SP Reisreached out to me just this past week and after I reviewed her profile onMedium, it was a no-brainer to add her toA Cornered Gurl. She is direct, concise, poignant, and rhythmic in her delivery. Her debut poem has all of this and more. You’ll see why I did not hesitate to add her to our community as a contributor. Opening, her first contribution to us, is below.
How to speak of sexuality
Every beginning comes from an opening. The bravery to trust in creativity and, give love sacredly.
If Moses parted the Red Sea, then the watery space in between found home in the opening of women from which life gives and receives freely.
If the earth was born of explosion, then it was born from conspiracy by chemicals to dive at a chance encounter with an opening of trust.
So if you talk to me about sexual wanting do not speak without the words open, sacred, trusting and free.
I am posting this here too, just in case any of you are on Medium and not Twitter, you’ll see this challenge/call for submissions should you fancy to tackle it along with us:
Writers: A Challenge
Haibun A Heart
Writers, this is your fifth challenge of the year and for this one, we will dive into form and structure once again and write our way through the haibun. What is this, you may ask?
Haibun is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. — Wikipedia
The challenge: I am asking you to “Haibun a Heart” which is to write a prose piece centered around your heart’s desire or passion or pain or love in any form and to also incorporate a haiku too.
The night’s wind sunk deep into our bones — drenched us in pain. We waited for the evening to end. Nothing could relieve us of the passion that festered in our hearts. We begged to be rid of it — to move away from it — to grow in another direction, but it was not our time. If we had our way, we’d lose ourselves in the midst of it all — consumed by love’s touch. Drowned once again.
passion was our pain this night’s gift led us to love we seal off our hearts
Let’s make this happen, people!
•Request to be added as a writer by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Please Add Me” as the subject line and please include the link to your Medium profile. Don’t want to be a writer in A Cornered Gurl? Simply comment with your response in this challenge post, or create your own post to your profile or in another publication, however, please use the tags, “Challenge” and “Haibun.”
Since this is a challenge call, all submissions received by 6:00 pm, US ET Thursday, October 29, 2020, will be published by 7:00 pm, US ET Friday, October 30, 2020. Any other submissions received during the week and by 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 01, 2020, will be published by 7:00 pm on Monday, November 2, 2020, US ET. CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW.
Show me what you can do with this challenge and “Haibun a Heart,” beautiful people!
*Finally, this is a read-for-all community. There will be no metered paywall or locked pieces in A Cornered Gurl. If you do not know how to unlock your submissions, please learn how to here. The Weekly Knob gives an excellent breakdown on deselecting the option to curate/distribute for paywall prior to submitting to a publication.
Buddy’s presence left a foul taste in Starla’s mouth. Who was he to come around barking orders after being missing-in-action for four days? Being the middle child has its advantages, but being the woman middle child does not. Their father left the business to them, however, he listed Buddy as the primary overseer.
Buddy, the only one out of the three of them who was the most irresponsible — if he had his way, he’d relieve himself of his duties, but he felt the old man’s spirit would toss and turn in its grave if he did. Starla had enough of his arrogance and lack of dependability.
Chloe is too busy focusing on the mockingbird that flew above them at that moment and settled on the roof of the B & B. She listens to it as it mocks the other birds around them — its melody much more hypnotic.
“I like a bit of character. They look good now, Auntie Star, but what’ll we do when they start turning that ungodly brown and growing bigger than normal, then breaking off into mushy pieces?”
The kid had a point. Those mushrooms did wonders for the aesthetic appeal of the lawn now, but what about later?
What comes along with their aging?
“You know what, Chloe? You’ve got a point. We better have your daddy pull them up as soon as he comes by today. I’ll schedule an additional lawn treatment with Stephan next week — see if there’s anything we can do about them.”
“I didn’t mean to just get rid of them. I only want to know, what would we do then? Remember when that cancer started eating away at mommy’s lungs and daddy couldn’t care for her anymore? He brought someone to care for her directly to her. Those last few months were an improvement because someone who was trained cared enough to make them so. Can’t we find a way to treat them when they age?”
Starla finds herself at a loss for words. Her niece, this fifteen-year-old still struggling with grief, is sharing her wisdom. She knows not what to do but she knows what they shouldn’t do. Starla has an idea that’ll solve their Buddy-the-perfectionist problems.
