Category Archives: writing challenge

“Warning Sign” – Kristen J.

The Leeches Sucked Me Dry.


Peeling their teeth from my skin took every bit of fight I had left.
I am just re-learning how to survive
Though bloodless, and worn
Snatched of energy,
Robbed of love, baby,
I am tired
and I have nothing left to give.

If you were expecting me to dance
And lick your ego; keep you warm on the cold days
Or celebrate your wins,
You came too late.
I am barren waste land
My trinkets, though visible, are all tarnished
There is no part of me that hasn’t been through a war.
Instead of helping me rebuild
They etched their name in the sand, as to claim me conquered
You can see their footprints in my pupils, if you look close enough.
I don’t mean for coldness to greet you at hello
But it is the only defense I have left since they tore down my fortress.

I want to let you know that
I am saving all the good parts for myself,
Once I reclaim them again.
So don’t stop, don’t unpack your bags;
Don’t look for a home here.

“Ayn’s Axiom” – Lee

An excerpt from my journaling. Text used is the “Journals of Ayn Rand”.

The moral law of man must be based on his nature as man” (251). We come back to morality, which is a set of principles on what is right and wrong. If this doctrine is based on man, then the question presented by Rand is “what is man’s nature? (251)”. If we examine the moral law, we find that good and evil are disproportionate; goodness is greatly overshadowed by evil. What does this say about our universal nature? All living creatures have an aspect of their nature that aids in them in survival. Rand believes that man’s attribute is reason. “His brain is his only weapon (251).” Just like any other weapon, one must use it to improve the level of proficiency. Man has tapped into his tool of survival and created a world. Sartre believed that a man must exist before his purpose, and Rand expresses something similar. We are given our mind, but without any instructions on its use. We must be the ones to discover how to use it and then shape ourselves with that tool. This is how we discover our being, by crafting it with what we have been given, a mind born as a tool from our nature. “Man’s life ultimately depends upon every conclusion within his brain (252).” We can assume that conclusion is the final step of discovery; also assuming that this is true we must then ask how does one reach a conclusion within their mind? I believe it is by placing an action towards a thought. It is simply not enough for the brain to think, it must do. In order to do we must choose an appropriate action that represents that conclusion, which leads us to, as Rand says, “the ultimatum of man’s existence (252).” We were created to choose, to utilize a force other than instinct, and primal logic in order to survive. Choice is defined as “to decide that a particular person or thing is the one you want (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)”. What, then, is the importance of the want? It is want that will ultimately define us, needs are arbitrary because they are necessary for basic survival; but man will become a being once a want is discovered. There is proof in all of us, and within our daily lives. We seek, we dream, we wish, we hope. All of these abstract beliefs have one common element, want, and want is the tool that will sculpt the self from the mass of marble known as humanity…

Black republican – Anonymous

Woke up this morning
Steady yawning
Black republican
Horribly ignorant
Tuned into some Facebook rants
And I laughed at my tight fitting pants

Seems I’m getting bigger
Cats in a world we still tryna figure
With these 9 lives
I figure that 8 years for blacks to hide
For it should come as no surprise
The media reports we are in for demise

My pops favorite channel CNN
keeps my dad from forgiving his own skin
A man who shares the color of skin
A god forsaken
Black Republican
Some how
I hope we can be
Better at being bi-partisan
Then listing off my cardinal sins
The first being
A Black republican
Just sayin…..
peace ✌️

The Spectrum of Self – Manny Amaya

The self is complicated and simple at the same time. In my eyes one’s self is a spectrum. On one end you have face value stats. Your looks, your environment, and what you don’t mind consistently sharing with the world. Call it your involuntary self. It’s simply who you are day in and day out without trying. But on the other end – that’s when it gets tricky.

Can that “simple” self also be who you’re not? Could this simple “you” actually be a persona you tirelessly try to keep up? That’s when it gets complicated. If a person dons a persona mask when they leave the safe comforts of their room, but no one meets the real them, does the mask become who they really are? Deep right?

As for me – I have two layers. My unapologetic self. The daily Manny. That’s the surface. That’s my face value. But my dreams, desires, my demons; those aren’t for everybody. Those are for the people I trust. It’s not a different me, just a more complete me. Make sense? You don’t show all your cards first. But again that’s just me. So I like to stay in the middle of this spectrum of the self. I like not worrying about who I look like to other people, because I know that they truly and honestly won’t know me unless I want them to – and I like it like that.

