Do Not F*ck with My Wife

Do Not F*ck with My Wife

Do Not Fuck with My Wife by Ty Brack

Do Not Fuck with My Wife

I mean, not in that seedy-dive-bar-dude-in-flannel-leers-at-my-wife-
but-I-have-a-bigger-truck-with-heavier-duty-suspension-
and-a-louder-engine-so-I’m-gonna-spit-my-chew-on-dude’s-Romeo’s
kind of way.
No, no, no, I mean: Do Not Fuck With My Wife.

For instance,
standing in the security line at the Chris Rock show, dude and his wife are clearly agitated by the fact Chris Rock is having everyone place their cell phones in a secured, locked pouch because, Lord have mercy, an artist wants to protect their intellectual property. So dude says to the security person, “This is fucking retarded.” And I’m shaking my head like, “Uh-oh, dude, you just fucked with my wife.” My wife says to dude, “You know, I work with incredible students and young adults with disabilities, and they certainly do not deserve to be reduced to your selfish pain.” Now dude is really trying to save his masculinity, “Whatever, you’re in the wrong place, going to a Chris Rock show and getting offended by the word retarded.” My wife looks at her ticket and says, “Hmm, my ticket doesn’t say I’m here to see Unnecessarily Angry White Man perform.” People in line laugh. His wife is trying to hide. I’m standing with pride because it’s obvious now to this dude that you do not fuck with my wife.

I mean, not in that
trendy-bar-SoCal-meathead-who-thinks-he’s-a-MMA-fighter-
bumps-into-my-wife-and-spills-her-Vodka-soda-
but-I’m-also-on-steroids-so-I-turn-the-bar-into-the-Octagon
kind of way.
No, no, no, I mean: Do Not Fuck With My Wife.

For instance,
walking down Bourbon Street, Old Testament white lady is bringing down the wrath on a young Planned Parenthood street canvasser, “God has promised to strike you down with all those baby-killing whores.” I’m like, “Jeez, lady, you just fucked with my wife.” I turn to see my wife using PBIS restraint strategies to move Old Testament white lady up the street while saying, “Yeah, yeah, lady, why don’t you take God’s promise and lock it up with all his other broken ones? Your time’s up!” Old Testament white lady turns and disappears up the street, still shouting to the sky. My wife walks back, signs the petition, donates $10, and says, “Honey, we should get some po’ boys.” I look at the Planned Parenthood canvasser, he looks at me, and we shrug like, Do not fuck with my wife.

I mean, not in that
I-own-her-so-I-call-her- “my wife” -to-prove-that-she’s-mine
kind of way.
No, no, no, I really mean: DO. NOT. FUCK. WITH. MY. WIFE.

For instance,
her bosses target strong-willed women who present threats to their authority. A hostile work environment is created. Her co-workers quit or transfer. My wife blows the whistle. She’s attacked, harassed, slandered, “Aggressive.” She keeps blowing the whistle. She’s threatened, accused, libeled, “Insubordinate.” She’s still blowing the whistle. She’s investigated, violated, defamed, “Bitch.” Finally, someone hears her whistle. Her bosses’ time is up. DO. NOT. FUCK. WITH. MY. WIFE.

For instance,
she’s recovering from that trauma. Her new boss forces his frail masculinity onto her. She survives. She reports. She’s doubted. She’s coerced. She survives. She’s minimalized. She attacks his pocket. She survives. His time’s up too. DO. NOT. FUCK. WITH. MY. WIFE.

And I mean this in that
I’m-just-a-husband-smirking-proudly-in-the-background-at-the-fact-that-I-am-in-love-with-
this-powerful-woman-who-does-what’s-right-when-it-needs-to-be-done-while-I-just-write-
poems-about-it-so-actually-go-ahead-and-fuck-with-my-wife-at-your-own-risk
kind of way.

Ty Brack
Ty Brack

Ty Brack is a poet, Hip hop artist, teacher, and youth organizer from the outskirts of Portland, OR. His poetry has been published in Northwest Passage and is set to be published in Writers Resist. 

