An advocate for mental health, disability, and chronic illness–she pens her words carefully but manages to add so much strength to them too. She is an active contributor to A Cornered Gurl and is giving our little community lessons in life through words. The poem that I have selected to feature is entitled, “Lines On My Body.” It is an amazing flow of words and ends solidly too. Everything about it makes me happy to be a writer of the genre, poetry. And now, “Lines On My Body.”
Lines On My Body
I want these lines on my body
showing my journey,
expressing my womanhood–
bold patterns of identity
from a feminine hand.
But there is part of me
that shouts don’t do it!
No man will touch you– (not this man but maybe the next). No job will have you– (not this job but maybe others).
So, perhaps, like that poem about
the old lady wearing green shoes
(or was it purple? or red?)
because she finally felt free
to do so — perhaps, like her, I’ll
finally cover myself in the beautiful
images of my life when I’m sixty;
when I don’t need to care about
the bank manager anymore, or
the boyfriend. Maybe then I can say:
I don’t have a photo album or
a Facebook page — don’t need it. It’s all on me. Part of me. Come.
Every once in a while, I come across a young Writer who surpasses what I expect from that young one–Braden is exactly that type of Writer. He does not back down from a challenge and can flip micropoetry into long form and back to micropoetry without missing a bit. He is this month’s feature. Braden is in his last year at the University of Georgia and was just recently accepted to complete his Master’s as well. He is one of my favorite Writers to collaborate with and each time our minds meet, we make something so very special.
There will be two of his works published here today; one, a 5-word response to the topic of “Rejection” and the other is a superb poem that highlights the torment of humanity, the possible fall of love, and the gods who rule the world, but still let it crumble among its men.
humans turn their
belly-up, barbed branches
tearing apart their
seams. watch them fight a war now,
play-things enamored with the indefinite —
losing their minds over
elusive and tormenting
because they once had a taste
of such heavenly ambrosia.
watch from the skyline,
eagle-eyed overhead with underhanded
magic, lancets slice through
pseudo-divine blood pacts.
wonder the questions, wander
for answers —
why do they eat up the inevitable?
piece apart timelines, time
zones separate then and now isolation is human nature.
with a flicking wrist
we could decimate
would cower at the thought.
but in their ignorance exists
unfeigned fortitude, solidified
by their thirst for ungodly
Mitul Bhat is one of Medium’s newest users, but his words prove that he has been writing for a long time. Recently added to A Cornered Gurl, Mitul shared a poignant and emotional piece of poetry where he personifies a bullet in hopes of inspiring it to not kill him. Please make him feel welcome, beautiful people. And now, the piece in question:
The 39th birthday is coming up in April and with the success and growth of A Cornered Gurl via Medium, it was high time that I purchased a companion to accompany me while doing work when I am mobile. I have a lot of trips scheduled, the first will be next Thursday as I will go home to Savannah, Georgia for a few days. With the addition of new contributors to the publication, stats’ numbers rising, and multiple drafts submitted for review and publishing, this is going to be my new best friend. I am thinking of ways to keep the pub current and a place for growth and an embracing environment for those who feel as though they are not being heard or they are not loud enough on Medium.
A Cornered Gurl is a read-for-all community, meaning that I do not allow locked or metered paywall pieces to be published in this publication. Since Medium has transitioned to a member/subscription platform, more and more of the work that is curated is locked or paywalled and you have to be a subscribing user to read them or you have to wait to use your freebies each month in order to be able to enjoy the paywalled pieces. I wanted this publication to give readers what they’re paying for to read for free–the same quality work, by most of the Writers they are used to reading. Writers are already noticing the benefits of contributing to the publication and just recently, I implemented a new way of showing my appreciation to those who exceed 1,000 claps on Medium. For Writers who reach this milestone, I will issue $10.00 to them via PayPal or via an Amazon e-gift card. So far, there have been two contributors to meet and exceed 1K claps in A Cornered Gurl. Another one is quite close to this milestone.
I think it is important to show people who are helping you grow that you appreciate them, that you want to invest in their talents. Here via the WordPress site, I am featuring various Writers from the Medium pub each month and so far, both featured Writers have been quite pleased with the results of their work. I want A Cornered Gurl to continue to grow and I want to continue to reach people and touch their hearts. Going mobile and branching out a bit more is just two of the most recent visions that I have for ACG. In my heart of hearts, this feels like work that I am supposed to do, that I am meant to do and I LOVE IT!
Coming up in April, there will be a call for submissions for the Young Minds of Medium (ages 15-25) to submit their work for the entire month to be published on Mondays and Fridays. The theme has not been chosen yet, but I am narrowing it down to my top three topics. I am hoping to get the young ones to write their hearts out about the theme and possibly attract a little more eyes to their work. I am not just shooting for the stars here folks, I am trying to pull those babies outta the sky.
If you want to help us out in any way that you can or fund our journey with the smallest gift, I have implemented a PayPal button (in the social media section of the sidebar) for you to be able to donate whatever you like to A Cornered Gurl. Please know that I appreciate your time, eyes, hard-earned money and all proceeds received will go to honoring these contributors the best way that I can and eventually, send their voices out into the ether where they can be their loudest.
When one receives a piece of writing from a family member to host in their publication, there is no describing it. Askia is one of my older cousins — one, I have always looked up to; she encourages me and has always supported me and reads my work regardless of where it appears. To see her share with all of us here makes my heart smile. Please, encourage her, beautiful people. It takes a lot to jump back into something you have neglected for such a long time. She is our Featured Writer for the next two weeks of March. And now, “Watchful Eye.”
Leaving out of the dress shop, my brain is swirling — I just bought a formal dress for my daughter to attend the military ball at her high school. So, everything seems to be fuzzy because I’m feeling fuzzy all over. As we walk to the car, I see a little bit of a commotion that sort of snaps me back to reality.
A young guy and a very young girl having a bit of a confrontation.
Not really a confrontation — an altercation. He’s pulling her. She’s pulling away.
At first, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Lover’s quarrel. But she’s begging him to leave her alone.
So, now I have two options. I can pull off and mind my own business or I can make sure she’s ok. I choose door #2. I don’t leave because my heart aches for her.
Now I have another decision to make. Should I call the police and get them to help or do I put my window down and give the girl a ride? This time, I go for door #1. As I start to think clearly, if he’s bold enough to assault this young lady outside in broad daylight, he may be in fight or flight mode himself.
So I call the police. I’m moving my car from parking spot to parking spot. I want them to see me. I want them to know that someone is watching. I want HER to know that I am there. It doesn’t seem to be deterring him — he’s still pulling, pushing and shouting at her. Another passenger sees this too and stops near the couple. I make eye contact with him and let him know that I’m calling the police.
The dispatcher eagerly asks for a description and a location. She is very helpful and thorough. I feel like she wants the girl to be safe and smart just as much as I do. I’m following. The dispatcher is questioning. The man is yelling. The girl is crying. My heart is breaking.
Just when I think she’s about to really walk away and find help, he grabs her around the neck in a hug/choke. He’s whispering now. Whatever he says works for him. She willingly gets in the car. He glares at me as they speed off.
I feel sick. I can’t believe my eyes.
I am trying not to cry. I want her to get in the car with me so that I can take her to safety. But she’s gone.
I get a glimpse of my daughter. She’s stunned and in disbelief. I can’t help but wonder if my daughter would know what to do if she were in this situation. I wonder if she’s ever witnessed anything like this. I wonder…would someone stop and check on her well-being. I pray someone does…