1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace
  19. The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
  20. The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  21. The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
  22. The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
  23. The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
  24. The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
  25. The Exchange: Happy New Year
  26. The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
  27. The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
  28. The Exchange: Honest Haikus
  29. The Exchange: Foreheads, Haikus and More
  30. The Exchange: Softness, Water Bottles, and Movie Theaters
  31. The Exchange: Algae and Understanding
  32. The Exchange: we like it here!
  33. The Exchange: tag & waiting
  34. The Exchange: spare
  35. The Exchange: Marketplace
  36. The Exchange: some coffee
  37. The Exchange: A Scary Story
  38. The Exchange: Consumer Report
  39. The Exchange: Affirmations and Sunflowers
  40. The Exchange: Autopay and A Fast Summer
  41. The Exchange: Squirrels and The White
  42. The Exchange: The Taj Mahal and Rutina de Sueño
  43. The Exchange: The Garden
  44. The Exchange: Jess Taught Me My Body Is Trying Its Best
  45. The Exchange: Jollof Rice and Losing it
  46. The Rotation
  47. The Exchange: Definitely late, but here, and Doubt

The Exchange is the Weekly’s poetry corner, where a poem or piece of writing is presented with a prompt. Readers are welcome to respond to the prompt with original poems, and pieces may be featured in the next issue of the Weekly.

A Scary Story by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

It was a cold and windy night like never before.
Legend has it, the cold was so bitter
even the south side niggas wore real coats.

I found myself on a long journey toward 95th
train car howling with emptiness
sway, rattle, shake, boom
and there it was…
the man who catcalled me on the platform.

He say
“When I tried to approach, why you ain’t reply?
You know you’re the only cat I coulda been calling on this redline!
You know I got a millimeter for every one of your lives,
and ain’t nothing spookier than curving a dog you ain’t know had a 9.”


I once heard of a girl who rejected a man on the train,
and he sliced her face up like a jack-o-lantern.

I wonder if all the good guys who never stepped in
put a candle in her head
to keep the bugs away
How chivalrous.

What happens if I fold? Let’s start drafting the story we’ll tell our kids
“Yea, I met your dad after he stalked me out of a Walgreens
2 blocks away from my house!
I swore I saw sparks fly between us
but that was just my taser.”

Someone come pick me up,
the guys at this party are cappin’ like the maddest hatter.
They keep testing every girl
til they pull the lucky one like a card trick.
I rather be a 5 of Clubs
rather be an Ace of Spades
rather not be a Queen
because at the end of the night, I don’t need any jokers following behind me.

My favorite halloween party game is having other men tell me i’m exaggerating my fear,
that’s terrifying.
I wonder how many women you’ve seen
begging for help with their eyes
and ignored
because you think you know how the roller coaster drop isn’t that scary
while you’re safe on the ground
that’s terrifying.
The only thing scarier than a mad hatter with a nine
is a bystander watching him take every. single. life.

But my train car was empty, so I bent my hoop earring into a shank,
I wasn’t going this time sis.
I had that villain hocus poked
in other words
I stabbed that dog in his sh*t.

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“Conjure a spooky story based on a strange personal experience, whether it was a good or bad encounter.”

This could be a poem, journal entry, or a stream-of-consciousness piece. Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces.

Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to chima.ikoro@southsideweekly.com

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