He can be seen performing his poetry from time-to-time at the wonderful Portland poetry events, Slamlandia, Portland Poetry Slam, and WordLights, and his music is available on all major digital streaming platforms. 

Ty Brack also organizes youth poetry jams in his community, providing young poets the opportunity to increase their social-emotional health through creative expression. You can follow @ty.brack.poetry on Instagram

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Watercolor for the Soul

Watercolor for the Soul

Watercolor for the Soul by Victoria Oliver

Can I just write
About something beautiful
Not educational or earth-shattering
Just a smattering
Of word paint
Watercolor for the soul
Like a sunset or fruit bowl
The sound of nothingness
While looking at the stars
Or the deafening roar of a waterfall
Drowning out the dark

How the soothing sound of crickets chirping
Brings me back to being ten
Sleeping in the basement of my grandparents’ again
I just floated away from my complicated life
And was someone else for a while
Loved and valued just for being a child

I used to walk forever under the almond trees
Make my way to the edge of the Tuolumne
I’d walk out to the bridge
And watch the clear water swirl by
And then row in the aluminum boat
And feel strong and light

My grandparents’ stories of the past
Mingled with my dreams for the future
And now I wish I could go there
For one last great adventure

I’m so glad I got to go there with you
Before time buried the memories from view
Reflection sometimes makes rose-colored glasses
And even more, as time passes
But that’s ok with me
Give me the almond tree

Come away with me
To the whisper of the river
The echo of the cliffs
The stillness of the blue towering sky
Hot, fragrant grass fields slowly sun-dried
To the old bungalow and it’s storage tower
Beckoning us to rummage hour after hour
To the dredge camp and all its history
Stories shaded in the overgrown trails
Weathered remains of cabins speak veiled
And now that you’ve shared this with me
We’ll keep it alive in our memories
<strong>Victoria Oliver</strong>
Victoria Oliver

I was born near Santa Cruz, California, and grew up in Spokane, Washington. Many of my childhood summers were spent exploring California’s Central Valley (especially Yosemite) with my grandparents. I made my way to beautiful Portland, Oregon sixteen years ago and soon met my wonderful husband. We have two amazing, creative tween daughters together. There’s never a dull moment at our house!

When I’m not writing or spending time with my family, I enjoy playing around on the piano, singing, photography, walking, knitting, and reading.

I’ve been writing poems and songs since I was nine years old as a way to process my thoughts and emotions. I’ve always loved rap, the sound of spoken word rhymes, and learning other languages. I take poetry seriously, but if I try too hard, nothing flows.

I’ve just started sharing my writing on Instagram at @word_awakening. I’d love to someday do poetry readings and compile a book of poetry to share.

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Be Happy by Evie H

Be Happy by Evie H

Be Happy by Evie H

Be Happy
Real life is boring
No shame that it’s straight vodka you’re pouring.
Be Happy
The whole world’s depressed
Get up, get out, get stupidly dressed.
Be Happy
You may not get better luck
The only solution is not to give a fuck.
Be Happy
Your critics won’t be able to cope
That they failed to drain you of all your hope.
Be Happy
Shut down that stupid inner voice
Be Happy today – make it your choice!
Evie H
Evie H

I am from Northern Ireland. I like to write to process the confusing and conflicting emotions I feel about life. Life is messy. It’s hard to try to deal with all the mess, especially in your own head. 

Writing is a privilege for me. I love that writing, like reading, can connect everyone. I try to make it humorous, because I feel like life is part tragic part hilarious, if you’re not laughing, you might be crying. If the past hasn’t tried to hurt you, the future certainly will have a go. However, writing is a hobby and I do not have any published work. 

My favourite thing to do in my spare time is to listen to Desert Island Discs because I love people’s stories and music. 

This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, with no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little magazine afloat. Thanks for your support. Read full disclosure here. 

