The Louisiana Social Pledge

We pledge our allegiance to Louisiana. We will embrace what makes us and our state unique. Louisiana will be recognized as a leader and innovator of the New South. Many great leaders of the future will come from this state. And we will show both the media and politicians that we are smarter than them. We will no longer have our resources exhausted and our people used and left behind. We will work hard and play hard. We will protect each other. We will support each other. We pledge that we will do whatever we can to get these things in motion right now. We will no longer wait for a path to be cleared for us. We will clear the path ourselves. And we ain’t giving up easily. We will socialize in the real world just as well as we do on the internet…in hopes to organize ourselves effectively.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Stitched Up Heart (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

They say the heartbroken can never love again
Most are destined to ruined futures and tear-dried skin
Their memories become crumbled up pictures in a trash bin
But they don’t know my heart and where it’s been

I have a stitched up heart and I, again, will love
I believe in roses, violets, Romeo, and all of the above
I see hearts filled with Cupid, Aphrodite, and a smiling dove
I know my heart will be given to the person I dream of

Love is always hopeful if, especially, you have a sewing kit
To myself, today, and tomorrow I shall forever commit
Those who live best say that love is always constant, so don’t forget
It’s not too late to stitch up your heart and put up with life’s shit

Phoenix (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

Make a list, darling
Of things you love
I'll help you burn it
In the backyard
Here's a lighter
What do your thoughts
Look like in your head
You know you have to
Let them go
If they're things
You truly care about
For whatever reason
Arbitrary, but that's the rule
Apparently it's proven
So tell me dearest
What are these things
That are extensions of
Your soul
Hopes dreams desires
The things that validate
The person you are
Flowers kitties seahorses
Dreamcatchers and sundresses
Books and fantasy tales
You and me
Let's burn it all
Burn the world
And like phoenixes
Rise from the ashes and flames
Whole, untouched, made new.

Stolen Life (Skyra Rideaux- Carencro, LA)

You don’t even know me
brown skinned little boy from a mother’s womb
you came one day unexpectedly
like I was supposed to love you on purpose
I hated you on sight
smiling at me some kinda nice
like that will fix the ruin
you caused my life
crying when I should be smiling,
laughing when I should be crying,
hair piling in the trash-mans open palm when it should be the essence of my beauty
scarring my insides with your changes and turns,
scarring my outsides with your shape of your head
and then marring me on my most feminine parts
expecting me to love you on purpose.
don’t you know that you were bred on a sheet that was burned with blood
from a boy who didn’t know what he took
walked away with part of me still clinging to his dick and denied my innocence on a bible in his mother’s house
now here you come in the time it takes to mourn
expecting me to love you on purpose
It’s impossible to steal
what was always meant to be yours in the first place
funny, because you aint mine
I stole you from the hospital
covered in my sacrificial juices
in a blue camisole marked baby.
sitting here in my favorite earrings trying to understand why I got to be the one to suffer your midnight cries
when it’s me who died the night you were conceived.
you don’t even know me
brown skinned little boy from a mother’s womb
you came one day expecting me to love you on purpose

The Stretch (Jadyne “Jay” Bell- New Orleans, LA)

I’m a rubber band to say the least
Moved and maneuvered into any make you imagine
Understand my limit better that I do

The dishes, the laundry, lunch and even dinner

Ask me to extend past my limits
Because I will, then retract into the praise you push upon me
I will humbly hide my given effort

With every extra task asked, my resilience gets thinner

Excellence is what some see
But few know the pressure and tension create when asked favors
Being broken is my biggest fear

Too much strain will pop me, and no one will care.

I should stay aware of my limit
And not overload myself by holding together everyone else’s stuff
Unappreciated success makes failure so easy

All the feats that I accomplish, it’s like they were never there.

Love in a Flash (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

He met her. She met him. They went on a date. They had sex. She got pregnant. He cheated on her. She cried. He lied. They made up. They got married. She went into labor. He went to a bar. Their first child was born. They got a divorce.

Time went forward. They learned themselves better. They both tried again.

She met her. He met him. She loved her. He loved him. She got help mothering her child. He got helped with his drinking. She married her. He married him. She couldn’t be apart from her. He couldn’t be apart from him. Two couples in love.

Diary of a Fat Fem Black Man (Lakari Jaquan Fontenot- Lafayette, LA

Is there a difference fat and phat...
Is it ok to be plus sized.....
Do the guys all say, "oh you're not my type", simply because you weigh over 200lbs?
Do they view me as unhealthy?
Am I ugly or unattractive?
Will anyone be able to love me, even though my community wants me to be unloved?
Men looking and thinking less of you because you don't have a six pick and beautiful hard toned shoulders
The same men who say they want masculine straight acting males
The very same men who say No Fems, No Fats, No Blacks
Maybe if I relocate myself out of Louisiana
Maybe if I lose a bunch of weight or just stop eating
Then will I be pretty?
No one knows what or how this can affect ones attitude about themselves
I know this, I'm big and I might not be the masculine man that all the homosexuals want
But I know that I'm beautiful inside and out
Big will Always Beautiful

