Author: Julia Mallory

Pour | Janel Cloyd

Pour Every woman needs a reservoir A space deep within herself no one can enter We being female and comfortable in our holy should know the direct route to tunnel ourselves down deep within ourselves to bring forth the light to illuminate our way through this long toothed greedy life There is an art to keeping the pilot light lit in a woman’s belly Heavy tongued gossip mongers are attracted to our light like clipped winged flying moths We must do whatwe must do to turn away from this unforgiving thief If we are not careful light unattended surrenders to shadows What is a shadow but the about face inverse opposite of our brightness of being Let us take the time remind ourselves to ourselves to pour sunshine from the dawn’s early light into our spirits The newness of the day is waiting for us — Janel Cloyd is a Poet, Writer and Essayist. She has been awarded a Willow Arts Alliance Residency with history concentration in the Weeksville African American Cultural Arts Center.  She has been …

Grab and Go | Cecilia Caballero

Grab and Go They give us food here. My mother always taught me to look Inside the clearance bin at grocery stores All the way in the back back, the bar code Sliced through with a permanent marker And a new handwritten price, fifty cents or a dollar. Here, they place the food on plastic picnic tables Here, the give us almost expired chocolates on Fridays One day there were golden balloons tied to a tall parking cone A celebration of sorts, if you squint a little at all the food One day, I took a frozen tray and bit into a cheese ravioli Before I noticed a dark mass multiplying like a tumor Across my fork and down my throat from the bits I already ate. I spat it out. And went back for more the next day. I wear a mask the color of my mother’s hair. That I bought at Smart & Final around the corner Did you know there is a national coin shortage? I saw a sign there at the …

Policy | Cecilia Caballero

Policy I went on a Monday and there were Many boxes from the food bank there And they said do you want it and I said yes And I looked and said I will take this one It was a lightest box and they said no you can’t Take just that, you have to take all three boxes, Vegetables and fruits and meats. I said well, I can’t carry all that and they said okay and I left All that food there and I wonder where it went. And don’t you ever wonder how policy looks like police?   __ Cecilia Caballero is an Afro-Chicana single mother, poet, essayist, scholar, and lover of all things spooky. Her writing stretches from the scholarly to social justice to the speculative. Born and raised in Northern California to immigrant parents from Michoacan, Mexico, she currently lives with her son in Boyle Heights, LA among an abundance of oranges trees with strange insects of all kinds. Cecilia holds BAs in English and Chicanx Studies from UC Berkeley and she …

I Feel Such a Kernel Within Myself | Cecilia Caballero

I Feel Such a Kernel Within Myself For Audre Lorde I shed layers of myself in the bathroom, my bus seat, When I arrive home, on my huipil, the woven fabric The colors of the rainbow, it falls in the sink When I am washing dishes, when I walk Between the fig tree with its rotting fruit And the orange trees with its green spheres That will turn sweet soon. I am afraid to wash My hair. I am afraid to lose all my hair. Audre Lorde wrote that the erotic is such a kernel within Herself. And it explodes. I am afraid of exploding. What happens When I release the vibrations of my scalp and hair and everywhere? The doctor told me it is called ophiasis. A Greek word. It means “snake.” The baldness near my neck And ears that slinks itself around like a snake. I am a Snakewoman. I am shapeshifting before your very eyes But no one can tell, yet. Audre Lorde says we’ve been Taught to fear the yes within …

In the Land of Milk and Honey We Are Lactose Intolerant and the Bees Are Dying | Janel Cloyd

    In the Land of Milk and Honey We Are Lactose Intolerant and the Bees Are Dying I hold these truths to be self evident   that this country is full of shit. It sucks the marrow out of our bones. It makes a thick succulent gravy out of us, calls it Negro fusion cuisine. Don’t confuse a beautifully set table and a well worded invite with a welcome. We are the meal. We are the dessert. We are what America chews on with her back teeth until we become dust. Hide a fork in your starched white napkin. When America turns her head all the way around like a haunted barn owl. Stab her in the jugular and remind her she is an Eagle. Tell her in her left ear, you are a vulture, A Black crow, A hoodoo descendant, A night woman, A banshee, A blood hound. Tell America you are a woman who has fantasized how to kill her in the most inventive ways. Tell America your song will be the …