Re-imagining the Gender Spectrum by Olivia Goodwin

There are 2 genders of people: 
Artists and Athletes

Rule #1
All artists are mentally crazy;
It's where creativity lives.

Why is it that artists always seem to have a streak - or rather perhaps brushfulls - of anxiety, depression, or some other characteristic deemed a problem.

Perhaps creativity is not something humans can handle.
It makes the mind run rampant attempting to escape.
It's energy is overflowing;
It can be flowing, smooth, but also violent and sharp.

It can be harnessed as a tool and used to fashion awe-inspiring wonders,
Or it can be an onerous nerve itching to be put to use. 
Positive or negative, creativity will make its presence known. 

Rule #2
All athletes are masochistic to some degree.
No pain to gain.

Why would anyone induce pain?
Perhaps it's not the pain they're after,
Rather they want to benefits strung to it.

The personal challenge.
The competition. 
The feeling of accomplishment.
The unconscious release of endorphins.
The resulting body and health.

Their energy is a live wire.
It demands release in the raw form of physical movement.
Suppress it and the wire takes over.
It finds an outlet of destructive nature.

Through the Brush by Michael Morck II

Caressing his arms the leaves part
Makig way for the marching man
Ensnaring him the vines beg him to stop
Off he moves cutting them off.
Never once giving them a second thought.
Make way for the marching man.
The earth grasps at his feet attempting an
To keep him from marching away from this
His legs dart out from the earth
and he escapes the brush.
The bullet makes way for the marching man
And the whole forest cries out in pain.
Once again the earth embraces him.
The brush hides his face.
The Marching Man now marches in place.

earrings by Meara Maccabee

once i had a panic attack about earrings.
like, full-blown hyperventilation, crouching in a corner, heart exploding into my throat,
electricity under my skin,
absolutely knowing 100 percent that i was about to die (even though i knew 100 percent that i wasn’t about to die.)

i panicked because i had taken my earrings out
and i didn’t think i would be able to get them back in. you can laugh, because it’s fucking ridiculous.
i have changed my earrings hundreds of times
but for some reason i had this horrible feeling that
i had made a huge mistake. that i should have just left my earrings in even though they were fake as hell and
made my ears turn green.

that’s how i felt with him.
he was fake as hell and his only contribution
to our relationship was a car his mom paid the bills on.

but when i finally gave up on him i had this horrible feeling that i had just made a huge mistake.
that i should have just stayed. that my ears may have been turning green but at least i wouldn’t be alone. 

Massachusetts, November 21st by Ethan Weinstein

We stumbled upon a clearing,
trash heaped in harmony, a fort of sorts.
A soaked tent, a broken grill, a wheelbarrow.
Plywood lines the sogged forest floor.

Messages bless the rubbish.
“Here lies the philosopher’s chair.
Sit in silence, speak and be heard”
You unknowingly assume the role.

“We were guided here by the spirit”
Voices echo near, unaware
of this suburban mirage,
basked in fleeting winter light

The naked silhouettes eavesdrop,
leaning to hear our whispers
over squirrels, frantic amid
one last hopeless binge.

Now, under cover of darkness,
etching a new verse
in the last pink glow,
we stumble back to the brush.

A series of haikus in a study of Suburbia Stereotype by Hilda Friday

PTA Meeting
These are great cookies, Sarah
Want my recipe?

Wine falls in the glass
Jessica indulges herself
A lone Facebook post

Cindy drives the kids
Everyday soccer practice
Mom of the year prize

Minivan CD's
Honor Roll bumper sticker
Cheerio graveyard

Thanksgiving dinner
The pumpkin pie was store bought
Mother in law scoffs

Mary says snidely
We should bring Jane to Zumba
And give her "advice"

Spectral Bride by Agon Hoxha

when the moon seems absurd,
the sun shines like the dunce he is,
was and always will be —
an idiot for putting us up to this.

in the shower, whispering my name;
in the afternoon, walking the house;
i ignore it for the goodwill of my sanity and other trivial things,
but i know you are there,
were there,
and always will be,
as the sun comes uninvited
and i wake glaring upward once again.