New Author: Lakari Jaquan Fontenot

     "I always feel  better whenever I think about Lakari and I can already be quite content! I can only think about enjoyable experiences I've shared with him. Lakari has always been funny and uplifting to me. What strikes me most about his personality though, is how open he was about his experiences. This is my favorite thing about him. His transparency and honesty regarding himself, and his view of the world, makes him an endearing figure to me. Always supportive and genuine, I am proud to welcome Lakari Jaquan Fontenot to Louisiana Words!" - Samuel Jones

Failure (Chay Bridges- Alexandria, Louisiana)

Something that scares the hell out of me
But I still soemehow continue with pursuing my dreams because being afraid of the unknown is pointless.
Afraid of falling back into the cycle of giving it my all and being denied what I've tried so hard to accomplish and then hearing "if it is meant to be it will be it will be" or " dust yourself off and try again" words that go in one ear and out the other because that's not what i really want to hear.
I feel like crying and giving up and then I realize that if I don't pick myself up then I have failed to try.
Understanding that failure is only a figment of my imagination because no matter the amount of times I try if I don't give up I HAVE NOT FAILED

New Author: Chay Bridges

     "There is this unshakable positivity about Chay Bridges. I've seen her during sudden illness and, even then, she could conjure up something to hold on to. I realize now that her positivity is symbol for inner strength. Raised from a family full of love, Chay knows her self worth and can see the worthiness of others. Welcome to Louisiana Words, Chay." - Samuel Jones

All of Me (Matthew Talbot- Iowa, LA)

People talk to me
Most all of me will listen
While only one responds

New Author: Matthew Talbot

     "Matthew Talbot is one of the most dynamic individuals I know. If I could compare him to anything in nature, it would be the tornado. Obviously powerful externally, Matthew has a peaceful core focused upon love, loyalty and sincerity. Refusing to remain content with stagnation, he constantly reaches for growth and expansion. Forever evolving, I am looking forward to experiencing the viewfinder that is his work. Welcome to Louisiana Words, Matthew. I'm glad that I could welcome you." - Samuel Jones

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stream of Consciousness (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

I am floating.

Relaxed, spinning
And star shaped,
Flowing with the current
Of my mind.

I am floating.

The guppies nibble
At my toes,
But something deep inside me knows
They're are distractions.

I am floating.

I hear the growl 
Of a bear.
Paws slashing through the air,
I am the salmon.

Rosy with love,
Glimmering with hope,
The jade beast
Wants to cannibalize me.

I am floating.

I do not dive deep beneath
To escape surface perils.
I am not consumed,
As fear was the missing spice.

I am floating.

And I am paused
By the rocks
Representing mental blocks.
So I let go,

Remembering that the pebbles beneath me
Were once rocks as well.
Oval and smooth
They have been softened by the stream that carries me now.







21st Century Problems: WWJBD or What Would Justin Bieber Do? (#16) (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

“If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go I can take you places you ain't never been before,” I sang along to Justin’s Bieber’s hit “Boyfriend” as I learned the moves from new Wii dancing/dating game, Justin Bieber: The Experience. It had finally arrived. I even got a new look to go with my much needed life change. I also quit all five of my jobs. I was jobless, but I looked good. I was one sexy African-American (Kenyan), Asian (Korean), Hispanic (Cuban), Caucasian (Scottish), Native American (Cherokee) America with manicured eyebrows and blond hair. Justin’s confidence was inspiration. She was the first young, open, lesbian rocking the charts. Everything about her screamed masculine boldness. Her hair, her use of a male name, her style, her public relationships with other female stars, and her wonder Bieber swag. I was in love with a lesbian. I was just about to begin a dating tips simulation on the game when my doorbell rang. Ugh, It was Nate, “Can I use your laptop and wifi?” I lied again, “Nate, I told you, since the beginning (*wink*:Episode 1 reference) that I don’t have internet.” Nate scoffed, “That’s not true. I caught a wifi signal the other day when I was jogging by with my Ipod…Nate stopped talking and look at the TV which had Bieber playing. “What are you doing?” I responded sassily, “Channeling the energy of my new inspiration. And yes, I know she’s a lesbian. And I am proud.” Nate looked confused, “That’s a teenage boy.” My heart sank. I stood in silence. The music continued in the background, “Na na na, na na na, na na na ey. Na na na, na na na, na na na ey. If I was your boyfriend.’ I thought the song was about a girl wanted to be in the boyfriend role. I am and more confused everyday.