The mockingbird sings its tune louder. Its beak trembling with every tone. They sit and they listen. They sit and they grow.
“Chloe, I do believe I’ve got an idea about those mushrooms but I won’t pursue it this weekend. Nope. We’ll start fresh on them Monday morning. You and me. How you feel about that?”
Chloe leans into the melody of the birdsong, taps her feet lightly on the wooden deck, and smiles at her aunt with inquiring eyes.
Wild Flower, or The Wild One as I like to call her, has been on Medium for four years and ever since she appeared, she has been making waves. A familiar face from my days as Editor of This Glorious Mess, I was incredibly happy to have her contribute to ACornered Gurl as well. She answered the call to “Sound Off” with an audio poem and it is truly incredible. I have been amazed by her growth and transformation into this beast of a writer and I hope I am around long enough to see her continue to evolve.
I won’t dote on her any longer . . . Here’s the piece in question, They Call Me Chaos.
They call me chaos,
a complete contradiction
Pages of disarray, defined as a little too abstruse
obscured views, built on foundations
not quite ready to hold
Yes, I feel the weight
of the world beneath me.
I carry your loss
as much as my own.
My throne has not yet
come to me.
I am queen somewhere,
but this life and I
are not yet aligned
to build the bridges required
to save us all
from the inevitable
f a l l
we are facing.
Still, I will hold my arms wide, tie myself to the core of the problem.
I will stretch each limb to the rim
of your hurt, and hold it
for as long as required.
I will not let go
until I am wise enough
to find the solution.
Yes, they call me chaos,
they say my dreams are
I am a box of worms because the
can they locked me in
could not contain me.
Pandora showed me the way
and in my world,
we speak what we feel,
we use art and poetry
to shield the bigots away.
We hold hands and
embrace each other
that don’t divide us.
Come and find us,
everyone eats at this table
and not a single shot is fired.
I can’t breathe through your knee
is echoed into a verse that initiates
actual change, that stays,
long enough for the world
to see the wounds it has created.
Providing a bandage
big enough to wrap our hearts
around the start of
There you have it,
come along for the ride
or turn your stride
away from me.
I will be somewhere else,
writing it out
and taking on the world
as I see it.
They call me chaos
and for as long as I can remember
I have been searching for a way to say this is me and I am proud of it.
Jennifer Patino is not only a most recent contributor to A Cornered Gurl via Medium, but she is also someone I have been reading on WordPress for years. Her most recent blog/website is Thistle Thoughtsand the world of poetry, spoken word, essays, and her thoughts and reflections come to life there.
Recently, I put out a call for audio poems to be submitted to A Cornered Gurl for our Feature of the Week and approached Jennifer to take on the challenge. She did so. Not only did she hit us with her words, she gut-punched us with the reading of them.
A Native American, “enrolled Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe,” Jennifer speaks about her people, their fight to survive, what has and continues to be taken away from them, and the move toward the betterment of our nation and our hearts.
I’m petrified into silence,
mute disbelief, my grief
holds my tongue, my words
buried inside me
You wanna talk oppression? It’s
almost an obsession, how you
feel you have to prove you suffer
more than the weak
You wanna talk fear? When I
wake, feeling like I was born
for the slab and may arrive early
because you “can’t breathe” through a mask?
I can list many, my dear, who literally
could not breathe, while being murdered by
police brutality, who
could not breathe in gas chambers,
who are no longer breathing,
brothers, mothers, significant others
You wanna talk sin, or attacks on religion?
My people could practice again in 1978, remember
it was taken away? No, you don’t
I can’t speak for all, only me,
a voice from your sacrificial altar,
a daughter being led to slaughter
for your economy
for your frogskins, your chameleon colored money
You wanna talk hardship?
You can’t work on a ventilator
Your bank doesn’t matter
when you’re deceased
I watch infections increase, and
I cry for every family I watch
injustice happening in the streets,
and I contemplate destiny
I think of all these martyrs, I try
and remember, their names, their faces
I want them to be
more than just a hashtagged tragedy
I want, no, I need
You wanna talk flags?
I wave a white one too
It says “I surrender”