Sweet November by Micheline Mourad

Sweet November by Micheline Mourad

Sweet November by Micheline Mourad

Love as sweet
As I can remember
A new beginning
New chance or maybe
A reminder
To all broken hearts
And tired souls
Not to surrender
To the bitter taste
Left by October
Nor to be afraid
For it’s not meant
To last forever
So hold your Hopes high
Dare to dream
Fall in love
And reach the sky
For as long as I can remember
This is the true taste
Of a sweet November

Meet Micheline

Micheline Mourad
Micheline Mourad

 Hello, I’m Micheline Mourad, from Lebanon.  I’m a 25-year-old graduate with a degree in teaching English as a second language.  My career life never affects my dream of becoming a writer/poet.  

My hobbies are for sure writing and reading for other poets. My passion for poetry has become a rising dream for me till I came up with Poetic Dream.

Below you’ll find my IG link where you’ll read romance, real life relatable poems and quotes that I hope you enjoy reading.

I have a collection of poems (not published yet) and now working on Poetic Dreams short stories you’ll find on IG too.
Hope you fall in love of my poetry!  

This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, with no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little magazine afloat. Thanks for your support. Read full disclosure here. 

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving 2019 | Family, Loss and Forgiveness by Deanna Ramirez

Trigger Warning: Touches on childhood abuse and death.

Last night, I learned my grandfather passed away. I said my goodbye on Monday morning. His eyes, narrow slits, peered at me briefly. I think he saw me, though I don’t know for sure.  

I haven’t seen my grandfather for nearly two years. He and my grandmother lived with my aunt. She and I had a falling out years back.  She doesn’t like me around. So I’m no longer invited to birthdays or holiday celebrations.

Family history

I come from a family of enablers.  Many family members who protect and huddle around those who do bad things.  It’s a systemic issue, starting at the top.  That’s how disease is.  It begins at the pinnacle, then spreads as far as it’s allowed to reach. If nothing fights it. If no one uses antibiotics or anti-viral practices, it spreads its infection everywhere.

The vicious cycle of abuse continues in families so long as enablers are present. So long as enablers don’t acknowledge their part in it. This cycle distanced me from most of my family. Family that I moved to Oregon to be near. 

Silence

I wrote a micro-poem months ago and shared it on Instagram: “Silence. The most underrated weapon.” 

I know this to be true.  Sickness. Evil. It flourishes with silence.  In abusive families, it’s silently demanded. My experience with this broke my heart. My family rewarded the silence and shunned the truth when I spoke out. Speaking out, talking about it at all, met with discomfort, curiosity, judgment, and nothing at all.  

As a child, I experienced the worst violation. Never did I speak of it. Guilt and shame kept me quiet. Confusion and the inability to understand why it happened kept me silent too. I’ll spare you the unnecessary private details and include only those aspects surrounding it.

Breaking my silence set me free. And it didn’t set me free. It was not an instant band-aid. Speaking the truth was messy and confusing in ways I couldn’t expect.

In fact, breaking my silence at twenty-six years old led to the destruction of a marriage and my family as I once knew it. Instead of relief, it filled me with a fear of people “knowing”, and many unexpected emotions for me to process.  I didn’t process them. 

The problem with silence is that in its power, it creates a habit of it.  I became great at burying my feelings. Making them go away completely.  It wasn’t real.  I needed to believe that. When things aren’t real, they can’t hurt you. 

Cousins and Truth

A few years ago we had a “cousin retreat” at the beach. I’m the eldest of eighteen cousins, most of which live in Oregon. We rented a large beach house. Many of my cousins and their families showed up, and all was fun and light-hearted. Until…

One cousin asked me about my childhood. About the thing I kept silent about. My stomach flipped when she asked. But I saw her eyes. I don’t know how long ago she learned of it, but she had questions and concern and I could see she needed answers. I did not owe her answers. But I love my cousin and don’t want her to speculate on details of that nature so I answered each question she asked. Other cousins trickled into the room we occupied. They had questions too.

The next day, a family member that wasn’t part of the private discussion said something to me at breakfast. He felt it was inappropriate that I talked about my childhood trauma during our happy gathering. He seemed to think I started the conversation and offered the gory details of my childhood unsolicited. His side remark punched me in the gut and I felt embarrassed and ashamed.