People Change (So Let Them) (R.E.) (Louis Toliver- Swartz, LA)


It would be a good idea to observe your neighbors
Notice how they struggle along, daily, with life labors
Pay closer observations to people that grow though
It is those good neighbors that change the status quo
Why throw an obstacle in the way of people who change?
A changing human adapts to and leads in her or his community
Why chose to be the acid that corrodes what’s within your range
I must tell you, adversary to change, that humans reject disunity
When a family unites and changes to maintain its values
It is best to decide what’s important, being a family or alone?
We believe that we can live together and die together fully grown
So any of those who use the past to stop progress, we refuse
Dear adversary to change, please understand nature’s stem
Appearances evolve, not substance; people change, so let them

The Parts of Me That Are No More (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

Sometimes I get phantom pains
From my wrist
The faint, thin lines
Grooves in my flesh
Horizontal, non-fatal
From the darkness inside
Throb with sudden painful clarity
Sharp, shooting digs
Tonight they whisper at me
Barely audible screams
"Remember who you are
Look at what you did
Your frailty manifest in us
We embody the pain within your soul
The tears from your heart
The weakness of your spirit"
Their message only calms me
Because that was another time
Another place and another me
I am different now
I am healed, whole, beautiful
The scars from my cuts refuse to fade
But add a depth to me
Marked in my skin but etched into my very core
These parts of me that are no more

Drumbeat (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

The hands of my love are rough and calloused deep
So wide the palms and spaces 'tween their fingers.
With care, upon my hips, quick rhythms they do beat.
Although my love's away his echo lingers.

Upon me he drums; his eyes are always closed.
His tranquil face, it sways from side to side.
Within my bones a sweet vibration grows
As beats dance from my belly to my thighs.

So steady the tapping of my lover's hands
Rhythms closely ordered yet they flow.
The changes in their sequence, I do not understand.
The point from which they come, I do not know.

Yet just as he provides the base for joining melodies
My love, for me, is strong and sound; he is my steady beat.

Waiting (Jadyne “Jay” Bell- New Orleans, LA)

The more that I’m away from you,
the more I want to wait for you.
I just want to enter your eyes
and walk where happiness lies.
But that’s lies
because when we meet it’s as if we’ve never met our lips.
Like we’ve never stolen loves like two thieves in the night.
And at night,
it’s like the moon shines just for us.
It shines for you.
But you act as if we’ve never locked our bodies in a pool of passion
pounding with a potential that neither of us can control
and when I dive...
I dive deeply, never worried about the waves
because you express that ecstasy in oh so many ways

I wait for you, just to wait for you.
See I don’t mind knowing that you’re walking my way
just as long as when you walk my way
You walk…my way.
That way that blows my mind
that way that slows… down… time.
See I remember that time we were at that place doing that thing
with those people on that date that doesn’t even matter
because when you made that face
you took my heavy heart and you held it.
See you had my permission without having to ask
and that ass is the only aspect without any affect on the way that I’m feeling.
I don’t pay much attention to it,
that’s why I’m always feeling.
Maybe it’ll become familiar but for that, I can wait
But wait...Please don’t believe I’ll be waiting forever.
Only my affection lasts through lifetimes.

At times when I wait for you
I wonder what you do, while I wait for you.
Not in negativity just giving me something to do.
Some image of you while I wait.
Other girls do arrive with those envious eyes
those eyes that are so damn set on my prize.
Your prize.
Your gift from me that I will wait to give you.
I will wait until you take it because I can’t force you to care for me.
I can only feel how I feel and hate how it feels to wait.
Yes, patience is pain, but pleasure is the same.
So why should we both hurt?
I think I’ll just wait.
Could you wait?
Could you sleep every night
knowing that in the morning when you wake I could keep you waiting?
Could you wait knowing that while you wait
there could be someone else I’m dating?
See while I wait there’s a lot of weight being place on my shoulders
but I will wait with that weight if it means I get to hold ya
All I ask is that you hold my heart.
I hope that doesn’t bug you.
But back to me and this waiting.
I’ve been waiting to tell you... I love you.

New Author: Jadyne "Jay" Bell

     "Jadyne, like most creative people, is blessed with multiple talents. I first new him as an orientation leader at our university. There, he exercised team building skills that consistently lead to the stellar execution of a student's first experience at UL Lafayette. Then, I knew him as a graphic design student. Working with the university, he created fresh visual campaigns for UL's longstanding traditions. Now, I know him as a poet. 
     When I first heard Jay Bell's poetry, I could immediately feel a truer depth of who he was. Even though I had already known him on multiple levels, I could see that there was much more to be explored. We are fortunate to have Jay Bell join Louisiana Words. Not only is he the first author to represent New Orleans, but his work is always eye worthy and ear catching." - Samuel Jones

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Walking, Dreaming (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

Yes I do believe
I am setting out again.
Must keep up the pace
while I'm still able.

The sleep gave me strength.
I walk now in a glide,
To that distant point
where the curving dirt path narrows.

Once I reach that narrow point,
No longer is it narrow.
The edges wide,
engulf me like a dream.

It's all a dream, I realize,
The new point and the old.
So many dreams I've had already;
So many yet to come.

