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.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Can See Your Potential (For Louis Toliver Jr.) (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

I can feel what you're going through:
I've had to grow before, many times before.

When they refer to "growing pains," they aren't lying
Are they?

It hurts to grow, but it especially hurts to outgrow:

To outgrow you home,
To outgrow your friends,
To outgrow your beliefs,
And to outgrow yourself.

That last one is especially painful,
But you can't reach your true potential without a little pain.

Those who remain with you are the ones who have grown alongside you,
And you will see that you have lost nothing and gained a ton.

So remember, "No pain. . ."

Exit (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

Float away gently.
Let your feet lift up off the pebbles.

Recall those younger pastimes
Of sticking branches in the mud.

Accept the older pastimes.
The worry. The longing. The striving.

Indulge yourself for a moment,
But then leave it all behind.

For suffering is weighty,
And you can't let your heels sink in.

Entering this Earth should be like leaving it.

Love Me (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

I am so imperfect
I don’t speak the best English
I don’t even know when to use a comma,
But hey, that’s the game of artificiality
Will judgment ever go out of style?
It’s always:
“You’re not doing this enough”
“You’re doing too much of this now”
Why does “this” matter so much to you
When “this” is me, not you
Am I ever going to be enough?
You have put so many problems in my head
Will you ever give me a hug for just trying to “be”?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pretty Lights (Micah Caswell-Baton Rouge, LA)



An excerpt from Civil Hands directed by Tim Miller and performed at Louisiana State University

This is a story
About a breathing boi
On a breathing hill
With another breathing boy
And how one of those boys became
Breathless

Lying on our backs
We watched a flurry of lights above us
Breathing
Not sure if they were really moving at all
We realized that hands were exactly the same size
Breathing
With two palms pressed together
Our fingers intertwined
Breathing
It happened
With our hands still as one
Breathing
He put his weight against me
On top of me
Still breathing
Pushing my body into the grass
Into the ancient burial ground beneath us
Breathing
But somehow still seemed to be above the rest of the world
It felt like I was sinking through the grass
Breathing
I could feel the earth all over me
And then he released me
Breathing
Our one hand became two
The link between our bodies broken
Breathing
And still I couldn’t be happier
He gave me exactly what I had been hoping for
Breathless

Simple Song of Mouse & Sky (Rachel Jackson-Lafayete, LA)



                  (set to simple chords)

Little mouse staring at a round yellow moon;
“Is it small and close or big and far away?”
He thinks to himself as he ponders the moon,
“Yes I believe I'd like to visit it one day.

Here on Earth I've got this hole in the ground.
It's comfy and all but I feel my time's running out.”
                                                                          

The river runs high on the days that I
am feeling washed about and waterlogged down.
They tend to be accompanied by tears and raindrops.
From the sky and my eyes they work their way out.

So many things remain that I didn't get to say,
And my memories of you get just a bit cloudier,
                                  a bit hazier everyday.


            Me and Mr. Mouse,
            We like to drink coffee and discuss the clouds.
            I don't understand every word that he says but
                        that's nothing new
                        it's nothing different to me.
            In so many ways I don't understand everything.


All the great notions on the stars and the skies
Are just guesses the astronomers make.
I caught them discussing the new theory on Mars
Over whiskey and a line of cocaine.

Whatever their thoughts are I'll consider as I consider my own.
The truth is most likely a blend of it all, of the many versions you and I have known. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Gender (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

Firmer casing and straighter lines envelope the soul of a man.

His arms
poles
solid within
capped with metallic hinges.
His spine
a pillar
planted in Earth
encircled by the tank of his ribs.

A woman's peeling is more like butter; it melts into the air that surrounds her.

Her expression
penciled
eyes exposing
chin pulled neatly into place.
Her contour
thoughtful
wavering in motion
values shaded with charcoal.

A man puts his hand on a stone, feels the rhythms from within it.

His breath
steady
quick, unaffected
internal physics at work.
His heart
a clock
adjusting at moments
echoing the flow of his blood.

A woman composes her daily palette with fruit she buys in the market.

Her hair
is linen
sewn into curtains
loosely drawn to each side.
Her voice
a chime
one tone of the melody
playing upon life's ears.

The Charity of Me (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

I give.
And I give.
And I give, and I give,
And I give.

