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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Shadows of My Past

Shadows of My Past

Shadows of My Past by Marie Anaïs Tessa L’Etang

It kept on following me
No matter how long or how fast I ran
Pinched myself a thousand times
In hope of waking up from this nightmare
They were out to get me
I could feel the darkness caving in
Soon it was cold, I was out of breath
It caught me, it wanted to kill me
I have been running from the shadows of my past for years
I was finally realising my dream
but the light made the shadows reappear
I was made to remain in the dark,left hopeless and walked upon
That was the message my shadows told me
While stripping myself of all dreams, hopes and life
<strong>Marie Anaïs Tessa L'Etang </strong>
Marie Anaïs Tessa L’Etang

I am from Mauritius.  I’m still in high school, so school and tuitions and studying leave little time for a job or for many hobbies but I write and read every day. Since I was small, writing fascinated me.  It has only been an everyday hobby but I hope one day I can publish a book with poems. Instagram: anais.tessa

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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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The Gift of Presence

The Gift of Presence

The Gift of Presence by Terra Vagus

My anxieties are always chasing the future.

Frustration grows as I know
I will never leave the present.

I’ll seclude myself from you
to include myself with me.

Nothing exists when I am alone.

I stop time.
contemplate existence.

Nothing exists when I am alone.

But my skin still falls ever so slightly with each thought passing me by.

A cruel reminder that I am wrong.

Even when my clock stops
the world clock tick-tocks.

As I relentlessly obsess over what comes next
I abandon the present.

I abandon the future.

I am stuck in a construct of my own lifeline.

I’m unsure how to see outside this frame of mind.

My ego is my enemy.
My only security.

The present comes packaged with a ribbon
that I don’t have the guts to undo.
Terra Vagus
Terra Vagus


Terra Vagus is an introverted 20-something who resides in the Pacific Northwest. When they aren’t writing, they either have their nose in a book or they are out scouring abandoned and creepy places for anything paranormal.

Terra Vagus is a lover of animals, literature, ghosts and the Earth. 

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Poetry by Karissa

Poetry by Karissa

My Heart is an Envious Prisoner at the Party

Written by Karissa Seibel

Stealth and her sisters have taken 
residence at the cul-de-sacs of my nerves.
They held house warmings,
let the hot air humble itself until
it sank down upon the guests’ shoulders 
as a cool, refreshing breeze,
served hors d’oeuvres for every thought of their origin.
When you look me in my eyes tonight,
you’ll find it useful to know my envy
for the ones who aren’t afraid to dance
at the party, the ones who bulldoze
the properties of preconceived panic
and stomp the dust into the ground while 
luscious laughter sings between their lips.
I have tried all my life to let myself out
of my meaty enclosure, but
there’s a reason they call it your rib cage,
for how can a heart never, at least once, 
feel like a prisoner?
When I tell you I do not wish to go out tomorrow,
know that I am not surrendering my plight,
but I am finding a loophole -
a place where I can unlace the corset,
let myself bulge as I ooze a sugary sap of porcelain melting,
of nature in its nonjudgmental air.
When I confess my love for you,
you might find it monumental,
for I have never been this wide open.
<strong>Karissa Seibel</strong>
Karissa Seibel


I am 17 and from Ohio, USA. For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing. I started out with short stories and began writing poetry a few years ago, but began focusing heavily on it just this year.

As this is my senior year of high school, it is time for me to decide what I wish to pursue for a career. I am still a little indecisive, but one of my top choices is to have a career in editing. I just don’t see myself not being involved in the art of writing!

Some of my other hobbies include makeup and fashion. While I only practice those hobbies for fun, I take my writing seriously. Although I do not have a job in the field, I have an Instagram account: @karissa_thinks_in_ink.

I’m always looking at ways in which I can improve as a poet and I am looking forward to continuing to pursue this craft in my future, whether it’s part of my day job or on the side. I hope you enjoy my work and am ever grateful for the opportunities! 

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Yellow

Yellow by Olivia Weeden

A poem by Olivia Weeden

You are yellow to me.
Sunny, happy, bright.
But sometimes,
A little too bright.
A little piercing.
A little blinding.
Yellow speaks of caution,
To slow down.
But sometimes,
We see a yellow light
And go even faster.
A little too fast.
In the right shades,
In the right amounts,
In the right places,
You are calming.
Reminding me of how real
And vibrant everything is.
Keeping me grounded
In yellow.
Yellow is beautiful.
In the right light,
You are golden,
You are soft.
In the right light,
You are harsh,
You are reflective
Of everything I don't want to see
In myself.
You are a highlighter.
Pointing out the information
I need most.
But sometimes 
I get a bit carried away
With my highlighter.
Sometimes I look down,
And an entire page is yellow.
You are overwhelming and
Underwhelming and not
A single bit 
Too yellow. Not
A single bit
Too much.
Because you are you.
You are yellow.
And you are wonderful,
And scary,
And bright,
And soft,
And perfect.
And I love you,
And I thank you,
For being yellow.
<strong>Olivia Weeden</strong>
Olivia Weeden

I’m from Saratoga Springs NY and am a student at Saratoga Springs High School. I love to read and write, and music is also something I’m very passionate about. I love to play cello and am in a quartet and a youth symphony in addition to being a part of my school’s chamber orchestra.