Soul-mate (Skyra Rideaux- Carencro, LA)

Our bond and his hands remained a strong connection and kept me tethered to life. People who saw us together would smile at the warmth that emanated from our bodies; flowing through my hands into his. And always his hands would hold me closer than life itself, binding me to him, and him to me. We would sit and talk for hours about paved roads that used to be gravel, books he’d never read, and foods from foreign countries he would never visit. He inspired my love of music from decades before me, and together we would dance and sing, in a world created only for us. I can remember him, in the kitchen, his hands moving and creating foods he knew I would love. Sometimes I would open the door and he’d be standing next to the stove, his back to me. I’d tip toe around the table and squeeze him heartily from behind; his body would immediately react to my touch. His hands often calloused but always soft, would find mine and we’d stand there clinging to each other, our familiarity radiating between our fingers. He would turn slowly around, cupping my face, and kiss me on my forehead. I’d gaze up into his eyes; there were no tears, we’d been here before. He stole my heart the moment we met and from then on we became inseparable. It was always about him, the man who raised me from dust to dust, coated in marble, buried in darkness.
I once called him father.

Belief vs. Reality (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

I let the sounds wash over me
Waves on the beach
Moving me with their melodies
My hips sway to the bass
Pulsing through my core
That purple feel gives me chills
Serpentine movements flowing
Harmony, peace, and love
Things we can believe in
Strawberries sweet and drippy
To be someone is that better
Than just being alive?
Harsh realities set in
Once that trombone stops
But maybe, just maybe
That music that connected us
And the feelings it brought
Will make these beliefs come to pass

New Author: Madison Elizabeth Holland

     "I first met Madison in London during the ULL Study Abroad program. I was instantly charmed by Madison's calm personality, sense of humor, & maturity. She was an extreme pleasure to get to know and I enjoyed the 2 1/2 weeks we spent together. I particularly loved her independence, yet her clear dedication to her relationship.
     As I left London to spend time In Scotland, she left by herself to spend time in Ireland. I never once, during our entire encounter, figured that she loved to write until she contacted me recently. And I must tell you, this is only the beginning of how much she has offered me. We are so grateful to add her to the Louisiana Words family. Ladies & Gentlemen: Louisiana Words introduces Madison Elizabeth Holland." - Louis Toliver Jr.

Louisiana Words/The Series: Confessions

Louisiana Words/The Series: Confessions

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Last Battle (With Myself) (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

If I win, you win. We move forward
And this story will end with progress
If I lose, you lose. We fall backward
And this story will end with failure.

I am an enemy to myself because I am weak
On the surface and I can feel my judgment
I am a friend to myself because I have strength
Down to my core and I can feel my power

But I’ve decided the conflict ends
Both sides and all parts have combined to win
To make the perfect cultural ally
And I’ve decided the war against unjust begins

Within Me (Skyra Rideaux- Carencro, Louisiana)

I know who you are
knotted cords of binding, wrapped around the hurt
That skips rope to the thump of Jazz
Winding around purple forget-me-nots and baby’s breath
Nestled deep within my essence, rotting in the space
Where butterflies and fingertips curtsied
I know who you are
Walking away from 213 reasons why you should stay
Yet choose to tap right back to grimy slums of shame
Embracing every lingering scent of betrayal
Remembering the ambiance of coral pearls
Strung around my neck, you laugh
I know who you are
Cracked sidewalks, liquor, intentional groping
Swaying to the charms of my juices flowing down the street
Covered in the blood of stolen invitations
Forced kisses, all for the sake of making your
Acquaintance
I know who you are
Silent strangers appearing in circles I frequent
Smiling through lens colored vases, opening doors
Opening doors which were closed for business
You broke in, you broke in, you broke me
Puddles of rivers leading to your stench still on me
I know who you are
Friend of my friend of a friend in my house
Your shoes are still parked near my bed, tossed slightly
Under piles of garbage where a pocket rings incessantly
Calling for the man who forget his dick
Inside of me
I know who you are
Thief of my voice, smothered in 8 years of fear
Footprints still etched on my thighs, scarred on my
Left breast, I remain lost in black sheets
Right where you left me to die
With no way to call you
I know who you are
I know who you are
But you never remember my name

Mistaken Destination (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

The first proposition comes on Albert Street.
Old guy, green truck,
Asks what my name is and if I want to get in.

The second comes shortly after.
The type of car, I don’t notice this time,
nor the type of person driving it.
I concentrate more on the ground,
and on my feet,
and on the precarious location to which they've led me.

By the third offer it is clear
that women normally walk this street for work.
This third man eyes me with assurance,
desire glazing his face,
weighting his eyelids,
pulling his mouth into a sickening grin.
I shudder and walk faster.

My choice of streets wasn't very wise,
but no sign warned me of where I was going.
At its beginning
this street was genuinely harmless,
but following it seems to have turned me into a prostitute.
My eyes leave the ground for a moment to survey their surroundings.
They guide my feet left
towards a gathering of cars and stoplights and a bus.
I run at it, waving foolishly,
fishing coins from my pockets as I climb on,
sighing heavily as I drop into a seat,
thinking, Thank god I am not a prostitute.
I never want to walk that street with a purpose.