I give others my time.
I give people my attention.
I give individuals my focus.
I give folks my accountability.

Well,

We're not in some lala-land or parallell world:
The pendulum swings both ways here.
I'm dialing down the giving
And turning up the receiving.

So, with my legs crossed and ankle rotating,

I'm waiting.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Right to Feel (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)


For every man that has every been called nigger, faggot, or trash daily… as a child
For every man that knows what it is like to be beaten …as a child for no reason
For every man that knows what it is like to be molested …as a child and not even come to realize it until you were an adult… For every man who thought his best days… as a child, were when he was asleep…I would like you to know, with the deepest sincerity and best intentions, …that you have the right to feel.

New Author: Micah Caswell

Micah contacted Louisiana Words and was excited to participate in this writing movement. He also hopes to help build the Louisiana Words family in Baton Rouge. He is Communications Director at Capital City Alliance, Secretary of the Board at Louisiana Trans Advocates and Communications Coordinator at Equality Louisiana (EQLA) Micah says, "I just write to describe something that is happening to me or around me. I really look at how the body can be used creatively to communicate, so a lot of the stuff I write is a description of some corporeal experience." Micah's style and vision is welcomed.

Security Breach (Micah Caswell-Baton Rouge, LA)


The hardness cracked
Shards of ice, glass, stone—
Whatever had encased that pulsing piece of me—
Rushed from the center
They scattered in all directions
Toward the surface
One touch had done this
Now sharp peaks were erupting—
Piercing the surface of my body from the inside
As each of these daggers—
Which I had molded myself—
Freed itself from the prison within me
Warmth burst from the gaps
Left in my skin
Not just warmth, but warm liquid
Liquid that trickled and out
Down surfaces, no longer smooth, but broken
These red rivers that wished to escape the confines of my body
Served as a reason, an excuse, an invitation
For lips and tongue to further explore
These explorations more thrilling than the touch
The rhythm quickened inside
It beat with more intensity
It became quicker, and quicker still
Until I thought there to be no choice
I had to stop this
My body could handle no more
And then
I was thrown into ecstasy
Body and all
The eyes that were married to the smiling lips and resting tongue
Looked down at my spasming body
I had been freed

I Ain’t Scared of a “Straight” Man (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)



If I, a man, feel like holding the hand of another man in public
Surely don’t think it’s to make you uncomfortable
Would it make you uncomfortable with a man and woman
Affection is Affection, what’s the difference?

If a group of cowardly men were to surround me
Foolishly showing their ignorance by calling me names,
With my arms folded, I will stand there with a slight grin
And say directly, “I ain’t scared of you, confused little boys.”

Should any man be so irrational enough to use violence
To intimidate me out of public view, back into a closet,
I would protect myself and my man with my brawn
For some people can’t be reasoned with logic or words 

My Sympathy (Because You Need It) (Ted Richard-Church Point, LA)


So now your son is dead
And you want to grieve for his untimely death.
Please accept my condolences.
You decided to come to the funeral home and expected to be welcomed with open arms.
But you were sadly mistaken!
You seem to have forgotten that your son was MY husband.
And that you disowned him years ago.
For so many years he felt the hatred that spewed forth from your venomous mouth,
And when he finally broke free,
You decided to blame ME for everything that was WRONG with him.
Well, let me tell you something!!
There was not a DAMN thing WRONG with my husband.
Yes, there were little things that kinda irritated me, but I’m sure that feeling was mutual.
But the very thing that you thought was WRONG with your son
Is the VERY thing that I LOVED about him.
Your son taught me about pride, honor, friendship and love;
The kind of things he NEVER got from you.
But he NEVER blamed you.
You see, it’s hard to blame ignorance on the ignorant.
But my husband DID learn a lot from you, and he passed that on to me.
He learned about all the man that he NEVER wanted to be.
He learned that pride comes from within, while you taught him to conform.
He learned that honor is something that is earned, not something you get just because you’re older.
He learned that friendship is about trust, and not about the need for acceptance.
And he learned that love is something you should give freely,
Instead of the hatred that he learned from YOU!
So YES, my husband did learn a lot from you
And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Because had my husband NOT learned from you the things he DID NOT want to be,
He would never have turned into the man that he truly became.
My friend
My partner
My lover
My husband.
The man who loved me unconditionally, even when you could never do the same for him.
So I’ll offer to you the graces that you would never have given to your son.
I’ll allow you to grieve in your own way and in your own space.
But tread very lightly on these hallowed floors
Because your son and his loved ones (that doesn’t include you) don’t want you here,
And neither do I.
So don’t think that you can come here and expect any sort of sympathy from anyone in this room.
Because through your own ignorance, you can’t even realize that you don’t belong here.
But if you really want to stay, I’ll be gracious.
Just sit in that chair way in the back of the room
And you can listen to all of the great things that people have to say about your son.
And pretend, in your warped mind, that you were somehow inspirational to him.
If that’s what you wanna do, then fine.
But I’d better not hear you opening your mouth
Complaining about how all of your son’s “problems” were my fault
Or how you could have raised him “better”.
Because you’re too stupid to realize that the son you raised and then threw out
Turned out to be more than you could ever hope to be.
So you can just sit there in that chair and be quiet
Or you can leave now.
Either way, your son, MY HUSBAND will be just fine!!
Oh and one more thing, your son, MY HUSBAND, gave me the courage to speak my mind!
And I just did !!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Almost There (Louis Toliver- Swartz, LA)

