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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Gravity and Unrequited Love

Gravity and Unrequited Love

Gravity and Unrequited Love by Amber Jasinski

Depersonalization is the feeling of being disconnected from one’s physicality.
My body is here but my mind is wherever you are.
I ache for you like a phantom limb...
acutely aware of your absence.
I searched, but was unable to find a word that describes what it is to feel present in my body only when it is in close proximity to yours.
My mind wages a constant assault against any thought that crosses through that does not pertain to you.
I manifest a life with you through daydreams.
Derealization is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems unreal.
How I only feel like my truest self when I’m with you; But I’m never really ‘with’ you...
Just a deep visceral longing.
When you’re gone I feel this immense emptiness where you should be.
Like the infinite density of a black hole.
If it weren’t for gravity, we wouldn’t even know black holes exist.
You’re my gravity.
And I’m slowly collapsing in on myself like a dying star to become nothing and everything all at the same time.
Amber Jasinski
Amber Jasinski

Amber Jasinski has been writing poetry about the human experience and mental illness for the past several years. She has an undergraduate degree in nursing and works full time as a Registered Nurse. 

Amber is a wife and mother and lives in a full house with her husband, 3 daughters, 2 young grandchildren, her younger brother, and 2 awesome dogs! She enjoys writing as an avenue to explore her own journey with mental illness and to promote mental health advocacy. 

Amber writes under the name ajblueorion on social media where you’ll find her “lost somewhere between the words and melancholy madness.”

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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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Love Conspiracy by Sharon Dunn

Love Conspiracy by Sharon Dunn

Love Conspiracy by Sharon Dunn

My feelings for you have made me an anomaly to this programming. A fact that has tested my sanity and grace. Months without you feels like decades without years. At times, I have to remember that it is okay to miss you, that I do deserve the memory of your voice repeating in my head. So I lay here, follow the stretch marks you left behind and Whisper your name. Hoping that one day, you will be silenced enough to listen. Decipher the constant humming between your ears and reveal the aberrations in your dreams. If not, your freedom will be granted through my peculiar qualities. Eventually, you will understand the mystery of my choices. Until then,  I will hold myself the way I first cradled you. Except this time, I’ll make sure it is much harder for you to let you go.

Meet Sharon Dunn

Sharon Dunn
Sharon Dunn

My name is Sharon Dunn I am a 32-year-old mother. Writing and meditation saved my life. It’s allowed me to live the best version of myself and that’s really what I write about.  

Awakening and the spiritual aspects to life that we are programmed to ignore. The freedom in feeling our feelings and the revelation of our godlike nature. I love reading, dancing, cooking and running.
My daughter, family and twin are my greatest inspirations. I look forward to sharing and learning from my experiences with all of you.

Follow me on Instagram! Username: mindgallery74

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Love in 5D

Love in 5D

Love in 5D by Ariana Iverson

My problem with love is 
I’ve been looking for the visual package.

Someone who looks like this long list of standards
That I made up in my head.

Physical attributes that don’t even matter.

I’ve been searching for love in all the wrong places
Hoping that when I see him 
I would know he was the one

But now I’m understanding 
it’s not what I see
But what I feel

Someone who makes me feel
like he understands me
We fit together like puzzle pieces 

We create a picture that shows what love is supposed to be
A connection with someone who holds my mind, 
protects my heart,
and wants to create with me

Mind Body and Spirit

We allow ourselves to get lost in the oneness of each other
We accept discovering love beyond the physical

We create a love that is 5th dimensional

Meet Ariana

<strong>Ariana Iverson </strong>
Ariana Iverson

My name is Ariana Iverson and I am from Los Angeles, CA.  I’m a counselor and therapeutic art life coach turned entertainment business manager focusing on working with various artists, musicians and other creatives.  I help them find a balance in their personal and professional careers through creative entrepreneurship. 

Creative writing is my personal safe-haven where I write scripts, novels and poetry. I self-published my first poetry book “Poems to a King: Can I get you High” and released it June 17, 2019 on Amazon. Currently, I’m working on my 2nd book, “Poems for Freedom and The Pursuit of Happiness”, coming in 2020.  My other interests include yoga, magic and self-care. 

Instagram @hiighoffarii

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Tainted Love by Robert Pillow

Tainted Love by Robert Pillow

Tainted Love by Robert Pillow IV

Your caressing touch
is never too much 
with the sweetness of your tongue. 
As your fingers crawl upon my skin, feeling you deep within. 
Dipped in chocolate, 
Rich in gold, 
No amount of karats are equivalent 
to your worth.
Glazed with elegance, 
As your eyes have me mesmerized 
As your Opaque beauty
Dazed me as I caress your body rapidly.
Sheets tossed like a tornado through Texas.
Everything feels enhanced,
Stay with me... give me a chance.
Roadkill feels this aggressive drive,
As I grip those voluptuous thighs,
I realize you’re ALL woman.
Your love stretches further,
Than any latitude or longitude on this earth.
And your love is forever tainted on my body.

Meet Robert

<strong>Robert Pillow IV</strong>
Robert Pillow IV

I take writing poetry seriously. It’s one of my favorite hobbies ever since middle school. 

Robert has a published book, Unspoken Reality: Lessons Learned. He hails from Anchorage, Alaska
Instagram: @artizleeiv

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I Cherish

I Cherish

By Amrita Singh

I Cherish.
I Cherish the smell of the earth after the first rain, the greenery, the trees and the chirping of the birds.

I Cherish a long walk with wandering thoughts.
A sip of a cool lemonade in the summer heat,
The aroma of a freshly baked cake.

I Cherish the music blasting in my ears as I let my mind dive into the beats without a care of the world.

The scraping of the pen on paper, the musky scent of an old book, a flower in full bloom.

A smiling face, a beautifully and aimless conversation. A hearty meal and infectious laughter.

The heat of a lover’s touch, the butterflies in the stomach.
The dazed eyes, the sharp intake of breath.

The realisation that you are in love, the heartbreaks the sad songs.

The meaning in the medleys, the sadness in the lyrics. The loneliness and the happiness.

I Cherish them all.

I Cherish the soft fur and the soft purr, that someone who makes me a bowl of steaming soup when I am down with cold or to have a cup of piping hot coffee while I drift off to the land of the fairies.

An act of kindness, an admission of love. The asking for advice and that unexpected hug.

I Cherish it all. I Cherish them all!

Meet the Poet

<strong>Amrita Singh</strong>
Amrita Singh

My name is Amrita Singh, 23 bar din Mumbai, India.  

I used to plan Weddings for a living, but now I am looking forward to writing full time. I love it spin out poetries as they say so much in so little.  You can check out my work on Instagram: @lifettroves
 
Currently, I’m working on my blog and hopefully it will be routine and out soon! 

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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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Ex Lover

Ex Lover

By Deanna Ramirez

 Lover you will not be the death of me ⠀
Never have I relinquished such power ⠀
Allowing you only the idea of it ⠀
Raving lunacy of self absorption with eyes to see ⠀
only what they wish⠀
My aura billows abundant radiant light⠀
consuming me⠀
And I embrace it⠀

Ex Lover⠀
bound in darkness too blind to ever see the light 

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 ©