Sinner's Salvation (Adam John Schexnayder- Crowley, LA)

What do you expect?? Jesus was just a man. Created in his father's image, I endure the same fate. Torn between sin and salvation, I take the only road I know. I leave small pieces of myself in the trail. Hoping this will nostalgically remind me that there is a need to remember where it began to see the end. However, as time passes and people follow, I loose sight of my own pieces. Morphed together, they no longer lead my memories. Lost in the journey, I pray. I pray for forgiveness of things I'm not sure need forgiving. I pray in the same manor as him, but I have lost track of why. In the end's light of a long life's voyage, I finally recognize the pieces I left behind. It is then that I realize what everyone works so hard to forget.

Who Is Samuel Jones: An Exploratory Series Revealing the Facets of a Personality- Facet 3 (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

Facet 3: Sam, America's Sweetheart

You know, Sam was something I never did call myself originally. It was a nickname that other people, the public, had given me. Inside of my family, I am C.J. Outside of my family, I am Sam. Sam seems to be the foil of C.J. in a variety of ways. Sam is an outgoing conversationalist. He is sweet, bright-eyed, and approachable. Sam is slow to take offense and finds forgiveness to be easy and natural.

I think Sam developed as a natural reaction in order to balance the influence of C.J. When I was in high school and my home life was terrible, I could not properly express who I was as a loving, gregarious individual. Many of the positive aspects of my personality had little outlet due to me just simply trying to make it day to day. What is amazing, though, is how a transformation would occur whenever I would go to school. The same thing would happen when I would be with a group of friends. My mood, my entire personality, would lighten. I became funny, I became more open minded, and I became a participant in life as opposed to merely being tolerant of it.

It would be accurate to say that it is Sam that most people see and interact with. When I am in public, he is my default. He is attentive, likable, and caring. Sam is a person willing to give you most of who he is. What's interesting to note, though, is how Sam does not have very much depth. He is the veneer to a much deeper self. 

When I want to be nice, yet want to keep a person at arm's length, I give them Sam.

Announcement: Upcoming Louisiana Words Event

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 will be the next installment of live performances by the authors of Louisiana Words. Louisiana Words/The Series: Confessions will focus more on personal, introspective and honest writing. For more information about Louisiana Words/The Series: Confessions, please click the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/273243339486024/

There will also be live reading opportunities for authors who have not contributed to Louisiana Words. Louisiana Words/The Series: Open Mic is coming July 9th. More details will be posted soon!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Who Is Samuel Jones: An Exploratory Series Revealing the Facets of a Personality- Facet 2 (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

Facet 2: Khatrina, the Divine Feminine

 Khatrina really didn't have a name until recently. She is my feminine side and she has been present for as long as I can remember. I believe every male has a feminine side and that every female has a masculine side that is present to the extent that he or she allows it to be. When I was very young, Khatrina was an ever present part of who I was, that is, until I became too old for girlishness in a boy to be permissible. Afterward, a cascade of family and societal expectations were forced upon me regarding what a male was supposed to be. Concertive control is a strong thing. I did the best that I could to remain who I was while trying to satisfy society's expectations.

It felt quite uncomfortable to have to (attempt to) cut off a part of myself that came naturally to me. It was shameful from two aspects: I wasn't what seemed to come so naturally to other boys (if it really did come naturally in the first place) and I was betraying myself by trying to be like them. It was from the feminine aspect of my personality where a lot of love was stored. Love that is executed through caring, nurturing, attentiveness, and affection languished if I couldn't find a veiled way to express it. It's funny really, because back then I thought I was doing such a good job trying to butch. But you see, from my experience, who you are can never truly be erased. I see that now, and I see how Khatrina would slide through every nook and cranny she could. If it wasn't my hair, it would be the music I listened to. If it wasn't the fairy type Yu-gi-Oh cards I collected, it would be my longer than boy-average fingernails. I find it comical now.

When I came to college, I had the opportunity to unify myself with Khatrina once again. Only this time, it was different. I was exposed to the art of drag-- hence the recent naming. And for the first time, Khatrina became personified. She no longer had to sneak her way into my life. Through drag, I have learned how to be comfortable and accepting of my feminine side once again, just like I how I came into this world feeling. By accepting her, and her influence, I am a more complete person and I am happier for it. After all, Khatrina Jackson represents the strength the women in my family are known to possess. This is interesting understanding how she just wouldn't be repressed or erased.

Khatrina Jackson is a bad bitch.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

American MANnerisms (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

Consider this an introduction ...
...to the new drag king on the block
Gentleman no other man can
Perform this masculine role as well
Until you step it up, it’s best
To respect yourselves but women more
Because they have carried
This land on their backs no doubt
So acknowledge the power they have
And the power you don’t
Get your emotions together
So you can help them rebuild this land

Announcement: Samuel Jones is Co-Managing Louisiana Words

Good morning everyone,

I am excited to announce that I am joining the Louisiana Words management team! This means that I will be accepting, editing, and posting submissions to the Louisiana Words blog.We accept any form of literature including- but not limited to- poems, short stories, letters, journal entries, and essays.