We've been driving on the I-10 for sometime now
It says the next exit isn't for another…
Well we’re not sure when the next exit is
We've been too busy singing old pop songs
Reminiscing about all those good times we had
We know when we do exit, the traveling will end
The journey has been worth it


But to say we even can make sense of where we are coming from

… or where the next exit leads as we cruise with the windows down

To say we knew anything about how I-10 related to life,
Could not be said with any certainty or direction
But regardless of all the vague factors we experienced
We all knew…we were almost there
And we were nervous and excited to be going “there”

Intrusive Headware (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

A tight cap has encompassed my skull
for a month
or two
or six.
It squeezes my thoughts
to a dangerous realm
where they face the parasite worry
and oh too often succumb to it.

Thinking back to times without the dreadful cap,
I squirm and I peel at its ridges.

My hairs seek liberation!
My eyebrows feel encroached upon!
It's warm outside! I need no cranial covering!

It is time for your departure, cap,
that weights my every daydream.
I'd love your demise
but a toss in the closet will do.

Now why don't you let loose the band
you've got wrapped round my forehead.

I, promise, then to find you quite a nice hook.

Flaws (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

"You're too young to have these. . ."
My doctor would always say
As he observed the varicose veins
That seemed to bulge back at him in defiance.

I flicked my eyes at him internally,
Because I loved and respected him so much,
But he never would directly answer my question of,
" How can I get rid of these?"

I wanted my legs to be perfect again.
Once flawless,
My dog slashed them up, overly excited to see me.
And now this.

This initiated a cascade of discoveries
Activated by subconscious self-scrutiny:
Stretch marks, lumps, bumps, calluses,
Things too big, things too small. . .

I felt like a landfill:
A hodgepodge of things that weren't meant to be together,
Yet found themselves at the wrong place, at the wrong time
Anyway.

I felt like trash.
It all hit me at once,
And I felt like trash.
But then, I received the urge to look into my eyes.

"Who is that staring back at me
With so much compassion in his eyes?"
Surely not my body.
The eyes themselves did belong to it, but the compassion. . .

That was mine.
That mixture of passion and love
Was who I really was, who I really am--
Not my body.

Since then, I hardly even think about my varicose veins anymore. Bulge away. . .


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New author: Bryan Hinojosa

Dr. Hinojosa now if you him well. He recently read at Louisiana Words: Redemption and had the audience fall in love with his humor. Though, he has been a friend of mine (Louis) since 2008, and it is an absolute pleasure to have another friend join along for the movement. Bryan is a native of Texas, but he strongly supports writing in any community. He is a great, nice guy and very funny. He doesn't have Facebook, so the day he does, I am sure it we will know it.

New Author: Jason Smith

Jason Smith is extremely kind and I (Louis) had the pleasure of first meeting him a Ted Richard's house. I ran into him again and we started discussing writing and he told me he had written something in regards World Aids Days. I wanted to get Jason on the blog and told him that I would be glad to share this because being concerned with community issues that effect everyone is welcome any day. We don't have to wait until December 1st to spread awareness. Hopefully, Jason plans on continuing his voice. We are thankful to have someone else opening our eyes with their words.

