Source: Forty Cents Worth of a Story
A flash fiction writer and artist team up to publish a story 365 days in a row.
As Southern novelist William Faulkner famously said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” In racially divided America, this is as true as ever. James Baldwin would recognize his era in ours, where police routinely kill unarmed people of color and the Klan still marches past their beloved Confederate statues, unobstructed by police. When it comes to racism and violence, America still looks much like it always has. But the past holds certain ideas whose potential has thankfully never passed either.
In the Oxford American, Katie Gilbert reports from Jackson, Mississippi, where a coalition is working to empower black communities through economic and political independence. After trying to help create a majority-black nation in the Deep South in the 1970s, mayor Chokwe Lumumba pursued a similar goal on a smaller scale: turning Jackson into a model of a new, more equitable autonomous society driven by cooperative economics…
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He struggled his eyes open, gently pulling his lashes. Dear, sweet blessed fucking land. He massaged his eyes with bath-tub wrinkled fingers. His second thought was rolling Jimmy, last night the last passenger in the boat, overboard and he’d felt only relief. Then he’d stretched his body into an X, and now, here.
Sun high, cheek against sand, he watched a coconut zigzag sea-ward, stopped short of its course by island debris. Clothes stiff with salt, he sat up, groaning. The sea broke and pulled and broke. He croaked out a laugh. He was alone. He tried some scales. Mi mi mi miiii mi mi miiii. Was he alone? Could he live on an island alone? He didn’t even have a mailbox.
i know poets that became poets
to work with despair, one so big
they’re lucky to find themselves
in the same room with it.
the same room with it at
dark, with heavy curtains,
or light, too much light, and spotless.
they’d die happy then
to say all is forgiven,
and if they’re really brave
they could tell the truth,
that they were so small.
I consider it.
Nanosecond of cold pain
I’ll get to later.
There’s this bridge that held you back.
One you didn’t know was there
until panicked, you called upon it,
a painful and ecstatic break.
What you are supposed
to do, has already been
presented to you.
I guess it doesn’t help that he looks like my first husband.
But for those of you more in a more political mind, here ya go here:
Finally, below is a phenomenal mixing of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam. If you’re into that sort of sublime, soul-soothing thing: