugly
while the night
pressed upon an orange light
washed out the cold’s face.

I am a moron, I am a lunatic.
I forced you to say,
I forced him to stay,
I will force myself to leave now
I have to go, I have to go

they don’t want me homeless,
they want you dead

they don’t want me — they want me

the cold is changing — I can’t tell — I’m confused — I’m jealous — I’m confused — I’m angry –
I’m confused —
and I’m sad

I’m on the island —
I’m  off the island
I’m in the jungle
There is no jungle

I’m brown — I’m confused —
I’m not black, I’m  not white — I’m confused —
I’m neither, I’m  both and three, I’m everything — I’m confused —
I’m a mutt, my parents are dead,  my dad owned my mother —
I’m confused —
my brother is darker than me
but I’m inside the house — I don’t feel cold —
I’m confused — I don’t go outside —
I’m confused — the sun doesn’t touch me–
I’m confused– my skin —
I’m confused– is it money —
I’m confused — is it both —
I’m confused —

By Kim Morales

Biography:

I am from Brooklyn, NY. I am of Guatemalan and Puerto-Rican descent. I am currently attending LaGuardia Community College.

Pie By Yashodhara Trivedi

Pie

The light-bulb flickers, dangling from six inches
of makeshift wires, duct-taped together.
If life was a test, I’d get A+ for effort.
It swings to and fro like clockwork,
my personal brand of hypnosis, casting shadows
that dance across the room like neurotic ballerinas
who smoke pot on weeknights,
eat their feelings,
and stick a finger down their throat for dessert.
Life wasn’t always the seedy back room
of a rundown dance club on the wrong side of town:
I ran six miles for charity once; Came third, too.
My mother was so fucking proud. That night
she baked a lemon meringue pie to celebrate
what I hoped would not be the highlight of my life.
But life has a way of proving you wrong.
He’s the king of the playground, the smirking terror
that pushes your skull into the sewer, then calls
to apologize because his mother makes him.
If hoping for the best is a disease, I summon an epidemic every night.
The first time I plunged my fingers into the flesh
of a past not so much forgotten as repressed,
trying to scrape out the exact moment it all went south,
I found myself spoilt for choice. Whoever called variety the spice of life
can have mine, no questions asked. I’ll even throw in this poem
if you’re looking for a laugh. All I want is the goddamn light to be fixed,
but I’ll flirt with the dark for another meringue pie.

By Yashodhara Trivedi

Biography:

Yashodhara Trivedi is a twenty-two years old native of Kolkata, India. Having recently completed the Master’s programme in English at Durham University, she now tries to distract herself from the terrifying prospect of finding a real job by pretending she can write poetry.

Translations By Loisa Fenichell

Translations

I want to run night falls,
leave scabs of purpose on my hands,
watch the scabs linger
like my father’s face in the doorway
of my childhood bedroom. We used
to say goodnight to each other translated
into 10 different languages.

Translate this: I only know
how to leak myself all out
after I’ve already deflated myself (used
to call this cleaning). Which leaves only
a heaviness like the taste of chocolate
& berries of guilt. Which I wish
I could call nothing.

I am no emperor of my body,
of you looking at me (of whether
or not you look like me). This lack
of control like the startled mess
that come after looking upon
the face of somebody you could have sworn
had died. Perhaps a stranger. Somebody
spoken to once on a subway platform.

I’m walking yes but I’m not feeling:
see me with bathroom tiles foaming
at the corners of my mouth:
this is what it means to finally
make a mistake the way my Mother
always told me I would.

By Loisa Fenichell

Biography:

Loisa Fenichell loves what is subtly magical. When not writing poetry and when not doing homework and when not in class (she is a student at SUNY Purchase, where she primarily studies Literature and Creative Writing), she can be found reading, running, practicing yoga, walking around bookstores trying not to buy yet another book, and/or dreaming of Maine. Some of her poems can be found at polyphemuse.tumblr.com. You may contact her at lfenichell@gmail.com

Fallen Empire By Hannah Gramson

Fallen Empire

In defense of the peach
that rolled under the passenger seat of your car & was forgotten:
it taught us that some rotting things smell sweet.

In the wake of an unexpected catastrophe the
earth melts into a puddle in the gutter of the universe. Here we
have what’s left of the human race:
a rare species that was shockingly lousy at understanding each other,
repeatedly tore off chunks of their own hearts
& left the sticky debris like a sacrificial offering on the doorsteps of
people who didn’t love them back.

But there was something good here, there was good
here. We built an empire of blue flowers & soft mouths, filled it with
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
There were kids who held hands & they were
incorruptible.