Mangoom (Bryan Hinojosa-Lafayette, LA)



“Thank the God,” whispered Elias, opening the rusted trunk he had recently uncovered from a pile of dust-covered rubble, “Food!” There were tins: some crushed in upon themselves, missing labels;
large ones with beans, red and white; smaller ones with yellow slivers and white hemispheres: canned fruit, the only form of the food Elias had ever known; and smaller, flatter tins of fish meat, an animal Elias had never seen. Medical supplies and other inedible detritus littered the rear of the trunk.
This type of thing had happened long ago, even to his own group, and stories of such occurrences had been told around campfires often and dreamt about innumerable times. But this time it was happening to him: Elias had actually found a forgotten cache!
He turned to go deliver the incredible news, but the movement prompted an event which was infrequent in his life: he caught a glint. In this world of dun earth and gray skies, where shimmers were rare enough (unless one included the rainbow coruscations of the oily sheen that covered most bodies of water), a sparkle was enough to cause Elias to drop to his knees, digging through the trunk, seeking the source of the glitter.
He found it: a flat package, square, four inch by four inch, containing a round object. The wrapping was of a shimmering material that he had once, long ago, heard called “foil.” It was golden, a color that he couldn't name, hadn't really seen before. Elias marveled, smiling as the small item scintillated in the dim light. It was a relic of halcyon days, times of plenty, when people actually produced beautiful items, materials, like this “foil,” that were meant to be simply discarded after a single use.
Reverentially, as a priest would mouth the forbidden name of a god, Elias whispered “Candy.”
He had only eaten candy once, long ago, in celebration of some holy day no longer commemorated. An elder in his group had brought out several handfuls of goodies. There was chocolate, whose color was that of soil many feet down. It smelled of pleasant, dimly-remembered times, and it tasted deeper than any sleep Elias had slept, and twice as dark.
He handled the shimmering package, caressing it. No, he thought, it's not chocolate. Chocolate was hard, yet soft, pliable, malleable, and it melted into silk. This thing was squishy springy, flexing and bending, then returning to its normal shape. He remembered another type of candy: gummies, brightly-colored, in the shape of now-extinct animals, possessing flavors he instinctively knew to be those of artificial fruit. He remember sucking on one for hours, rolling it around his palate, until just a flavorless lump of waxen material was left, and he remembered pieces that stuck in his teeth, which still tasted good after being picked out.
Elias looked in the direction of his group and then back down at his find. Even with just a third of the food in the trunk, he was giving them a feast, unlike anything they had had in years. Even without this piece of candy, he would be remembered as a hero. No one would notice. Not this small, minuscule thing. And, it might be the last piece of candy. Ever.
Elias had been taught his letters, but when most writing he had encountered was dedicated to navigating a dying world. He hadn't much need for reading, and had practiced little. Regardless, he wanted to know this thing's name, to speak it. He spelled out the word in block letters on the front of the package as if it were a communication from divinity: “M.A.G.N.U.M.” Elias said the word aloud, almost tasting it, “Mangoom.”
With trembling fingers, Elias tore open the package.

December First (Jason Smith-Lafayette, LA)



  • For all the ones we loved so dear,
    For them we should never shead a tear.
    They are in the presence of our God's loving grace,
    Never to be harmed again by this human race.
    If you could put a face on all those who have died,
    Do you think you could have been a friend or even
    Tried?
    Would you help your fellow man in this time of need,
    Or would you walk by and watch them bleed?
    December 1st is world's AIDS day,
    Do you remember what you did or did you have a prayer to say?

The Honesty of Nature (Samuel Jones-Bastrop, LA)


"Wow. . ." I said
As I analyzed
The road-kill corpse of an armadillo.
"I could have sworn it was just alive yesterday."
I don't know which I noticed first:
It's smudge or it's smell.
But either way,
It was something that I had to witness.
"Here today, gone tomorrow," death,
Is one of the many messages
That Nature spells out clearly to us
And resolutely refuses to censure.
Nature shows us everything.
I mean, fog doesn't rise
Every time wildthings reproduce
So that their "peepees" and "hoohas" don't show.
And the clouds in the sky don't spell out,
"TV- MA"
As a lion tears a gazelle the fuck apart.
And to think, we are also a product this same Nature.
What makes us so sensitive?

