Featured Writer for January

Anthony Cloe Huie

Anthony has been on Medium for as long as I can remember and I used to edit and publish his work in This Glorious Mess a few years back. Naturally, when I opened up A Cornered Gurl to all writers on Medium, I reached out to him as I wanted to be able to continue to work with him and have his work published in my publication. I knew Medium’s readers would benefit from his lyrical approach to poetry and his rhythmic and melodic refrains. He has a knack for writing about love, the heart, and maintaining relationships. I love what he brings to A Cornered Gurl. The poem that earned him this feature is “You’d Be My Do-Over.”


You’d Be My Do-Over

Daniel Adesina@exileartisan

 Although we said goodbye so very long ago
still the slightest whispering of your name
brings back every loving feeling, every
painful memory
Each and every thought of you
reminds me
what I lacked then in courage to love you
I still lack in courage now to forget you
You are my sweetest thought
my bitterest memory

And yet if life offered me one do-over
I’d be all over you
And if only in thought
a re-do could be true
I’d crawl on my hands and knees
to get to you

Life has not treated me unkind in any way
and truth be known, when I awake
each and every day
I am blessed, having no regrets
glad to know the world around me
has decided to stay

Still those thoughts infectiously
chip away at me
chasing away my rationality
Sometimes I am not the me I should be
the slightest of distraction has me
thinking this way
What is it about you
I just can’t say
But your memories just keep
getting in my way

And yet if life offered me one do-over
I’d be all over you
And if only in thought
a re-do could be true
I’d crawl on my hands and knees
to get to you

Today I chased away
my final memory of you
I know that is exactly
the thing I said yesterday I’d do
but today my glass is dry
the bottles are all closed
I am a different guy
I am on that life’s natural high
Not looking behind me
because I could not stand
to see you waving goodbye

So forgive me, please
if sometimes my feelings get in your way
And if at times you wished you too had
turned the other way
Nothing will ever change yesterday
to become today
And if distance will have to be
the saver way
that’s okay
cause
in my heart, you’ll always stay

And yet if life offered me one do-over
I’d be all over you
And if only in thought
a re-do could be true
I’d crawl on my hands and knees
to get to you


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

A Cornered Gurl

How We Have Evolved & How You Have Helped

Dad sitting on a couch reading to his two young children
Supriya Bhonsle via Mixkit.co

I opened up A Cornered Gurl via Medium to all writers on January 5, 2019, and since then, I have watched the publication grow by at least 388 more followers. We are currently comprised of 159 writers/contributors with about 75 of them active on Medium. We are a publication that has reached the 1100 mark with 1,123 followers. Our theme–our dedication within this publication is to give you writing that is brutally honest, vulnerable, and relative & relatable. We are writers who, “Break out of the Box” and this is shown with every piece published in A Cornered Gurl.

Nine months ago, I updated my “About” page via WordPress aptly titled, “Who Am I?” to include what we are doing at A Cornered Gurl and how we thought many of our readers could help support us and catapult us near our goal. This effort has not been in vain and this post is being drafted to not only thank you for your monetary gifts but to also thank you for your readership. Without readers, writers would not exist. Because some of you clicked on the PayPal button directing you to our “funds” link, we have been able to gift twenty-four of our writers small monetary payments for accomplishing certain milestones and goals both in the publication and in the real world. That dollar figure is up to $262.00 as of today. These milestones and accomplishments include:

1. Meeting or exceeding 1K claps in A Cornered Gurlvia Medium.
2. Meeting or exceeding 500 claps for three consecutive posts in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.
3. Being a winner (there are usually 3-4 selected) of any of our challenges held throughout the year.
4. Making incredible headway or impacting the community online and off (Graduating high school, college, entering a Master’s Program, or volunteering).
5. Donating time, money, and efforts to anyone in need in some way, shape, or form.

In A Cornered Gurl, we are built on community. It is important for us to not only encourage one another but to help each other grow and we are doing that by exploring many of the facets of writing available to us. I find it imperative to share the works of our contributors here via WordPress as well as I believe words are gifts given to us and should be thrown into the ether in any way they can be. You have seen Featured Writers and Featured Poems for the past seven months and this will continue in the new year. Some of those featured writers are; Esther Spruill-Jones, Christie Alex Costello (currently featured), Jackie Ann, Braden Turner, and Fatima Mohammed.

