Wordle #297


Prayers spiral from your flaccid, gaping palms
it’s not a question of sums, it’s a matter of compassion.
Poverty keeps me grounded but it is of little external use.
I am no saint, I’ve suffered more than I have saved
but whenever I give, I give fully and without regret.

My heart is a mobius strip, an itch that never settles.
I tear myself in great strips like wallpaper
but there’s always a room to be made, a custom
to which I must adhere even if my presence appears aberrant.
I lay my chips on the table but my intuition betrays me.
My life isn’t special but to me it means everything
and I won’t let you have it, not for all the lace in the world.

Lists orient me, without them I might remain
locked in the diagonal, a hapless mote
swathed in whatever light the window weeps.
I run from myself but she always gives chase.
She is singing and pleading and I cannot imagine
her face without distress. I do not welcome her,
I even question her loyalty.


Mag 304

valette, adolphe
Adolphe Valette

I invade your gangways,
your exhalations spiraling
like the plumes of a revenant’s cape.
Obstreperous parades foul the streets.
Buildings tangled together
in a sooty, deafening grave.

I dream of impurities
of hexes woven into a tapestry
of undulating feathers.
The rain scrambles underfoot.
My eyes pouring, downcast,
a single heart galloping
behind pitiless windows.

This made up world,
an apocalypse, grim
and force-less. If not for hunger
we’d feel nothing at all.
We are not meant to be whole
for on that day nothing else
would be capable of getting in.
A full man must surely be dead.

low on mojo


I actually wanted to make a video but my face is too pale and I am not really sure how to make a decent one with my archaic webcam and my nonexistent technical skills. I sometimes tell this story because society really scares me and I want to remind people that the “healthy” bodies depicted in the media are not actually healthy at all and mostly consist of emaciated, air-brushed, and dangerously dehydrated models. Mostly though I am telling myself so that as I embark on my new quest for fitness I don’t forget the mistakes I have made in the past.

Orthorexia (a disorder characterized by a morbid obsession with eating healthy foods)

Excessive Exercise (Continuing to exercise when injured or sick, avoiding social functions to exercise, firmly adhering to an obsessive and regimented exercise regime)

I grew up in a low socioeconomic family, food was scarce, meals were missed, and there was no room for picky eaters.

Breakfast might be something like cornflakes and water, lunch a bologna sandwich, and dinner a bowl of rice with stewed tomatoes. I had my preferences same as any other kid but I ate whatever was available, even if it made me sick.

Growing up I often gorged when food was accessible in preparation for those times when we had to go without. I learned not to waste food, even eating food that was spoiled or contaminated out of necessity.

As a baby I had a ton of food sensitivities/allergies and I am not sure if I ever grew out of them so much as my mom had no other choice but to feed me whatever she could scrounge up.

As a child I spent a lot of time with one of my cousins. My cousin had severe health issues which resulted in frequent surgeries, hospital stays, and a serious case of malnutrition. She was very picky about food and as a result we had to cater to her preferences. For me that meant eating a lot of eggs (I was allergic to eggs) and hotdogs (I still hate the smell of ketchup). I came to associate eating with feeling sick.

My mom has been overweight/obese much of her life. It was always assumed I would also be overweight. Couple that with my voracious, garbage disposal appetite, inherited thyroid issues, history of sexual abuse, and a traditional Southern diet and it was more or less guaranteed.

Even before I had weight issues family members would tease me. “Chubby” “Lazy” “Lard Ass” “You’re going to grow up just like your mom, a real fatty, and no man loves a fatty.”

Is it any wonder that I developed issues? I hated my body from the very beginning. My body was disgusting. I took 3 hour baths and burning hot showers. I didn’t want men to notice me. I didn’t want to be touched. I didn’t want to be seen.

By the time I was 12 my primarily meat (bacon) based, carb-deficient diet had resulted in a cumbersome and very unhealthy body. I couldn’t keep pace with my friends. I was excluded from gym. I was the biggest girl in class. Boys ridiculed my weight but grabbed my breasts and looked up my skirt because I was “developed”.

