Two Happy Fucking Vacuums

Written by Natalie Cabo

I wish I could suck the pain out of you like a vacuum sucks the impurities off of fine material.

 

I wish I could reassemble your heart into a fully functioning mechanism like a vacuum gets properly assembled by capable people.

 

I wish we could both be vacuums—

 

Fully functioning and sucking the life out of one another.

Love is a Lie

Written by Natalie Cabo

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Your love is strong enough to battle through the pain of your soul.

But love without control of one’s own self is dangerous because it’s useless.

All you need is love...until the love you have doesn’t work anymore.

Until the love you have isn’t strong enough.

Love isn’t enough.

Isn’t able.

Is powerless.

Pointless.

Love is a lie.

The Claim to Comedy

Written by Christopher Hales

 Photograph by   Bogomil Mihaylov

Photograph by Bogomil Mihaylov

The claim to comedy, the never ending manufacturing of laughter, is a gift, right? It’s

like personal training, I’m giving you a six pack here.

 

I am good at poetry, poetry in general, it is just a shame I rhyme everything with

orange.

 

A woman in a long coat walked into my local yesterday, as the door opened inwards,

she spread out her hands, shrieked and fell, with rumbling of little cartwheels as her

and the rest of the nine year olds came flying out of the coat.

 

Approach to the treatment of illness... My illness. My addiction to bingo. the outcome?

Same as before. My regeneration, But I won at one point. No party. Each party I have

is usually the cause of degeneration.

 

I have lived in laughter as you can see. But I lose them all at some point. That tumble

weed is passing now. It was high time to go. Thank you and goodnight.

Childhood Boredom

Written by Perverse Psychology 

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We found a dead badger today.

He was huge and smelt like Granny’s sloppy dinner.

His inners were now outers

Oozing and slopping on the grass

With maggots and flies crawling out of its arse.

I dared Tom to touch it. . .

With his tongue.

And if he did then I would eat some dung

Fresh – not crusty!

So . . .

He did . . . .

He did it!!!!!

Eeeeerrrrgggghhhhhhhh!!!!!

His wet tongue touched the dead badger

Gross.

I didn’t eat the dung

I’m not like Tom

He’s wrong!

Lost

Written by Terry Lyn Monfet

 Photograph by   Martino Pietropoli

Photograph by Martino Pietropoli

I lost myself can you help me find her? Can’t remember her face or the sound of her laughter, somehow it stopped in the midst of disaster.

I turned around to see a stranger staring at me, that mirror had been there all these years, but who is that woman and why the tears?

So much time spent being strong, pushing forward and moving on. Not once within the chaos did I stop to see I had moved on but forgot about me.

I left myself so far behind that the memory of me has slipped my mind.  So please help me find who I used to be, I need the strength, the smile, I need to be me.

Falling Away

Written by Terry Lyn Monfet

 Courtesy of the   Wall Street Journal

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Piece by piece it falls away, tattered parts with ends that fray

Shattered bones and books strewn, tangled twisted blistered gone

Sunlight hopes and dreams abound turn to ashes on the ground

Seeping through skin so thin and porous acid tears caused by horrors

Speaking out not making noise air is time somehow it’s short

Veins and arteries run like city streets, blood drips from my TV screen

Innocence flows through doors to the pavement falling failing grasping soaring

Yet everyone is still ignoring. Voices cries speech recordings, our children have learned to speak for us.

Liberating Words - Part II

Written by Goachi Vang

pexels-photo-166360.jpeg

If you would like to read Part I, click here


 Photograph by   Tim Marshall

Photograph by Tim Marshall

We think we know what is best for people. We never ask them, personally. We never give them the chance to explain themselves, to justify what is best for them. And that is what will destroy us – not even asking, only assuming.

 


 

Emotions don’t have to control you, but they can drive you.

 


Don’t mistaken someone’s self-protection as manipulation.

 Photograph by  pixpoetry

Photograph by pixpoetry


 Photograph by   Joshua Newton

Photograph by Joshua Newton

There is a fire in me. It’s like I am the wick with a lighter waving over me, but it never lights me up. Because the time is not right. Because it is not ready to be lit. But it is there, and I am waiting to love myself enough to ignite the flame.

Badbye

Written by Natalie Cabo

 Photograph by  Olia Gozha

Photograph by Olia Gozha

I should’ve never even said hello because the inevitable goodbye was not worth the pain.