Our end goal, as we are nearing the end of this year, is to be able to present one of the local homeless shelters here in my area of North Carolina with a check that would not only go toward providing meals to homeless people but a place to sleep or rest for a few nights for many of them too. The breakdown of their funding is as follows:

Donations:

  • $25 – 10 meals or 1 night of shelter
  • $50 – 19 meals or 2 nights of shelter
  • $100 – 39 meals or 4 nights of shelter
  • $250 – 97 meals or 10 nights of shelter
  • $500 – 194 meals or 19 nights of shelter
  • $1000 – 388 meals or 39 nights of shelter
  • Other

Where would ACG like to be according to this breakdown? We would like to pursue efforts from the $50.00 to $250.00. With this amount of funding, as you can see above, we would be able to change a few lives temporarily. To me, that’s us giving back as we honestly can not only with our words and talents but with a donation too. If you would like to be someone to help us meet our goal, please click on this link to issue your donation. If not, we can only hope that you gift your time, efforts, money, etc. in some other form to assist, love, and aid our brothers and sisters across the globe during this season of giving. And please, know that you have done enough and we are appreciative!

I cannot thank you enough for your eyes, minds, souls, and hearts. Having every one of you along for this ride has been an experience of the highest kind and I am humbled.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Peace and blessings.

Featured Writer for December

Christie Alex Costello is a gem of a writer and I am happy that she is a contributor to A Cornered Gurl. She brings an airiness to the publication that isn’t often shared and I am delighted to have her as a part of our community. Christie shares with us in her first published piece, the true beauty of love and what it feels like to her. And, it’s not one of those listicles or checklists that we are all so tired of seeing as well. This piece is what landed her the feature:


What Love Really Feels Like

This is not a checklist.

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

The world spins quickly and while you hope it slows, it never does. Everyone keeps moving, calls keep coming, and each morning the sun builds faster over the horizon. Your world needs stability, yet all you find is madness.

Someone catches your attention for a moment. Everything around you seems to slow as you meet this unfamiliar set of soft brown eyes from across the room. A calming sensation wraps around you like a warm fleece blanket; this is safety. Looking into the soul of this human, your heart begins to race. The sand turns in your hourglass as the two of you shake hands. Welcome to my life, you think to yourself. You begin to speak your name but your throat feels like a hot shot of Fireball; the taste simulating and terrifying all within a single instant. Their hand feels like the kiss you waited for and never felt that first time.

As years go on, this sensation becomes more familiar to you — almost becoming accustomed to this person whom you seem to know well, or so you think. Your eyes have a harder time finding the fire which once burned so brightly. A third sensation builds — an ocean wave of turmoil at its core.

“Am I enough?”

Yes, but in a depth that you never knew existed until you do — you look into the crystal ball but have no understanding of how to read even your own message. You reach, search, and talk with strangers just looking to find a sense of grounding. You find none. The world returns to its fastest speeds yet. Your toes grip the ground to find balance. You wonder to yourself as you stare across the room, stuck in your own head.

“Will I ever be the same without them?”

No, you won’t, and you wouldn’t want to be.

No one warns us that water can get this deep, too deep to tread lightly in. The sensation of its blue vertical drop beneath you is captivating and frustrating. Self-love becomes this necessary ingredient now, a prerequisite to keeping the other human connection beside you; anxiety ensues. You are the depth that you once found daunting to swim in. The other human and yourself are now intoxicated by the power of this vast feeling of surrender; it is becoming hard to pull everything apart — these emotions feel like volcanic eruptions spilling into a world you both created. Although on some days, it can feel like an easy life, living as you watch from a different point of view. The power of your own existence.

“Has this always been our purpose as humans — to understand love?”

The same eyes from all that time ago stare into you now. They are brilliant. You have found a sense of home here. Those glimmers of acceptance hold your soul captivated and mesmerized, worn at the edges like a good book you’ve found yourself reading over and over again. The stillness through the chaos feels like a drunken spin of serendipity.

You think to yourself, this is us.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Writer: Niharika Gursahani

Niharika Gursahani (via Medium)

Niharika Gursahani  (via WordPress) is our youngest contributor. She found out about the Young Minds of Medium How Do You Sing The Blues Call via A Cornered Gurl on WordPress and emailed me to see if she could contribute even though, she is slightly younger than the minimum age requirement for YMOM. After reading a few of her pieces on WordPress and her draft for this call, it was BEYOND easy to make an exception. And now, the featured piece:


The Rhapsody of The Blues

Young Minds of Medium “Blues Call”

Photo Credits —Gary Blonder

An archaic tune plays over the dusty radio,
Reminds me of a dwindling duet I almost forgot a second back,
Every cosmic binder of the universe,
Wants me to never forget the rhapsody of our love.

Our rhapsody was melodious,
The tune was full of life,
And the lyrics of this rhapsody,
Were the loving letters I wrote to you.

This rhapsody hit me hard,
But somewhere in the lyrics, we drift apart,
And the bridge we built with committed chords,
Collapsed as you broke the guitar strings.