I wanted to change. I had always been told I was fat even before I was fat so that was a given. I knew I was always going to be fat but I thought just maybe I could improve my health. I ate my meals in seclusion but I never skipped or skimped.

I found a book on yoga it included exercise, meditation techniques, breathing techniques, philosophy, and a diet it was perfect, all inclusive. The diet was simple no complicated recipes, no specialty items. The diet meant becoming a vegetarian, giving up sweets and soda, and everything I loved. I decided to go for it. I didn’t weigh myself. I didn’t count calories. My only goal was to be healthier.

The breathing exercises improved my cardio health. The diet gave me tremendous amounts of energy. I had more energy than I could cram into a day. I increased my activity. It got to the point where I had to exercise two hours every night before bed just so I could go to sleep (I also exercised several hours during the day). By high school I had joined a gym. I was taking exercises classes both at school and in the gym. I could go through 1 hour of kickboxing without my pulse rising over 55 bpm. I was underweight (I weighed myself one day after some skinny girls asked me for dieting tips). I couldn’t eat enough yoga foods to maintain a good weight. A part of me was excited, another part horrified by my new skeletal frame. I had some severely underweight friends and it warped my perception of normal. I also had an aunt who kept calling me fat through it all. I gained up to a healthy weight, it was slow going at first. I decided healthy was better despite the disordered thinking fighting so hard to make me sick.

In college I started to gain. I left college went overseas to be with my now husband and continued to gain weight at an increasingly rapid pace. I gained right back to my middle school weight and then I stopped. I moved back to the states. I became a vegetarian again (I had started eating fish and poultry to help me gain the first time) and started to exercise. I went back to college joined the gym. I started to lift. I started taking exercise classes. I fell in love with exercise and suddenly I could do all sorts of new things. I even took dance, I couldn’t dance, but I loved it. I became certified in Pilates. I was eating healthy and exercising a good amount. I was maintaining a healthy weight. My mind was convinced I was fat. I didn’t look like the girls in the fitness magazines and on television. As a Nutrition major I was surrounded by young women with eating disorders, even my teachers had eating disorders but I stuck to 120 lbs (I am 5’4). Then I started to gain weight for no reason. I started exercising more and more until I was exercising 4 hours a day minimum. I subbed out my lunch with a Slimfast shake, which was convenient albeit unhealthy. The Slimfast shakes resulted in Hypoglycemia so I had to stop and go back to regular food again (the Hypoglycemia went away). It was taking everything I had to maintain and then finally I couldn’t maintain anymore. I was obsessed with dieting. I went to the school doctor and he said there’s nothing wrong with your thyroid because you’re a healthy weight. I convinced him to check it out and lo and behold I had Hypothyroidism just like my mom.

Shortly after that I got pregnant. Every time I ate food containing iron it made me vomit. That coupled with years of Menorrhagia and it wasn’t long before I had anemia. Suddenly I had no energy. I couldn’t exercise. I felt horrible. I became depressed to the point of psychotic. I hated my body. I cried whenever I looked in the mirror. I had so much cellulite (something I never had much of even at my heaviest weight). I even hated my breasts for being too big.

After I had my daughter I weighed 148 lbs. A year later eating healthy, exercising daily at home and in the gym and I still weighed 148 lbs. I couldn’t shift the weight. I resigned myself to continue my healthy lifestyle and accept this new body that I absolutely hated. We moved overseas again. With the climate change I went back to eating meat. I continued to eat a lot of Japanese-style foods, something I was becoming increasingly passionate about. I started P90X and I started to lose. I eventually got to my goal weight of 120 lbs. I found it hard to maintain though. I found it hard to be consistent with a small child and with all the stress going on in my life.