I strongly encourage anyone with the desire to write to submit their work. Not only is this a personally fulfilling experience, but you will also be revealing the richness of diversity and culture within Louisiana.

 You can submit your work to me two ways:

- Email louisianawords@gmail.com with "New Submission" as the subject
- Send it to me as a message via Facebook with the heading "Louisiana Words"

Please be sure to include your name or pen name, current or hometown Louisiana location, and of course the title of your poem along with the poem itself.

I look forward to receiving your submissions!


Sincerely,



Samuel Jones
Louisiana Words
Co-Manager

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who Is Samuel Jones: An Exploratory Series Revealing the Facets of a Personality (Samuel Jones-Bastrop, LA)


Facet 1: C.J. the Protector

C.J. is my family name. Only people who have known me since childhood would know, or even have the privilege, to use it. It combines the initials of my middle and last name: Chavess, Jones. This aspect of my personality is my protector. Therefore, it is the darkest and most callous aspect of who I am. Any pain or trauma is stored and archived within him. This way, personal pain does not easily spread to the rest of who I am. He is devoid of most emotion unless connected to memory, self-preservation or retaliation. C.J. has helped bring me through my life’s most difficult circumstances by tapping into his survival instincts and single-mindedness. His communication style is short and to the point and asks very few questions. He is the most subconscious and difficult part of myself to access. Only those who have hurt me the most have experienced this side of me.

To My Brothers (Wherever You Are) (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)


"To My Brothers (Wherever You Are)"

 

I know that some of you will read this

And I know some of you won’t

We are growing into men

This is a difficult for us all

As our parents fight to provide for us

We are drifting apart for good reason

We are learning ourselves

We are learning our purpose

We may squabble from time to time

But don’t doubt for one second

That brotherly love won’t overcome

Don’t doubt that we will come together

Some of us are very close

Some of us are very distant

Either way, the love for each other

Is just as valuable as any amount of gold

Our relationships will constantly change

But the family we have grown to be

Will always, always and forever remain

I love you all equally the same

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

To My Single Ladies (Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz LA)


"To My Single Ladies"

I haven’t forgotten you
I get so caught up in men
That I need to give you some attention
When you get dressed this morning
Make sure that shirt is cut low
Make sure that skirt is too short
Put on them heels and walk out that door
If a guy says you’re asking for it
Kick him in the crotch and say “so are you”
Because he is just jealous
That he can’t show his body
With the confidence that you do
So keep werqing your jobs and flipping your hair
He'll just be scratching his ass and gagging for more
‘Til you meet the right single gentleman
Who respects you as I do

"Reality Check about Using Your Heart" (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)


Reality Check about Using Your Heart

This is meant for good advice
Lead with your head not your heart
I didn’t say don’t show your heart
But not everyone wants to see it
Even if you mean it
So don’t show it to the wrong people
Because they will know how to break it
Don’t take it personal that’s just life
Though, not so fast, the heart is useful
Because using yours will inspire love
But let the potential for those who love
Shine from them and show compassion
As they learn to survive in a hard world
Who you are is not who they are
Most conflicts are caused by the heart
For most who want love
Don’t know how to give it
So don’t expect love back
Be patient and understanding
Guide with your head
See that people love even if they don’t say it
Let those who love you
Show their heart the same time as you
And neither of you will expect
Nor more or less than that
This is how happy relationships are formed

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Uprooted. (Taylor Sloey-Lafayette, LA)

"Uprooted."

When my hometown finally saw the sky
It sucker punched us in the throats
Left us breathless
It said: I’m going to keep you awake some nights without touching you…
You see in this hometown, where you learned to ride a bicycle,
Twelve year olds work 16 hour days Getting cut by corn leaves,
Winter reigns 8 months of the year
And you got grounded for dating a black boy…
…so…you left.
Blindly jumped into the nearest river
And let it wash you
Let it Carry you
Til you could see the mouth of the ocean.
And this place
The ground is so soft it sinks out from beneath your feet
In this place
The people don’t mature with their years but continue to party like college freshmen well into their 80s
This place
That’s held onto a heritage,
Unable to forget the past because they can’t even bury your dead
This place.
That was hiding the kindest pair of green eyes you’ve ever known,
This place, is a paradise.
And you wonder how the rest of the country has forgotten it,
Never really knew it,
Has been SO misguided about it.
My hometown’s lost treasures have washed away,
Pocket watches and old rings,
Pages of notebooks,
Memories and love have washed away,
and settled down here
where it builds our land
our paradise
and upon it we stand.

Act 4: Scene 1(Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)


"Act 4: Scene 1"

 

Prologue

 

“To be or not to be?”

You don’t need a Shakespeare to answer

What you should know by now

Matter of fact don’t even explain

 

Not yet. Just listen first.

