SOME FACTS ABOUT SOUTHWEST MISSOURI

By Carrie

  • We’re not all inbred (seriously, look at me)
  • We don’t all live in trailer parks
  • 98% of us have an education higher than the 3rd grade (high school diploma status)
  • Hardly any of us aspire to be farmers
  • We weren’t born with a dip in our mouth
  • Our teeth are pretty damn nice (my sister’s are perfect)
  • Yes, we’re gigantic Nascar fans, but if you get between us and a football game, we’ll use your head for the kick off.
  • Don’t walk into traffic. You won’t survive. (Seattleites slow down or stop. Missourians will run you over.)
  • The women are wonderful until you double-cross them. Even the Witness Protection Program can’t save you after that.
  • The guys are gentlemen and you better never let them hear you swear in front of a lady.
  • People in general are extremely generous. I watched someone literally give someone else the shirt off his back.
  • We like to be barefoot.
  • We stargaze quite a bit.
  • We know where “over yonder” is without someone having to point it out.
  • Mud is awesome.
  • Boo, rain! (Unless there’s a decent amount of mud afterwards.)

Read more from Carrie’s zine, Sweet Tea and Lemonade, Coffee and Rain, by clicking here.

Click Image for a Sneak Peek!

Click Image for a Sneak Peek!

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How It Really Was

By Gillian

Back in the day, we were pretty well off.
Single dad. Hard working man.
We didn’t have sweet, deep talks
or a mother.
But we did have food on the table
and a sense of security and plenty of sisterly “love”.
I remember in the summer we’d go down to the river 2 swim.
In the fall we’d rake the leaves and at night we’d watch Tales from the Crypt.
In the winter we’d have a tree, and act normal.
 
I miss the freedom of youth.
I miss my dad being my best friend.
I don’t miss the fights or the angry kid I was
and I’m glad I don’t have to answer to anyone any more.
 
When I think of how it was, I feel confused
and wonder how all the stuff I went through can be stuffed into a few years.
I guess I never noticed how fast I was growing.

To read more from Gillian, check out her zine by clicking here:

Click image for a sneak peek!

Click image for a sneak peek!

Tilib Shudub

A poem by Ashley

Where in the depths of dust
have you travelled now, lady louse?
 
The leaves of the forest’s trees gloss over my eyes
and my own hair.
 
I hunch on all fours, listening to the heartbeat in the floor
 
Peeling in curls,
back
away from the madrona
a fist forming of the forgotten first faces
 
I see people who remember them
We remember them
 
Heavy remembrance
collective drum hide hearts shaking the floor
alive in our gripping hands,
our Singing Feet
free to kiss the dust we dance on
that dances with us
swirling up with a name
 
We are Duwamish
 
We are still here.

To read more from Ashley, check out her zine, Lady Louse, by clicking here. LadyLouseCoverPic

Brussels Sprouts

I don’t remember
When I started eating Brussels sprouts,
But what I do remember
Is the person
Who introduced them to me.
When I eat Brussels sprouts,
I go back to a time
When I was just a sprout myself,
Sitting in the farmhouse kitchen
With my grandfather,
His bowl much larger than mine,
Smiling at me,
And telling me in his booming voice
That these are good for me.
My grandmother, brother, and cousin
Are yelling at the wrestling match
On the TV,
And Grandpa and I
Are eating the sweet leafy treats
And soaking up the hot melted butter
With bread,
Just having our moment
With the thing that only the two of us
Have in common;
Our love for Brussels sprouts.
Losing my grandfather
Was difficult
Even at such a young age.
All I wanted to eat
Was Brussels sprouts,
But my dad stopped
Buying them for me,
And I started to lose
The one solid memory of Grandpa.
So I refused to eat them
For many years
Until one day,
I saw them,
I bought them,
I cooked them,
I ate them with bread,
And I cried;
Half grief,
Half happiness.
I missed the moment.
I rejoiced the memory.

I am

A poem by Krystal

I am the girl that was selling drugs.
To get a little money in my pocket.
I am the girl that was beat up for
A stupid problem when I
Was younger. Through the hurt
And pain, I learned how to be a wiser
Adult.      TRUTH
I am an 18 year old young lady,
That been through so much wild
Trees and bushes.
I am a girl that goes to work
Every day, to gain more knowledge
And get that pay check, building my
Education.
I am a girl that will school
You in some knowledge of
Parenting and life.
TRUTH
I am that girl that got
Pregnant at 14 years old.
I am that girl that is
Taking care of what I have to do.
I am that girl that was made fun of.
I am that girl that had a painful
Disease.
I am that girl that had blood on my
Lips, face and nose
When I was abused by my boyfriend.
TRUTH
I am that girl —only wiser now.
I am that girl that can I say I have low-self esteem
But am still beautiful.
I am me.
TRUTH
I am you as one of me.
I am very beautiful.
I am brave.
I am Krystal.

Beacon Hill

A poem by Lanoir

Beacon Hill is where the 36 route runs and rules.
I lived on Beacon Hill in some of my childhood.
Red Apple Grocery, infinite skies, cheap nail fills, Jarritos & churros; Mexican delicacies, and the Delite Bakery. I’ve been going there since I was like 12 or 13?
Filipino treats and Filipino sweets.
Filipino dinner at Inay’s Cuisine.
Filipino honeys walking down the street with long hair of natural jet black and maybe sometimes dyed in the colors of auburns, rouge, copper, and gold bleached.
Friday night break dancing at Jefferson where the b boys and b girls sweating and kids will be crushing.
There is nothing in this city better than riding in your bike or driving in your car down Beacon Avenue.
I remember cruising down the sidewalk on my sparkling cherry red fat tire bicycle, feeling like a G.
I was raised in my grandma Virginia’s little house of the color peach on Beacon.
I remember she would pack us lunch to go to Mt. Baker beach.
All of my mom’s sides holidays and family celebrations were held at that little house.
All of us packed in there like sardines eating lumpias with soy sauce, drinking Pepsi, and watching the Super Bowl on TV.
I remember finding my Uncle Jeff’s hustlers in the back shed and showing my siblings.
Oh Beacon Hill, your fairytale like back roads and green light allies.
Open and welcoming front yards and backyards secluded with mystery.
I walked the Jose Rizal Bridge to go to China Town and yelled
“I’m the queen of the world!”
Because standing there in the spring with the sun shining on the city and me, the smooth wind going through my cotton shirt just feels very royal to me.
I’m sitting here on this 36 bus and I see the short baby faced old Asian ladies sit up in the front.
Their soft curly gray afros, warm hearts, and strong lingo.
Their unforgiving loudness and excitement and simple swag just makes me smile.
They speak in a language I cannot comprehend but it feels comfortable and it feels like home.

Where I am

Far away from the dusty trinkets
holiday crafts kept up year round, clusters
of dust with too many stories
to care about

My wind-up lantern shares a similarity
with that smoky house
whose light shines less often than fades
into almost darkness, crouching
as if surviving the blue hour were a competitive sport
and bursts of unrefined light
were timeouts, brief leg stretching.

The horizon’s intervention
A gray cloud dividing a sad green and a sadder blue,
hovers closer to that house than to where I am.
Easy to pretend I didn’t see the indecent emotion
and  zip my flap tent door eyes to it.

But from where I am
I am engulfed by rich culture
the sounds of drums beating and voices united in singing syllables
This wordless inspiration, a thriving tradition’s heartbeat
thrumming pulse from the center of the earth,
Reaching me in my camp as I try to rest
but cannot
with its resilience whispering in my ear
and reminding me of my own, quieter tick
also persisting on
usually as insignificant as
the clouds and colors in the distant sky.