A few years ago I gave Gluten-free a try. I had problems with constipation and I thought it might help (it did). Gluten-free has to be strict in order to work so it was very restrictive. I was also careful to eat foods low on the Glycemic Index and I started measuring everything compulsively. I started exercising more and more this time HIIT which I loved. I decided in keeping with modern trends I ought to aim for 115 lbs instead of 120 lbs. I didn’t just have my own Body Dysmorphia to contend with I had society’s Body Dysmorphia. Emaciated actresses on magazines being criticized by the public for being chubby. Fitness models with body fat percentiles so low as to be incapable of menstruation. The idea that a 6 pack on a woman is healthy and that a flat stomach is no longer good enough. Now I knew from studying Nutrition that societies ideal of a healthy female body was completely deluded but if I wanted my efforts recognized didn’t I have to look that way? I got to 115 lbs and decided to go lower. At 107 lbs I was happy to dress up but being naked was a different story (I had to hide my body because at that weight my bones are very visible and so were my bruises). I even dreamed about exercise and dieting when I could sleep. I had gotten my waist to just under 23 inches all with exercise and keeping my calories b/w 1500 and 1800. My stomach was flat, hell it was fucking concave. I was strong. I could do things physically I never dreamed possible. I couldn’t pinch fat. I had 3 lines but no 6 pack. Everyone around me thought I was too skinny they commented constantly. They were worried. Society said you’re normal. I realized by societies’ standards thin means dead. Until I was literally without flesh I would never meet societies standard. So I gained weight.

Over-exercising ruined my immune system and messed up my knees. I even bruised all the bones in my feet but I kept on going (do you know how much bruised bones hurt to jump on?). I kept getting sick until my body would not let me exercise anymore. I gave up the restrictive diet for my mental health and now I weigh 130 lbs which is more than I intended but Depression, a recent surgery, and thyroid issues conspired against me. I am now exercising again but I am keeping it moderate no special diet, no weighing my food just healthy home-cooked meals. I hope that I can keep it moderate and not go off the deep end. Recovery is lifelong.

I see online a lot of people asking if their height and weight is healthy. First of all it isn’t that simple there are all sorts of things to consider muscle mass, frame size, age etc. I don’t know how many time I have seen girls ask I am 24, very active, 5’4 100 lbs is that healthy? The crowd assures her that is normal, guess again that is underweight. Most people have no clue what a healthy weight is and yet they feel qualified to give advice and to give advice with limited information no less.

Wordle #166


A penny prays in the gutter

But not even the tarot will answer

Without an exchange of commodities

Or salacious fluids and a penny is nothing

If not followed by a more persuasive sum.

The copper of your overturned kiss

Dances through my blood, a plague,

A gyration in the dreadful stillness

Of my once gun-wielding heart.

I could love you, levitating, lubricating

A single touch to ease an intrinsic slaughter.

Seduction through the application

Of feverish hands lacks finesse but in a pinch

Anyone will do and I’ve a creature inside of me

That demands the darkness inside of you.

Photo Challenge #49 – Blood Money

Pawel Kuczynski 49
Pawel Kuczynski

The morning alights

Without a spiritual consensus

Poverty may question my means

But success rarely compromises.

I do what I must

To live as I please.


Another amniotic soak in the till

I don’t need to feel

If the marrow spilled

Comes from another man’s bones

I do what I must

To live as I please.


I have a family

Whose infrequent names fall

So oft from my calender

That I dare not meet their accusations.

I do what I must

To live as I please.


My Sisyphean days stoop

Behind a veil of secrecy

Full pockets leave no space

For the warming of hands

I do what I must

To evade the poverty inside.


A quick quick write for


Wordle #41 “Conceit”

Wordle 41 Dec. 29

They gaze upon

His conceit

His mischief

The strangle hold

Of his ridicule

On their bridled necks.

He erects blinds

That his neighbors

Might not find

Fodder for scandal

But whether gelatin

Or steel the scars

Within his heart still set.


The rise and fall

Of his draftsack

Does not belie

The poverty within.

An illeist grumble

Erupts at the intersection

The Apocalypse dawns

Brick by brick

The ghetto unveils

Its atrocities

The fizzle of hunger

Of the underfed

And eager intellect

Education is necessary

But who will guarantee

The right?


His face the color

Of zinc, crude and hypoxic

Whirs like an android.

A sour kiss seals

The lungs once

The quintessential element

Has been extracted.

All it takes is a coin

To reverse a man’s fate

A slip and the grave

Will well up around him

Like a vulture’s vociferous flight.


My cold has been followed by fevers and headaches, why the fevers are coming after the other symptoms are passing I have no idea.




