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

This section publishes creative writing submissions from the public that do not necessarily reflect the views of the South Side Weekly or its editors.

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.

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Concrete to Shoreline
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro 

As a retired outside baby, I
learned that scraped knees aren’t the worst wounds. Now,
my tucked lips hold back tidal waves, these days
journal holds the rain that I cannot see
or take shelter from. But when I’m trying
to stay dry, it’s like mopping the ocean–
I make sandcastles on these curbs. Something
soft to play in, or get buried under.
Dye the white parts black, call it a candle
light vigil, or revolutionary.
These waves make sharp glass and litter soft, and
call it sand some day. This I know; what once
could make me bleed will become smooth, if I
make enough saltwater to cleanse the wound.

Chima Ikoro is the community organizing editor for the Weekly. She last wrote about segregation in Chicago.

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Prompt

“What loving lessons has the South Side taught you?” OR “Who did the South Side make you? ”

This could be a poem 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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The last poem and prompt can be found here

selective amnesia
by Anonymous 

i remember it.
fragments come to me
        in a nightmare.
at 18 when she called. tears welled in her eyes as she tried to piece the night together
        on the bus
at 21 when he placed himself between my thighs.
        in the middle of a lecture
at 22 after his hands had the liberty of meeting every inch of me.

moments of glee that are tainted.
mundane moments are tainted.

i remember some of it
maybe that’s godsent.

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