Dustin Pickering, an inspiration and a friend. He is an SD contributor and a publisher with Transcendent Zero Press. We will be publishing his next collection in the fall.
Back from the seminar with ringing in my ears. Today,
a special session in learning to be offended. The teacher
is an empowered victim, an obese libertarian who spends
her afternoons at the Palm Springs hotel pool in a lace bikini.
In her youth, one hears, she sued the San Francisco Ballet.
She won a space in a spring production playing the part of a fat swan.
In college she took the chancellor to court to gain admission to the men’s
locker room. She made the men shower in their jockey straps.
Now she has diabetes and wheezes when she climbs stairs. She
has taken up as a topic The Smiling Face of Whiteness. She made us
buy her book and a set of tapes read by a transsexual prisoner at Folsom
whose claim to fame is that she once sucked off Johnny Cash.
Whiteness, she contends, is a kind of one-dimensional way of being
in the world. This, no doubt, contrasts with the multi-dimensional Eskimo.
I felt instantaneously resentful, in contrast to her position that whites
endlessly forgive their own transgressions. I forgive nothing.
Curricula emphasize terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi. It’s as
discouraging, she points out, as being too fat to model. Schools
perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks
and other Europeans. She asks us to consider the proposition that 2+2 = 5.
Aspiring math teachers of color must learn to develop a sense of “political
conocimiento,” which means answers from whites are always wrong. She
quotes from a Vanderbilt University professor who writes that the field
of mathematics is a “white and heteronormatively masculinized space.”
“Things cannot be known objectively; they must be known subjectively.”
There are no right or wrong answers. Don’t accept your white teacher’s
corrections. When he says you’re in error, look him in the eye and tell him
that is just his opinion. (If his eyes twinkle, sue him for sexual harassment.)
Only when whiteness ends, can forgiveness begin. So many minorities
“have experienced microaggressions from participating in math classrooms.…”
We are tired, she insists, of being judged by whether we can reason abstractly.
White thinking leads to white ways of being. Now repeat: 2 +2 = 5.
[David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.
Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.
David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.]
Once upon a time
Along a path I wandered
As a fallen leaf does wander
Lain upon a stream
… as though dancing
… as though careless
… as though young
Wherein dark woods I stumbled
Ensnared by fallow spindle
Which bade me kneel my sacred ground
And I bent my back upon the point
Until impaled… and unbeknownst
Cursed with waking sleep
Stitched shut within a shroud
Despite the mirror and the mist
And fifty shades of greys
Bleeding into grey
Like some tawdry love story
If tawdry is worn and caked with grime
And the love story… benign
In glass funnels
With the perpetuity
Of a spinning wheel
Each turn bought with youth, all but spent
Until you kissed me
Full on the mouth.
Like a slap.
© Vicki Wilson
I am an amateur poet, published author and professional technical analyst… all of these things mean I basically solve puzzles for a living, and to keep from dying. I know this because I died once. Metaphorically. Six years of a slow death by industrialised decision making. In the end I was so numb to living I ceased to exist. But burn-out has a silver lining, you wake up and all you have left is steel and the rich black of sticky charcoal to make your mark. I am still learning how to hold a pen, how to form words into a living thing, but my scratchings are mine, they are made with the corpse of who I was. I offer them as evidence I exist.
I have recently published a children’s book – written and illustrated by myself – under the banner of dragonflypublishing. You can find me there writing my next one: https://www.facebook.com/dragonflypublishing.au.
[Photo: Lexi Kendall]
We will be announcing finalists for poetry contest shortly.
[Photo: Nasim Aghdam]
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“I am lost.
labyrinthe in static motion,
glass veins and sticky lacerations
amphetamine-laced burrowing into skin
and I’ve forgotten your scent
the burrs lay flat against my hide
I’ve long since ignored.
friction, my husk ignited,
and the pines burn in my flesh
in a spot I cannot reach
and you are distant
and they beat the fight out of me
and you are gone
and they left me to die.
I am lost.
light turned sour in smog air,
a paned window painted bloody,
small and afraid.
quiet, undulating, sickly pulsating
dead, dead, dying.
I reached out,
why weren’t you there?”
“I am Tofu, a twenty-one year old poet. I reside in British Columbia, in a rural neighbourhood, surrounded by power lines and open fields. My work is influenced by trauma, uncomfortable sensations, and the people of my past, present, and future. I’ve trekked through periods of poverty, chaos, peace and growth, and weave my experiences into intimate and vulnerable poetry. I hope only to encourage thought and empathy from the people who read my work.”
A great message from Sudden Denouement’s social media coordinator. JustinspireTv
Sudden Denouement started a little over three years ago with a vision of creating a platform for divergent voices. We have grown tremendously and have been gifted with amazing talent from around the world. We are now soliciting submissions for new writers. If you are interested, please send a sample of your work, along with a short bio. We are interested in those who write poetry, short fiction, or any form that lends itself to the format.
If interested please send submissions to:
Isn’t it easier to be
to beat the world to tainting your name?
the hospital says they won’t have me
no one wants to nurse a grenade
suffering is a shield I will wed it if I have to
now it seems strange for a person so obviously in love with words
not to know a single way to say “stay”
I was never art until I learned how to hurt
I’m an attentive student I lick the words I eject
to see if they still taste of you
the flavor of Revenge:sickly sweet:
people will tell you our story is about love
I say it’s about survival
each defeat hands me a choice
and in the end
I always end up saving myself
Henna Johansdotter, the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at https://hjdpoetry.wordpress.com/