We’re still here

We are living among ghosts

Standing shoulder to shoulder 

Touched by their light 

At the far reaches of the universe 

There are stars sending us light 

By the time this light reaches us 

Their stars have long since, died

But their light goes before them

And there are galaxies 

That have lived for billions of years 

Watching as we evolve 

If you measure the expanse of their light…by 6500 years…it doesn’t add up…you would extinguish space…

You are light 

You are love 

Don’t let someone’s small mind 

Extinguish who-what-you are.

Don’t let them shut the windows and the light out of your house.

This weekend 

Seven continents marched 

Hold your head up high 

Hundreds of thousands of women and men 

Stand with you 

You are on the right side of history 

And laugh it off 

If you can 

A lot of these 

Who don’t understand 

Are all about going back to an original intent 

The 50s 

But hell 

They still believe the earth is flat so why stop there

Just go all the way to the 1650s 

And they might not be able to tell a lie

But they have blank binders full of alternative facts…

And they are here to protect you from hoaxes 

Such as the EPA and Climate Change and The Globe Earth

Cry it off if you can 

Why are we marching ? 

Because you’ve only been able to vote for half a century 

And you are not protected by our constitution 

One executive order 

One mandate 

And you would lose your right to vote 

You would become once again 

Property

Because ten white men shouldn’t be able to alter your health care 

Because women’s rights are human rights 

And they can believe whatever they want 

But to look at someone else 

And pass laws against them 

Because they don’t believe the same 

That’s why we march 

keep walking forward
You are not 

An item on an agenda 

A helpmate 

Or less

You are a woman 

You are your own 

Seven continents stand with you 

History stands with you 

I stand with you. 

And we’re still here.

-Regardingsamel.com 

Equal 

Image origin unknown

What is it you see in a woman?

Maybe it’s her curves 

These lines we’ve been trying 

To iron out 

Through culture 

For centuries 

Equal Means Equal

But we’re not equal image origin unknown 

This isn’t a poem about why I’m a feminist 

Or how great it is that I’m a guy 

Or what it’s like in my experience 

This 

This is a poem 

About my wife …

The fact that even after all this time …

She’s not equal to me 

She starts out getting paid less than me for the same job

How can she ever get ahead?

She is not protected by our Constitution

Her freedom and equality 

Can be altered or repealed 

In a day

Women’s rights are human rights 

I read a story about a woman in another country fighting for her right to know her own body to know how to orgasm 

Men didn’t learn about their wives bodies and they really didn’t care whether they ever had pleasure or not. 

It’s not too far different here 

We’ve come all this way 

And we think we know a lot 

But we really only know 

A lot about what our culture 

Believes about things 

Just in the 90s we recognized marital rape as rape 

And yes- we don’t consider women as property on our papers anymore 

But we still want them to be homemakers 

Or daughters and mothers 

Trophy wives 

Making our sons look good 

A child has to be raped before it can have control of its own body 

This is decided by business men in Washington 

Contraceptives shouldn’t be covered by insurance because women shouldn’t enjoy sex

If they do have sex they should get pregnant

Forced birth 

This is decided by men in Washington 

When she is raped 

They get off free 

Because boys will be boys 

And they can run with a football 

And they still have a whole life to live-let’s not ruin it

Forget that her body was violated 

Her safe space 

Her mind 

Her temple 

The years of nightmares 

I can sue over spilled coffee 

But women can be raped and no one bats an eye….

We have a problem 

When we condemn women for reading works of fiction 

That have fake content 

And put men in power who are real 

And damaging 

And can alter their lives,safety and experience in society

I will say again 

I want a world 

Where my wife can live 

With peace of mind 

I want her to be safe 

I want her to be as free as me 

To be able to reach for whatever she dreams 

Women’s rights are human rights 

Why are we still fighting this battle? 

Maybe we’re just trying to iron out the curves

I think I want to write about you

I think I can forget all the rest 

I’m sorry 

I’m sorry we didn’t fight harder 

I’m sorry we’re still fighting for this 

We’ve come too far to go backwards 

I want – when I’m gone – for you to be able to live well. 

And if we should have a daughter 

I want her to be able to do all the same things our son would do. Without question. Even in her mothers high heels. 

-Ethan 

The Mexican ( and other stories)

1

So I’m pretty sure my Dog is a racist. Either that or he has been watching far too much Fox News or Facebook. Gosh dang it, he’s probably a Republican too. 

If you’re new here. Understand. I live in the south. You know, the ones offended by all the things. 