An aunt who joined our cousin beach retreat stepped in to comfort the family member who shamed me. “If you want to talk about it, for some perspective,” she said, concerned. She ignored me standing there in the kitchen. Standing there in disbelief. Everyone else quiet, eyes down at their breakfast.

I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that day. It hurt me deeply. Instead, I’ve only screamed in dreams. Vivid dreams where I screamed everything I never knew I wanted and needed to say. Just writing this – the pain is there still.

Family Shame

Remembering that moment at breakfast with my cousin, whom I love, still makes my heart ache. It chokes me up. How could he not understand? How could he blame me? Why would he shame me by scolding me like that?

It wasn’t his fault. My aunt shielded him from the truth.  A family of enablers protecting the wrong people. In doing so, many of my family members had the wrong information. Can’t fault them for that. 

Still, it hurts.  No family member outside my immediate family (except for one aunt who sent a text message) expressed compassion for what happened to me.  No sympathy or empathy. Only judgment, questions, and now, separation and exclusion.  No invites to Thanksgiving dinner.  

And I buried it. For the past few years, I have replaced disappointment and hurt with anger and no shits given

I’ve spoken of the beach house incident twice to family members. Or tried to.  Always, it came out in this feverish, don’t-know-how-to-say-it way. I searched earnestly for an understanding response. A sign of support. Both times, it left me feeling worse than I did before. Sorry, it was inappropriate of me to bring it up.

Now, I save this topic, in any capacity, for my entrusted circle. It consists of few people. They know who they are. (My sisters, especially. I love you!)

This is my first time writing about it. My vague it. Because I still don’t like to call it what it is.

The reason I share now, with you…

Because Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. My grandfather just died and my brain is on my family. As death does, it claws reality up to the harsh surface and forces you to face it.

My whole life, people preached grace and forgiveness to me. “Forgiveness sets you free.” “Forgiveness is for you, not for them.” My small, developing brain hard-wired itself to silence. As a child, the only way I could forgive was to pretend it never happened at all. “Forgiveness” is an enabler’s favorite tool. It’s evil’s favorite control device.

Not to say forgiveness has no place. However, if someone violates you, forgiveness is a default expectation. It should not be. We should not force forgiveness down throats of little girls and women, young or old. It’s confusing. It is harmful.

Thanksgiving 2019 – Empowerment

This Thanksgiving I’m taking back my power. Yes, it’s cliché, but dammit, it’s a good cliché!

I’m thankful for the family I have that supports and loves me unconditionally. My brothers and sisters. Mother and stepmother. My husband and children. They know my truth and never judged or shamed me for it.

I believe in forgiveness.  This Thanksgiving I forgive myself. The little girl who silenced herself to survive. 

I forgive the young woman that broke her silence, changing the dynamics of her family forever. I forgive the single mother who believed she failed her children time and time again.  A mother who wasn’t always emotionally or mentally present in the months and years following divorce. 

My forgiveness of self won’t happen overnight.  I type this and share it with you to make myself accountable. I have much healing to do and it won’t be easy. Not with the ease in which I fall back into the bury-it-and-forget-it mode.  Not with the small hurts that occur from extended family who open up old wounds.  My wounds require serious naturopathic therapy.  Deep cleansing and flushing out of toxins.

Forgive yourself this Thanksgiving.

Now that I’ve shared personal information in vague detail, I hope to inspire you to contemplate forgiveness and what it means for you. 

This Thanksgiving, I implore you to focus on YOU.  To those who experienced abuse, for those who suffer in silent guilt, it’s not your job to forgive your offender.  It’s our life’s work to forgive ourselves.  To reclaim our power.  Erase the stigma we have of ourselves. Practice true self-love.  It’s the only way we can be free. And the only way we can truly give love to those around us who deserve it. 

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for you. Thank you for reading my words and my truth. Thank you for your support and love. xoxo, Deanna

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Poetry by Jason Bayliss

Poetry by Jason Bayliss

Walk the Paths Well Trodden by the Brave

Poetry by Jason Bayliss

Walk the paths well trodden by the brave,
Live boldly my son, embrace your fears and let them drive you on,
Be master of your hurts not slave,
Value the story in your scars, pity those that have none.

