Below is the 5th installment of The Prism Pages that was featured in the November + December “Memphis Hustle” Issue. Original poetry by the talented Salamander Brandy and Whitney Carter. Enjoy 🙂
BY: SALAMANDER BRANDY
Surprising as fuck,
How loud a cat can crunch on,
The skull of a mouse.
Exodus Made Manifest
BY: SALAMANDER BRANDY
Sundown town, Sundown town, everyone knows what happens when the Sun dodges town. Once the sun leaves you best be gone from that Mississippi town. Likely to be shot up, burned up, and likely found Fucked up if you and yo kin are found near town. A Negro man?!!? … with … union plans?!?!! Life is forfeited when the light leaves town! Man, woman, child, and dog don’t matter to the hangmen in da sundown town. So many hidden bodies, unburied souls, you can find missing children’s bones up on down the road. When Ra sets, and the sun dies, the Black Reich is performed and the river runs red across the Mississippi! Roots, Bark, and Leaves transmute from Bone, Skin, and Teeth! They bear strange fruit down in the Mississippi sundown towns… Got’dam!
Salamander Brandy is the Executive Director of the Path of the Holy Hands church, the co-chair of the Memphis-MidSouth DSA, a member of Black Lives Matter Memphis and the New Black Panther party. She was born and raised in the city of Memphis and is the descendent of Elwood Higginbottom, a hero who was lynched by the city of Oxford, Mississippi for trying to start a union for sharecroppers. She is on a mission to spread peace on planet Earth and to get justice for her family. Until she completes her mission, she won’t stop even after her last breath.
The Love Hunt
BY: WHITNEY CARTER
I wish I had a personality that was mild and meek and maybe those around me wouldn’t be afraid to speak.
I used to pray for the days that trauma wouldn’t find me so I could love myself in a light that’s reflected in worth, but all I see is broken pieces that I can’t fix, and stolen pieces that I’ll forever miss.
A million faces that see my battle scars and then send more not-so-friendly fires, because they played the role of being hunted and someone, somehow became the hunter.
They taunt me because I chose to love through my pain, and I guess that means I placed a target on my back and I just became a pawn in other peoples’ games.
My humanity disappears in their search for compassion, while I’m just hoping for a love that’s everlasting.
Time doesn’t move in parallel direction to our hurt … so while we wait to heal, that darkness is brewing still, and just when we think we’re ready to love again, we slowly realize that we didn’t do the work and somehow we switch roles and we transform into the hurter instead of the ones being hurt.
But as much as I would like to choose malice rather than to feel this pain time and time again, I never want to be the villain in someone else’s story ever again.
So I’ll just take the blows from my fellow broken souls, until it’s my time to win, in this game we call love.
When Our Souls Awaken
BY: WHITNEY CARTER
My spirit awakens at night because my war cries are so loud during the day.
Watching empty souls crawl the streets while taking each other’s basic rights to live freely away.
Oh, to the sun I look for guidance, for we need the light we solely put out, we need the gift of love to spread, for we are indeed in a drought.
If I am the one, use me because I am willing to fight this war.
I’m willing to wrap my arms around the world so we hate no more.
In the darkness of the night, I watch those tired souls struggle to rest just to rise in the morning and still never rest.
So to the moon and stars I’ll lay our burdens, because in the darkness I see the light for mankind and I can no longer be blind, to the rising tides of our demise…so I build my strength for when it’s time.
Time when we will have to fight to show that love is the way for our souls to truly find peace and we shall all allow our souls to awaken at the dawn of night and take our sleep.
Whitney Carter is a native of Mississippi who’s been able to call the Memphis-area home for almost seven years. She is a poet, writer, and deep thinker who genuinely loves to love. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in human and social services.
The Prism Pages is a new literary section in the magazine where original works of poetry and fiction from the community will be showcased. As a publishing company, we are committed to saving space for up-and-coming LGBTQ+ writers. Interested in submitting something? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.