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October 2018

Judgement Day

· rage,resistance,feminism

collage: Brittany Von Hoene

Because a year of the world is not the same as a year of the body.

- Lydia Millet in My Happy Life

From rage to respite - send your words to The Stay Project.

Darren C. Demaree

EMILY AS WE TURN OFF THE SOUND OF MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

America is strange.

Old white men

are describing

the bodies of young

black men

with such lust

on their tongues

that it’s changed

the mood

in our living room.

They use the word

“possession” more

than they think they do.

America is strange

& transparent

in that strangeness.

We all want to leap

towards the grass

with treasure

in our hands,

but I can’t reach

for Emily while

billionaires tell me

the score of anything.

America is strange

& terrible most

of the time,

but America has

many rooms

& in one of them

is Emily. She

leaves the couch

when I turn

on the game.

Follow me to Emily.

She likes to dance

& whisper lovely

things about people

she’s met in passing.

She turns off

the lights of America.

She lights candles.

America is strange

& is still punishing

mercilessly those

that cannot be male,

be white, or be quiet

& I cannot stop

being American,

but I can love Emily

& the full, deep

America that I know

is decreasingly white,

sometimes male

& never quiet.

I can do that.

America is strange

& I love the strangeness

of America,

but my heart

is way too full to hold

on to an America

without these people.

I’d give up America

before I gave up Emily

& before I gave up you.

Darren C. Demaree is living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. He is the author of eight poetry collections. He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. He is also the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal, and the recipient of ten Pushcart Prize nominations. Currently, he is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

Shamar English

SANCTIMONIOUS

This society we live in is hard to stomach. Why would I say such a thing? Honesty is the best policy. I don’t like the format of job applications, asking for your ethnicity and gender. I don’t see the practicality in the necessity of those questions. They are preposterous factors determining which individual receives the job and so many studies support this claim. Employers should only make employment decisions that reflect on the candidate’s skills, achievements, education, background, and experience not their appearance. The most qualified candidate should receive the job, but sadly, that is not our reality.

 

I do not like the sound of arming teachers with guns when politicians can pass common sense gun laws. Everyone does not have the right to bear arms especially when all they intend to do is harm others. We have seen the devastating event occur way too many times, but there has been no collective effort to counter it by any of the politicians in office. Yet the best option for combating school shootings is by arming teachers with guns? Excuse my French, but that is just batshit crazy.

 

Teacher’s already deal with enough stress from teaching, school budget cuts, low pay and personal issues but arming them with guns is the best way to alleviate their stress. Here is a simple solution: hire police officers trained to use firearms. I am not a proponent of guns. It is the worst thing foisted upon us since fast food, tobacco, religion, reality television, but that is my perspective.

 

Too many people rationalize white supremacy in our society, but it is not surprising since white supremacy is the foundation of America. Anyone who practices terrorism is a terrorist. There is nothing patriotic about terrorizing and killing your fellow Americans because you have an aversion for their appearance.

 

Anyone struggling with drug abuse should receive help first, but unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. Poor people receive incarceration for drug use. Rich people receive a treatment facility for drug use. Minorities make up the large disproportionate percentage of penitentiaries, which explains why the United States leads the world in the number of incarcerated prisoners per capita, and people who believe in angels and demons but that is another issue.

 

We do not just need prison reform. We need a big red reset button to undo the regression and oppression. We can’t improve our society if we don’t rehabilitate these men and women. I do not understand how people can quibble over abortions but advocate for the death penalty. How can you expect African Americans to stand for the pledge of allegiance when their black lives don’t matter to many Americans?

 

Healthcare should be free for everyone. People should not have to avoid hospitals and doctor offices because they can’t afford health insurance. All students should receive the best education, not just the ones who live in the best area codes. College should be free for everyone, not just available for the few. When everyone thrives, America thrives. Stop throwing nonviolent teenagers into juvenile detention centers and send them to preparatory schools.

 

Food manufacturers need to start placing food labels with all the ingredients on their products because people deserve the knowledge of what their ingesting. Natural resources like water should be free. If we really live in the wealthiest country in the world, no one should be sleeping on the streets.

Cigarettes should be illegal; Marijuana should be legal. Why do I say that? Cigarettes cause cancer; Marijuana does not. Poor people should not have higher taxes than rich people. It is just unethical and malicious. The police need to stop brutalizing people of color and start protecting them. People need to stop ignoring issues in the country that don’t affect them. People need to learn how to keep their hands to themselves and understand that “no” means no. No one has the right to violate anyone’s body, period. People need to stop trying to tell women what to do with their bodies.

 

We need to do a better job at preserving the beauty and health of our environment. We need to stop allowing people to pose as servants of the lord to abuse children. The foster care system is in dire need of a revamp because no child should ever have to face any kind of abuse. We must do a better job at protecting all children. Politicians need to stop encouraging other parents’ children to join the military when they would never encourage their children to do the same.

 

We need more respect for one another. People spend too much time looking at diversity as a threat to America instead of an asset, strength for our nation. How long are we going to continue to repeat past mistakes? Everyone needs to take a deep look into the mirror to assess the quiddity of themselves. When will people realize that no one is more superior than the other? We are all equal even though we’re not all treated as equals. How can you make America great again when it was never great for all Americans?

Shamar English is originally from Santa Barbara, California, but he lives in Douglasville, Georgia. He has an Associate of Arts Degree in film from Georgia State University. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree at Georgia State University. He has pieces published in literallystories2014, Better than Starbuck, the writing disorder, the mystic blue review, eskimopie.net, not your mother’s breast milk, Susan/The Journal, Litro Magazine, Terror House magazine, and Bull & Cross.

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