This rhapsody was our lovers’ call,
I sang it and it beckoned you to me when I needed you,
And you followed my voice and sang along and gave me comfort,
But now when my ears sense this tune of the Blues,
They bleed a stream of shattered love.
And I scream louder than breaking glass.

Pillows don’t comfort me the way I was comforted,
When I cried into your arms and soaked your shirt in those tears,
My pillow only absorbs my pain but doesn’t relieve me of it,
The way you did when your chest was my only pillow.

I can hear your voice hiss through the corridors of my brain,
Corridors painted your favorite colour with our pictures hung up on the walls,
With this now irritable rhapsody playing in the ballroom of my mind,
Which is my destination to be in hallucinations,
When drowning in insomnia,
Dreaming of you in my arms,
Dancing an endless dance.

I can’t sing a note anymore,
My throat is blunt of unspoken words,
The rhapsody of our love burns me down to a soulless spirit,
And this spirit can’t survive with her soul anymore.
You are my soul.
I can’t sing the Blues anymore,
Because you tore apart my vocal cords.
Pain is the only note I can produce,
But now I have a heart of stone and a spirit devoid of love,
Which has no voice of its own.

I can never cease my love for you,
You are my life and you are my death,
And now that the rhapsody has lost its life,
I dream of only death,
As I gulp down a handful of pills,
Drug me of a faraway fantasy,
This fantasy which I can only achieve,
With the sacrifice of my present life.

And the pills start their deadly effects,
As my body slowly turns into stone-like my heart,
I am nothing but a mere corpse,
As grim darkness crawls up to the ceiling walls,
And as the noises intensify of the dead spirit’s desperate insanity,
I still hear over the drunken voids,
Rhapsody which still plays over the dusty radio.


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Writer: Aaska Aejaz

Aaska Aejaz

This young one popped up on the scene at Medium out of the blue one day, specifically in my feed, and she has been doing that ever since. She is passionate about changing the world–one small act at a time and believes in love, the gift of humanity, staying positive, and writing. She responded to the Young Minds of Medium “How Do You Sing The Blues” challenge by introducing a way to shift from sadness to happiness through music and dancing. Below is her contribution.


Young Minds of Medium Blues Call “How Do You Sing the Blues?”

Let it be: Just Dance — Break the Floor

Photo by Leon Liu on Unsplash

I say . . . Let it be,
Come and dance
Break the floor!
Life is just as it is,
Whenever my heart melts
Whenever my eyes flow
Whenever I feel the obstruction
to inhale the oxygen
I tried to tell myself

Life is just as it is —

It happens in this world,
If there is darkness
If there is anguish
Don’t cry —
There will be morning
after night
There will be happiness
after sorrows and pain
Just be patient . . . let it be

Come and dance
Break the floor!
There will be your weather
There will be your voice
There will be your day
There will be your time!
Just laugh now —
turn on the music

Let’s forget every sadness
Come and dance
Break the floor!


A few years ago, I didn’t know how to handle the chaos of my mind or how to sing the blues? I was an empty page — as blank as every jotting written on a wet paper. My problem was that if I got hurt on one thing, I had started to open all the doors and windows of memories — trust me, it got worse sometimes. My depression had started to increase with the degree of pain, and I’d begun to lose everything.

But, you know, sometimes we are just walking on the road and we meet some people side by side . . . We start to converse, they meet us like travel partners for a very short period of time. And in this short time, we learn some major lessons on how to live a life or sometimes we learn how we can do it! As well as, I met a friend on my travel journey, I call yet my friend even she is not with me now and I don’t know where she is in this world. But, luckily, I collided with her in the past.

She taught me a few lessons, she edified me, don’t worry, if you have a trouble, in this world, everyone faces problems, everyone has their part of sorrows, some has more — some have a few, but the key you should have in your pocket where you could lock your all pain and worries.

The key is how to neglect the dark side of your life and how to be a positive one, basically, just pretend you are okay with that, this is not a big deal and if you want to do big things — to remind yourself. Sometimes big problems also are part of big dreams. Just turn on the music loud and dance like nobody’s watching you, it sounds funny, but let me tell you — it will increase your heart rate, improve physical tenacity, mental performing, general and psychological prosperity, self-confidence and self-esteem, social capabilities and these all things will automatically make you feel happy.

And you don’t believe, I do the same — whenever I’m stuck in the chaos, I just come at home and turn on the music and dance even if I am not a good dancer. I don’t know how to dance because I never did before meeting her.

I know this is so hard to face the difficult times of our life, but it is a really good recipe to ignore the negativity or hurting feelings which we get from depression. All I can suggest you is — don’t think you are alone in this world, just dance and break the floor. Trust me for once, it will work. 🙂


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.