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 30, 2014

Out of the Darkness, into the Light (Louis Toliver Jr-Austin, TX)

Come out of the closet
Think of your soul
How far can you get
If the darkness takes hold
No lamp, nor no switch
Can give you space
Hiding in the dark
Will always keep you caged
Come out the darkness
Come into the light
Don’t listen to the lonely
Grab the hand of the saved
Open the door
Step out into life

My Grandmother's Backbone (Louis Toliver Jr-Austin, TX)

Being a man is not enough anymore
We are usually the first to go
So many woman, I see, giving more
Left to deal with all the family’s woe

Bound to the weakness of stroke
She still encouraged us folk

I learned from her
How to keep this world together

To accept, rejected children
And nurture them to kings and queens


She left me her backbone
I’ll express it to the world

Every man needs to understand
He should thank a woman for his strength

If I could have half the strength
Of my grandmother
I’ll excel in the world at great length
For my happiness, I look to no other

Such beauty could never be forgotten

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 8) - (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

Coming out of a country concert I never expected my night to end up in a first kiss on the lips of a curly-headed latin man, but it did indeed. Bumming cigarettes turned into conversation turned into invitations to drink turned into a connection turned into shots turned into murmured Spanish whispers in my ear as he discovered my lips over a bar table.

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 7)- (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

I don't remember a first kiss with him because it was so unremarkable. I know one happened (obviously) but there was nothing to recommend it to my memory.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Our Future Shines (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Where we used to be
Never thought we’d get free
But together we can see
That life waits patiently

Our future shines bright
Let’s paint our homes with light
Build up the earth with all our might
Radiate our hearts in the night

There are a lot of us waking up today
Asking our lovers not to stay
To live our lives far and away
We’ve got to grow and that’s okay

Our future right now shines
We’ll age like the best of wines

Calm (Jordan James Levers-Lafayette, LA)

And I'm calm
Untouchably separate from others' actions
Continuously giving love despite others' retractions
Unexplainable the sense of peace that follows presence
A powerful sense of self has taken up full residence
A flow reconnecting the soul to potential energies
Untapped centers of perceived external synergy
Asymmetry balanced within no longer limits me
Acceptance a voiceless, timeless remedy
I pass ethereal through the swords of imagined enemies
In my perception, long held perspective has shifted to one of constant movement
Acknowledging the inevitability of my imperfections, I embrace inner improvement

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 6) - (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

His first kiss was a languishing and inevitable one, fed by wine and green things and comfy couches and long boring movies with silences that needed to be filled. His lanky awkwardness matched my own, and his lips were warm and convenient. He was a comfortable blanket that was attractive and helped me forget that my heart's home was far from me.

Calisthenics for the Heart (Chase Fontenot-Lafayette, LA)

To the preacher bench May I confess Barbells clang in rhythms A choir's hymn Melted sounds of gym Giving in to fatigue Your only sin
Sweat like holy water May it wash over my soul Muscles led to slaughter Still yield an empty hole Loneliness being lifted by Crushing back rows And wide grip pull-ups "Are you crying, bro?" "No, it's my fat burner. Shut up."
My calloused hands Cry for more Than company of cast iron plates Or protein Or a steel-bent core Yet a yearn for another No matter the weight

I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Is it so wrong?
No it’s quite alright
I often feel like that lonely girl
Waiting for the right boy to come
Grab me by the waist
Take me into his arms
Dance me across the streets
Whisper my name in the sheets
All the dances we can think of
He takes the lead
I follow romantically
Swaying through the music
Letting our rhythms match
He’s somebody who loves me
We dance from sundown to sunrise
The music never stops
We never stop
I’m just that lonely girl
Fantasizing about that perfect boy
Is it so wrong?
No it’s quite alright that
I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Disciple Rejects/ 2. "Searching for Judas" (James Leland Ludeau & Louis Toliver jr)

Peter began calling each disciples name almost ceremoniously, “Brother, Andrew.” He recorded who was present in his personal diary. Being Jesus’s secretary, he always kept his diary with him.

“Here, brother,” Andrew replied affectionately and suspiciously. Andrew was always suspicious of Peter, but loved him.

Peter looked up briefly as affectionately as he could. He loved Andrew but kept him close because he didn’t trust him. Peter was focused on himself and figuring out where Judas was. “James,” Peter continued.

Here,” both Jameses responded somberly.

Peter didn’t distinguish between the two, though he was much closer to James the Greater. He never asked James the Lesser’s opinion on anything. “John,” Peter continued.

“Here,” John responded. John, with James the Greater and Andrew, formed Peter’s inner circle.

“Philip,” Peter continued. His tone is calling seemed to change into something less affectionate.