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Life's a Pearl Necklace (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

My life's a pearl necklace
Pretty as can be.
Glossy outside
And sand inside,
Like an hourglass on a string.

I have many pearls in my necklace
And I'm sure there are more to come.
Some from laughing
And from crying,
Some from being so dumb.

But what I've learned from my pearl necklace
Is that it wasn't always made of pearls.
It took the pressure of me living
For that miracle to unfurl.

If I had let chance rule me
And gave into life's demands,
I wouldn't have my pearl necklace.
I'd just have a handful of sand.

Fever at Night (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

I woke last night
Tense as a tightrope
Shoulders crushing me
Neck pushing up into my jaw
Molars chattering

I tugged myself from bed
And into the bathroom.

Breath.
Breath again.
Now another.

I bent down
To drink water
From the bathroom sink
And looked up into the mirror
Two wet eyes gazed back.
Two wet, wet eyes.

No nightmare had I awoken from
None that I recalled
But those two huge, wet eyes
Looked as if they had just been crying.

Creativity (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

     I remember the day I found GOD when I had fallen backward into yesterday. She dusted me off and placed my feet on solid ground. She then told me that I needed to unshackle those chains of fictional guilt and worry. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what GOD was but she placed a pencil down at a table in the present and told me to “Sit down and write.” And so I began. The pen changed into a key and it so happened to be the right-sized key to unlock the chains I carried. When I looked up to see where GOD was, she had left me in the present, alone. So, I thought. Then, I looked down to the notepad I was writing on and I was surprised that I had no idea I had written the word “future” on it. It was clear that the only way I could find GOD again was to keep writing with the pen she gave me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Music in My Head Now (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

I can hear that music playing again 
The bass pumped so loud
It vibrates my bathroom
But no one else hears it
I get it, I do.
Falling asleep drunk
With a boombox in your head
That's what it feels like.
You get used to it
That beat rocking every night
It could be a club in your bath tub
If only you had neon lights
But then again
You don't hear it
Anymore
You don't feel it
Anymore
The beat moves without you
From now on,
Since you're an adult
And the tragic nights Pass onward.

City Bus Stop (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

An awaited bus never boils
On the burner of a sunny roadside.

Countless cars bubble up in the distance.
And as a small bubble, each holds the promise
Of being my plush, awaited bus.
But as each vehicle draws nearer
A frown settles on my lips
For none of them turn into buses.

The thoughtless vans and trucks
Sizzle right past me.
Like a warm, wicked wind
Blowing sand through the desert.

Little faces fly by me
Laughing with the cool air
Comfortably enclosed in those
Horribly reflective
Sizzling hunks of metal.

Yes, while the others hurdle forward
Towards their carpeted offices
And lazy strolls down grocery aisles,
I am the piece of unfortunate roadkill.
The crispy turtle flattened against the pavement.
The paper-thin frog, light-weight, dehydrated.

Neither I nor the frog nor the turtle
Will ever reach anywhere it seems.
For my plush, awaited bus,
Like the frog's cool, awaited puddle
Never arrives.

That wistful and far away bus.
Gone. Lost. Sacrificed.
Missed, for that one remaining sip of coffee
That one last glance in the mirror.

Such a tepid drop of coffee,
And such a steamy, humid morning
Which now sits with me
On this plastic bench.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Best Part of the Worse Part (Madisyn Barbosa-Lafayette,LA)

the best part is knowing when im looking perfect, 
with a great outfit and great make up, 
and feeling on top of the world, 
invincible in my beauty and personality and who i am.
the worst part is knowing that underneath the clothes, 
is not what everyone sees with clothes, 
the worst part is every night, 
when i strip down before my shower, 
and looking in the mirror, 
and wondering where did i go?
where is the me i just saw just a few minutes ago, 
the real me, 
with out my makeup and clothes, 
my reflection is lie, 
the person in the mirror has my face, 
but not my body, 
the worst part is bathing that body, 
that in the back of mind, 
i know is me, 
but the feeling that im washing someone else, 
makes me wanna cry...
the best part is in the morning, 
when i hop out of the shower, 
and wrap that towel around my head and my body at the chest, 
and look in the mirror,and think to myself, 
hey there you are, 
and smile really big, 
putting on my stockings and dress or skirt, 
or even cute tight jeans that fit me so well, 
putting my bra on and a cute shirt or blouse, 
putting my make-up on, 
and when every thing is done, 
looking in the mirror and seeing the me inside as the outside, 
matching 100%. 
and i take a deep breathe,and my eyes water with joy, 
and i begin my day in the public.
the best part of the worst part is knowing i wont hate my naked reflection for ever, 
that some day in my future,i will see the real me in the mirror, 
the one i see when i close my eyes,the one i feel i am.
the worst part of the best part, 
is its not completely instant, 
i cant go to "trans r us" and walk out the person i know i am, 
its having a day to day change, 
one at a time, 
for years, 
just to be me, 
the money spent and saving, 
the employment is a war in itself just to be hired,
the best part of of me is me, 
the worst of me is he, 
but slowly and surely, 
the me will be free from the he...
and that makes me cry, 
out of joy...