Treasure every tear that rolls on your cheek,
Let them fall on barren ground knowing their waters bring life,
Their salt does not cleanse the lips of the meek
In the same way as those that shoulder their strife.

Let your heart be broken a dozen times,
Rather than close it in fear of all that would break it,
In love be fierce but never blind,
Love true and honest so that none can mistake it.

Face your end with a defiant smile,
Recount all the steps that have led you hence,
Insist that the reaper tarry a while,
Enjoy a few moments at his expense.

And in that final time, when he asks,
Fix him with a gaze both firm and steady,
Acknowledge that he has, “Other tasks,”
And calmly say, “I’m ready.”

Meet Jason

<strong>Jason Bayliss</strong>
Jason Bayliss

My name is Jason Bayliss. I’m 51 and live in a little village outside of Lincoln, UK. I wrote my first proper poem when I was about 12 years old. Poetry back then was a way of dealing with a particularly turbulent adolescence, a way of speaking when I couldn’t speak. I pretty much stopped when I was 16 and only really started again in January of this year. Since then I’ve written about 150 poems.

Writing for me is catharsis, experimentation and trying to share some life lessons with my kids. Also I’m dyslexic and it helps me to put my thoughts in order. I remain, at the moment unpublished. I do a tough and demanding job and in my downtime like to relax with my family and also enjoy a bit of archery. You can view all of my current work on Instagram @jason.bayliss.186

This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, with no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little magazine afloat. Thanks for your support. Read full disclosure here. 

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Hold On. Let Go.

Hold On. Let Go.

Poetry by Liz Baronofsky 

It’s hard to explain the part of your journey
You have to face alone
I’ve been dangling on a thread
For a good portion of my life
Hooked by fear
Teetering between holding on
And letting go
Of most things
Of almost everything

I’ve been as close as a step away from giving up
5 steps away from moving forward
10 steps away from running
A mountain away from faith
And at times
Inches away from the edge

(Hold on tight the pendulum is shifting).

About the Poet

<strong>Liz Baronofsky</strong>
Liz Baronofsky

I grew up in a small town, right outside Philadelphia. I am a full-time Mom, Registered Nurse and also own a photography business (B Philly Photography). I spend as much time outdoors as possible and feel most connected and grounded amongst nature. 

Writing has carried me through the best and worst times of my life. I lost my father to cancer at age 7 and when you’re that young you don’t carry the capacity to truly comprehend such a large loss. As I got older, the only way I could give that part of me a voice was through writing. As an adult, right before my oldest daughter was born, I started having debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Writing was one of the few outlets I had to help me process and navigate through those experiences.

Now, with the very recent loss of my sister, I have found that writing has truly been a saving grace for me. I am currently putting a manuscript together for a book. Hopefully, in the near future, it will be published.

You can follow me on instagram @wage_the_war  Instagram

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The #1 Writing Tool

Cozy Stars

Cozy Stars

Poetry by Andrew Person

The couch needs air,
I know a magic trick.

Past the overpass,
at the edge of the winding barracuda’s neck.

A delta of delight, the ingredients for the perfect night,
stars to warm our eyes, the universe is comfier.  
<strong>Andrew Person</strong>
Andrew Person

Andrew Person lives in Portland, Oregon with his Jack Russell mix (Eleven) and spends most days diving into new books. And while writing has become a great pastime, he’ll always make time for healthy procrastination breaks. 

Instagram: hawnter_99

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Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea

By Deanna Ramirez

It is though in those years⠀
I was lost at sea⠀

Longed hard for love’s arms ⠀
to wrap warmth around me⠀

Instead glacial glares ⠀
Frost dealt cold as ice⠀

Left to tread frigid dread⠀
Just so you would play nice

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The Little Shed

The little shed is painted blue
with two old chairs for me and you
We sit and talk till stars shine high
Discuss wild dreams and sometimes cry
The shed is dark and meant for tools
but staged just right for dreaming fools
One day we'll laugh and reminisce
Having checked off goals from
our shed dream list

Dedicated to my honey. ❤
-Deanna Ramirez ©