I have also worked part time at a flower farm for the past two years. Writing is something I’ve loved for as long as I can remember, and I am often inspired by the people and places I hold dear. Although it is only a hobby for me at the moment, I hope I can use writing in a much greater capacity in my future.

My Instagram is @olivia_weeden.

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Affinity

Affinity

A poem by Ryan Flett

At night
the moon
pulls at something
in your blood
like it does
the tides,
an embrace
by the heavens
that sense
the stardust
in your veins.
<strong>Ryan Flett</strong>
Ryan Flett

My name is Ryan and I live in Colton, Oregon. I work as a registered nurse, but I also have a degree in English from Portland State University. I’ve always loved writing, but this year I finally decided to make a go of it.

My writing mostly focuses on our connection with nature. Some of my favorite poets include Mary Oliver and Charles Wright. I’m hoping to self-publish my first collection of poems in the near future. 

When I’m not reading or writing my heart out, I’m frequently playing with my two dogs, enjoying a cup of coffee, working on computer programming projects, playing Dungeons and Dragons, or hanging out down at the local record store. 

I frequently post original poems on Twitter. You can follow me @ryanwritespoems 

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

The Child Finder

Book Review by Deanna M Ramirez

The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Child Finder moves effortlessly. I couldn’t wait until I had free moments to read this book.

I wanted to find out where Naomi went next. To discover what happened to Madison and Snow Girl. The story unfolds, allowing you to get to know the characters just the right amount.

Naomi is brilliant. A strong female protagonist who kicks butt and creates her own path. The mystery of her past is provocative and intriguing. I want to read the second book to learn more about Naomi, and I think anyone who reads The Child Finder will feel the same.

In a nutshell: It’s a page turner. Has a great momentum to the climax. Solid ending. I have closure as a reader, but want to read more. Empowering read for women. I highly recommend it! My goal for my first novel (just completed) is to turn pages for the readers the way I turned pages reading this book.



View all my reviews

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If Love is A Tale

If Love is A Tale

By Aaradhya Aggarwal

Blood in my veins,
In a frozen state,
Sliding like wine
On his curved, red lips.

Smoke in the air;
My thoughts burning.
Gaze stuck on the window,
Is the rain coming?

Lock my hands,
Throw the keys,
Push me in the fire,
Watch it melt with me.

If love is a tale,
Then what is your role?
Dying for your lover,
Or let him kill you on his own?
Or let him kill you on his own?
<strong>Aaradhya Aggarwal </strong>
Aaradhya Aggarwal

I am from Uttar Pradesh, India.
My hobbies include writing songs, singing, and sketching.

I am a high school student. Writing is amusing for me, but I also plan to publish my work. I have my poem “Rain On Fire” published in the book “Bloom: Poems of Loss, Heartbreak, and New Beginnings” presented by Poem Wars and edited by R.J. Hendrickson.

I have a poetic account on Instagram: @_ocean_mind_

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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Ethel Beauregard is Not Dead

Ethel Beauregard is not dead

By Jayla Martin

Ethel Beauregard is not dead.
Ethel Beauregard is alive.
She died, not with a choked gasp, scream
Not metal or a screech
Ethel Beauregard died of paper cuts on her fingers and face
She died, not of heartbreak, but of a heart made whole too many times.

She did not die with her whole life ahead of her,
For she was old, and knew better than to dream,
Nor with her whole life before her eyes
But thinking only of one place…

Somewhere in the world there is a procession of weepers, dressed in black, and circling an open grave.
I am not there.
I am in a library.
A forgotten corner
Full of yellowing books of poetry and light from a single window,
a wooden chair, and a single desk
And perhaps I knew her better than anyone else:

For she did not die full of courage, strength or humility,
But full of brass keys to unopened locks to unopened rooms that lay old and forgotten,
She died full of yellowed letters, tragedy unread
She did not live of cloud and light
But of wood and dust she is buried
As she always was.

She did not die of old age
It was not old age that killed her

Don’t look for her in a hole, or at a grave of stone.
She is not there.
Ethel Beauregard is buried here
In the forgotten corner of a library
Among yellowing books of poetry
In the light from the window
Among spines of poems that mourn and weep the emotions never read
The forgotten poetry of the unnamed thousand
Covered in dust

Ethel Beauregard is not dead
For she lives in the corners of a library
Where forgotten things go to rest.
<strong>Jayla</strong> <strong>Martin</strong>
Jayla Martin

I am a devoted poet and aspiring journalist in Greensboro, North Carolina who writes to perceive and interpret the world around me.

As someone with an innate affinity for words, I always want to get better at my writing and pursue it throughout my life.

When I’m not busy studying or helping with my local poetry club, I’m spending time in my own head daydreaming or I’m trying to rope friends into an impromptu card game.

Instagram: @wethetragedy

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