Wordle 40 “Bankrupt”

Wordle 40 Dec. 22

The sun shrinks,


Like a bead of sweat

Behind a linen blouse.

The once wed mother

Swallows a desert

The vile, grainy tears

That hold fast their parapets.


She is bankrupt

While he lies deep

Sound but without ventilation

In the monochrome spectrum

Of her scorpion heart.


That he should die first

That his vices should

Diminish her now

That he should steal

From their children

With debts not their own

Steadies her sentimental yearnings.


A drumbling man

A cactus whose love

Hath no measure

For to chance upon it

Brings only pain

She grits her teeth

And this too is mourning.


A very quick write.

Edge (short nonfiction story with audio)

Drug_Addiction_by_ScottyRobottyArt By: Scotty Robotty

Her fingertips brush against the tumescent flesh of over-ripened tins, impotent banana peels, and the acidic edges of violently deposited bottles. Somewhere within this seething estuary of refuse she hopes to find a solution to hunger. Clutching a bag of recently expired Wonder Bread she raises it triumphantly above her eye line. Her lover nods in acknowledgment only, his clean hands tucked into smug armpits. A pack of Big Red marks a second victory. Luxuries are scarce and heralded with enthusiasm.


Along the highway she hops into a car lover in tow, clothes and aromas disheveled and offensive. The man in the front seat is her brother, the girl her niece. She offers the girl an unmade sandwich, boasting of good fortune. That girl is me. I don’t know whether to accept or decline. More than the questionable menu (I’ve removed my share of mold for dinner) I am alarmed by her pressured dialogue and obfuscating eyes. Who is this peculiar woman palpitating asynchronously in our back seat? Who is this man confined behind surreptitious brows and silence? My dad offers up her name, a name I know through stories and gossip. She is a drug addict, this man is her lover and pimp, but above all this elusive creature is my aunt.


The car ride is awkward but polite. She is manic, talking a thousand miles a minute, content to fill the void with her side-stepping quips. She is nice in a way that suggests unpremeditated violence. She is vulgar and she is innocent. She flits carelessly through unknown stratospheres. I can’t tell what she’s taken but I suspect she’s tried everything. When she exits the car she leaves me with the pack of gum. Months from now she’ll be dead, her pimp having forced her into oncoming traffic. I’ll stand tearfully at her closed coffin knowing that whomever lies inside is both beautiful and terrifying.


This is a true story

I did a reading but the length made it very challenging so it isn’t very good


Christmas Tree


Rows and rows of conifers

Dart past the window

Each one a riddle

A dream construct

Around which gifts

Are posthumously attached


I press my cold hands

Between my thighs

There’s an ax in the backseat

And a felon with a volatile temper

In the front smoking

With the window rolled down


The air tastes like

Aluminum and cremation

I am excited, cautious

And entirely insurmountable

The numbers on the white signs

Are shrinking along with the wares


We stop at the very end of the lot

The trees are dressed

In disheveled skirts of green and brown

They are beautiful

Stoic even as the blade comes

Swooping down


My father and uncle

Fasten the tree

To the roof of the car

Money exchanges hands

Poverty is contagious

No one suffers alone

Eventually the backs

On which we stand



The tree farm is owned by a family

Incomprehensibly they invite us for dinner

I have no idea if we’re related

They are probably cousins,

I have scores of unmet relatives

All over the city


Their home is modest

As far as I can tell

It’s mostly a kitchen

All the other rooms

Are dark and inanimate

The counter is filled with food

Collard greens, biscuits, fried chicken

Miscellaneous chicken parts

That smell internal


I take a seat and tuck in

Too self-conscious

For conversation

But grateful for the food

And company


This was a difficult write for me as my memories are all very sketchy!


adrian bordaArt By: Adrian Borda

We as man,

Pay deference

To insensate machines

And through imitation

We as man become

That which we beseech


Atop funereal clouds

We regress

Unable to fathom

The depth

Of our earth

Scarring beneath

Of what use

Is prevention

When I live now


Such is the attitude

Of a man

Whose comprehension

Of poverty lies only

In the delay

Of a quenchless greed