“Here,” Philip responded drawing in his own diary, half-interested in the congregation. He was trying to sketch an image of Jesus being crucified. He couldn’t get the suffering out of his mind.

“Bartholomew,” Peter continued.

Bartholomew was falling asleep Philip quickly nudged him. He woke and responded, “Here!”

“Levi,” Peter continued. Something compelled him to say this purposely. It seemed wrong, but Peter liked it.

“Matthew,” Matthew responded with slight attitude.

“Yes, Matthew, I wasn’t thinking. I forgot you changed your name.” Peter always felt Matthew was a rebel and it annoyed him.

“It’s been my name since Jesus renamed me, Simon…I mean Peter,” Matthew gave slight attitude

Peter ignored Matthew and called, Simon and Jude and they responded. Then he called, “Thomas.”

“Thomas isn’t here. You can see that, brother,” Andrew interrupted any opportunity for silence.

“Where is he?” Peter surveillance the room, looking up from his diary for the first time. Everyone was silent. “Well, I need to now where Thomas is. We also need to figure out where Judas is before anyone else in this town does.”

“What good is finding Judas going to do?” Philip never stopped sketching as he asked the question.

“Well, young Philip, Judas needs to be held accountable for his actions. He betrayed Jesus

“You denied Jesus, three times,” Matthew added.

“I didn’t kill him.” Peter angrily replied.

“Neither did Judas,” Matthew grinned.

“Am I the only one that is not concerned with punishing someone? Jesus allowed this to happen. He wanted this.” Philip tore out the sketch from his diary and slapped it on the table for everyone to see. “Jesus, put himself on the cross.”

There was long silence. It was enough silence for Bartholomew to began nodding off to sleep again. No one was paying attention to him of course.

Peter spoke through his teeth with the fierceness of a dragon. “Find Thomas, Philip. The rest of us will look for Judas

First Kiss Chronicles (Part 5)- (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

I never intended for that first kiss to happen but alcohol had different plans. I was never the type of girl to look at other girl's men and I'd like to think that I wouldn't have kissed him had I not been so caught up in his artistry. Swaying and emotional and alone in his living room, I danced to the music and abandoned myself to the moment upon which he intruded. When he took my hips in his hands and choreographed my dancing with his movements I was lost in seduction. He drew it out, never getting quite close enough but leading me further down his rabbit hole until I was hopelessly lost and succumbed to his beautiful mouth.

Sixth-Sense Scout (Jordan James Levers- Lafayette, LA)

A time of progression, acceptance, reflection
Recovered affection, sense of self, and direction

The waters within move with power yet in peace
Led on by a current both light-hearted and deep

My innocence has been long since lost but a present paradise gained
Through harsh lessons learned a passionate resilience maintained
And a closing of wounds once openly pained
Thus reconciliation with lost ideals once fully estranged

My spirit released back into unexplored and ever-changing wilds
To serve as a sixth-sense scout in pursuing day-dreaming wiles

He Likes Me for Me (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

What boy doesn’t think he wants to be some girl’s Romeo?
Why do we reference such a tragedy as devotion?
It’s the 2lst century
I see more and more
How many boys want to be Juliets
Will another man ever come to love us so?
I do know there is someone, for everyone
But I can’t help wondering
Will he like me for me?
Will he love my scars?
To tell me their beautiful
That someone, that someone
Boy or girl, man or woman
We’re all waiting for that someone
The appearance of love
Much more glamorous than the struggle
The scars make love more beautiful
Will he like me for me?
Not just say he understands me
Then walk way feeling confused
Will he like me for me?
I think he already does
He just hasn’t seen me yet
Only those special someones can see you
There’s nothing more romantic
Than when you open up your struggle
He does the same
You stick together like glue
That’s love through all its glory

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 4)- (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

When I was almost 21, I had a soulful first kiss in a hazy hole-in-the-wall bar surrounded by grungy people, cigarette smoke and pitchers of cheap beer. Lonely for the first time in a long time, I turned to my friend for what comfort he had to offer, which at first just consisted of beer and cigarettes. As the night went on and we got drunker, that comfort expanded and I leaned against him, snuggling into his side and looked up into his scruffy sweet face. He was the kind of person who would be there no matter what our relationship entailed and would care about me even though he didn’t give two shits about anyone else. I snaked my arms around his neck and lost myself in his soft mouth that tasted of beer, cigarettes and devotion.