Me, the Parent (Samuel Jones-Bastrop, LA)


Something I occasionally daydream about is
Having children of my own.
Hmm, to inseminate or not to inseminate. . .
That was never the question!
She better take that turkey baster
And play make-believe real good,
Because there are certain lines I don't cross,
Doors I do not knock upon, and walls I won't bust down!
I'm comfortable with adoption, though. After all,
I feel that as a gay man,
Adopting and loving an existing child
Is my special contribution to the great All-That-Is.
Nature has a way of balancing itself, you see.
But as far as choosing my child,
I have always favored the nontraditional.
Like, what if my daughter was white?
I mean, she would have found out she was adopted anyway. . .
But then again,
I don't want to be like one of those mothers of mixed race children
Having my daughter look a mess
All because, in this case, the parent doesn't know how to do white hair.
So maybe I'll skip the learning curve,
Skip possible frustration and (her) humiliation,
And just stick with the "Just For Me," "Carol's Daughter" type of child.
We'll see.

Boys Are Stupid (Skyra Francesca Rideaux-Lafayette, LA)



You think you can just have me the way you need me
but you don’t see me,
you compartmentalize me
you strip me with your indifference
you make love to me with your
inability to say
you want me
your feet walk away from me every time
I wear jeans with no panties
my power is wrapped up in you
and I want that shit back
your neglect has stained my soul with
black flecks of insecurity
don’t show me off to the world
only to introduce me by my first name
I am more than that
my sex is more than your hesitance
to kiss me
you strip me with your indifference
you lie to me with every date that ends in a perfunctory hug
I want more
I want you
to want
to want me
I am enough
my lov-, like for you is enough
our bodies moving together in the same car
traveling down the same lonely highway
Is enough
for us
to start
but your constant state of stationary
is pissing off my attraction
wearing down my horny obsession
for your lips to stroke mine
if you cant respect my power
then stop telling me you need me everytime you say yes
everytime you come around
everytime your eyes flirt with mine
everytime you see me say I lov- , like you
and close your eyes and shut your ears you abuse my power
so
STOP
stop saying you lov-
like me too
because im starting to believe you
give me back
me
all of me
to give to someone who wants
me
all of me
all… of …me
because although how you feel about me
has nothing to do
with how I feel about you
I will still walk away with missing pieces


Timidity (Rachel Jackson-Lafayette, LA)



I made a concoction once
of lemon juice & milk & salt.
Drank it down in attempt to lose my timidity.

The ingrediants had no reasoning
          no known innate powers.
Their mixture was unthought-out,
          unread-up-on.
It was a silly plan of escape,
           a silly hope,
           a silly liquid potion to dissolve the thick shell around me.

I tried to speak louder the next day,
  tried deliberating my movements a little less
  tried to end the muteness I was known for.
It seemed that lemon juice & milk & salt
                   made no difference.

But strangely enough they did.
One day,
just six years later,
     the potion kicked in.                     