I’m only writing to help you escape. It’s ok to laugh. Anything else gives you cancer. Or something worse,hemorrhoids. And neither of those are good for your sex life…Always feeling like you have to go to the bathroom. Nauseous from your chemo. It’s just really difficult to stay in the moment. Or so I’m told. 

Hey, if you live long enough. You don’t have to have sex anyway. You’re back to just living for Saturday cartoons. But you’re older now, so you call them Fox News and Republicans. Or just those people on Facebook. 

See what I did there?

Anyway, my dog. 

The fierce protector. 

I was letting him use the bathroom and it was late at night. A little bit of rain going on. He always has to go in the tall tall grass where no one can see that he too has to take a dump. He always pops his head up so he can see that I’m still there though. Because, he’s a fierce protector. 

His bark is scary. I’ve learned this from all the barking moments at 2am. And he’s a fierce protector, because he stays under the blankets while barking. Never having actually left the bed. 

But the racism was new to me. 

It was dark and raining. And he was in the grass doing his thing. 

And I looked over and saw this Hispanic walking up with a hoodie (you see where this is going) and he had his ear buds in listening to his tunes. And I thought, oh Crap. 

Simon’s head pops up looking for me. And he sees this guy walk right passed us…and tears out of the grass, razor back fur… Barking and whaling…

The guy just freezes mid walk.

And our fierce protector runs…not towards this guy. But passed him. And straight for the apartment. Screaming like “Mexican. Hoodie!! Run!!! Dad run!!”

I’m standing  there just staring. The guy shrugs his shoulders and actually shakes his head because my dog is too chicken and afraid of the dark to actually do anything. He starts walking again. And Simon looks over his shoulder, realizes I’m not panicking like him. And skids against the door circles around and runs back,still howling. 

I was so mad. I mean thanks for all the protection,bud. 

2

I’m going to be 27 this year. I actually remember the first time I used the Google. I was so amazed. I just sat there and tried to think of what to search for. So I typed in cars. And then I was at a friend’s house and he accidentally showed me porn hidden in his minimized screen and I never searched for anything else again.

No. 

I actually continued thinking of things throughout the week to search for at the library. Because one, I was that kid and two we didn’t have the Internet. 

Yeah, Cell phones  were flip phones with green screens. And Facebook wasn’t here yet. And when it did hit, man, only college kids could use it . And they changed that…and then they had that clever “what’s on your mind or how are you feeling? ” And everyone had some funny status just hanging like a banner at the top of their page.

“Nothing” 

This showed how smart we were. And China and Japan how comfortable we were with computers. 

But it’s amazing how much it’s grown.Have you seen people’s status’ this year?? 

I wish I could see some more  witty and emboldened “nothing Facebook stop asking.” 

 I’ve always written and even built this site from my phone. 

It was difficult and I was sometimes encouraged by the champagne. 

Tumblr was an event . Before it was cool, whilst it was cool and had its secret code language like wind talkers to tell people you were on there. And then it faded a bit. 

I was homeschooled,man. 

But with social media like that ?

You met cool kids all over the world. 

And even the tamest coolest and lamest got scared and worried or infuriated about the same things as you. 

And everyone all over the world got super horny  and weird every Friday. Everyone. And then tumblr was like, ” we should probably  add some firewalls or something” But the cool thing was , everyone voiced and debated and it was safe. So you learned and you were like “holy shit this rape thing is a big problem. Gays should be able to just get married. We should talk about this.” 

And then you walked outside and remembered you lived in America and we’re still uncomfortable with the fact that women masturbate and enjoy sex …we use it to sell things  but we will not talk about it. Pass laws,yes, take away birth control, hell to the yeah, I mean everyone thought that if it was rape the body just shut that down. Or …that it was ok because you were there. And if you show up?? You had to be ok with it. Or whatever happens in a marriage bed is ok. 

By everyone I mean, all the men. 

No one really said 

Hey, if she isn’t having fun. It’s not ok. 

Or if she isn’t in the mood, it’s not ok. 

Or if she changes her mind, It’s not ok. 

Or hey,it’s actually not supposed to hurt your first time. If it does, they’re going too fast and need to slow down until you’re really turned on. 

We’ve come a long way 

And I feel incredibly old 

And now 

That I’m older and funnier 

And actually cool 

My wife has reminded me…. Another perspective 

We still need to be talking about things. 

About what we like. About our expectations when we get older. About the fact that when I walk our racist hilarious dog. I’m just walking a dog and people wave. 

When she walks him,she has to wear earbuds and music so she doesn’t hear the dumbasses cat calling and blowing their horns. 

And we’re taught to expect this. 

A lot of rapes are happening inside marriages.

and that’s not ok. These are things that are not ok. And we should just keep our hands off women’s rights already. We will never as men understand their walk. Not fully. We should protect and fight for and beside them if anything. But leave their healthcare alone. And their rights alone. 