Mars Is Out Tonight-(Khristian Van Volkenburg, Lafayette, LA)

Speak spoke
all it is is air
All it is is air
Thoughts brought
Thinking I forgot
Forgot that I thought
Found sound
Lost and safe
Safely lost
Safe to assume
I think therefore
im doomed
agrath swoons
she wants play
rope and knife
life in dismay
stuck in bed
night and day
the flesh its weak
but my spirits away
muffled murmured speak
as the noise seems to say
I have you now
Youre mine to stay
darkness here
her figures taught
indulgence arrives
and hope is lost
but oh
shes so pretty
when shes prey
bones on fire
when they exhaust
the cracks confirm
what ive thought
but since when
do I listen anyway
{helplessly romantic but hopeful I say
overcast melancholic stormy
but the most beautiful day}X2 ) X2
(jesus loves me this I know
but what the hell am I even sayin
he forgives but Ive already forgot
and now im at a soiree with satan) X2
Speak spoke
all it is is air
All it is is air
Thoughts brought
Thinking I forgot
Forgot that I thought
Found sound
Lost and safe
Safe to assume
I think therefore
im doomed

Freud (Chase Fontenot-Lafayette, LA)

Life can be lonely As love is kind Then death is darkness And hate stays blind When mistakes in our existence March back around What's strong enough To break a man down?

In The Sea (by James Leland Ludeau III-Lafayette,LA)

i am floating in the sea deep and cold dying in the water as the remains of our love fill my lungs suffocating me this love that i fought for this union that i believed in has left me half dead in the water i hold my breath and try to fight to right myself this panic grabbing hold of me no longer concentrated on saving us i only care to save myself i am too strong to die here alone floating like a fool your love rained down on me and became a flood then a river then a sea in its capacity immense but the fluidity that i used to enjoy became a rough ocean threatening me i find myself swimming for shore with all of my might as i floated there empty and afraid i learned that my joy is not in your smile it's not in your heart not even in your hands it's in my core my soul encapsulated and while i lay here exposed some things remain hidden from you you hurled your hate at me in an attempt to drown my joy gave up on our love so that you could be king but as my joy leads me through your dark sea my soul watches from above and i smile knowing i've survived that i will go on and when i touch land i run as fast as my legs can carry me away from your grasp i'm free again free to be me free to release my joy for i'm no longer imprisoned by your ideas of what i should i be

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dancin’ With Myself (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

In my skimpy brief
I could use some relief
Time to grow a pair
Let them stare
Switch the music on
Get the friction on
Shakira’s got nothing on these hips
Now let me lick my lips
My rhythm is like no other man’s
Want to call your girlfriend
Make other plans?
I’ll get your sexuality to bend
I’m too risky for Tom Cruise
I don’t need no booze
My body’s so hot even the sun
Wants to dance with me
I just want to have some fun
Dance all night patiently
As the music send me high
No time soon will these moves die

I'm Mr. Brightside (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

It’s unfortunate you think me closed
When I am being an open book
Where I have simply just closed this chapter
If you remain a character in my novel
I leave that decision up to you
For love is love, it shouldn’t be forced
It is always enough for me
Though love, itself, needs room to grow
Wise lovers had to break up to meld together

Greater Sins (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

My sins were greater
No one would know
He smiled
Saw what was flawed
My sins exposed

He bent my character
Not to understand
But to mold
He lives on flawlessly
I repent

Whatever It Takes (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

I guess Degrassi had it right
Don’t go through life not too bright
Life is held in one big high school
In life, be smarter than a GED
Avoid the peer pressure that comes
We have to do whatever it takes
To graduate from the captivity of immaturity
If we strive to be our best
We know we can make it through

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 3) - (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

On my best friend’s 21st birthday when I was 18 1/2 and I just had my first drink at a bar there was another first kiss with a tall gangly boy that I brought with me and I was sweaty and nervous and awkward like I am, finding silly ways to get physical with him while we all walked downtown. He was wearing raggedy black pants and his long hair tumbled into his eyes and even though I knew he didn’t need encouragement when it came to this type of stuff, I also knew he was hesitant because he had never wanted a girl like me before who was religious and abstinent. I stood on my tiptoes in the Borden’s parking lot and tugged his head down to meet mine and in those kisses I knew I had found my forever home. Then I had to make him ask me to be his girlfriend because good girls don’t kiss boys that arent their boyfriends, ya heard.

