I Fought the Law

by Bruce Craven

I didn’t strike the law, didn’t brawl, but fall, 1980, I did rebel: “No Nukes!” The right kind of coup d’état!
Summer ‘81, I’d break rocks in the hot sun, dig ditches; choose pay-days as my right kind of coup d’état.

After that freshman year, my political rage would fade. I played Ultimate, smoked weed, eyed love,
but at Lawrence-Livermore Labs in 1980, I grabbed at a chance to fight in the right kind of coup d’état.

This Time in History

A plague A call for survival Mortality rates Numbers Too large to name The lost souls of The unclaimed Wisdom stripped Forget Remember Normal new normal Listless numb-M Milicent Fambrough is an author from San Antonio, Texas. Milicent has been writing since her childhood. Creativity has always been encouraged in her family. After a long time in the working world, she returned to technical college for an education in the field of graphic design. There, Milicent made her decision to devote herself to artwork and writing poetry, among other things. Now, like most days, we find Milicent again at work…

Zoom Funeral or is it the News?

by Donald Vincent

You are on mute, nestled in front of the computer screen, filled with boxes of blank, ivory faces. This is the usual though. You present on alternative assessments for students during a pandemic.

Nonchalantly, you say; I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but traditional grading is a form of colonization and white supremacy.

She privately messages you that she is not offended, but how is the grading system related to white supremacy?

You tell yourself, you knew you shouldn’t have said anything, that people don’t want the truth, but prefer to live in a phantasy world of disillusionment.

Either way, you email her links on pedagogy and approaches to teaching English composition to international and multicultural students. And because you’re always the lone token, representative for blackness, you’re scheduled to fight the power and discuss those equity inclusion essays and articles, constantly doing the work for whiteness.

In the Third Person

by Donald Vincent He takes up triple space— One seat, two seat, three On the train, the ‘other’ Is always evasive. Mommy, Look, a negro. I’m afraid. It is here, he is confronted With the responsibility of race, The weight of his ancestors, A collective prison. She shushes the child And apologizes to the man— Sorry, sir. My child doesn’t realize That you are civilized, like us. The man nods his head in familiar Disgust. Being white and saying sorry Is a revolving door. He can forget the pain, The hate, he can forgive it all. He thinks, only if…

Absence of Blackness

by Donald Vincent “We need magic / now we need the spells, to raise up / return, destroy, and create. What will be / the sacred word?” –Amiri Baraka The sacred word is not, hands up, don’t shoot Nor vivre la revolution. The magic word can’t be Murmured in a state of asphyxiation. Where there are words, there is no peace. There’s no magic in the quotes and hopes of Dr. King or celebrities placed on pedestals. If The magic words are in books and historical texts Is ignorance not reading the same words echoed Years apart? Decades apart? Centuries apart?…

Black Magic

by Valerie M. Griggs The thing about an LP— I’ll get back to that— An LP orbits around its own soul, black valences charged by a diamond needle. Static click pop out spins the music into the listener’s landscape. But what’s moving about an LP, the thing about an LP is its singularity: track order, liner notes, lyrics, labels, photos— out of a black hole, comes a secondary world. You know it as you listen, you know it as you sing. Valerie M. Griggs enjoys being a part of the vibrant community of poets in Long Island. Reading venues range…

A Visit

by Jed Myers This other light she’s wrapped in lifts the furrows life left in her skin. All her ages now, or none—no shadow where she leans at something like a desk. Her dark pen streams an ink- black shine along the vein-blue lines down one white page then the next. The letters weave like seaweed in a tide-swept river mouth. Silent lips move with her hand—a kind of speech. I start to wake, to drift between two lands. She couldn’t see me, and I couldn’t read. Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award),…

1840

by Sarine Balian

Gravity

BY KATE SCHOLL

When I sit up to get out of bed in the morning,
suddenly my breasts feel the weight of gravity
New soft tissue pulled down towards the center of the earth
Suddenly having to deal with the day
and the responsibility of wakefulness and work
And so for just a moment there is such pain.
And yet the world is saying hey, you have those new things, wake up girl
The earth is reminding me of who I am every day, promptly
My own personal planetary wake up call,
pick me up,
pull me down,
embrace me.

The Book of Moths

BY ARIANNA SEBO

The moths have their own religion
one of colour and flight
fuzzy feelers searching for luminescence
not so different from us humans
following our flights of fancy
allowing our imaginations
to pave the way for our good intentions
not always fulfilled
but we try
with Sunday school children
and church bazaars
Sunday sermons and tapioca pudding
searching for heights
and falling from grace
like the moths
obsessed with the light