Beware the Ides of March

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empty rhetoric aside,
chauvin’s boot and justice collide
with blindness, she sat back and sighed,
capitulated, rode astride
centuries of Caesar’s Ides

from egypt to a land denied

every king has misapplied
calls for freedom they deride
as liberalism they cannot abide,
an iron fist, it must preside
over stinking lies, the kind that hide

keep white folks vigilant, petrified

of political, social suicide,
cases buried and none retried,
the wool revealed, the wool undyed,
brethren know not what will betide,
the klansmen march and burn and chide

and torture, beat, feel sanctified.

“a pack of lies,” we decried apartheid…


My inner voices are always at war — Dryuary Day 4

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“Man, when you lose your laugh, you lose your footing.”

– Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Anthony lay in front of me, his torso elevated as in a hospital bed. I can see nothing but his face, neck and shoulders. He is so still that I imagine he may look this way if he were dead. And then I realize…he is dead. His eyes are swollen and ringed in purple. His skin waxes grey right before my eyes. I feel butterflies of horror.

I am suddenly in a convenient store in New York City. There are buses…


The afternoons are making me feel like someone died

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In the quiet and bullied corners of my brain lies a nervous voice I seldom hear. She says, “Sleep well, and tomorrow you shall wake up feeling victorious.”

My dreams are intense and foggy through the night. I often awake disoriented and remember nothing. Today, I roused at eight a.m.

Weight: 70.5 kg (the house in the morning is often cold; I kept my pajamas on)

In my last entry to you all, I said that I feel safe at home, that I am only worried about wanting to drink if invited to go out. It is clear that this…


March 3, 2021 Wednesday Prompt: What wounds look like as they heal

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I

Your sutures, set the thread aside
In boxy platoons by the riverside
Camps of kindling and watered horses
Leave them, come with me to ride

II

Over rocky tops, see down below
The rushing drain of bloody snow
Cuts a merciless gash in the sinuous scape
Serrated by the cries of crows

III

Whose grating caws are cast about
Of dry veins bursting through the grout
A crust of slithering, burlap rough
Reveals glad tyrant’s trusty knout

IV

A thudding, whumping catapult smash Fills thirsty gullies with rock and ash Obliterates flow, yet staunches the bleed Bears unfettered flight…


On facing my fat and how my friends will react to me without alcohol

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I like the peace
in the back seat.
I don’t have to drive.
I don’t have to speak.
I can watch the countryside
And I can fall asleep.
— Backseat, Arcade Fire

I dreamt of my daughter, Ella, in ballet toe shoes, the kind that are ripped and worn with tattered ribbons. She was twirling around on the carpet. I awoke at 9, then 10, then 10:40.

I’m not drinking today. It’s the first thought to curl up into my conscious mind at the moment of waking. …


insanity is looking for love from without

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i sit up straight
place my hands on the keys
open my brain to receive
my heart to grieve
lancet in hand

blood letting is beauty
renders flush to lily white
lacerate deep
all the way to the ghost
potion dosed
each morning
then cauterize by fire brand
in the afternoon

rinse. bandage. rise again.

my fresh morning wounds
sting to the touch
still wet
but this daily purge
requires
that I rip off the bandages
and ravage everything anew with
dull scissors

then the cold reins in what I thought had been arms embracing but then my ribs crunkle…


I was thirteen the last time I went without alcohol for 31 days

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“Hookers, lookers, pink-skinned babies,
Here is a list of maybe’s
That I have saved for you.”
Bigger Wheels — I Am Kloot

Today is Day One, January 1st, the Clean Slate. Our house on the Rue 9 is littered with land mines of cheese and salami, the spinach hors d’oeuvres, the Martini Rosso, the sticky Triple-Sec, the wine, the bourbon, the bitters, the confetti, and the noisemakers. All are strewn about in the blinding light of morning.

I was dragged from a stupor at 10:30 am to eat breakfast with our overnight guests: ginger beer, water, coffee. God, no knefe


Resting Witch Face Acrylic and Poetry Series: #7

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I especially like painting young witches. They are wide-eyed and prone to accidents. The combination of power and hubris makes for the same errors in judgement we’d see in any teenager. The difference is in the consequences. I hope you enjoy this little story.

Ibutu and Tess

Now, as it happens, tiny orbs of light float above the domiciles of newborns (yes, all of them, including when you and I were born). It’s a coding system so that guardians can find their respective assignments. The lights hover and flit, dying out in intensity by the fourteenth day of life. …


February 27, 2021 Saturday Poetry Prompt: Frustrated History

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To fight off midday creative blight and self-effacing torpor, I imagine all of my fans, eager to see me with pens in hand. To them, I am aurelian light. “What did you mean when you wrote this verse?” and I spatter off the colors of my squiggly brain. Only iron bells with cracks tell any stories. “Oh! your plumage is at once of hopping, proud chickadee and poised blue heron!”

“Thank you. I grew them myself.”

My bio in literary journals will be the text that awes a young writer, “Someday, I can be just like her.”

I get nominated…

Josie Elbiry

Creative nonfiction, short fiction and poetry. Thank you for reading.

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