Be aware, that yes, you did read

The first three acts of my life

Admit you just can’t see things in the middle

 

Life seems to present you only two choices

But what if I told you there’s often a third

Though it requires you to hear, watch, and read

All the evidence to avoid suicide, right Hamlet?

How I Think (Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)


How I think

 

Am I?

I think I am,

So I am.

 

Certain I am,

So I am certain.

Certain am I?

 

Do I make sense,

Sense this makes?

Makes it doesn’t.

 

I know I am alive.

Make sense of that,

But you aren’t certain?

 

Let’s just agree?

We know death

We don’t know life.

 

Well I do,

Do you?

Maybe.

Do You See It? (Katie Butcher-Lafayette, LA)

Changing
we are
always
Consumed
by the
Body
Life Force
Pulling
us under
Rise up
Float on
Drop out
into
the Sounds
of Peace
Dance
with the
Darkness
of our
Past
Present
Future
Do you see it?
it's there...
in the distance
Must Fight
Through
the Pain
the Pleasure
Must Learn
from
The
sneers
tears
fears
cheers
Open ears
Open eyes
Open mind
Taking
in all
things
Innocent
and
Corrupt

....for one cannot exist without the other

Monday, May 20, 2013

To My Best Friend (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)


"To My Best Friend"

No. No. No.
I am not talking about another person
I am talking about myself

No. No. No.
I don’t mean that I am my only friend
I meant that I am good to myself

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Revelation #2 from The Book of Human Revelations (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA


from The Book of Human Revelations


"Revelation #2"

There are four types of people in the world:

Type C: I mention these types first. These are “common” everyday people and my heart goes out to them the most. These are the people who do not know how to live for themselves and thus commonly make choices based are what they don’t know not what they know. They usually have not learned how to live happily and thus find fear as motivating cause for their decision-making. These are NOT BAD people. They just don’t have the education to be good people. It takes the most work but they can learn good ways.

Type F: These are types that are the people you should always avoid getting close or listening to. These types are usually the ones that create the "fear" that influence Type C people. They have no loyalty except the loyalty to themselves. They can be identified in that they will never give a compliment to an opponent. They find it most useful to give fictions and make rumors. These are BAD people in that are educated, usually, but use their education to deceive others. They are completely uninterested in anything that brings about progress in others.

Type S: These are "satisfactory" people. They are some of the best people to know, however, they are TOO GOOD to be able to protect themselves from Type F people. They are educated well in what’s good, but are extremely vulnerable in that they can only see what’s good and have limited knowledge on what’s bad. Because they can never see or understand what’s bad, they will get diminished so much in helping Type C and Type F people and will eventually become bitter and become bad to themselves. These people need help the most and will recognize help the quickest. They are not interested in harming others.

Type A: They give their "ALL" to themselves and others. They understand how to walk the fine line of life. They are educated in BOTH bad and good and should be trusted the most. They are only people that can befriend all other three types. However, in a relationship with type F people, they are the only ones that can engage with bad people and remain good. A Type F person can only bring down a Type A person through the use of Type C people. Believe this, a Type A person can be indentified in that he is always willing to work with his enemy. They can sometimes appear bad, but always have good intentions at the core.

These are the four types of people in the world. Learn them as soon as possible.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Weighted Down Blues (Rachel Jackson, Lafayette LA)


"Weighted Down Blues"

Who's that face outside my window,
Thought that you was dead and gone.
Why's your face outside my window,
I thought that you was dead and gone.
Yeah I thought I'd left you back there,
                                    but I
Feel you hangin' on.


Seen so many folks slide under,
Seen 'em slip on further away.
Watched too many folks slide under
Yes I watched them all slip away.
By the time I saw them slippin',
                        they done
Too far in to save.

Well my steps sometimes grow heavy,
Pavement crumbles 'neath my feet.
Yes my steps grow oh so heavy,
Pavement crumbles 'neath my feet.
Its the weight of all them people
                        I still
Carry on with me.

Age (Rachel Jackson-Lafayette, LA)


"Age"
(in response to an older man asking my age,
    then informing me that I knew nothing)

The unappreciative youth dismisses wisdom.

The unlearned adult forgets his childhood.

Neither have much to look forward nor back to.

Revelation #1 (Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)


from The Book of Human Revelations

"Revelation #1"

Children these days only know how to grow by the examples their parents or mentors set. So, parents and mentors, you may choose to behave like animals or like human beings, it’s your choice. But know what you do to your children, they will also do their children, because it will be all they know. If you tell them not to “be”, then they will never “be”. Unless, by some miracle, a book finds their minds, a movie finds their eyes, or a song finds their ears, in which they may receive the humanity that society doesn’t offer them.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Delcambre (Malaina White-New Iberia, LA)


"Delcambre"

I would ride the bus home every day. The bus would kick up dust on the dirt and gravelly road. It would drop me off at the end of the road because I was the only one that lived down there. I would cut through the neighbor’s sugarcane field. There was something kind of magical about wading through the tall cane…not being able to see where I was going and not needing to because I knew the direction by heart. It reminded me of the wheat fields of Kansas. I had never been to Kansas, but I had seen the Wizard of Oz and there were all these images of wheat fields in that movie! I imagined that there was some sort of portal to another world somewhere in that cane field. I never found it, though.