He Can Save the World, Can't He? -(Adam John Schexnayder (Crowley,LA)

In the age of the super hero complex, he tried to save his own soul. He had the words to change the world but he bottled them up inside. The only words he needed never came. Like waiting for the train that left hours ago. And when the time came to give up, and head home, something happened. He realized that walking back to where it started will never get him where he needs to go. One breath. One step. That's all he needed. One breath. One step. And when he took the last breath and the last step, he looked back at the cape and smiled.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Ocean (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

There is nothing more calming
Than your presence
I look out past the waves
Towards your infinite possibilities
Easy to remember
Hard to forget
You give me guidance
I hear your voice
Your sandy hips
Your liquid beauty
I dream of falling into you
Floating around the world
You’re so deep
I rest on you shallowly
To marry you
Taking me from this wild land
I want to be inside you
To know all your secrets
I will tell you mine
Though something tells me
You already know me
Give me your wisdom and knowledge
To soothe the world like your touches

Too Many Judges in this Courtroom (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

When the gossip settles
What truth is left?
What makes a person so self-righteous
To make a laundry list of your life actions?
I don’t think you should be worried
Those you’ve trusted
Sitting on your jury
But not to come to your defense
Isn’t that enough evidence to live you own life?
No matter how many lives you save
There will always those waiting to point out who you didn’t save
Don’t let yourself me judged
Just change the conversation
And move on
There are so many people in your life that know YOU

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 2) - (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

My second first kiss was at the age of 18 in my best friend’s home theater with my awkward too-sweet boyfriend of the time. All wrapped up in a tangle of arms and legs, his axe body spray enveloped me as he clumsily tried to find my lips in the dark with little butterfly kisses. His pillowy white boy lips drooled his nervousness over mine and I felt like a jaded yet triumphant older woman for stealing his first kiss even though I was the younger one.

Fin (Chase Fontenot-Lafayette, LA)

Last goodbyes The tightrope that I walked And the sidelines which we chalked Simple pleasures from clever treasures Measured our love by a single feather Cutting ties Your pure soul pulls the tears That calm my inner sinner A whisper that farms my fears Our fingers stroke the trigger Empty eyes Awoken by your makeup upon chest A vivid dream invaded my rest Drag me to hell so I can sleep Burn me alive with the secrets we keep

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Infinitely Inadequate (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

One glance at the paper thin skin That encased her veins  And he fell at her feet in worship Disbelief that a creature so delicate could be real and Be his.
He never saw in the corners of her nights How she pledged herself to misery And the absence of self-pity Using the harsh sword of her words and thoughts And sometimes the sharpness of actual blades To pierce herself, over and over Punishment for her faults and failings  The sting of a razor against her skin Bright red welling of blood Jerked her out of her depression Reminded her what it was to feel.
He never understood what it meant to her Only feeling like parts and never a whole Experiencing emotion when it wasn't appropriate And remaining impassive in times of intense feelings.
She would always be Inadequate To herself.

The First Kiss Chronicles (Part 1) (Madison Holland-Lafayette, LA)

I had my first embarassing fumbling kiss on my 15th birthday on a street corner in Mexico from a brown skinned boy who thought he was going to be a priest until he met me and then I couldnt speak to him or look him in the eye for three days because I was so mortified.

The End (Chase Fontenot-Lafayette, LA)

A swaying tounge licks loose lips with a protest on the edge of my words. I speak in parabols amidst the waves of fluorescent faces, undefining my phrases. Ticker tape, unreeling by lines out of my throat, distributes numbers to the attending reflection in my presence. Armor forged from furnaces and shovels, unprofitable battle hangs on the tip of a blunt diamond blade.
My contradictive bed of dripping paint burns the eyelids of volcanos blinking their cracks in my direction. My final exhalation of perfumes and newspaper headlines deafen my conscience lying upon a grain of sand. Side-ear recognition of a seperate room in my name crammed with flowers and gold, blacks my objective to differenciate the past

The Storm Is Over (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Shout with Joy!
The lightning has calmed
The rain has stopped
The Sun is smiling once again
We finally made it through
All pieces that fell apart
Are now reassembled
Some of our friends have become are foes
Some of our foes have become are friends
Yet we love them just the same
The Storm is over now
Get out your shades
Life is gleaming
The Past has strengthened
The Future is looking bright
We are no longer off-centered

Closing Time (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

The time comes when an end is near
All we can do is scramble in fear
People start to leave
Tomorrow’s plans we weave

The music fades
The light goes off
We are intoxicated with life
For some that’s great
And for others misery
If only we could look a life soberly
And realize that it is always open
Time is a but a human creation
We are never gaining or losing it
Time just is

The value of a human being
Is determined by how it uses its time
This I am guaranteeing
Living should never be part-time

In every ending
There is always a new beginning
Relationships will always be challenged
But they never have to end
Tomorrow the lights will come back on
And the music will rise
So never get caught up
In what’s ending
And miss out on what’s beginning
Reasoning will connect everything

Friday, May 2, 2014

Zeitgeist (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Republican or Democrat
We don’t want to be either
Independent, free to be us
Black or white
We want to color life gray
Please integrate our churches
Rich or poor
We see no status quo
There’s potential to invest in all
Citizen or immigrant
We can’t close the doors
Not to a land we never owned
We are done being silent
We are done accepting “no”
We roll the red carpet out for the 21st century
It’s a fresh perspective in the 2010s