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We are Coming for Our Language

a poem by Shirley Jones

 

In the history of words         suffragettes fighting for rights

badges of honor     queer an insult         to some but a fortune

to others       who wish to  tell it slant & mingle fact with fiction

as they try to     copyright our words    we must reclaim our names

This appropriation is unnecessary    for the power of language

has been distorted       & used against us

Continue reading We are Coming for Our Language

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Nudity still disguised

 

 

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Critters in the Wild by Zach Bartz

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What poetry is to me by Ayesha Noor

poetry is

the exorcist of my demons

the water that puts out the fire in my mind

the surgeon that stitches the shredded pieces of my soul back together

the angel on my shoulder that keeps the devil from ruining me irrevocably

Continue reading What poetry is to me by Ayesha Noor

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For the People! a podcast

For the People!

a podcast

Why for the people? It should always be about the people.

We want to invite all readers of Genre: Urban Arts to become listeners to a new element of our diverse creative space.

During the podcast, we’ll discuss art in various spaces. Music, poetry, graffiti art, spoken word, amongst other things. We’ll also talk about creating that book, writing that blog post, making that creative outlet, and above all identifying yourself with art and it’s benefits towards a happier life.

We are…

For the People!

Aarav

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Welcoming 2018

 

2017 was a rough year for many, and 2018 seems like a shooting star because all we can do is hope and feel that it will be a better year. I feel it deeply. 2018 is meant to be a good year. But it also makes me scared. Scared of what’s ahead. I am in the present but through my writings I also live in the past, as well as the future with the hope with each keystroke I can place strength, hope and love in everyone’s heart. Keep the hope alive, and never give up. Because whatever you experienced in 2017 was preparing you for the best of 2018. Never give up on hope. Never give up on love. Never lose strength.

by: Soshinie A. Singh

Author of The Phoenix Letters, The Phoenix Letters Return & The Mist Calling

IG: @soshiniesingh.author | Facebook: Soshinie A. Singh

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How The Men I Dated Helped Destroy My Self-Image.

How The Men I Dated Helped Destroy My Self-Image.

Society has a real strong focus on self-love and how you only need yourself to be happy, and I get that, I really do. Society also acts like the relationships you have with others don’t have a toll on you. I started thinking about all the men I dated over the years and how badly they fucked me up. I decided to be so petty and call a couple out.

S: This was my first “real” boyfriend. I saw the world in him, that type of jazz. Turns out in the end he was a total piece of trash but any who. This was the man who simply couldn’t take no for an answer. This was the man who pushed me, and ripped my pants off of me after I said no a million times. This was the man who helped destroy my self-image by teaching me that the men who were supposed to love me couldn’t possibly respect me. This was the man who showed me how much I was really worth to him. How could I mean so little and how could someone have so little respect for me?
M: This one was probably the person who fucked me up the most in life. Well maybe even second. This was the man who promised me the world, promised me a future. This was the man who made me feel safe. This was also the man who left me by stating that he simply didn’t care about me anymore. This was the man who helped me destroy my self-image by proving to me that the worst thoughts I had about myself were real. Nobody hated me more than I hated myself. The thoughts inside my head kept me up at night, constantly thinking that I wasn’t enough, the love I had wasn’t desirable.
The men I dated have ruined my self-image in so many ways, whether it was calling someone fat who was a lot smaller than me, telling me how being assaulted made me broken, putting their hands on me with anything but love in mind.  The people I have met in life have really fucked me up along the way. I started to see myself the way these men treated me, I dated so many cowards that treated me like trash that I simply began to believe love wasn’t real, love was just something Hollywood made up to make a couple billion dollars.
I dated so many men who simply didn’t know how to love me, and it made me believe I wasn’t worth loving, my self-image was already fucked up from having anxiety and depression but the relationships I had with these men just put fuel to the fire.
I write a ton about self-love because I spent years not being able to love myself and with men who just couldn’t love me. I saw these broken men and tried to fix them, and that was such a mistake. I was trying to fix these boys who didn’t want to be fixed, who grew fond of making a joke out of me.
Self-love takes a very long time after dealing with abusive men and awful relationships, I have not mastered self-love yet and if you haven’t either that is okay, you’re not undesirable just because you haven’t mastered self-love yet. I promise someone is going to love the shit out of you. Keep going.

Scars heal.

 

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A Walk Behind My Heart

I walked behind
my heart,
Covered up to the thighs
in its rivers,

freezing from the chill
that it became since 
life served it grief
beyond winters,

only seeing
the calm of blood that 
passed the rest of my 
body on the inside.

we learned to flow
together,
to search for ourselves
On the walls & floors 
of my flesh,
 Continue reading A Walk Behind My Heart
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My Mother’s Garden

Like morning she rises,

Full of light

she rewrites the sunrise each day.