I would sometimes snap off a piece and chew it on my way home. That super sticky sweetness of pure cane juice. By the time I would emerge on the other side of that field my socks and pant legs would have sticky grass all over, my arms would have small scratches and sometimes I would have stuff stuck in my hair. I would run all the way from the edge of the field to my yard. The animals would come to greet me…pigs and goats and dogs and chickens. I would run into the house, drop off my bags, change into my play clothes and head right back outside.

I lived on a farm until I was five. I played in the mud in only my panties where I would grab a hold of my pet pig’s curly tail and he would pull me through the puddles. The mud would get everywhere on my little body and it would take forever to wash off. It was thick and sticky and great!

Louisiana mud is like no other mud. It is part mud, part clay, part earth and part root. Once you have squished your toes in it, you carry it with you everywhere you go…for the rest of your life. It seeps into the skin and meshes with the blood. Its scent perfumes your sweat on hot days away from home and it provides a protective layer that keeps you warm in the winters. It reminds you of burning cane in the fields, boiled crawfish on the back porch, snowballs dripping syrup down your chin, bayous twisting through cities and farmlands, Mardi Gras beads dangling from trees, your granny’s house on Sunday, oil stained skin, fais do-dos, haunted plantation homes…home.

To Those Who Raised Themselves (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)


"To Those Who Raised Themselves"
To those who learned
Their values
From watching their TV screens,
To those who learned
What beauty was
By flipping through magazines,
To those who learned
What love is
Through the lyrics musicians sing,
And to those who learned
What life's all about
Though whatever it is they could cling. . .
To all of those who raised themselves,
What does the above really mean?
It means that you were observant.
You could choose your own role models, too.
It means that you were empathetic.
And you found stability within you.
You are insightful,
Resourceful,
And many more good things are true.
Just because both parents didn't
Raise you,
Others aren't better than you.

21st Century Problems: The Return of the Surrogate Father (#15)(Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)


"21st Century Problems: The Return of the Surrogate Father (#15)"

I’m not going to lie. RightSaid Fred1991 a.k.a. “Me” has been laying low and avoiding gaming because I am not sure how to keep dodging FishEater2013 a.k.a Ben’s want for me to attend his parent appreciation at his Junior High School. I mean this is already a touchy line making friends with a 12-yeard old through PS3 online-gaming. Woah, I didn’t mean to use the word “touchy”.  Now this conversation is awkward. What if I’m being set up for one of those To Catch a Predator epsisodes? Right? I am no fool I saw the 1st episode of the 1st Season of Degrassi: The New Generation where Emma got lured into a hotel room with a pedophile. Except I feel like the roles are reversed. I feel like Emma. I feel violated. What should I do?  I mean what kind of home situation is this kid going through that he is reaching out to a complete stranger to his act as his parent? I’m afraid to keeping ignoring him. What if he gets depressed or something and goes and gets a gun and goes and shoots up his school. I mean is that crazy of me to be worried about these things kinds of problems in the 21st Century (ooooh title drop…clever eh?). I mean I live in Louisiana. Do you know how easy it is to obtain a gun here? I mean I love my guns don't get me wrong. I am just a bit nervous about the wrong person getting one like Miley Cyrus, Ricky Martin, or Barbara Walters. I have 7 guns. One for each day of the week. But Don't hate. I am sane. That's my right. But the last thing I want to do is to be the catalyst for some depressed kid taking out his problems on his peers or teachers. #WWJBD (What Would Justin Bieber Do?)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Inspiration Begins....


Superman (Jennifer Chehardy-Lafayette, LA)


I thought you were Superman.
Taking off
Brave. No gear. No fear.
Kryptonite?
Pffft!  Muah!
So you thought.
But discovered
When you landed, there lie your krypto.
The green glowing rock of 
The familiar, routine, ordinary.
What next?
Another flight.
But how?
After you've worn the cape.
Es-cape. Leave the cape.
Only to discover you are Clark Kent.
And he is Superman.
Maybe not in flight but in person.
Be that person
With or without the cape.
The story still ends the same.
Get the girl.
Know your weakness.
Always a hero
Just sometimes in a different place.
When you were flying
I said Who is that?
A bird? A plane?
When you landed
I saw you really were Superman.

Can You Count for Me? (Adam John Schexnayder-Crowley, LA)


"How do I love thee?? Let me count the ways." Then somehow, you forget math. You forget sound. You forget. Some words best unspoken, but the silence breaks my soul. Like waiting for rain in a drought: useless. All the things, once AND twice, bring me to hell and back. The one place you swore to never go seems to be the only place that we know. As the lifetime promised circles the drain, I find the only thing that will bring me to shore. The undertow takes me back, but only for a moment. For now I know, arithmetic will save my soul.