Bartholomew Barker

Early Birds

How I hate those poets who rise at dawn
to write a couple hours before work—
Wallace Stevens especially, Emperor of Ice-Cream,
my ass! You’re not the only one with a day job.

And don’t get me started on Ted Kooser,
who should be staying up late in the flatlands
to watch the milky way flow instead of drinking dawn
from a bucket some early bird probably pooped in.

My muse sleeps in a bottle and does not awake
until neon lights buzz. She inspires the moon
and I do her bidding beneath flickering televisions,
whipping a ballpoint to get every last drop.

The only time you’ll see me in the stark morning light
is if I’ve had to walk home drunk and forgotten the way.

Holding On

As the soft skin of your leg
conceals the strength of your thigh,
I lean in close to hear your voice—
quiet as dandelion seeds in autumn
with words powerful as a storm.

Hand in hand, enjoying your perfume,
your mouth and eyes straighten,
no longer curved like the rest of you.
I don’t want to relax my grip
but know I can’t clutch onto my desire
without losing that which I hold most dear.

Yes Man

I was the teacher’s pet
not because of my smarts
but because of my charm,
smooth chocolate compliments
and precision tattling.

I knew which bully to befriend
for much-needed protection
and when to stab him in the back
then upgrade to a bigger model.

There will always be men
who think they’re great
and need little guys,
like me, to confirm
their awesomeness.

~~~

Bartholomew Barker is an organizer of Living Poetry, a collection of poets in the Triangle region of North Carolina. His first poetry collection, Wednesday Night Regular, written in strip clubs, was published in 2013. His second, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, a chapbook of food-inspired poetry was served in 2017. www.bartbarkerpoet.com

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Reblog – Furious She by Kritika

From the beginning of humanity, the expression of emotions has driven the poets in our world to write from their hearts. IMO, this piece captures the oppression of women well and the ultimate futility of it as we will always rise. ❤

Undressed Thoughts

Illustration by Kritika

the blue ink will spill
her hands untied will write
she will not let it go
until she empties herself from inside

@ Kritika

Stitching her mouth would not sew the thoughts inside the fissures, deliberately
created by this proud society in the form of her beloveds whom she once admired with respect.

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Reblog – Woman

May we always reclaim the greatness in ourselves, whatever the circumstances we face! This piece hit home for me in a big way. ❤

ReconnectedMind

Letting go
caused me to recover
the whole woman I was
prior to you being my lover.

In those difficult times
of sleepless nights;
the many tears that flowed,
of numerous heartfelt sorrows.

I reclaimed my power
as of a woman goddess,
that had once subtly relinquished
herself while in love,
to a short-lived
tangled life;
of what could
never be….

a diminishing of,
the great woman in me.

©

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Reblog – Testimonials by Tebogo Precious Moholwa

I love the strength of this piece! I share this post with all my sisters who have weathered storms!!! You got this! 🙂

Journeying Through My Thoughts

Right at the edge of breaking

At the bending

She stood upright

They said;

She is the girl who refused to break

#Precious

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Womanhood

fuck what others want. be you.

Inspired by Reena’s Exploration Challenge #125

It is not my intention to shock anyone but I certainly mean every word said above. This video describes EXACTLY how frustrating womanhood feels at times,. Being a young, middle-aged or older woman trying to figure out how to navigate life in my body, in my career, in my relationships, and generally, everything has been daunting at times, to say the least! I happened to stumble upon it on Facebook recently, and well, seeing Reena’s challenge inspired me to share it and my feelings about womanhood. Thankfully, I’ve come to align with this notion that my body, personality, and my humanity actually belong to me. So, respectfully, fuck off and let me be who I want to be.

Fake, Not Dope

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Presenting the gaggle, yes you.

Oh, do keep your insincerity down.

You sit and throw compliments at each other.

Faux kisses languishing in the air.

So loud as to not be believed.

You support nothing but your own agendas.

Every group has a leader who runs them.

One kowtows in silence for rewards of pleasure.

Another wants to be liked to the detriment of others.

The other doesn’t want to go against the crowd.

What a group of insincere cowards.

You spout off privately “reality, being genuine, love.” then act like little plastic dolls.

You wouldn’t know what real was if it hit you in the face.

Oh yeah, it has, but you dismiss it.

Authenticity doesn’t really fit in your group, or?

Well, fuck you.

Real people don’t hang with fake bitches anyway.

 

*Originally published here 3/21/18 

Piece Accepted For SMITTEN Anthology!

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This is the SMITTEN cover – a breathtaking collection of superb poetry by women for women. Please consider supporting this worthy project when SMITTEN is released this Fall and purchase a few copies. SMITTEN transcends the boundaries of gender and sex and is a collection about love that everyone can appreciate, as well as shining a much-needed light on the unforgettable bonds between women.

Oh, and a piece of mine was selected to be included in this collection of 120+ poets! 🙂 So proud to be a part of this wonderful anthology!

SMITTEN – This is What Love Looks Like – Poetry by women for women – an anthology of poetry published by Indie Blu(e) will be out OCTOBER 2019 and available through all good booksellers. Please consider following SMITTEN’s FB page at https://www.facebook.com/SMITTENwomen/

If you are interested in supporting this project in any way please contact me @ candicedaquin@gmail.com. All LGBTQ projects are a little more challenging to succeed and we want the 120+ poets who have work in SMITTEN to be read by many! Indie Blu(e) and their submissions rules can be found at www.indieblu.net

OCTOBER 2019!! Stay tuned here for the release date.