Moving on 

My dog is still afraid of milk bones. He also loves butterflies…and smelling flowers. Dirty Dancing and Gilmore Girls. 

But he did throw up on a brand new rug…so there’s that.  

And we’re working on the racist thing.

 

Talks with Women #4

A conversation of ramblings with my friend, Ciara.

How long have we been writing each other? 

It’s been like what? A few years now?

Yea, that’s right! Must be over a couple of years, at least

So, are you going to Spain this summer again? 

I hope to. I was planning to live out in Spain once I passed my driving test, but it’s quite hard to make that commitment when I’ve  got so much going on here. Not much job wise, friends sort of, but more so opportunities for me. Spain is quite deserted unless I can get a car. 

I am seeing a comedian or two this year. Katherine Ryan if you’ve heard of her! Very funny!!

How about you? Any plans?

Oh yeah, we are going to the beach at some point.. I envy that you don’t have to drive everywhere. Everything is so far here. 

And I’m a huge comedian fan. I’ve been listening to a lot of David Sedaris lately… You have to laugh at something. Adult life is so weird anyway.

The other day I found a new sponge and got so excited, it was shameful.

Oh no, everything is far. Closest thing to us is about a half hour away, but it’s a matter of walking. Can’t manage it! I need a car! I feel bad that I have to rely on friends to pick me up to get places on time and without looking sweaty haha.

hahahahah yes see! Thats amazing! I find myself doing the same thing. I got to mop my floor with a new mop and it was phenomenally exciting.

Did you see Deadpool?

Oh yes I did. Loved it! What did you think of Deadpool?

Haven’t seen it yet…I’m falling behind on my list of things to watch. But it looked fantastic.

I actually downloaded an honest weather app and it just tells you the weather like it is.

Like “It’s fucking cold…”

And later 

“now it’s fucking raining…congratulations.”

It’s the small things.

hahahaha oh shit! I want this app! What is it called? I love swearing! It is the emphasis of any strong argument, you know

Do you still write screen plays or anything? 

If you went to Spain do you think that you would have more opportunities ?

I did attempt to write one but I have felt no inspiration for it -.- my brother is attempting one at the moment, but damn, it’s not great. haha. It’s not terrible but it’s trying to be funny when you really can’t force funny.

Well, there is an English radio station owner who my dad knows and he could get me a job there. Which would be awesome!

Radio stations are great. I worked with my dad in one when I was VERY young. They had all of these old eight tracks everywhere…it was actually really scary now that I think of it.

I know! There are a lot more things to remember than you think. People assume DJ’s are just presenters that sit there and twiddle their thumbs. Granted, some are, but not all. haha.

I hope you get the job. Are you reading anything interesting??

I’m  really not. I need to start reading again. Last thing I read was a Simon Pegg Biography. I Really enjoy his stuff.

Oh I bet that was good

It was so good! I think I need to begin reading again though. I feel nothing has beaten Catcher in the Rye just yet. I wasn’t forced to read that in school so I actually enjoyed it. haha.

Haha yeah, it’s better if it’s not forced.

Definitely. I hated Romeo and Juliet. But I discovered really, it is about one teen having a hissy fit because she can’t see someone she loves, so she kills herself because she didn’t get her way lol. Thats Shakespeare for you.

And a bunch of other people died as well.

Maybe that’s where Sparks gets it from ? 

hahahah oh yea, those people.

Yeah its just not my cup of tea. Shakespeare itself is beautiful, and hilarious at times.

I liked The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing

yes!

The film with Denzel was good too…so good…”you amaze me!!”

Thank you for doing this Ciara. 

No worries. Thank you too!

 Ciara Lynch is a writer, comedian. Living in the UK. She studied Film and Television and Media Production. 

 “I like pizza. I like bagels. I like hotdogs with mustard and beer.”

“On the 8th day, God created a magic-talking leapord and forgot all about us.”

Talks with Women #3

Half-truths are the best lies, I remember learning from Anais Nin when I was very young and had barely started doing that by instinct.

We live both inner and outer lives made up of half-truths – we use them in our writing, in our Instagram pictures, in our thoughts, in our confessions and at one point or another the bubble bursts in some and they feel the urge to warn everyone about the evilness of concealment, the fact that social media ‘is not real’, it’s ‘a lie’.

But, darling, humanity was never able to produce anything besides half-truths – because it’s impossible to paint the whole truth even on a psychoanalyst’s couch, because the progress of science means never really discovering the whole truth, but merely journeying towards it.