Baptism (Blake Bumpus-Lafayette, LA)



You know when I was way up there,
learning about public transportation
and wearing multiple colorful cardigans
in the May rain while
my eyes were just saturated with
all the water and air, I thought about home
but I did not miss home.
I knew that once I got on that airplane
I would emerge baptized, and I knew that
once I returned home I knew something happened
to me.
It would take a few months being
home again until I started to forgive
Louisiana for sinking me right back on in.
I thought the sky was clear but
the locals disagreed.
I saw clouds that turned into
snow capped giants, simply existing
and moving very slowly, you can see them
on top of the hill and down by the water.
I felt a shiver down to my toes when I knew
that I’d one day I’d be up there,
feeding the fish and keeping to myself,
sleeping in my Ford Explorer in proper
mountains for the first time.
When I was younger
those mountains were just so much
farther, my vision was
hazy and darker, I was in
a free fall of love and
breaking Sheetrock and
wanting so much to not see
anyone or anything at all.
Back then I often thought I saw
the future, back then I really
could not see much a future and
when I traveled to the past it only
made me think I couldn’t change anything.
Schizophrenia comes in shades of grey
and sometimes it leaks out like little
broken water guns.
And one day
I tied an anchor to my ankles
and the only reason why
I didn’t jump off that bridge
was because of you and a phone call.
You were my hot air balloon,
you saved me but I was killing you
and my damn anchor was killing me.
And when you let go of me,
I fell into the ocean,
and it was the baptism I needed, and
I learned that you can learn how to swim
pretty fucking fast when you stop trying
to grow gills and kick and flail your limbs
instead.
I was
2,630 miles and a
year away from all of that,
sleeping on a stranger’s couch
for five days and walking for miles
and getting no sleep but drinking
shots and shots of black blood from the earth.
I’m staring at the beach and the city
and the mountains and laughing at this
complete utter fiction-this-is-too-good-to-be-true
nonsense.
It’s just that touch of control
I fool myself into thinking I have.
It’s looking at the odds and diving in
teeth clenched and bracing for the thorns
to tear my skin, and boy when it happens
(because I know without a doubt it will)
I’ll have a damned smile on my face, a
glorious “fuck you” to what I thought I
could achieve.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Caterpillar and The Moth (Madisyn Barbosa- Lafayette, LA)

     Once there was a caterpillar walking out on a limb, and a moth flew by and landed on a leaf next to the caterpillar who was getting more and more nervous walking out on the limb for fear it would break. The moth said,"Look at you, all ugly and plump, walking and being afraid with every step, where as I can fly and be free. The caterpillar said, "Of course you aren't afraid to take risks, because you can't fall, as I on the other hand, will do what my body tells me too, and my body and mind say for me to take a chance on this limb to break, its what I have and need to do. The moth said, " You will never be like me". The caterpillar said, "Thank god, now if you excuse me, I have some work on myself to do." and began making a cocoon.

     Time goes by and the moth flies by the cocoon and says "Hello caterpillar, I see you are just hanging by a thread, and you will soon fall, and I can fly away laughing."

     The butterfly comes out of the cocoon and tells the moth, "See, I knew I'd never be like you, I knew I'd be better because my struggles made me stronger, now if you excuse me, its my turn to fly." And the butterfly smiles and extends her beautiful wings out and flies away smiling....

     The moth was so astonished she fell off the limb onto the ground and was stepped on by a man that was walking by that didn't even notice her, because he was looking at the butterfly....

Release (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

So often I've the urge to drop my belongings and race
Fall up the stairs
Gasping for breath

To the cold crisp air of a red-brick rooftop
Just as the sun is sinking
And the sky is a melancholic array of colors

I will face the world from up above
With a crazed look in my face
Hands rising shakily from my sides

The breeze will slowly build momentum
My eyes will squint and water up
Peer out over the all they've ever known

And just as it all reaches that epic climax
That pinnacle of the mountaintop
Simultaneous crack of thunder and lightning

Just then my hands will open up
And release my insecurities
Into the hard-blowing wind

In one sharp needle of time they'll be gone
Removed from my unwanting possession
And blown so far they've no chance of retaking root in my soil

Voices (Vincent Pierre Cheramie- Lafayette, LA)

Descartes once said that “I think therefore I am”
but whenever the clanging of the morning bells
dull and diminish the thoughts in my mind
whenever i can’t even hear myself over
the crashing sirens of oncoming boats
outside voices right in my ear
a polluting fog blinding my path
As i leave my words behind
am i still the person i thought to be
am I?
ii
Too many thoughts and not enough paper
words reverberate harder, harder against my skull
an escape, a dignified retreat
to a place where I can breathe
And what if I cut down every forest
this Earth has ever born
And leave it barren
scavenging to save the spared
to write down so many thoughts, so many dreams
a scribe’s eternal duty by all means
Would that justify the salvation of my sanity
or am I being dragged to the bottom
by more than just gravity