I should’ve been lonely. I should’ve kept myself safe.

 

The separation is too strong to feel whole again.

 

How do you repair something when there are no tools for the job and when the missing piece will never exist again?

Please Want Me, Please

Written by Natalie Cabo

 Credit:   freestocks.org

How do I forget about you when you exist in every thought of my mind?

 

What is sanity when your acknowledgement of me validates my existence?

 

Why am I scared of losing something that never had value?

 

When will I love myself the way I want you to love me?

 

Who will I be after I’m done pretending to be the girl you would rather see?

How Did it Start?

Written by Christopher Hales

A twinkle.

No sound.

A wave.

A spark nothing. Not even a squeak.

The mass of light.

The eternal.

The air.

Spherical rocks

Dancing around a forest

Fire.

Life begins before the next big bang.

An ongoing line of movements

And wrinkles resulting in

The beginning and end

Of dust and ash on a slab.

Time heals all, except for

The big bang.

Be Like the Bee

Written by Mariel Stein

 Photograph by  Aaron Burden

Photograph by Aaron Burden

Be like the bee, make beauty sweet.
Be like the bee, always eager to greet.
Be like the bee, who confronts those who fear.
Be like the bee, and buzz in their ear.
Be like the bee, defy expectations. 
Be like the bee, seek new locations.
Be like the bee, kiss every flower.
Be like the bee, sweetness is power. 
Be like the bee, fly near and far.
Be like the bee, be who you are.

Feminism

Written by Rachael Cheeseman

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My grandmother leans in.

A conspiritorial whisper to match the glimmer in her eyes.

"When i first got married, a woman couldn't buy furniture without permission from her husband."

I laugh.

But it's not funny.

She's trying to tell me something.

Something important.

I'm too young to realise.

 

It's the 90's

Girl power is the buzz word.

Girls wear tank tops and short shorts and people pretend it's not about sex.

I'm not allowed to wear trousers to school. Or a jumper.

Girls wear skirts and cardigans.

But if a boy sees your underwear, your in trouble. So girls don't run too fast.

Girls don't climb trees.

We laugh it off.

But it's not funny.

My mother wants to buy a car.

The salesman can't hide his surprise as we approach.

His voice drips as condescending words trip from his tongue.

He won't sell her anything.

Not without her husband there.

She doesn't understand.

He laughs But it's not funny.

 

It's a new millennium.

Things are different now.

That's what they tell us.

At school, girls can only play netball.

Basketball is for boys.

Girls can only play tag rugby.

Rough sports are for boys.

Girls can't study electronics

Girls can't study engineering

Girls can't study woodwork

But we're allowed to wear trousers now, so i guess it's okay.

 

It's 2018

The wage gap is what we're all talking about.

Feminism is a dirty word.

We know about rape culture and victim blaming but nothing actually seems to be changing.

I tell a friend I'm a feminist.

She laughs But it is not funny.

19

Written by Melissa Booey

pexels-photo-1102908.jpeg

I walked a man

I walked him like a dog

At the end of the road I let him loose

It was not a pleasant conversation.

He shielded

Only to re-yield and be forced to re-heel like the dog that he is

Or the dog that he isn’t

Or the dog that he never was or never will be, because he’s a proud,

decent man and I’m a batshit broken record.

I talked myself

I talked myself up and down like a fool

At the end of the day I held the phone

It was another one-sided conversation.

I tried

Only to rely on the forces of re-cried, undried salty tears that won’t

Or haven’t seemed willing

Or haven’t felt ready to throw in the towel, because you can’t fix a

broken record and I’m not batshit all on my own.

I found a friend

I found her like a trail

At the end of the line I lost her way

It was an unspoken conversation.

She searched

Only to re-work her way back to re-learn how offtrack I had wandered

Or far down I had fallen

Or far forward I’d actually flown on my own, because I’m not as

batshit as the broken records told me I was, or wasn’t, or never will be

because I’m a proud, decent person who will

never make it out alive.

Heartless Words

Written by Natalie Cabo

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Your words were meant for intentional hypnotism like the pseudo-euphoria that comes with living.

My heart was ordained for enticing destruction like licks of smoke from sticks of nicotine.

Your words for my heart.

You wordless and me heartless.

The Lad from London

Written by Natalie Cabo

 Photograph by   Kid Circus

Photograph by Kid Circus

Your sweet sound drenched in sour truth.

