Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Ashton Smith — The PBS Blog

Today is a special edition of Introduce Yourself. Please help me to welcome Ashton Smith to The PBS Blog! Ashton is an amazing young woman from Fort Worth, Texas, with a powerful story. She’s a world-medal award-winning swimmer, author, and corporate speaker. She is legally blind in one eye and has difficulty seeing out of […]

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Ashton Smith — The PBS Blog

I read this article above and was overcome with emotion. I would be lying if I said I was surprised because capitalism and the ability to take from others what’s rightfully theirs or prevent others from making sustainable income is the primal American way. But I am saddened, deeply saddened by Ashton’s story, and I abhor the entities/organizations/people who have placed her in this position.

But I know and feel as though, better days are coming for her.

Read her story via Yecheilyah‘s blog. It’s truly worth it.

Tina

A Haibun

Tina Turner, image from Smooth Radio

I have decided to give you your flowers while you’re still here. A wonder–a mystic amongst Gods and the ungodly. You have always been captivating. I never wanted to sing. I never wanted to dance. But I have always wanted to write, and you paved the way for me to have this voice–my voice in a world of chaotic flows and shiftless thoughts. You have conquered a sea of endless pain and lived to testify.

Millions of people sing your songs at the top of their lungs–breaths poured into the air that land at your feet. We still stand in awe of you; so incredibly in love with you, we speak your name . . . Tina.

Legends can be born
To be what legends should be
You are so much more


And now, one of my favorite Tina Turner songs.

Tina Turner, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Coupling of a Different Kind

Photo by Mpho Maponyane on Unsplash
Coupling of a Different Kind

I’m the person who makes her feel better.
and it’s light and airy and innocent …
there are days that pummel her
into submission, and I sense them.
I am ready with a “Hey, are you okay?”
and the response is an honest one — 
one that lets me know, she’s holding 
on, too.
“I am trying to be.”

I know that place.
I live in that place more than
I care to admit,
that place is a place where
we find ourselves lost and
wandering aimlessly through
time and actions, and if anyone
is available to save us, we’ll
run straight to them.

she doesn’t need saving, though.
she needs a listener.
I listen. 
I crack jokes.
I talk about the things in life
that make no sense and we agree
as we work and she monitors
my time on calls and I shift
from one aspect of work to another.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” I say. how we can
struggle together and open up
long enough to let the other in?
she agrees. we can chat for
hours about things that crush us.

I know where she’s been. 
I know how I got through it,
how I am getting through it, and
we’re both walking different paths,
but it feels like our destinations
aren’t too far from one another.
I offer her a ride.

“Since we’re headed in the same direction.”

there was a wall there — there was.
I have always had a knack for chipping
away at them and sliding through 
undetected, and before you know it,
one’s bare before me — their past becoming
one with mine.

it is an amazing thing to see someone
walk away from themselves, pull up
a seat next to another ailing heart,
and release like there will be no tomorrow.
she’s so beautiful when she’s fragile.
she’s even more so when she’s strong.

the hard exterior comes through
on days when patients have gotten
their full fill of long hold times and
the glitches of shoddy software can 
eat through the cores of our patience.
I can see her falter — lose her sense of peace.

And I step in — “Are you going to make it?”

a simple question returns a simple answer.
and we move on from that place
that can turn into darkness if
I do not send enough light, but I do.
and she waits for it.

and even when my darkest days
salsa right before me, I can 
remove my stilettos, slip my
gown over my head, sling my 
jewelry across the room, and
invite her to get naked with me.

and there in the most silent
of silences, we stand — free 
of inhibitions, wary no more, 
aware that whatever else may come,
we have the tools to
conquer it.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium.

another autumn

musical selection: bilal|love poems

a reflective poem

A photo of an excited, beautiful woman of color with blue hair.
Photo by StockSnap via Pixabay

autumn is still in
the infant stages, but
I can feel the pull of
old things being made
new, and I wonder if
you’ve found work in
the industry you’d be
applying to for nearly
a decade.

I want to tell you I’m
still searching, but
that is a lie. I have
discovered peace in
this section of the
medical field after
twenty years, and there
are better opportunities
ahead.

there is a woman
who speaks about
authenticity and showing
up in spaces where empathy
no longer has a seat, and
I can’t help but be reminded
of your strong voice
and approach to all
things beautiful & just.

I am working on creating
a better me; therapy, stories,
and soldiering onward
with a senior dog who
still has the right
amount of sass to
suss out things and
people who
don’t belong around us
anymore.

we built a rocky foundation
on poetry and kinship,
and I am still out here
using words to clear
my head.
how much of this
is work and how much
of it is pleasure?

another autumn is here — I’m
greeting it with
old eyes and sketchy thoughts.
but it’s here, nonetheless.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

℗2000 Interscope Geffen. Bilal, Love Poems

A Cornered Gurl (via Medium) is Back!

Remember when I talked about bringing my own table because others have refused to let me sit at theirs as a writer/editor/creative thinker? Well, It has been a year and five months, and I am getting the care I need for an eye disease (keratoconus), and I will soon be introduced to scleral contacts that will help sharpen my vision. It was time for me to bring A Cornered Gurl back to amplify the voices of others, so I did.

We are also on Instagram, too. I am sharing this with my WordPress family, just in case, some of you are interested in becoming writers for ACG.


ACG (Reboot) Publication Cover. Created with Canva.

A Cornered Gurl is Back

And I have missed it so much!

Being that I am getting the care I need for keratoconus and will soon be introduced to scleral contacts to enhance my vision, I felt it best to get started again here in A Cornered Gurl. I have truly missed it.

This will be our clean slate. A chance for ACG to move forward for the remainder of 2022, and walk into 2023 with an exhilarating presence and a resounding, WE ARE BACK pumping through our veins and leaving our mouths.

I have had a fair share of writers ask me from time to time if I would ever get ACG up and running again, and I thought (at those times) that I would not be able to do so. This publication is too much of my heart, soul, and mind for me not to pick it back up and lend your words the love and space they need.

It is time.


A few things have changed, but not many. There is a new logo and a new publication cover, but the heart of ACG is still the same.

What is the theme?

A Cornered Gurl: We want the REAL you. A Cornered Gurl is a space for writers to “come as they are” and truly be who they are.

What will I publish?

•Heartwork (to include fiction (1,200 words max), non-fiction (1,200 words max), & poetry) •Tales of the South •Our Story (Stories about who you & and your family are) •Micropoetry •Challenges

When will I publish content?

Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays by 7:00 pm, US ET/EDT. A total of 8–9 pieces will be published on those days.


For those of you who were here for ACG’s start back in 2017 as a standalone publication for my work only to watch it transition to include other writers as well in 2019, I hope you will join me once again.

If you wish to become a writer for A Cornered Gurl, please adhere to the submission guidelines and follow through accordingly.

I cannot wait to begin this journey with you again.


This is your time to “come as you are,” and truly be who you are. At A Cornered Gurl, We want the REAL you. Always.

Submission Guidelines|Follow us on Instagram