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Showing posts from June, 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”?

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 Breathles…

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 coc…

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.

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 DirectoratCapital City Alliance,Secretary of the BoardatLouisiana Trans AdvocatesandCommunications CoordinatoratEquality 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…

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 pa…

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 comp…

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 corusca…

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?

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.

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 las…

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 o…

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…

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 …

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…

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 t…

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 arti…

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 …

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