Anyway that’s what I was trying to tell you:
how it played out like a silent film & you had to watch the
faces to know
this was something you couldn’t fix with your hands,
how we gave names to things we didn’t understand, how we punched
holes in the wall & called it art.

By Hannah Gramson

Biography:

I am a 24 year old graduate student living in the Pacific Northwest, pursuing a degree that has nothing to do with writing.

Bush Fire By David Ogana

Bush Fire

Who will put the fire out
When it finally burns?

The time is known
At the end of each passing season.

Young bulls, come out
To set a fire, as they await

The harvest of the gods
While earth wrappers burn.

Time passes, and moments
Linger on the stumbling walls.

The little town becomes a city. These days,
Young bulls put out cold with the

Blankets. Dirty blankets.
Laundresses and mothers can not

Keep their clothes clean.
Who will keep my clothing

Clean, who will hunt the rats
When they come out of their holes?

The bush around my hut is burning
And my garden flowers are steaming

From the heat of the season.
I am stone-cold.

By David Ogana

Biography:

David is obsessed with Poetry and the Arts. He is currently an undergraduate of Plant Science and Biotechnology, studying with Nasarawa State University, Keffi. He has been Published in online magazines and journals.

Elegy for a Dying Earth By Vijaya Sundaram

Elegy for a Dying Earth

I fear the earth has come to reap what we have sown
In haste, we sowed the breeze, and reaped this hateful wind
And through this storm, we’ll miss those things we loved so well
The rain, the snow, the flowers, this land– for we have sinned.

Not sins against a God, or gods, or goddesses
But sins against the likes of us, of you and me,
Against our children full of confusion and hurt
To whom we give our ravaged earth, and dying seas.

I’ll miss the scent of rain on dusty earth, the scent
Of budding rose, and jasmine sweet, and marigold.
We’ll see the ponds go dry in summer months, and geese
That leave in droves, will seek new lands, and mourn the old.

Now, storms and hurricanes ravage our broken lands
And dolphins strand themselves, and turtles gasp, and more —
Asphyxiated fish that choke in netted seas
Lie dead and blind upon our broken, littered shores.

I mourn them all, the birds, and animals, and plants
I mourn us all, so smug, so proud, so full of greed
With eyes of death, he chokes our breath– that demon, Wealth;
And laughs at us, although we cry; for mercy, plead.

What hope have we, who heed his lusty, tempting call?
What chance this earth against that mighty money-song?
If we but stop and turn things round (turn off the lights!)
We might yet live, and save what’s right, avert what’s wrong.

So, close your eyes, and step outside, while life yet thrives
And taste the beauty of this fragile Earth, who gives
Such wealth, her fruit and flowers, and these, our forests wild,
So fragrant, fresh and sweet, in places that still live.

By Vijaya Sundaram

Biography:

A native of India, Vijaya Sundaram has lived in the Boston, Massachusetts, area for the past 25 years. She is a singer-song-writer, guitarist, poet and writer who spent seventeen years as an 8th Grade English teacher at a local public school.  Only recently feeling the urge to publish, she’s been sending out her work to various literary magazines. Vijaya has been published in literary magazines Calliope and The Phoenix Rising Review. You can read more of Vijaya’s work on her blog, StrangeLander2015.

for survivors By sarah kate osborn

for survivors

this is for anyone who lost their life without losing their life, anyone whose skin has been contaminated by fingerprints it never asked for, whose body has been invaded by the one it begged to stay away. this is for anyone who calls themselves a victim when they are really a survivor.

it’s time for you to write his name in black letters and throw it in the fire. watch it burn all the way back to dust. write a letter using all the words you aren’t supposed to say and burn that, too.

it’s time to stop blaming yourself for this. don’t blame your tight black dress. don’t blame your red lipstick. fight your guilt. fight your numbness. fight anyone who calls you ‘slut’ and says you asked for this. fight fear. fight death. fight anyone who dares to say this was your fault but baby, it’s time to stop fighting yourself.

it’s time for you to embrace your beauty again. somebody made you believe it was a sin and robbed you of your joy, your faith, your peace. but now you are more than beautiful. baby, you are brave. and i can’t tell you exactly who made us or why we’re here but i believe that brave is all we have to be.

it’s time to remember. it’s time to remember that you are young and you still have life and there might be happy endings because this is not the end. remember that you still love thunderstorms and kittens and good books. remember that you have a name that is not any of his synonyms for girls like you. remember that you are here. remember that that is enough.

By sarah kate osborn

Biography:

sarah kate osborn is an amateur poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she can be found at allthesinkingships.tumblr.com