MA

“I am” by Cortland Gilliam

I am

equal parts faith and fear,

Insecurity erected by skeleton,

Made mortal by flesh

immortalized in melanin.

I am

The quiet kid of open mind and ear,

Eager to hear,

Yet deaf to the volume of his own voice.

I am

The dreamer who reaches for stars but

can only seem to cling to regret

–The one with the throat swollen from truths unshared.

I am

The willfully ignorant one

blinded in the light of his own sun;

The impatient, wandering wonderer.

Worthy, yet waiting for his someday to begin.

-C

Moonbeam (A Melodie) – Lee

Verse I

We dance alone at midnight

With skin flowing like fresh milk

I feel our wings have taken flight

To carry me to your silk

Pale lips with matching cheeks

My hand kisses your face

And as bits of the universe leaks

I offer my heart in its place

Hook

Mirror mirror in the clouds

I hope that you can see

All that is hidden within shrouds

And show her that this is me

Chorus

Stargazer, note taker, poem maker

My future is brighter than it seems

Heart breaker, now or later

I give it all for these moonbeams

Verse II

I’m standing below with open arms

Scars upon fragile wrists

Waiting for you to strike a charm

And grant me a lunar kiss

Celestial Queen I miss you

Floating only in the shadows

I’m unable to taste your hue

Until released from your gallows

Hook

Chorus

Verse III

Truth is I’m staying up late for you

Passing off on sleep to lay up with you

I’m not sure if this is love

But your rays keep shining from above

Keep me company in my dark days

Watch out for the occasional craze

Because your wisps of light

Can make me feral for the night

But there’s silver in your tongue

And Platinum in your soul

Royalty is what we’ll become

When we give away our whole

Not half or less than

See I’m not here to play

My goal is to be your moon man

A life with you is what’s at stake

Chorus

Random interlude conversation.

Band coming 2018.

“Reverse System of Care” Written by Crystal Cruz

Interlude: I wish I knew how to love like we breathe.

Naturally inhaling for ourselves first.
Taking a breath to ready our bodies for the flight ahead, before spending energy on what or who lies ahead.
I seem to be doing this backwards.
Barely breathing before using all I have for loving what’s in front of me.
Releasing love, and readying myself with nothing to replenish what I’ve lost.
That’s okay, as long as you have someone breathing into you. As you are for them. But in the hollow, I must inhale on my own.  


I wish I could inhale..
Inhale the serenity of a fresh start when I open my eyes.
Breathe in the untouched version of today, untainted by any demise from yesterday.
Inhale the nutrients of my own entity,
Energizing myself with the codes of my own complexity
Inhale the resilience that comes with being pushed by the wind,
Synthesizing and feeding off of love that only comes from within.

But instead I only inhale..
Inhale to transform the toxins of pain into a purity of love no malice could contain
So I may, fill my lungs, with the endurance to speak a thousand lovely words for someone else’s strength to regain.
Exhale?..No I won’t complain..
About how tired I feel from spending so much energy
breathing out this love that’s not pouring back into me.
I didn’t notice how I wasn’t breathing on my own
until I look around and no one’s giving me the love I once known
And yet I still give, no hesitation – undoubtedly
Expecting nothing in return so I’m consumed with anything but me.
Releasing this gas, this fire..igniting, sparks…they’re flying
and me?
Out of breathe. Depleted. Nothing left.

Exhale..
When did I ever inhale to exhale?
Exhale..When do I get rid of what’s not good for me?
When do I know when to stop giving?
To decide that I need to love myself a little more to start living
Maybe not a little more, but more so what come first.
Default set to exhale love but that’s a little reversed.
Synthesizing from within to selflessly expend it forward, a skill not many can do.
Take my own advice: you gotta do this for you.
Cause at the end of day I can’t feed others with no food to make the soup with,
I could just,
take a little time to breathe and restock,
Shelves full of love made from yours truly don’t need to watch the clock.

So I will Inhale…
All my wants all my dreams.
I am my own sunshine and I’m bursting at the seams.
Breath in my own rays, let it prepel me
Tribulations may come but I am all I can be

Exhale..
The unknowns of how the other feels
About what’s fabricated or what’s real
The questioned motivates or the genuine care
About why the world feels like it’s ending and is any of it fair?

Inhale…
A new beginning each day to set me free
Only then can anyone have all of what is left of me.

Written by: Crystal Cruz