Yet Another Thing That I Wanted to Say to Him (Amber J Lucik- Lafayette, LA)

     When he asked me why I couldn't answer him, after he asked me why I had pushed that boy in school for calling me a name that I wouldn't repeat to anyone and he had waited with that stare that bragged that he knew exactly why and this was just some sort of exercise he was performing at best or just a mean trick at worst, I started to cry. Just turned red in the face and felt that horrible stretching tug in the middle parts of the cheeks while my other features all collapsed on themselves in some evacuation drill we must have learned as babies. And I screamed at him to stop looking at me like that, which he just took as another chance to prod. "Like What?" And me, ah the humiliation, "I don't know. Like an experiment. Like a lab rat." And his cold response colder, "Stop talking in cliches, child. You're better than that." And me, getting worse, "Stop it! Just stop. Just stop. Just. Just stop looking then." But not even as articulate as the words might seem right now, now that they are written down, compact, finite, with clear lines breaking around every sound. But gasps mixed in, and snot, my tongue retreating too, desperately curling back to my throat, my lips inflexible storm shutters drawn in at the siren of my wail. And his perpetual annoyance at my childishness, and my mother storming in, insisting that I was, in fact, a child, staring him down in a way I was getting better at not noticing though I wasn't there yet. A true warrior, that woman, fierce and precise, a wrangler of men and madness and he got up and went out to the car and left. Which means that it was he who caved, who cowarded out but I'm only starting to see that now. What I would have said, what I should have said, was this...Like a picture before it's the puzzle. Like my only purpose was always to be chopped up and then, insult, to be patched back together and all just for kicks. Like even the violent explosion of myself into pieces, glorious in its way, was NOT the point. That I'd be forever fragile, left to lie around on large flat objects so little pieces of me didn't accidentally crumble off and fall beneath a couch. Divisions would forever remain, and you could do it again at any time. Tear me up and start over. Same process, same result. And in that moment, there I was: Suddenly aware of the jigsaw warming up and staring me down. And not really understanding why it had to be this way. And you there with safety goggles on, deciding that you made me and that this was my purpose. And me wanting to find my own purpose. These things. What I could have said if I'd known the question was coming, with proper preparation, normalized sleep habits and good diet, hygiene  the like. It was in me. The words. It just took me another 15 years to find. Old kook. Crazy old man. Where are you?

Special Contributor: Amber J Lucik

     "Calling Amber J Lucik a new author would be like referring to your landlord as a roommate! Though her presence may not be as obvious as other contributors, Louisiana Words would not be possible without Amber. We pay her our rent, so to speak. Her involvement began when she served as an editor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, along with Louis Toliver Jr., for a publication called the Southwestern Review: Phoenix Edition. From that project sprang the inspiration for Louisiana Words, a collaborative effort between both Louis and Amber to showcase the rich diversity that Louisiana possesses.
     If helping start Louisiana Words was not enough, Amber is currently in the process of converting Louisiana Words into a book!  Be on the lookout for for updates regarding her progress. Amber, thank you for co-creating an innovative platform for Louisiana writers to express their voices. A large quantity of inspiring literature would have never been produced had you not been inspired to action." - Samuel Jones

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bad Kids (Vincent Pierre Cheramie-Lafayette, LA)


As I left her house and cleared my thoughts

driving aimlessly, breathing in the cool night air

I thought to myself how many times we do these things

how many times we tell our parents we’re going to do

the very thing we promised to

when we have no intention of doing so

we hang up, telling them we’ll be careful

we’ll be safe

we’ll be good kids

we won’t do anything bad

and then we take another hit

down another shot

light another cigarette

and unwrap another condom

Are We Really Bad Kids? I have to ask

countless times, my mother would tell me

“Fait Pas Des BĂȘtises” and I would nod

all knowing that I would do the exact opposite

I don’t want to hurt my mother

I don’t want to ruin trust she has invested in me

that would be too much for any child to bear

no matter how much you say you hate your parents

sometimes living a life doing

exactly what you are told

exactly what is expected of you

can leave you being the person somebody else wanted you to be

We are all bad with a touch of light

We are all good with a stain of dark

A scar is always the beginning of a good story

but the blood lost can never be recovered