Her name is the place between home and homebound.

She is my favorite place.

Smelling of sweet breezes

fresh earth

ink and spices.

She is a glass deliciously full

Your favorite song with just the right rhythm

A new pair of dancing shoes

with just enough room to grow into.

She carries herself with a special kind of optimism.

Tending to her garden with the hope

that each year new buds will come back.

Collecting seeds with the promise of new growth.

We are of the same garden.

She planted her roots in me

Teaching me how to blossom.

Gardens have seasons yet she is always in full bloom.

In a word she is perennial.

Permanent.

Unceasing in her love.

Dance mama–

Like the flowers are singing for you.

June 26, 2017

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Fool

It started with him
calling her beautiful, sexy
admiring her body
telling her how she fulfilled his fantasy
and so she thought it was love

then he started the insults
to get her to lose weight
to get her to change and form into
what he wanted

foolish girl fell for it
because she didn’t want to hurt him
didn’t know how to stand up on her own
thought it all comes with being in love

he then took it a bit further
wanted her to check in with him throughout the day
but never told her a word about what he was doing
only messaged her when he felt like it
but was furious when she did the same

she still stuck
she thought it was in the name of love

he never listened to her ideas, her thoughts
told her to stop making him sound dumb
so she stopped, she didn’t want to mess it up

she thought it was all love
and slowly she gave in to
every abuse he threw at her
into every game he played with her
slowly she was no longer herself
she was a fool
she was in a foolish love
a fake love
a toxin that killed her soul

 

photography by @chadmadden

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The Ballad of the Lemon

The ballad of the lemon

 

(Small poem on chromatic prohibitions)

 

(Yellow sun-blinding yellow-yellow yellow)

If you eat lemons will not have your period

If you eat lemons you will not have satisfactions

If you brush your hair while you have “those” things

You block them for sure

(Yellow-green-yellow-yellow acid)

Continue reading The Ballad of the Lemon

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Plump Orange With Undertones Of Apple

I come in and drop my bags. We arrived. 2 cats and our little lady for a month long excursion in the city. Neither of us is really seeking to complete this, however, it has to be done. I come with low expectations-as lowering my expectations was a strategy I used to sustain what is left of a 20-year long relationship. Lower and lower expectations went to find a level which was feasible to hold a semblance of balance.

I find myself tidying up the place while the baby is out my teen- our teen, actually, but mostly “my” day to day teen over the last 17 years. My day to day baby-as in the youngest vs immature- day to day youngest child.

I pick up clothing spilling out of bags and luggage. I place dirty dishes in the sink in prep for the dishwasher. I toss a load into the washing machine-set boneless chicken in the fridge to defrost for dinner. Log onto my computer to work from home; I cannot help but to bring my multi tasking habits with me. I sure meant to, however, I know an argument will ensue if I do not appear to be above the high expectations still expected of me as a mom, a partner, a house guest. An Apple living in an Oranges home for the next 4 weeks.

Sitting underneath the lamp at a side table located adjacent to the 50” screen flat screen is a book I have used a resource to building healthy relationships, “5 Love Languages”. Quizzically, I review the book -is it real? I am considering this because my partner clearly is missing the point of the book to know one’s own love language in an effort to leverage that strength-that language- to actively engage in a meaningful manner with your partner.

Receiving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch

Quality time

Words of affirmation

My #1 is Quality Time and #5 is Receiving Gifts. The exact opposite of my partner; per the book this combination is the hardest because the 2 people need to travel the farthest to get to a place of balance.

My possession of this knowledge has permitted me to give a pragmatic method to build strategies to have a semi-viable relationship.

Naïve at the time.

The book is not meant to be read alone; the challenges do not go away if only one person is the sole owner of the premise behind the 5 love languages.

My partnership has taken me to the point of desiccation where I have limited trust or reliability in this person. Where I now see this person and expect so little of him that a sur name and this last baby is what we share.

I have often thought that Gary Chapman needs to write a book titled, ‘Now that you are mature enough to be in a relationship- and have broken it-what can you do to get to center.’ Or a book called, ‘Were you ever at a center?’,  because I suspect that is where I am at now; a desiccated Apple partnered with a plump Orange w/ hints of Apple undertones.

 

 

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What is Poetry? Part 1

What is Poetry? Part 1

Poetry is the expanse of
the imagination that lies,
dormant though brooding
until it manifests itself in a bloom.

Poetry is a womb,
obsessed with itself
but self-aware enough
to know that it is bound for a tomb.

Poetry is a wound,
heartache expressed in words,
the reaction to how it hurts,
feeling how pain works,
like peeling back layers of a scab.

Poetry is a drab day,
suddenly lit by the sun’s rays,
bursting through gray cloud,
and splaying out, proud
to have finally beaten the gloom
and touching as much as it can.