Your beautiful face drowned by your self-conscious groove.

Our intimacy doused, you were so aloof.

 

For someone so vulnerable, you really have no clue.

You’re talented, passionate, adequate, and uncouth.

 

I want to tell you but I don’t know how to.

So instead, I’ll just disappear—and silently love you.

Liberating Words - Part I

Written by Gaochi Vang 

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I don’t want to be fixed. Because I am not broken. I am just collecting pieces of myself that have yet to fit into one another.


 Photograph by   Jeremy Bishop

Photograph by Jeremy Bishop

 

Give yourself the space to make mistakes, then give it to those around you.

-growing up


 Photograph by   Sam Manns

Photograph by Sam Manns

I’ve walked the very fine lines between my identities. What I found was that it wasn’t about choosing one, it was about making one.


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I think the reason why I have not accepted love from potential lovers is because I am still learning exactly what love is. For me, as an individual.


 

I’m so scared to be me because I have yet to accept it – everything I am.


 Photograph by   Patrick Hendry

Photograph by Patrick Hendry

 

Searching for my identity made me realize that as much of an insider I was, I was an outsider. Too.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…?

Written by Christopher Hales

 Photograph by  freestocks.org

Photograph by freestocks.org

The turkey dinner ready meals were microwaving away.

The chestnuts…weren’t roasting.

We don’t have chestnuts.

My elf jumper was itchy cause of mum using that cheap washing powder.

Again.

Uncle George is still being nagged at by nan to get married to his French girlfriend.

He’s fifty.

My grandad is still telling that joke about the snowman and the two carrots.

He’s told it for twenty years.

I am twenty.

The prize in the cracker popped out and hit Auntie Linda in the eye.

It was a bouncy ball.

My older cousin, Freddie, has told me we’ll have to play my new video game later ontonight.

Bought me a video game Freddie?

At least I don’t have to wait until five o’clock to find out now.

The Stereo is broke.

So Uncle John is singing thriller for us.

Two months too late, Johnny boy.

Oh, and mum forgot to hide the divorce papers away.

And…..Yeah, there’s the awkward silence.

Merry fucking Christmas world.

Chinese Whispers of the Angry Man’s Orchard

Written by Christopher Hales

 Photograph by  Kristina Flour

Photograph by Kristina Flour

Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard.

Once an accommodating man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard.

Once an accommodating youngster kicked his father along the ground through his old orchard.

Trance an accommodating youngster to kick his father onto the ground because of his old orchard.

Trance an agonising youngster to kick his father whilst on the ground because of his being awkward.

Trance an agonising youngster who kicks his father whilst he is grounded because he is just being awkward.

Trance an agonising old youngster who kicks his young father whilst he is awkward and grounded because he is just being awkward.

Healing

Written by Alison Howard

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Forget the past for what's done is done
You cannot change that for anyone
Do not dwell on the hurt you've battled
Nor the inner stamina that seems to rattle
Quaking from all the instability and fear
That devil is not near.
You have found yourself in a safe space
A place for you to bear your face
And release the dulling pain that festers
To forget that pocked face who pesters
And twists the mind's eye to conceive
The false reality you've come to believe
That no one wishes for your heart
Though dear, you know that to be the most tragic part.

 

Slut

Written by Alison Howard

 Photograph by   Viliman Viliman

Photograph by Viliman Viliman

Fear no evil, is what she had heard
Though evil itself dare not speak the word
That makes her retch and sick with tears
As he cannot or will not see what he fears
That thing being her in all her self
With the hateful truth hidden under this wealth
Of spiteful bitter tastes in tongue and cheek
That have taught her affection is for the weak
And chastity nor exploration can stop the flow
Of the inevitable truth that lingers below
Waiting to lurch at the next sight
Of peaceful times when all seems right
For she cannot sleep alone, for shame
Revenge to all those who forget her name
Hell to health and caution to destroy
Blissful numb is hers to employ
To sap inward the demons about
No chance to change, no graceful way out
For grace in dishonesty is all she possesses
Under lies of tight squeezes and short caresses
Because the love she finds does not last
As the role she portrays is forever cast
In the mold of sand, rotting and shifted
Forsake nor her presence, 'tis her form that has drifted
Away to the next conquest of the times
Yet all she can do is find solace in rhymes.