Liars, we may be – yet our lives are not by default a lie if we acknowledge the necessity of half-truths in it and understand their role. When you look at it that way and you begin developing organs of perception that sense lies and are able to decode them, well, you’re in for a great game – you can recognize the half-truths of others, point more or less accurately to the reason behind them, and learn that a lie unmasked reveals more about a human being than bare truth.

The only victims of half-truths are shallow people who refuse to acknowledge them. 
 Patricia Beykrat. Writer. Artist. Bucharest,Romania. To read more of her go Here

Talks with Women #2

First and foremost I am a mom, well that was until night shift lol.

I have 5 children (2 biological girls and 3 chosen boys) and don’t forget my 4 legged son Jasper.

Through nursing school I was a single mom, working full time, and helping my ill parents.

I met the love of my life Adam, New Year’s Eve 2013.We recently married December 17th. Just ran to the courthouse then I came to work that night.It was spontaneous and we are responsible adults knowing I had to work that night, so I did.

Recently I have felt depressed. Up until becoming a nurse I never missed anything with the children (ballgames, choir concerts, field trips etc).

I feel like I miss a lot!

Not to mention the wonderful man I married probably thinks of me more as a ghost.

However, I love what I do. Every part of it ,except getting spit at…. that part is gross. Oh and our team saving someones life only to have them curse us the minute they can.

The pride I feel knowing I worked my butt off to get here is wonderful. Being able to look at someone and decide what they need to live is a great feeling.

However,I don’t think I will ever get enough rest or time with my family.

Sometimes I honestly feel like an outsider now. I sleep while my husband is at work, kids at school. They come home I get up and go to work.

My 15 year old daughter does not come to me with any problems anymore. I am so thankful my husband accepts her as his own (she has never had a dad) and I love the relationship they have.

However, I need to feel needed like before. I have the need to help people but now feel as though I can’t help my own family besides with money.

I feel like all I just did was vent to you…

  
Amanda-Emergency Nurse- Alabama 

Talks with Women #1

(I’m really thankful for this series. 
What started out as an idea, is now, these stories and all of this art and these women. It’s voices and it’s life…it’s being seen and being heard. 

And I thank every single person that has helped me put this together.

-Ethan)

Talks with Women#1

I’ve been broken 
Intentionally and unintentionally deconstructed reduced 

With flying words and accusations 

humiliated and devalued 

Raped and then left alone

And I stood up… and I stayed

Storing all these horrible things inside my vessel

Cracks appear from the weight held inside

And all at once I begin to spill

Eking through the weak thin places

Desperately I try to gather myself

Clawing at my skull

Prostrated on the floor 

Am I nothing? 

The answer is NO

How easily we can choose to build one another up

A kind word spoken into darkness 

Echoes and begins to resonate

I am here

Someone sees me

Someone hears me

Someone feels my pain

The vibration it sends out awakens a lost sense of self

A spark of light in the dark becomes a raging fire 

Cleansing 

It burns away the old and rejuvenates the seeds left there by the ones who did love us

Consumed 

I dance in the flames of my rebirth

Watch me playfully flicker and dance

Connected

The world opens up and exposes its once hidden resources 

Openly sharing it’s wealth and warmth

Content 

When love is present there is no fear

I am new. I am loved. I am love.

– Andrea

 

Andrea is an Artist based in Tennessee. Her work has been sighted in places such as Slow Hand Coffee in Nashville and more. To see just an example of her amazing talent wander This way.

Woman

 

The Five major Native American nations used to believe that the women should be in every meeting and their input was the most respected within government. They were highly esteemed and valued. They would even take a lover and then after years they may just part ways and take another lover. Or they may be partners for life. And if there were a marriage such as with the Creek? infidelity was not tolerated. They had a system of respect and value…

Until we came along. And forced them to take a step back and wait almost two hundred years in darkness to be valued again. 

Whatever sound 

your voice makes

Let it echo 

Whatever shape 

Your fists make 

Make sure 

You leave your mark 

Every day 

Until this town 

This city 

This place 

Knows why

you are here 

Until they understand 

That you are 

A space maker 

Until they feel your absence 

The way my arms do 

The point is 
There is no point at all

I’ve noticed 

If you don’t talk 

They tell you to be Madonna 

When you do talk 

They tell you to be Diana 

And don’t get me started 

On what to wear 

But 

What if Diana tried to be Marilyn ? And Audrey tried to be Katharine?

What if no one ever marched 

And women were still 

Considered property 

And trophies ?

How far have we really come 

From the darkness 

If we are still shaping ourselves 

To fit another persons lense?

Be you 

And be proud 

and be the damn best while you’re at it. 

Because you are your own.